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Last Chance for track at Georgia Tech Invitational

Athletes' last opportunity to gain qualifying marks within the region

May 13, 2010 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee track and field teams will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for the Georgia Tech Invitational in what will be the last meet before qualifying athletes travel to Greensboro, N.C. for the NCAA Championships Preliminaries.

The new NCAA qualifying system takes the top 48 athletes in each individual event and the top 24 relay teams from both the East and West Regions. These 48 athletes will then be whittled down to 12 from each region to go and compete at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Entering the weekend, seven Blue Raider women and three men hold a top 48 marks in 14 events in the East region that would send them to Greensboro, N.C., in two weeks.

For the women's team, thrower Brittany Cox, the 2010 Sun Belt Outdoor shot put champion, has the fourth best regional mark in the event with a toss of 54-1.25 (16.49m). She also places 19th in the discus and 35th in the hammer, with respective throws of 167-9 (51.13m) and 181-8 (55.37m). Cox placed ninth at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Sarah Nambawa is placed seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 43-4.25 (13.21m) and 26th in the long with a leap of 19-11.5 (6.08m). Nambawa is a three time NCAA All-American in the triple jump. Teammate Kortney Thurman is 14th in the triple jump (41-10.51 [12.76m]) and 39th in the long jump (19-9 [6.02m]). Kiara Henry is eighth regionally in the long jump with a 20-6.5 (6.26m) jump recorded at the Sun Belt Championships. Nyeisha Wright is 25th regionally in the event with a leap of 19-11.75 (6.09m).

Cherice Robertson is 30th in the high jump with a jump of 5-8.75 (1.75m).

Zamzam Sangau is the only MT women qualified in a track event. Sangau is 15th regionally in the 800 meters in 2:06.5.

For the men, hurdler Roscoe Payne holds qualifying time of 14.14 and 51.34 in the 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles. The Flint, Mich., native is 31st in the 110 hurdles and 13th in the 400 hurdles.

Stanley Gbagbeke, 2009 NCAA Outdoor long jump runner-up, holds the fourth longest mark in the East Region of 25-8.25 (7.83m) jumped at the Penn Relays. Gbagbeke won the event at the 2010 Penn Relays.

Josh Butler, a 2010 transfer, has competed in just one meet for the Blue Raiders, but has been magnificent scoring 18 points at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships. His second place leap of 51-3.5 (15.63m) in the triple jump at the Championships, placed him 12th in the Region. He is also 57th in the high jump with a leap of 6-8.75 (2.05m).

Other athletes including Festus Chemaoi in the 800 and Greg Franklin, Stanley Gbagbeke and Curtis King in the sprints have been in the top 48 at times this season at will have one last opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Full results and coverage will be available post-meet on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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