Nine WKU athletes qualify for track and field championships

WKU sophomore Carorol Hardy, center, leads fellow Topper sprinters Sandra Akachukwu, left, and Peli Alzora in the 100-meter dash during the Hilltopper Relays in Bowling Green, Ky., on Saturday, April 11, 2015.Nick Wagner/HERALDNick Wagner/HERALD


Nine athletes in total qualified for June’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon out of the 21 student-athletes that qualified for the east prelims this past weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.

The WKU men’s and women’s track and field programs qualified their respective 4×100-meter relay squads as well as senior Lady Topper sprinter Chioma Agwunobi and Hilltoppers javelin thrower Tomas Guerra and long jumper Ventavius Sears.  

Agwunobi ran the third leg of the 4×100-meter relay but also qualified for the championships with her efforts in the 100 and 200-meter dash.

In the women’s 4×100 Peli Alzola, Sandra Akachukwu and Carrol Hardy joined Agwunobi to put up a WKU record time of 44.33 seconds, good for eighth overall.

Similarly on the men’s side, Ventavius Sears managed to qualify for the championships in multiple events. 

Sears needed to finish top 12 in the long jump to qualify for competition in Eugene.  He finished third at the east prelims with a leap of 7.84 meters.  Sears was also in contention to qualify in the 200-meter dash, but missed out on qualifying by two places, finishing 14.

He went on to run the second leg of the 4×100-meter relay that finished sixth overall with a clocking of 39.69 seconds. Junior Ja’Karyus Redwine led off for the Tops, followed by Sears, Emmanuel Dasor and Corey Parks.

This is the second-straight year the men and women’s 4×100 has qualified for NCAA championship competition.  Before the men qualified in the event last season, they had previously never qualified in the program’s history.

Junior javelin thrower Tomas Guerra earned his third-straight qualification to Eugene by finishing fifth with a heave of 69.18 meters. Guerra has qualified in the javelin event every year since he joined the program and has twice been named a first-team All-American.

This marks the third straight season that WKU has sent at least nine athletes to Eugene. Agwunobi, Guerra, and Sears account for the individual qualifiers while Akachukwu, Dasor, Redwine, Parks, Alzola, and Hardy also qualified as members of their respective relays. Since 2008, Jenkins has sent 104 Hilltopper and Lady Topper student-athletes to the NCAA Championships.   

The 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will begin June 10 and run through June 13.