Track teams travel to Georgia Tech Invitational

Last chance for Blue Raiders to qualify for NCAA Mideast Regional meet

May 14, 2009 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee track and field teams will travel to Atlanta this weekend to compete in the Georgia Tech Invitational for the final regular-season meet of the 2009 outdoor campaign.

The Georgia Tech Invitational is the last chance for athletes without NCAA Regional qualifying standards to earn the times and marks necessary to advance to the NCAA Mideast Regional meet hosted by the University of Louisville. Twelve Middle Tennessee athletes are currently qualified for the NCAA Regionals.

At last weekend's Sun Belt Conference Championships, six Blue Raider athletes earned first time NCAA standards this season in their respective events, while four other previously qualified athletes earned additional NCAA times or marks as well.

Sprinters Greg Franklin and Curtis King earned their first NCAA qualifiers of the season. Franklin qualified in the men's 100 and 200 meter dashes. His times of 10.45 in the 100m and 21.08 in the 200m were both lifetime bests and ranks him 49th and 56th in the NCAA this year, respectively. King qualified in the men's 200m with a personal-best time of 21.14, ranking him 76th. Franklin and King also qualified with teammates Stanley Gbagbeke and Samuel Adade in the men's 4x100m relay. The relay team's time of 39.95 is tied for the 21st best time in the NCAA this season with Sun Belt foe North Texas.

In the jumps, Gbagbeke also qualified in the men's long jump with a leap of 24-8.5 (7.53m). His jump is the 51st longest in the NCAA this season. Senior Brandon Jones qualified in the triple jump with a mark of 49-4.5 (15.06m).

Freshman Roscoe Payne was the final Blue Raider to qualify at the SBC Championships in both the 110m and 400m hurdles. The freshman's times of 14.09 and 51.41 hurdles ranked him 49th and 37th in the NCAA this season in the respective events. Payne was named SBC Co-Freshman of the Year.

Athletes Brittany Cox, Carl Morgan, Sarah Nambawa and Zamzam Sangau also earned NCAA qualifying standard last weekend, but had previously qualified at meets earlier in the season. The respective marks by Morgan and Nambawa in the triple jump topped their previous season highs.

Festus Chemaoi and Kortney Thurman have also qualified this season, but did not earn NCAA times or marks at the SBC Championships.

The Georgia Tech Invitational will feature all NCAA Championships events except for the men's and women's 10,000 meter run. Results will be available on ramblinwreck.com and goblueraiders.com.

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