Bowling Green, Ky. — The Western Kentucky University track and field program will be sending a school record two relays and four individuals to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 10-14 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Two student-athletes will be pulling double duty on the weekend, competing in both a relay and an individual event. Gavin Smellie, the 2009 NCAA Mideast Regional Champion at 200 meters, is ranked third in the country in the event. He was named 2009 Sun Belt Conference track athlete of the meet at the league championships in May and has already met the "A" standard in the 200-meter dash for his home country of Canada. Smellie will also lead off the Hilltopper 4x400-meter relay team that includes Terrill McCombs, Alexander Larin, and Romaine McKay. That relay set a school record of 3:05.48 to finish second at the regional meet, breaking their own WKU standard set en route to an NCAA berth in 2008.
Miaie Williams will also be competing in the open 200-meter dash at the NCAA meet after earning an at-large berth with the 19th-ranked time in the country this year. She will also lead off the women's 4x100-meter relay team with teammates Kellie Morrison, Sharika Smith, and Samantha Smith that finished third at the regional meet, setting a new school record of 44.43 seconds.
Also earning at-large bids to the NCAA Championships was Janet Jesang and Mandhla Mgijima. Jesang – a two-time all-American in cross country and indoor at 5,000 meters – goes into the national meet ranked sixth in the 5,000 meters. Mgijima, who will be competing in his first NCAA Championship, is ranked seventh in the long jump with a mark of 25-11 that he recorded at the SBC Outdoor Championships last month.
"We are excited about the opportunity to compete at the national championships in Fayetteville," says WKU head coach Erik Jenkins. "This is the largest contingent we have had to represent WKU in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship. The fact that we have 3 individuals ranked in the top 10 and have two relays competing at the national championship is a testament to the hard work of our staff, administration and student athletes."
Mgijima will be the first to compete for WKU in Fayetteville, with the qualifying round of the long jump set to begin at 4:00pm (CDT).