Nine individuals and both relay teams advance at Midwest Regional
May 25, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa - Virgil Hodge and Deborah Jones won the 100 and 400 meters, respectively, as TCU advanced nine individuals and both 4x100-meter relay teams to the finals on day one of the NCAA Midwest Regional at Drake Stadium on Friday.
With the top five individuals and top three relay teams automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships June 6-9 in Sacramento, Calif., the TCU track and field team will have 12 individuals as well as the men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams compete for a spot at the championships on Saturday.
"I think we had a good day," head coach Darryl Anderson said. "We qualified through the prelims and overall we stood up and had a respectable day. The weather was beautiful today and hopefully it stays dry tomorrow."
Highlighting TCU's day was the performance of Hodge in the 200 meters. One year after posting a wind-aided mark of 22.57 to win the 200 meters at the Midwest Regional, Hodge found another gear on Friday, as she set a Midwest Regional meet record with a time of 22.68.
Hodge's time set a personal best and was just one-hundredth of a second off the school record of 22.67 set by Beverly McDonald in 1993. A native of Basseterre, St. Kitts, Hodge's mark is also the fifth-fastest in the nation this season.
Also advancing to the finals of the 200 meters was Jamee Jones, who placed eighth with a season-best time of 23.71.
With a top mark of 52.86 in the 400 meters, Deborah Jones' showing came on the heels of her Mountain West Conference title in the event on May 12. Teammate Nathandra John also advanced to Saturday's 400-meter final with the seventh-fastest time of the day (53.70).
TCU's hardest break of the day came in the 400-meter hurdles where freshman Clint Renfro finished 13th with a time of 52.13 after hitting the eighth hurdle.
"The only area I was disappointed in was Clint Renfro in the 400-meter hurdles," Anderson said. "Clint was leading the race until he hit the eighth hurdle and it took him out of it. He was bothered by a sore hamstring all week and it was tough for him. I was disappointed because if we could have gotten through this meet, he would have had 10 days to rest between NCAAs, but that is just how athletics is."
Despite the tough break by Renfro, the Flyin' Frogs shined in a plethora of other events, including the men's 100 meters. In the event, TCU turned in a pair of top-3 finishes, as Justyn Warner tied a personal best and had the second-fastest time of the day with a mark of 10.35.
Running the third-fastest time of the day in the 100 was Delwayne Delaney, who posted a mark of 10.39. Delaney's time was his second-fastest of the season. Both Warner and Delaney will run in Saturday's finals at 4:05 p.m. The fastest time of the day was turned in by Texas A&M's Richard Adu-Bobie (10.31).
Looking to extend her collegiate career by a few more weeks, senior Calandra Stewart ensured her spot in the finals of the 1500 meters with a career-best time of 4:24.15. Stewart had the ninth-fastest time and will compete in the finals of the event at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Despite regionally qualifying in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles, Kishelle Paul focused all of her attention to the 400-meter hurdles heading into this weekend and it paid dividends on Friday. Paul advanced the finals with the third-fastest time in the event with a mark of 58.91.
In addition to Paul's success in the event, Meaghan Peoples just missed advancing to the finals by finishing 10th after clocking a personal-best time of 1:00.17.
After netting the third-fastest time in the 100 meters, Delaney just missed advancing to the finals of the 200 meters by .12 seconds. Delaney finished ninth with a time of 21.12 and finished second in heat No. 2.
Both of TCU's 4x100-meter relay teams advanced to the finals by each posting season-best times and placing fourth. TCU's men's team of Raymond Jones, Delaney, Warner and Dell Guy clocked a time of 40.11.
Both Candis Kelley and Zelma Wade saw their seasons come to an end after valiant efforts in the shot put. With the top five individuals in each event final advancing to t NCAA Championships, Kelley just missed by placing seventh with a toss of 51-00.75 (15.56m). Wade placed second in heat No. 1 and 19th overall with a toss of 46-04.25 (14.13m).
In a season, where freshmen have shined with Neidra Covington being named Mountain West Conference Female Freshman of the Year during indoor season and Guy earning Male Freshman of the Year honors during the indoor and outdoor season, Friday's competition showed the importance of postseason experience.
Covington finished 20th in the long jump with a leap of 18-04.50 (5.60m). She will continue competition at regionals on Saturday with the women's triple jump at 4 p.m.
Guy finished 13th in the 400 meters with a time of 47.03. Guy's time tied the second-fastest time of his career. Guy will compete in the 4x100 and 4x400 relay on Saturday.
As aforementioned, Renfro finished 13th in the men's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.13 after hitting a hurdle. Renfro's season will also continue on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. with the 4x400 relay.
TCU's day will begin on Saturday with junior Joe Brown competing in the men's javelin at 1:00 p.m.