By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Just two weeks after the national indoor meet in Boston, the Wildcats have already automatically qualified four athletes for the national outdoor meet in Charlotte, N.C., the last weekend in May.
Three athletes qualified this weekend at the Oliver Jackson Open at Elmer Gray Stadium. Two automatic qualifiers were pole-vaulters, Kyle Dennis and Angie Aguilar with marks of 17-0.75 and 12-9.50, respectively. Davy Manga is the third automatic qualifier from the weekend, placing second in the triple jump with a distance of 51-11.25. Manga also provisionally qualified in the long jump with a wind-legal mark of 2-10.00. David Walker also provisionally qualified in the long jump with sixth-place jump of 23-7.25.
In the first meet after the indoor championships, decathlete Camille Vandendriessche won at the Angelo State Spring Break Multi-Event Meet and became the first Wildcat to gain an automatic mark. Vandendriessche’s 7,083 points place him second in the nation. Campy Pounds provisionally qualified in the decathlon with 6,532 points and now ranks fifth in the nation.
“He made all his throws with a bum ankle,” head coach Don Hood said about Pounds. “He can easily add points to his total.”
Women’s decathlete Jessica Withrow finished second in the heptathlon to provisionally qualify for the outdoor championships. In the process, Withrow also provisionally qualified for the long jump after posting a mark of 18-8.00.
Other provisional qualifiers from this weekend were Nicodemus Naimadu in the 5,000 meters, with a time of 14:29.68. Julius Nyango placed second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:38.84 and men’s pole vaulters Cory Altenberg and Aaron Cantrell both jumped 15-9.00.
Women’s shot putter Liga Klavina threw the shot 45-0.25 to provisionally qualify. Azraa Rounds won the 400 meters with a time of 55.16 to provisionally qualify and Mary Mwangi won the 800 with a time of 2:13.86 for a provisional time.
Another sprinter who qualified was Kim Prather in the 200 with a time of 24.13.
Women’s pole vaulters Elizabeth Buyse and Callie Young provisionally qualified with heights of 12-5.5 and 11-7.75, respectively.
Hood saw some of his best athletes succumb to hamstring injuries in Boston, but said they are on their way to the 100 percent healthy list. Men’s sprinters Marvin Bien-Aime and Johnny Jacob and women’s sprinter and hurdler Shawna Kaye-Thompson are working their way back to full health.
“Bien-Aime and Johnny look alright,” Hood said. “Marvin ran both relays and the 100 … We’re giving Shawna-Kaye one more week.”
Hood did lose one athlete to an injury, women’s sprinter Stephanie Hodge.
“It sounded like a canon going off when she did it,” Hood said about the moment Hodge pulled her hamstring.
Hood said the teams’ progress is going well, “except for losing Stephanie.”