May 22, 2013
FORT WORTH – It is all about advancing to Oregon this weekend for the TCU track and field programs. Twenty-one student-athletes across 24 entries will be attempting to get into the top-12 of their respective events starting Thursday at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin. The three-day event features field events every day starting at noon with track events starting Thursday at 4:30 p.m., Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m.
“This is an exciting time of year,” TCU head coach Darryl Anderson said. “We are coming off the Big 12 Championships with 24 qualifiers for these first rounds of the NCAA Championships. We have had two weeks to prepare, and I feel we are more ready now than we have been at any point of the season.”
The NCAA West Preliminaries is one of two “regional meets” that will narrow the field for the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. down to 24 entries per event. While being first is the goal of every runner who steps out on the track, being 12th will still earn a trip to Eugene.
“Mentally we need to be dialed in,” Anderson stated. “We are looking forward to the competition, and they know what is at stake. This is all about advancing to Eugene, Ore. The bottom line is there are 12 winners, and everyone else is not.”
The headliner for the TCU men’s program has been Charles Silmon. The senior from Waco ranks in the top-10 nationally and top-six in the West Region in both the 100 and 200-meter dash and as part of the No. 10 men’s 4x100-meter relay. Three weeks ago at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in his hometown, Silmon earned Big 12 titles in all three events en route to earning the Men’s High Point Award, helping TCU finish sixth in the team standings, winning the Big 12 Men’s Outstanding Performer of the Year Award and the Horned Frogs men’s No. 20 national ranking.
His 200-meter dash time of 20.33, which ranks No. 3 in the West Region and No. 5 in the nation, ensured that Silmon would be doing a sprint double. Last season, Silmon just competed individually in the 100 at the NCAA meet.
“This is nothing new for a guy like Charles,” Anderson noted. “He has seen all the guys has will be running against throughout his career. Where he is at right now in his development and maturation, he is one of the top sprinters in the country. His job this weekend is to execute and advance to Eugene.”
The phrase “execute and advance” was brought up for many other Frogs with aspirations for big performances at Hayward Field in Eugene in two weeks. The Big 12 champion in the men’s triple jump, Cameron Parker is the highest seeded Horned Frog in any event as the No. 2 seed in the triple jump. He ranks No. 3 nationally.
Three other TCU entries sit inside the top-12 of their respective events going into competition in Austin. Freshman Ronnie Baker has peaked at the right time with his 46.18 in the men’s 400-meter dash giving him the No. 10 seed. The women’s 4x100 relay team is seeded No. 11 at 44.70. The men’s 4x400-meter relay team is also seeded No. 11, and is an event the TCU staff is particularly interested in seeing advance.
“The men’s 4x400 is close to doing something special,” Anderson said. “The pieces are all there, they just need to make it happen on the track and we feel that is coming soon.”
Lorraine Ugen was a first-team All-American at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the women’s long jump. However, the outdoor season has not been as kind, and she is seeded outside the top-12 in the region going into the meet. That does not bother the TCU coaching staff going into the meet.
“Lorraine knows her own ability,” Anderson said. “If she does what we know, and she knows, she can do she can ensure her advancement.”
She is among a group of TCU student-athletes who are seeded just outside the top-12, but not by much. It has been over a month since Ramone Bailey took part in the men’s long jump, but the rest has been meant for this weekend and a chance to advance to Oregon. He is the No. 16 seed going into Thursday’s competition.
For the women’s team, Larissa Matthews has made the top-12 of a West Preliminaries meet to advance to Eugene before back in 2010. She is the No. 14 seed in the women’s 100 hurdles and is running near the best times of her career. In the shot put, Megan Smith’s best throw in 2012 was 51-3, but this season her “worst” best throw in a meet was 52-8 1/4. She is the No. 16 seed coming off a fourth place finish at the Big 12 Championships.
A full breakdown of the TCU student-athletes that are competing is below.
No. 20 TCU men’s team
Ramone Bailey – long jump
Ronnie Baker – 400-meter dash
Raymond Bozmans – 100-meter dash
Lavon Collins – 400-meter hurdles
Adam Damadzic – discus
Narada Jackson – 400-meter dash
Harvey McSwain – 200-meter dash
Paul Osunwa – shot put
Cameron Parker – triple jump
Charles Silmon – 100 and 200-meter dash
Joshua Washington – 4x400-meter relay pool
TCU women’s team
Chaniqua Corinealdi – 4x100 relay pool
Veronica Jones – 200-meter dash
Agnes Kemboi – 5,000-meter run
Larissa Matthews – 100-meter hurdles
Samantha Collins-Reynolds – triple jump
Kelsey Samuels – shot put
Makena Schroder – javelin
Megan Smith – discus, shot put
Briyanni Thomas – 800-meter run
Lorraine Ugen – long jump
Women’s 4x100-meter relay