Track and field wraps up indoor season

Henderson junior Kyle Wilson competes in the mile at the Music City Challenge at Vanderbilt in Nashville, February 13, 2016. Wilson went on to finish 28th overall. Justin Gilliland/HERALD

Hunter Frint

The WKU track and field program finished the 2016 indoor season last weekend at the NCAA Championships with several noteworthy finishes during the two days of competing.

“That really, really means a lot when you can make the NCAA Championship indoors,” Head Coach Erik Jenkins said.  “It’s a major step when you can say you’re one of the top 20 of anything, but when you can say you’re in the top 15 in the country or top 10, it just continues to get better.”

The championships took place at the Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama. Last Friday, junior Emmanuel Dasor stood out in the 400-meter for the men’s team. On the first day of the championship, Dasor qualified for the 400-meter final.

The Ghana native finished third in the preliminaries with a time of 46.60 seconds. This time was good enough to clinch the eighth and final spot in the 400-meter final set to begin the next day. Najee Glass, University of Florida, filled the top spot for the race with a time of 46.31 seconds.

“The one thing about track and field: it is a world sport,” Jenkins said. “You have some of the best athletes in the world competing at the NCAA Championships in track and field. And our athletes have been able to line up and compete very well against every major conference in the country.”

Dasor also ran for the 200-meter race on Friday but with a time of 21.23 seconds did not notch a qualifying spot.

For the women’s team, junior Carrol Hardy, who has showed talent all season, competed in the preliminaries for the 60-meter.

Hardy finished with a time of 7.52 seconds but did not qualify for the finals. Hannah Cunliffe, University of Oregon, notched the top spot with a time of 7.12 seconds in the women’s 60-meter run.

On Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Championships, Dasor and junior Ventavius Sears wrapped up WKU’s indoor season.

Dasor completed his 400-meter in seventh place with a time of 46.61 seconds for his junior indoor season. Zach Bilderback, University of Texas, clinched first place in the race with a time of 46.03.

Sears competed in the finals for the triple jump and finished 14th with a distance of 14.28 meters. First place went to Clive Pullen, University of Arkansas, with a jump of 16.64 meters.

At the end of the championships, Dasor was awarded first-team All-American honors for his 400-meter performance and second-team All-American in the 200-meters.

In the triple jump, Sears earned second-team All-American. For her 60-meter performance, Hardy was also awarded second-team All-American.

Overall, the WKU track and field team captured four All-American performances.

“I am extremely proud of our three NCAA participants,” Jenkins said. “To make this meet, you have to earn a spot, and they have represented WKU at a high level and I look forward to their continued success.”

Three individuals from WKU track and field will be going to Portland, Oregon, for the World Championships this weekend. This is a precursor to the Olympic Games.

Dasor will be competing in the 400-meter race, sophomore Julius Morris will be in the 60-meter race and alumnus Elvyonn Bailey will be in the 400-meter race.

Outdoor season will begin for WKU track and field on March 25 in Nashville at the Black and Gold Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt University.