March 3, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. — This weekend marks the final weekend athletes can qualify for next week’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and two small groups of Oklahoma athletes will be traveling to two locations in effort to do so. A sprints group will head to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier while pole vaulter Alexandra Acker will head to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Arkansas Last Chance.
With a maximum of 284 athletes allowed to participate in both the men’s and women’s divisions, several athletes across the nation who are on the bubble will be in action this weekend in hopes of improving their positions on the national descending order list. Each individual event at the NCAA Championships will be filled with a minimum of 14 entries while relays will take 10 entries on each side. Oklahoma already has seven athletes accounting for eight NCAA automatic qualifying positions.
Oklahoma action for the weekend will kick off Friday in Arkansas where Acker will compete in the women’s pole vault. Acker enters the weekend in a tie for No. 25 on the national list but is just five inches away from entering the top 10.
In Ames, the focus will be keeping the men’s 4x400-meter relay in the nation’s top 10 and qualifying Scottesha Miller in the 200-meter dash. Sprints coach Matt Kane will have a five athletes, four legs of the relay and one alternate, in Eric Bailey, Remuro Henry, Trayvion Jones, Daniel Nix and Mookie Salaam available for the 4x4. The relay enters the nation ranked No. 9 with a season-best time of 3:08.89 at last weekend’s Big 12 Championships.
Miller, who automatically qualified for the 60-meter dash as she won last week’s Big 12 title, is now looking to qualify in the 200-meter dash. The senior in her final season of eligibility enters the weekend ranked No. 26 nationally with a season-best time of 23.56.
The fields for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be announced Monday by the NCAA.