Nicasio and Nelvis Qualify For NCAA Track Nationals

COURTESY: Arkansas State

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (5/30/14) – The list of Arkansas State University outdoor track and field athletes qualifying for the 2014 NCAA Division I Championships continues to get longer as two more Red Wolves are off to nationals following their performances in Friday’s (May 30) day two competition at the NCAA-I West Region Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Ark.

Seniors Chris Nicasio and Sharika Nelvis each secured a trip to the national championship meet by producing top 12 marks/times in their respective events at the NCAA West Prelims, which are being conducted at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.

Nicasio became the second A-State athlete this outdoor season advancing for action at the 2014 NCAA-I Championships (June 11-14) in Eugene, Ore.  Nicasio, a 2014 All-Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Second-Team pick, generated a personal 2014 season-best toss of 205-03.78 (62.58m) in the men’s hammer throw to claim seventh-place honors.  A season ago, Nicasio came up four places shy of landing a spot among the top 12 and an automatic trip to the national meet by registering a 16th-place 202-09.46 (61.81m) performance.

Nelvis is headed back to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year as the two-time (2012-13) U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Outdoor Track All-America honoree sprinted a time of 11.50 in the second heat of the women’s 100-meter dash to finish in eighth place overall.  The top three-place finishers from each of the three quarterfinal-round heats move on to nationals as does the next three fastest times qualify.  Nelvis, the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference Female Athlete of the Year and a three-time (2012-14) SBC Women’s Most Outstanding Outdoor Track Performer honoree, will be competing in the 100-meter dash at nationals for the second time in the last three years.  The three-time (2012-14) All-SBC First-Team member placed 14th overall with an 11.41 time in the 100-meter semifinals at the 2012 NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa to attain second-team All-America recognition.

In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Nelvis clocked a first-round best time of 12.98 despite a strong headwind and will now prepare for the event’s quarterfinals this Saturday (May 31) at 7:20 p.m. (CT) in hopes of becoming a national qualifier in a second running event.

“We had another good day today,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell.  “Sharika (Nelvis) made it to tomorrow’s next round in the hurdles and will be going to nationals in the 100 meters.  I was especially proud of Chris Nicasio.  He made the national meet in his final time as a senior after being close the previous three years.”

Senior Kashef Daniel had his A-State career come to a close after failing to record a height in two attempts of the men’s high jump preliminaries.  Justin Whitfield, who turned in a qualifying 100-meter dash time in Thursday’s (May 29) first round, was unsuccessful his quest to reach nationals as the senior clocked a 10.55 time for 23rd place in what represented his final Red Wolves’ appearance.  Sophomore Billy Ellis debut in the NCAA Preliminaries was a rough one as the A-State hurdler tripped over a hurdle at the start of a 110-meter hurdle first-round heat and didn’t finish.

Due to an injury suffered prior to competition, senior Kristina Aubert put forth a valiant try but unfortunately is physically unable for participation in the women’s 5,000-meter run this Saturday and thus concludes her four-year career at A-State.

Freshman Roelf Pienaar punched his ticket to the upcoming 2014 NCAA Championships with his qualifying effort in Thursday’s (May 29) men’s long jump event.

For more information on the 2014 NCAA-I West Preliminary Championships, please visit this link – 2014 NCAA West Regional Meet and to access live results online go to 2014 NCAA West Region Prelims Results.

The latest news and updates about Arkansas State track and field can be found on Twitter (@ASTATETRACK) and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstateTrackandField.