March 9, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
Kerron Stewart captured her first national championship in the 200m dash and three other Auburn athletes earned All-America honors on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. Stewart ran a time of 22.56 in the finals, which is the fastest time in the world this year on a 200-meter track.
"She ran a great race," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "She has been working her entire career to be a national champion. After she came so close outdoors last year, it's great to see her win one."
Stewart qualified for the finals with a prelim time of 22.76 and then posted a 22.56 mark in the finals to finish .32 seconds ahead of Kelly Ann Baptiste of LSU.
"Last year these races were a disappointment for me," Stewart said. "I knew I had to come stronger this year and that is what I did. It's a great feeling."
Though the win is Stewart's first national title, she is now a seven-time All-American, earning the honor three times indoors and outdoors last season.
Aside from Stewart, three other Tigers earned All-American honors. Cory Martin and Jacob Dunkleberger both grabbed their fourth All-America nod in the meet-opening weight throw. Martin produced his best throw on his last attempt of the finals at 23.27m (76-4.25) to finish second, while Dunkleberger posted a mark of 21.57 on his second attempt of the prelims to finish fifth.
Mark Johnson surpassed expectations in the pole vault, earning All-America honors for the second time in his career with his mark of 5.40m (17-8.50), which tied a personal best and earned him a sixth-place finish.
Tracy Ann Rowe did not qualify for the finals in the 200m after posting a personal best-tying time of 23.36 in the prelims to finish 13th.
Shamar Sands' indoor season ended in disappointing fashion as he was disqualified from the 60m hurdle finals due to a false start. Sands was the last to qualify out of the prelims, posting a time of 7.75 after getting off to a slow start. Ty Akins did not qualify for the finals, running a preliminary time of 7.89.
Sophomore Raevan Harris competed in her first national championships, clearing 1.80m (5-10.75) in the high jump to finish 15th.
Thanks to 12 combined points from Martin and Dunkleberger in the weight throw and three points from Johnson in the pole vault, the Auburn men are in a four-way tie for second after day one. Stewart was the only Tiger to score for the women, but her efforts have the Tigers in a five-way tie for sixth.
Auburn will have three athletes in action on Saturday. Donald Thomas will high jump beginning at 4:45 p.m., while Michelle Vaughn will triple jump beginning at 5:30 p.m. Stewart will run in the 60m final at 7:15.
Tomorrow's events will be streamed live at www.espn360.com, and live results will be available after each event at www.ladybacks.com.