FHSU track and field qualifies 14 for Outdoor National Championships

FHSU Sports Information
Alexandria Hart

INDIANAPOLIS - The Fort Hays State track and field teams qualified 14 individuals to compete in 11 events at the 2021 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships, announced Tuesday (May 18) by the NCAA. The list of Tigers heading to Allendale, Mich. later this month (May 27-29) includes six women competing in eight events and eight men competing in three events.

After winning the national title in the 60m dash indoors, sophomore Lyric Holman will return to the national meet for a second time in a pair of events. The sprinter holds the fastest time in the country in the 100m dash with her school-record time of 11.46 while entering the meet fourth on the declared list in the 200m dash with a time of 23.71, another school record. The Junction City, Kan. will run in the 100m prelims on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. CT before competing in the 200m prelims Friday afternoon at 4:20 p.m. CT. Finals of both races are set for Saturday evening.

Freshman Alexandra Hart will look to defend her indoor national championship in the high jump when she competes in her second national meet next week. She enters the meet tied for second on the declared list after setting the program's outdoor record with a clearance of 5-9.75 when she won her second MIAA title earlier this month. Hart is undefeated in the high jump this season, finishing first in all 10 competitions she has entered. The Rolla, Kan. native cleared a personal-best 6-0 en route to her indoor national championship victory. Competition in the high jump is slated to begin at 4:15 p.m. CT Saturday.

Mattie Rossi was selected to compete in both the heptathlon and in the 400m hurdles. The sophomore broke the school record in both events this season, compiling a season-best 4,984 points in the heptathlon early this season to sit in 12th on the national declared list. She also sits in 12th on the declared list in the 400m hurdles after posting a school-record 1:00.70 over the weekend at the Loper Twilight #2, improving her mark on the final day of the regular season just enough to get into the national meet. Rossi will open competition in the heptathlon Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT before running in the prelims of the 400m hurdles Thursday evening at 5:55 p.m. CT. The final three events of the heptathlon are slated to start around 8:30 a.m. CT Friday, with the 400m hurdles finals set for 6:05 p.m. CT Saturday.

The Tigers will have a pair of true freshmen competing in the javelin throw in Rhyann Brown and Addie Berens. The pair sit in eighth and ninth, respectively, on the national performance chart. Brown opened the season with a personal-best throw of 154-3 in Emporia, while Berens tossed a personal-best 151-10 midway through the season at Pittsburg State before earning All-MIAA honors with a third-place finish at the conference championships. The pair are slated to compete on the final day of the national meet, with action beginning at 10:45 a.m. CT on Saturday.

Laurel Haley will represent the Tigers in the hammer throw competition thanks to her school-record heave of 186-3 at the Alex Francis Classic last month. The Topeka, Kan. native earned All-MIAA honors after a third-place finish in the hammer throw at the league meet. The junior will begin competition at 4:10 p.m. CT on Thursday.

The men's team will be represented by one individual and two relays. Ryan Stanley qualified for his fourth NCAA Championship event after setting the program's outdoor record in the pole vault. The sophomore cleared the 17-2.25 bar at the Loper Twilight on Saturday (May 15), eclipsing the previous school record by 2.25 inches while helping Stanley climb to fifth on the national performance chart with the automatic-qualifying mark. The three-time All-American will look to add another trophy to the shelf when competition begins at 10:30 a.m. CT on Saturday.

After taking first at the MIAA Championships earlier this month, the 4x100m relay team of Xavier Robinson, Philip Landrum, Hayden Albright and Malcom Gardner has the chance to pick up more hardware as they enter the national meet ranked sixth on the official declaration list. The squad improved its national standing at the Loper Twilight over the weekend, running a combined time of 40.46. The preliminary round of the 4x100m relay is set for 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday with the finals two days later at noon CT on Saturday.

Fresh off a school-record time of 3:11.32 over the weekend, the 4x400m relay team of Hayden Albright, Jack Pakkebier, Nolan Churchman and Ethan Lang head into the national meet ranked 10th on the declared list. The squad finished second at the MIAA Championships to earn All-MIAA honors before eclipsing a 51-year-old school record on the penultimate day of the regular season. The Tigers will run in the prelims on Friday at 3:05 p.m. CT before competing in the finals on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.