INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Fifteen PIttsburg State track and field student-athletes have qualified for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to be held May 24-26 at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl in Pueblo, Colo. Pittsburg State had four women and 11 men qualify for the Championships.
Seniors Larissa Richards and Heidi Smith will each compete in two events. Both will compete in shot put. Richards will also compete in the discus, while Smith will also throw the hammer. Smith has the third-best shot put throw in the nation this season, while Smith has the sixth-best. Richards has the third best discus throw in the nation this season, while Smith's hammer is the 10th best.
Junior Jalexis Peterson qualified in the triple jump with the 12th best qualifying mark in the country. Senior Kaley Temaat will be competing in the only running event for the Pitt State women's squad as her season best-time of 2:11.07, the 16th best time in the country thus far this season.
On the men's side 11 athletes will compete in in seven events for the Gorillas.
Freshmen Jason Crow, Jordan Riffel and Austin RIggs and sophomore Keenan Soles will run the 4x100 relay after running a qualifying time of 40.78. Soles will also compete in the long jump after recording the top qualifying mark in the nation.
Senior Mike Beeler has the top qualifying throw in the nation as he will try to best his nationa runner up finish from 2010. Senior Calvin Hughes will also compete in the javelin .
Kiara Jones will compete in both the long jump and triple jump. He stands seventh in the nation in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump. Freshman Marquise Cushon also qualifyied in the triple jump with the 12th-best jump in the nation.
Junior Colbie Snyder and freshman Jeff Piepenbrink each qualified in the pole vault. Piepenbrink has the second-best vault in the country, while Snyder has the12th.
Pitt State's final qualifier is junior John Talbert, who qualified in both the discus and hammer. He has the nation's third-best throw in the discus.
The Pittsburg State men are currently ranked seventh in the USTFCCCA Coaches Poll, while the women are 16th.
"We have a great group of athletes that will be representing Pittsburg State at the National Championships," head coach Russ Jewett said. "We were pleasantly surprised our 4x100 relay got in. We are very proud of Kaley's time at the last chance meet to allow her to qualify. It is a great accomplishment for her. I am also very pleased that Calvin Hughes was able to qualify in the javelin as well. We will have a great chacne to score points with both the men's and women's teams."