Track and Field Hope to Secure National Qualifiers
May 16, 2015
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The University of Dubuque track and field's pole vaulting duo of Rick Valcin and Amanda Sinkler both set new personal bests and new school records at the Augustana Twilight Meet and helped to punch their ticket to the men's and women's NCAA Division III National Championships next weekend in Canton, New York. Also competing at Augustana and tentatively earning a spot at Nationals was DuVaun Goodlow and Tanasha Atwater.
Valcin, Sinkler, Goodlow, Atwater, and Alexis Higgins have preliminary qualified for Nationals based off their season performances. After breaking a 25-year old IIAC record a week earlier, Valcin topped his performance by vaulting a personal best 17'0.75"/5.20m in winning the Augustana Twilight Meet. The 2014 NCAA Division III Outdoor Pole Vault Champion will defend his title as he prepares for nationals tied with three others for the second-best vault in the country.
Sinkler improved on her personal best after a vault of 12'2.75"/3.73m won her the women's pole vault at the Augustana meet. The 2015 Outdoor IIAC Pole Vault runner-up now has the 14th best vault in the country and eclipsed her previous personal best by seven inches.
Sophomore DuVaun Goodlow leaped 6'-7.5"/2.02m and placed third in the men's high jump. The 2015 Outdoor IIAC High Jump Champion has also tentatively qualified for nationals with the 20th best jump in the country. Goodlow previously qualified for the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Division III National Championships.
Tanasha Atwater, a freshman, finished eighth in the women's shot put, and currently stands 20th in the nation with a toss of 44'-0.75"/13.43m set at the first meet of the season, the University of Dubuque Invitational, on April 18.
Fellow women's field specialist, junior high jumper Higgins, will be hopeful her leap at IIAC Outdoor Championships will hold up as she sits 15th overall, she placed 5th at Augustana 5'-3"/1.60m.
Kebba Bojang ppears to be short for a national spot with a second-place performance (44'4.25"/13.52m) in his only triple jump attempt of the day. The 2015 IIAC Indoor Triple Jump Champion is currently 23rd in the country. Nicole Forson barely missed out after a seventh-place showing (48.17m/158'0") in the women's hammer throw. Forson's season-best toss of 50.89m/166'11" is 26th in the nation.
Mario-John Otchere didn't qualify for Nationals, but concluded his stellar outdoor track season with his fifth men's hammer throw personal best in as many meets. The sophomore set a personal record by three feet in every single competition and concluded his season with a toss of 172'-8"/52.62m in a sixth-place performance. Incidentally, his best throw came in the first meet where he finished outside of the Top-5.
North Central Last Chance meet
Fabiola Ortiz set her third outdoor UD school record after clocking a 4:43.76 in the women's 1500m at the North Central Last Chance meet. The IIAC Outdoor Women's 3000m Steeplechase Champion broke Lisa Demerath's record of 4:45.74, set back in 2002. The Elgin, Ill. native now owns the 4x800m, 3000m Steeplechase, and 1500m outdoor UD records.
Spartan national qualifiers will bring their talents to Canton, New York on the dates of May 21-23 for the NCAA Division III National Meet.