USM Track & Field sends 11 to NCAA Regionals
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – For the second straight season, Southern Miss Track and Field is well-represented at the NCAA East Regionals in Jacksonville, Florida.
Eleven USM athletes compete in the regionals beginning on Thursday. The qualifiers will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas from June 5-8.
Callie Jones looks to return to the Outdoor Championships for second straight year in the javelin throw. The sophomore is coming off a gold medal in the heptathlon at the Conference USA Championships. Jones owns the school-record in the javelin with a throw of 179-feet, 11-inches.
“Javelin is like a stress-reliever for me,” Jones said. “I really don’t think about it because I know I’m good at it and I know I can be good at it. It’s just me going out and performing.”
John Warren is another athlete hoping to make a return-trip to nationals in the long jump and triple jump. The senior is the C-USA’s two-time defending champ in the triple jump. His mark of 53-feet, 4.25-inches ranks third in the nation this season.
“Not really focused on getting into finals since they’re taking the top 12,” Warren said. “It’s mostly about getting on the board, executing what I’ve been doing all season and that should take me to nationals.”
For the second straight season, McKinely West grabbed two gold medals in the 100m and 200m, respectively, at the C-USA Outdoors. The senior eyes another trip to the NCAA Championships.
“I come out here every day, do what I need to do,” McKinely said. “It means a lot [to win gold] and shows Southern Miss has amazing talent…I try not to have a lot of pressure on my back because I end up making a mistake. But I think if there was a lot of pressure, I’d still be okay.”
After qualifying for the Regionals the last two years, Caleb Parker hopes to take the next step and earn a bid to the Nationals this season.
The junior set a personal-best of 13.73 seconds on his way to a gold medal in the 110m hurdles at the conference championships. Parker will also compete in the high jump this week in Jacksonville.
“Conference [meet] really cleared it up for me,” Parker said. “It motivated me more into regionals because I finally got a PR in hurdles again in outdoor and I finally hit my personal-best again in high jump. It’s a good driving force going into next week.”
Here’s a full list of the USM athletes competing at the NCAA East Regionals on Thursday through Saturday.
400m | Rian Robinson Discus | Danisha Jones Javelin | Callie Jones 100m and 200m | McKinely West 400m | Trey Johnson 110m Hurdles | Caleb Parker 4x100m Relay | Chedlin Sagesse, McKinely West, Trey Johnson, Elijah Burton High Jump | Eric Richards, Caleb Parker Long Jump | Eric Washington, John Warren Triple Jump | John Warren