The first pair of members of the Texas A&M-Kingsville men’s and women’s track and field teams will be in action Thursday when the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships open.
“We have a solid group of men and women going to the national meet,” said Javelina track and field head coach Ryan Dall. “I think all the athletes that qualified have a chance to do very well.”
C.J. Griggs, who will seek to defend his national title in the triple jump on Saturday, is the first into action for the Javelinas as he will compete in the long jump. Griggs currently leads the Division II standings in the triple jump with a mark of 52′-6″ (16.00m), a school record. In the long jump, Griggs qualified with a mark of 24′-10.5″ (7.58m) which is the 7th-best mark in Division II.
C.J. has been battling an ankle injury all season but he will be ready this weekend,” said Dall. “He is the defending champion in the triple jump so I’m sure he’ll be ready to go and eager to defend it.”
On the meet’s final day, Griggs will compete in his second event when attempts to repeat in the triple jump. He has the nation’s top mark at 16.00m (52’6″) – just one centimeter of Carlton Lavong from Adams State.
Also competing on the first day will be Amber Perry as she runs in the 400-meter dash prelims on Thursday night. Perry, who is competing for the second straight season, will compete in the third heat of preliminaries. She has the 12th fastest time in the nation and 10th fastest time entering the meet. The top nine runners advance to the finals on Saturday.
“Amber Perry has the ability to make the final and be an All-American,” said Dall.
On the second day of the national meet, Jeron Robinson goes for the gold in the high jump. He owns the top height in Division II at 2.26m (7’5″) which he recorded at home in mid-April. His mark is the fifth best amongst all collegiate athletes.
“Jeron has been very consistent in the high jump and at or near the top of the mark’s list all season,” said the Javelina coach. “I think he has a great chance to win.”
Joining Robinson in action on Friday is freshman Michal Idziak. He stopped the clock at the Lone Star Conference Championship in 1:50.71 which is tied for the 16th-best time in the nation. The top nine – the three heat winners and next six fastest times – advance to the finals.
On the final day of the meet, Jordan Yamoah will look to complete the double. Having claimed the national title at national indoor meet, the Kingsville redshirt freshman has his eyes on the gold outdoors as well. Yamoah cleared a height of 5.31m (17’5″) at Angelo State which is tops in the nation.
“Jordan went through a little rough patch during the season but is back on track and should contend for the title in the pole vault,” said Dall.
Amanda Haven will also be in action in the high jump. The Javelina high jumper qualified for the meet on at Incarnate Word Last Chance Meet when she cleared 1.74m (5’8-1/2″). Her mark is tied for eighth-best in the nation.
“Amanda Haven comes in ranked in the top 10 in the country so she just has to be consistent and she’ll do very well,” said Dall. “She definitely has the ability to be in the top 8 and earn All-American honors.”