Posted by Chris Megginson - Wed, May. 23, 2012 - [Outdoor Track & Field]
MARION, Ind. - Four Campbellsville University track and field athletes will look to win the program's first-ever NAIA national championship this weekend as they compete in the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University, May 24-25.
Tiosha Beasley, an NAIA Indoor Track & Field All-American and two-time National Christian College Athletic Association national champion, is the front runner for CU's first NAIA track national title. Beasley, who will compete in both the women's long jump Thursday at 5:30 p.m. EDT and triple jump Friday at 5:30 p.m. EDT, is among the Top 3 in both events entering the meet.
The junior from Bowling Green, Ky., was the first to clear 19-feet in the long jump this season with a soaring leap of 19'11" on April 14 at the Western Kentucky University Hilltopper Relays. The mark remains the best for 2012 by three-fourths of an inch. The reigning NAIA indoor long jump champion, Latanya Nation of Wayland Baptist University, is the closest to Beasley's mark with a jump of 6.05 meters (19'10.25") on April 28 at West Texas A&M University.
Over the past five meets, Beasley has averaged 5.73 meters per jump - the second best average among this year's competitors behind Azusa Pacific's Megan VanWinkle. Bianca Grant of Wayland Baptist follows with a 5.68 meter average. Grant and VanWinkle are two of three All-Americans returning to the long jump event from last year's meet after finishing fifth and eighth, respectively. The 2011 runner-up, Tamala Daley, is also expected to compete against Beasley, who defeated her in the Mid-South Conference Championships on April 27.
In addition to the long jump, Beasley is ranked third of 22 competitors in the triple jump with a mark of 11.89 meters.
Joining Beasley at the meet are fellow NCCAA national champions Tiana Benjamin of Fort Knox and Nathelie Zetrenne of Louisville.
Benjamin, a sophomore, qualified for the NAIA Championships in the javelin throw with her national championship performance in the NCCAA meet. She also won the Mid-South Conference title for the event. She is ranked 21st of 27 in the competition with a season-best throw of 39.60 meters. The women's javelin throw will be Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT.
Zetrenne, a junior, will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, where she is ranked 15th in the 25-woman field with a time of 14.68. Zetrenne has steadily been getting faster since first qualifying with a "B" standard time of 14.92 seconds on April 14. The 100-meter hurdles trials will begin at 2:15 p.m. EDT Thursday. Semifinals will be at 1:20 p.m. Friday, followed by the finals at 4:25 p.m.
On the men's side, PJ Randles of Radcliff, Ky., will compete in the 110-meter hurdles. He is ranked 27th in the 31-man race. Preliminaries for the men's hurdles will begin at 2:40 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 24 with the semifinals scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, followed by the finals at 4:40 p.m.