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16 Gorillas Qualify for NCAA-II Outdoor Nat'l Champs - KOAM TV 7

Courtesy: PSU Sports Information

16 Gorillas Qualify for NCAA-II Outdoor Nat'l Champs

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INDIANAPOLIS — Sixteen members of the Pitt State track & field team – eight men and eight women – have qualified to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships.

The championships will be held May 26-28 in Turlock, Calif., at the Al Brenda Track Complex.  California State University, Stanislaus, will serve as host of the championships.

Among the Pitt State qualifiers, both seniors Gretchen Clark and Tyler Drake will enter the championships as the pre-meet favorites.

Clark has the nation's best mark in the high jump after clearing 5 feet, 10 inches at the Drake Relays on Apr. 27. The Cozad, Neb., native placed third overall at indoor nationals in March.

Drake leads the field of javelin throwers with a top mark of 227-8 he posted at the KU Relays on Apr. 20. The Valley Center, Kan., native qualified to nationals as a junior in 2010 as well, placing 14th overall.

Among other Pitt State athletes positioned to garner All-America honors, sophomore Amber Kloster qualified third in the women's javelin. The Pittsburg native has a top throw of 151-2 at the MIAA Championships. Junior Larissa Richards, from Great Bend, Kan., also qualified seventh in the discus (158-8) and ninth in the shot put (48-5.25).

In addition to Drake and Kloster, four other Pitt State athletes qualified in the men's and women's javelin:  junior Calvin Hughes and senior Eric Wells on the men's side and senior Shannon Lynch and sophomore Monica Wuertz .

Hughes, from Scott City, Kan., has the 10th-best mark at 204-0, while Wells, an Emporia, Kan., native, ranks 15th overall at 199-2. Lynch, from Pittsburg, is seeded 14th at 137-6, while Wuertz, from Richmond, Kan., is seeded 16th at 136-8.

Rounding out the men's competitors, senior Ethan Hobbs (Anderson, Mo.) qualified ninth in the pole vault with a best mark of 16-4.75. Senior Gavin Wuthrich (Whitewater, Kan.) qualified 10th in the discus (175-10) and 17th in the hammer (191-7), while sophomore Cody Holland (Neosho, Mo.) qualified 16th in the discus (171-8).

Freshman Keenan Soles (Pittsburg) qualified 12th in the long jump (24-5.5) and 17th in the triple jump. Senior Brett Siegle (Council Grove, Kan.) qualified 14th in the triple jump (48-11.75).

For the Pitt State women, junior Emily Ballock (Eudora, Kan.) qualified 11th in the 400 meter hurdles (1:00.50), while senior Michelle Mitchell (Garden Plain, Kan.) qualified 12th in the pole vault (12-2). Junior Heidi Smith (Elkhart, Kan.) also qualified 13th in the hammer (181-3).

The Division II Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be streamed live NCAA.com each day of the championships. Highlights of the championships will be shown on CBS HD at 4 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, June 19 (all broadcast air dates, times and networks are subject to change).

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