March 4, 2006
AMES, Iowa -
Five Auburn track and field athletes competed Saturday at the Cyclone National Qualifier in an attempt to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Two of Auburn's five athletes appear to have achieved success, as junior Jacob Dunkleberger and senior Ronda Gullatte both set school indoor records while winning the men's and women's weight throws with marks that should have both athletes competing at next weekend's championships.
Dunkleberger guaranteed his spot with a school-record throw of 22.36m (73-4.5) that easily surpassed the automatic qualifying mark and broke his personal best by nearly two meters. Dunkleberger, whose throw ranks third in the NCAA this season, broke the school indoor record that was set just last weekend by teammate Cory Martin, who won the individual title in the weight throw at the SEC Indoor Championships with a mark of 22.24m (72-11.75). Dunkleberger's previous best had been a mark of 20.61m (67-7.5) at the Tyson Invitational.
Gullate, who was on the bubble for a spot at nationals with a season-best mark of 19.91m, posted a top throw of 20.44m (67-0.75), which ranks 10th in the NCAA this season and should be more than enough to get her to Fayetteville. She broke the school indoor record of 65-6.75 which was set in 2002 by Stacy Martin.
Sophomore Reuben McCoy finished 10th in the 400m with a time of 47.20, which nipped his previous qualifying mark of 47.21, but will not be fast enough to qualify him for the indoor championships. Freshman Tavaris Washington, who entered the weekend tied for 15th in the NCAA in the 60m hurdles, was disqualified for a false start and therefore did not improve his standing. Washington also ran in the 200m, but did not meet the provisional qualifying mark of 21.23, finishing 21.81 seconds.
Junior Michelle Williamson
was the only other Tiger to compete for the Auburn women's team, and her fifth-place finish in the high jump with a jump of 1.71m (5-7.25) did not improve her season best of 1.75m or meet the provisional qualifying mark of 1.78m.
Auburn will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships next Friday and Saturday (March 10-11) in Fayetteville, Ark.