Last Chance for Track Tigers This Weekend
March 2, 2012
BIRMINGHAM – 11 members of the Auburn track and field team will make one final attempt to qualify for NCAA Nationals next weekend in Boise, Idaho at the High Tide Last Chance Qualifier hosted by the University of Alabama this weekend.
“The mindset is fresh off the SECs, they are peaking right now,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “They are fresh right now. We kind of backed off this week and let them stay fresh and try to go into this weekend and give them another chance to improve on their mark. The good thing about it is, in the past we’ve always had to take a trip that was quite a ways from Auburn. It’s a little wear and tear on your body this late in the year the travel. Birmingham being so close maybe it’ll give us a little bit of an edge that we don’t have to take quite as long of a trip and they won’t have the travel on their legs.”
The meet will be held at the new Birmingham Crossplex, site of two previous meets for Auburn already this season.
Spry believes each athlete making the trip this weekend has a strong chance to qualify, but is really looking to a small group to excel.
“I feel good about Keenan Brock,” Spry said. “He’s not running the 60, but based on how he ran at SECs, I really think he’s capable of running a little bit faster 200 meters. Monica Carney is one that has got a mark under her belt, but we are trying to protect that mark. Maya Pressley, she’s an SEC champion she’s been to Nationals several times, she’s just got to line it up. I’ve got a feeling that she is going to put it together. Nivea Smith, same thing with her. She’s right there on the bubble, and we’re trying to protect her mark, and she’s been looking sharp every weekend as well.
“Marcus Rowland is a guy that I am really excited about because he came off a redshirt last year with an injury and every weekend he gets a little bit more confident, a little sharper, and I’ve got a good feeling about him this weekend. He’s got that eye of a tiger and I’ve got a feeling he’s going to go out there and put one together and hopefully qualify for nationals because, again, you are talking about the NCAA runner-up with him, numerous time All-American and SEC champion. He’s been there and done that, so he understands what it takes.”
Competing for the Tigers will be a trio of men’s sprinters with Brock, Rowland and Jeremy Hardy each running the 200 meters. Both Rowland and Hardy will also run the 60 meters.
On the women’s side, both Carney and Pressley will compete in the high jump. Women’s sprinters Ashley Cruder, Alycia Prior and V’alonee Robinson will try to build on their new PRs set in the 60 meters last weekend at the SEC meet and attempt to qualify for the national meet.
Smith will also run the 60 meters in addition to the 200 meters. Senior CeCe Williams will participate in both the 200 and 400 meters.
Additionally, DJ Smith will attempt to qualify in the men's high jump.
The 11 Tigers competing on Saturday are trying to join three Auburn student-athletes already qualified with AQ marks. Harry Adams (men’s 60 meters – 6.55 sec), Kai Selvon (women’s 60 meters – 7.20 sec) and Stephen Saenz (men’s shot put – 64’5”/19.63m) have already punched their tickets.
Live results for Saturday’s meet are available at the link above. For more information on Auburn track and field, follow @AUTrack on Twitter.
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