Auburn Track and Field Teams Set To Compete At NCAA Outdoor Championships
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

June 9, 2008

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The Auburn men's and women's track and field teams will send 14 athletes (eight men and six women) to Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Outdoor Championships which will be hosted by Drake University beginning Wednesday through Saturday.

Auburn's men's team has finished in the top 10 in six of the last nine years, and stands an excellent chance of extending that streak. The No. 7-ranked Tiger men have five marks that rank in the top four in the NCAA entering the meet, including four marks that rank No. 1 or No. 2 in the field. Auburn finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last year and has finished as high as second in 2003.

Senior Cory Martin enters the NCAA Championships ranked No. 1 in the nation in the hammer throw, and also owns the fourth-best shot put mark in the field. Senior Jacob Dunkleberger is the defending national champion in the hammer throw and is ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Martin this year.

Senior hurdlers Ty Akins and Reuben McCoy are also ranked No. 2 in their events. Akins is the defending national champion in the 110m hurdles, and McCoy is a former All-American in the 400m hurdles.

"The whole year comes down to this final meet. This is the grand finale," said head coach Ralph Spry. "All year long our key people that we've depended on have done what we needed them to do. I feel good about our chances, because we have a lot of seniors that are battle tested and give us a great chance of competing for the national championship. We have several people ranked in the top two or three in their events that give us a lot of firepower. They've been consistent all year long so I don't expect that to change now."

The Auburn women's team is in somewhat of a rebuilding mode just two years removed from winning the 2006 National Championship. The six women attending the meet are comprised of two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen, so the Tigers are looking to gain valuable experience that could pay dividends in future NCAA meets.

"Our women's team has had a couple of unfortunate incidents with illnesses and such," said Spry. "Having two freshmen here is exciting, and the goal for each of our women is to try to earn All-American status. If we can score enough points to finish in the top 25, that would be awesome, and would help the school in the Directors' Cup standings. So we're looking for personal bests and to try to get as many All-Americans as we can."

In addition to the four seniors who rank at or near the top of the field, others competing for the men's team include sophomore Eric Werskey (No. 11 seed in the shot put), redshirt freshman Zach Clayton (No. 14 seed in the discus), sophomore Felix Kiboiywo (No. 15 seed in the 5000m) and senior Edis Elkasevic (No. 20 seed in the discus).

The top-ranked female for Auburn is junior Raevan Harris, the SEC champion in the high jump who is ranked No. 7 in the field. Junior Amelia Anderson and sophomore Danielle Gilchrist are ranked No. 8 and No. 11, respectively, in the 400m hurdles. Also competing for Auburn are freshman Cache Armbrister (No. 15 seed in the 200m), freshman Hollie Knight (No. 16 seed in the 5000m) and sophomore Valentina Srsa (No. 27 seed in the hammer throw).

Auburn will be looking to extend its string of having at least one individual national champion to 10 years in a row. In all, the Tigers have had 30 individual national champions over the years at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Fans can watch live television coverage of the NCAA Championships on CBS from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, during which time Auburn could have finalists in the women's 200m, men's 110m hurdles and men's shot put. In addition, CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) will broadcast live from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. (Central time) on Friday. That time frame covers possible Auburn performances in the finals of the men's and women's 400m hurdles and men's and women's 5,000m, plus the semifinals of the men's 110m hurdles.

More information on the NCAA Outdoor Championships can be found at www.ncaa.com and www.godrakebulldogs.com.

Auburn's NCAA Championships Schedule

Wednesday, June 11
1:30 pm  M-Discus Qual.           Clayton, Elkasevic
1:30 pm  W-Hammer Qual.           Srsa
4:00 pm  W-High Jump Qual.        Harris
4:00 pm  M-Hammer Qual.           Martin, Dunkleberger
6:00 pm  W-400m Hurdles Round 1   Anderson, Gilchrist
6:15 pm  M-400m Hurdles Round 1   McCoy
8:10 pm  W-5000m Semi             Knight
8:50 pm  M-5000m Semi             Kiboiywo

Thursday, June 12 4:15 pm M-Shot Put Qual. Martin, Werskey 4:50 pm M-110 Hurdles Round 1 Akins 5:10 pm W-200m Round 1 Armbrister 5:45 pm W-400m Hurdles Semi Anderson, Gilchrist 6:00 pm M-400m Hurdles Semi McCoy 6:35 pm W-200m Semi Armbrister

Friday, June 13 3:15 pm M-Discus Final Clayton, Elkasevic 3:15 pm W-Hammer Final Srsa 4:45 pm W-High Jump Final Harris 5:30 pm M-Hammer Final Martin, Dunkleberger 8:05 pm M-110 Hurdles Semi Akins 8:55 pm W-400m Hurdles Final Anderson, Gilchrist 9:05 pm M-400m Hurdles Final McCoy 9:15 pm W-5000m Final Knight 9:35 pm M-5000m Final Kiboiywo

Saturday, June 14 3:00 pm M-Shot Put Final Martin, Werskey 3:37 pm W-200m Final Armbrister 4:02 pm M-110 Hurdles Final Akins