Three Track Athletes to Compete at NCAA Meet

COURTESY: Arkansas State 

JONESBORO, Ark. (6/3/14) – The Arkansas State University outdoor track and field team will be sending three of its athletes to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are scheduled for June 11-14 at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Senior Sharika Nelvis will be representing the Red Wolves in both the 100-meter hurdles and the 100-meter dash.  On the men’s side, senior Chris Nicasio has qualified for national competition in the hammer throw and freshman Roelf Pienaar in the long jump.  The NCAA-I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee announced the participants for the upcoming 2014 national meet this Tuesday (June 3).

Those athletes who recorded a top 12-place mark or time in their respective individual event along with the fastest 12 relay event times from this last weekend’s regional meet competition were national meet qualifiers.  The 2014 NCAA Regionals were held this past weekend (May 29-31) with the West Preliminaries being conducted at Fayetteville, Ark. and the East Preliminaries at Jacksonville, Fla.

Nelvis, a two-time (2012-13) U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America honoree, will be making her third consecutive NCAA Championships meet appearance.  Nelvis qualified for nationals after registering the top overall heat time in the 100-meter hurdles at the West Prelimins last Saturday (May 31) as she recorded a school-record 12.66 time.  The 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Female Athlete of the Year eclipsed her previous A-State best 12.67 time and presently holds the distinction of having the fastest time among the 24 national qualifiers.  Nelvis, a three-time (2012-14) SBC Women’s Most Outstanding Track Performer and All-SBC First-Team selection, will also be running in the 100-meter dash following a qualifying and eighth-place overall 11.50 time in the West Prelim event’s second heat.  Nationally, Nelvis finished second in the 100-meter hurdles and eighth in the 100-meter dash for this outdoor season’s final NCAA-I top performances.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Nelvis will be competing in 100-meter hurdles for the third time in as many years and in the 100-meter dash for the second time in the last three seasons.  A season ago, Nelvis finished sixth in the 100-meter hurdles final at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Eugene with a 12.92 time and earned first-team All-America plaudits as a result of her top-eight place national showing.  She had posted an A-State and conference-record 12.84 time in the 100-meter hurdles second semifinals heat.  Nelvis would garner All-America Second-Team accolades in the 100 meters at the 2012 NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, by taking 14th place overall in the semifinals with an 11.41 time in the event’s opening heat.

Nicasio, a All-SBC Second-Team member this outdoor campaign, is set to make his NCAA Championships debut after notching a 2014 personal season-best toss of 205-03.78 (62.58m) in the men’s hammer throw at the West Preliminaries last Friday (May 30) to capture seventh-place honors.  Nicasio, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, finished in 69th place among the final top qualifying performers this season.

Pienaar, who was the 2014 SBC Men’s Outstanding Outdoor Field Performer, qualified for nationals in the men’s long jump by leaping a 25-02.75 (7.69m) distance to claim fourth place at the West Prelims last Thursday (May 29).  He received first-team all-conference recognition this spring after winning the long jump and triple jump events at the 2014 SBC Championships (May 9-11) in San Marcos, Texas.  Pienaar, a native of Potchefstroom, South Africa, ranked second in the long jump on this season’s final outdoor qualifiers list.

This indoor season, Nelvis and Pienaar attained All-America First-Team recognition by the USTFCCCA for their performances at the 2014 NCAA-I Indoor Track and Field Championships (March 14-15) in Albuquerque, N.M.  Nelvis was the crowned the 60-meter hurdles national champion by tallying a conference and school-record 7.93 time while Pienaar took third in the long jump with a 25-07.09 (7.80m) distance.

A-State, under head coach Jim Patchell, had three athletes compete in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships as Nelvis along with Stephanie Foreman and Solomon Williams competed for the Red Wolves.

Information for the 2014 NCAA Championships can be accessed by at this link – 2014 NCAA Championships.  A live telecast of the championships will be held Friday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. (CT) and Saturday, June 14, at 4 p.m. (CT) both on ESPNU.  ESPN3 will stream live coverage of competition for Wednesday, June 11 and Thursday, June 12.

The latest information and team updates about Arkansas State track and field are available via Twitter (@ASTATETRACK) and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstateTrackandField.

2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Women’s National Qualifiers | Men’s National Qualifiers