PUEBLO, Colo. (March 8, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's and women's track and field programs are set to compete at the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships March 9-11 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Pack sent eight individuals and two relay teams to the national meet, which is held at the Birmingham CrossPlex and is one of five championships being celebrated at the NCAA Division II Winter Festival.
The ThunderWolves men were ranked No. 20 in the final pre-nationals U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll. The women were just outside the top 25 at 34.
Both CSU-Pueblo programs finished fifth at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships Feb. 24-25. The Pack totaled two individual champions and brought home two relay titles.
Junior Tatianna Clanton (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will get things started for the Pack, as she qualified for her first national championships with the 12th best leap in the long jump. She will begin the event in Heat 1 at 1 p.m. MST.
Senior Dante Carter (Las Vegas, Nev.) recorded an NCAA automatic time in the mile and will run in the second heat at 3:45 p.m. MST. His time of 4:02.32 is the fourth fastest qualifying time in the race. The top three times from each of the two heats, plus the next three times advance to the final.
In her final indoor season, senior Sydni Riley (Florissant, Colo.) qualified for the 800m run. Her time of 2:10.41 is the eighth best qualifying mark in the field of 17 student-athletes. She will run in the first heat. The top two times in each of the three heats, then the next two times qualify for the final.
In his first indoor season, freshman Thomas Staines (Colorado Springs, Colo.) qualified for the national meet in the 800m. His time of 1:51.44 was good for the 14th best time in the event. He will run in the third of three heats where the top two times in each heat and the next two best times go to the finals.
Friday will feature the pentathlon in the morning and both distance medley relays in the evening.
Senior Andrea Tuck (Sr., Canon City, Colo.) qualified for her second indoor national meet after being crowned 2017 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Indoor Pentathlon Champion. She begins with the 60m hurdles at 10:05 a.m. MST and owns the sixth best point total (3,718) entering the five-event multi. The pentathlon concludes with the 800m run (Tuck has the second fastest time) at 4:40 p.m. MST.
After a 10th place finish at last year's indoor championships, the women's DMR will run at 4:55 p.m. MST. The women's DMR will be made up of sophomore Miriam Roberts (Boulder, Colo.), freshman Taliah Burney (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Riley and senior Bailey Hughes (Bigfork, Mont.). The squad enters the championships with the seventh fastest time in the field.
On the men's side, the same foursome that ran to a runner-up finish at the 2015 national championships will line up again with hopes of finishing at the top of the podium. The squad is made up of Carter, junior Dueth Vassell (Denver, Colo.), sophomore Devundrick Walker (Aurora, Colo.) and junior Derrick Williams (Columbia Falls, Mont.). The Pack will enter the race with the third fastest time at 9:46.61, which was an automatic mark early in the season. The race is slated to begin at 5:15 p.m.
At 3:40 p.m. MST, Hughes will run in her final collegiate indoor race, as she qualified for the 3000m run. She ran a 9:42.15 in the event, which is the 16th fastest qualifying time in the race.
Two men qualified for the 3000m run, which is set for 4 p.m. MST and will wrap the championships for the Pack.
Freshman Paul Roberts (Boulder, Colo.) will race at his first indoor championships, as he and Williams qualified for the event. Roberts enters with the seventh fastest time (8:06.31), while Williams qualified with the 11th best mark in field (8:08.08). Williams was runner-up at the 2015 indoor national championships in the 3000m run.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.