Auburn Track and Field Teams Set To Compete At NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 8, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 11 Auburn women's and No. 14 men's track and field teams have 21 athletes (11 women and 10 men) in Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be contested Wednesday through Saturday. The Tigers have 11 individuals and three relays that have qualified in 17 events for the meet.
Of Auburn's 17 entries in the NCAA field, five of them are ranked in the top eight after the NCAA preliminary rounds in their respective events, which would earn the Tigers All-American honors and team points.
Marcus Rowland enters the meet as the top seed in the 100 meters after clocking a 10.04 in the East region quarterfinal. Joanna Atkins in the 400 meters and the women's 4x400-meter relay team share the next highest ranking entering the meet with the nation's second-best times. Sheniqua Ferguson had the fourth best time in the quarterfinals in the 200 meters, while the men's 4x100-meter relay team ranked eighth in the field.
"We're excited to compete in this meet," said head coach Ralph Spry. "I believe that everybody that we brought has a shot at being an All-American. If we can compete at that level individually, then the team points will take care of themselves.
"Anything can happen at this meet, so we have to focus on the things that we can control. We have a lot of mature athletes that have been here before, so I'm very confident that they can handle everything."
Both teams will be shooting for top-10 finishes at the meet. The Auburn men have finished in the top 10 in seven of the last 11 years. The Tigers just missed another top-10 finish last year placing 12th, after finishing tied for second in 2008 and third in 2007. Auburn was also second in 2003, and the Tigers were third in 2000 and fourth in 1999.
The Auburn women won the school's first-ever NCAA Championship in track and field at the 2006 NCAA meet, scoring 57 points to easily outdistance second-place USC (38.5 points). Last year the Auburn women tied for 25th and have now had eight straight top-25 finishes.
Auburn has won 33 individual national championships over the years at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, including 24 titles by men and nine by women. Auburn has had at least one champion from its men's or women's team for 11 straight years, including seven in the last four seasons. Atkins is the lone member of this year's team to have won an outdoor national title, winning the women's 400 meters last year. Ferguson owns an indoor title this year in the 200 meters.
Eight different Tigers have won at least two outdoor national titles for Auburn, while Harvey Glance (1976 100 meters and 200 meters, 1977 100 meters) is the lone three-time individual outdoor champion from Auburn.
There will be four hours of live television coverage of the NCAA Championships this year. CBS will broadcast live from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, during which time Auburn could have finalists in the men's shot put, women's 200 meters, men's 1500 meters and 5000 meters, the men's and women's 4x100-meter relays and the women's 4x400-meter relay.
In addition, CBS College Sports will broadcast live from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. (Central time) on Friday, June 11. That time frame covers possible Auburn performances in the finals of the men's and women's 100 meters and the women's 400 meters.
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