The six Long Beach State track and field members headed to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championship on June 6-9 is the most the university has sent since 2015. The 49ers will compete in two events — the 4×100 women’s relay team and two long jumpers qualified last weekend at the NCAA West Prelims in Sacramento.
“We’ve had a great year with our sprint squad,” LBSU coach Andy Sythe said. “Consistency matters a ton at this meet. This team has really matured and developed.”
Courtne’ Davis, Ashleigh Chambers, Azaria Hill and Madison Golden became just the second LBSU women’s 4×100 relay team in school history to qualify for the National Championships. The quartet ran a 44.66 to finish third in their eight-team heat, which is just three hundredths of a second behind their Big West Champions and school record time. The LBSU women’s team won the Big West title earlier this month, and Sythe gave credit to sprints coach LaTanya Sheffield.
“She came in pretty green on the coaching side of things,” Sythe said. “It was the motivational aspect of Coach Sheffield that I knew would be a difference maker in the program. Her experience comes from her Olympic days, so she’s been a great hire for us. That stability means a lot to me, and the athletes in this program.”
Big West Field Athlete of the Year Jason Smith and teammate Sal Nasser both qualified in the long jump with personal bests. Smith finished in fourth place (7.77m) and Nasser also punched his ticket (7.70m) while breaking 25 feet for the first time to finish in ninth. LBSU’s Kemonie Briggs also competed and finished 22nd.
Smith also competed in the high jump and triple jump. His first attempt in the high jump was good enough to join eight other competitors in a jump off. The sophomore set a career-high (7’1”) with the sixth-highest jump in school history, and the best in the Big West this year, but he was one spot short of advancing.
In the triple jump, Smith and teammate Blair Robinson had identical jumps of 14.99m, but it wasn’t enough to advance.
There were a total of 15 LBSU athletes at the West Prelims. Big West Freshman of the Year Shalee Reynolds reached the quarterfinals of the 400m hurdles. Bria Palmer finished 14th in the high jump (1.75m).
Josh Carr had a career-best hammer throw (60.70m) that is also a top 10 distance in LBSU history. He finished in 27th place. Nicholas Hudson was in 44th place in the hammer.
Courtne’ Davis also ran in the 200m (23.60). Davis, Ashleigh Chambers and Kent Harris all ran in the 100m dash. Davis was 30th. Anaya Alexander and Daniel York-Mouton both ran in the 400m.