April 23, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. -
Complete Meet Notes in PDF Format
The Auburn track and field teams will have athletes competing at four different competitions this weekend as the Tigers continue to prepare for the SEC Championships. The largest contingent of Auburn's top athletes will travel to Philadelphia to compete in the 113th running of the Penn Relays, the oldest and largest relay carnival in the world. The meet will be held April 24-26 at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to the group going to the Penn Relays, the Tigers have three field athletes going to the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, April 24-26, five more field athletes going to the Triton Invitational in San Diego April 25-26 and another group going to the Coach O Invitational hosted by Troy University April 26.
"This is kind of an unusual weekend for us to be spread out at four different competitions," said head coach Ralph Spry. "This is our last opportunity to compete before the SEC Championships, so we're trying to give everyone an opportunity to compete somewhere with the best conditions possible for them.
"Most of the top sprinters are going to Penn because it's such a big event with great competition. A few of our throwers are going to Drake because that's the site of the NCAA Championships and we want to get them experience at Drake's venue, and a few more are going to San Diego because they have awesome conditions there for the discus. The rest of the group will go to Troy to compete."
At last year's Penn Relays, Kerron Stewart was named the Outstanding Women's College Athlete for Individual Events after winning the college women's championship in the 100m. Stewart posted a time of 11.15 in the finals to easily beat the competition, as the next-closest competitor was .28 seconds behind. She also anchored Auburn's 4x100m relay team to a third-place finish with a season-best time of 43.95.
Stewart wasn't the only winner for Auburn, as Michelle Vaughn won the triple jump with a leap of 13.42m (44-0.5), and Shamar Sands won the college men's championship in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.61 seconds to become the first Auburn man to win the 110m hurdles at the Penn Relays.
Also for Auburn, Felix Kiboiywo finished second for Auburn in the mile with a time of 4:03.95, while Cory Martin (68.84m, 225-10) and Jacob Dunkleberger (64.36m, 211-2) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the hammer throw. Tracy Ann Rowe finished fourth in the 100m dash in 11.54 seconds and Danielle Gilchrist reached the finals of the 100m hurdles after clocking a time of 13.64 in the prelims.
As for this season, almost everyone that Auburn had hoped to advance to the NCAA Regionals has already met their qualifying standard, as Auburn now has 21 individuals who have combined for 34 individual regional qualifying marks. The Tigers also have four relay teams that have qualified.
Two athletes have qualified in three individual events each: Joanna Atkins (100m, 200m, 400m) and Cory Martin (shot put, discus, hammer). Eight others have qualified in two individual events, including Amelia Anderson (400m hurdles, long jump), Cache Armbrister (100m, 200m), Jacob Dunkleberger (hammer throw, shot put), Danielle Gilchrist (100m hurdles, 400m hurdles), Felix Kiboiywo (1500m, 5000m), Katalin Mate (shot put, discus), Jean-Pierre Weerts (1500m, 5000m) and Eric Werskey (shot put, discus).
Seven of Auburn's individuals currently own marks that rank them in the top 10 in the NCAA this year, as well as one relay team. Martin leads the NCAA in the hammer throw with a mark of 73.07m (239-9) while Dunkleberger ranks No. 2 with a mark of 71.42m (234-4). Martin is also ranked fifth in the shot put (19.17m, 62-10.75). Ty Akins is No. 2 in the 110m hurdles (13.47) and Reuben McCoy is fifth in the 400m hurdles (50.12). Raevan Harris is tied for fourth in the high jump (1.83m, 6-0), Atkins is No. 7 in the 400m (52.94) and Werskey is No. 8 in the shot put (18.99m, 62-3.75). In addition, the women's 4x400m relay team is No. 5 (3:33.36).
Thanks to all of those qualifiers and more, Auburn's men are ranked No. 6 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's top 25 rankings, while the women are ranked No. 15.
"It's been a good season but a tough season with a lot of wear and tear from travel and competition," said Spry. "So this weekend we want to finish the pre-championship season sharp and get some great races and marks under our belts. Then we'll rest a bit and get ready to host the SEC Championships."