Middle Tennessee's best travel to Fayetteville for NCAA Outdoor Championships
Hayes speaks in online webcastJune 9, 2009 · Christian Lemon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The nation's best track and field competitors await Middle Tennessee's four top athletes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday through Saturday.
A quartet of Blue Raiders qualified in events May 29-30 at the NCAA Mideast Regional meet in Louisville, Ky. Female qualifiers include Sarah Nambawa, who will participate in both the long and triple jump and teammate Brittany Cox competing in the shot put. Stanley Gbagbeke and Carl Morgan are two male qualifiers for national meet with Gbagbeke competing in the long jump and Morgan participating in the triple jump.
Nambawa, who looks to be Middle Tennessee's best chance at an NCAA individual Championship, is currently ranked second in the nation behind Florida State's Kimberly Williams in the triple jump with a mark of 45-9 (13.94m) setting a Middle Tennessee record at the NCAA Mideast Regional. Nambawa finished second in the triple jump to Williams at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Nambawa will compete in the long jump on Wednesday and Thursday and the triple jump on Friday and Saturday.
Cox, the Middle Tennessee record holder in the shot put and hammer throw, is ranked 16th in the nation in the shot put with a toss of 53-6.25 (16.31m) thrown at the NCAA Mideast Regional meet. The Antioch, Tenn., native has broken her own school record twice this season and earned NCAA Regional qualifying standards every meet this season. She will throw in the shot put on Wednesday and Thursday.
On the men's side, Gbagbeke finished fifth in the long jump at the NCAA Mideast Regional with a mark of 25-3.5 (7.71m) earning him a slot in the NCAA Championships. Gbagbeke, ranked 22nd in the nation, placed fourth in the event at the Sun Belt Championships and will compete in Wednesday and Thursday.
Morgan will compete in the triple jump Friday and Saturday. The Cayman Islands native finished second at the NCAA Mideast Regional with a lifetime best of 52-8.75 (16.09m) ranking him 14th in the NCAA this season in the event. Morgan is the lone senior to qualify for the NCAA Championships and will look to end his Blue Raider career with All-American honors.
The Blue Raiders have had four individuals win five national championships in the program's history. Mardy Scales won most recently in 2003 taking the 100 meters crown. Dionne Rose is Middle Tennessee's lone female NCAA Champion winning the 55 meter hurdles indoor title in 1994.
Full daily results will be available on goblueraiders.com and ncaa.com.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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