MSU sends four more to Oregon


From Special Reports



TAMPA, Fla. -- Four more Mississippi State athletes are headed to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after advancing from the East Prelims on Saturday. 


The Bulldogs will send 10 individuals and two relays to Eugene, Oregon, on June 6-9 for the final two rounds. 


"What a great weekend for our kids," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "They fought their way to Oregon. Karson Kowalchuk and our 400-meter hurdlers had what's probably the best weekend of competition of their lives." 


After qualifying in the 100 yesterday, Kowalchuk was running for a second ticket to Eugene in the 200. He narrowly missed out with a 15th-place finish in 20.67, which was 0.06 seconds off of the final qualifier's pace. The sophomore from Markham, Ontario, set personal bests in three of his four races in Tampa. 


Ro'Derick Spears advanced automatically after taking third in his heat of the 110 hurdles. The school record holder ran a 13.78 and finished seventh overall. 


Rhianwedd Price-Weimer also qualified despite taking the brunt of the day's weather. During the some of the heaviest rains of the day, she clocked a 4:15.18 to take fifth overall in the 1,500. 


Anderson Peters and Nicolas Quijera finished first and second in the javelin to move to Oregon. MSU will be the only school with two javelin men in Eugene this year. The Bulldogs have brought home at least one medal in the event in each of the last three years. 


Bulldog relay teams ran well on Saturday. Without their usual anchor leg of Spears, Juston Waters, Stephan James, Kowalchuk, and Willie-Lionel Reed fell just 0.01 seconds shy of advancing to Oregon. The four finished 13th, just behind Penn State in the men's 4x100m relay with season-best 39.62. 


MSU was one of four teams in the East to push both of their 4x400m relays through to the national semifinals. Alon Lewis, Monica Mosley, Riley White and Keturah Smith improved to the No. 4 time in school history, running 3:35.05 to finish 11th. For the men, Waters, Rasheed Tatham, James and Vince Castillo placed eighth in 3:07.02. 


Marco Arop (800), Dejon Devroe (800), Charles Brockman III (400 hurdles), Tatham (400 hurdles), and Malcum Tatum (400m hurdles) qualified Friday. 


The Bulldogs broke two freshmen records and eight season bests. Four of those season bests and Brockman's 400 hurdles freshman record were broken twice.



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