Wolfpack Track Sends 9 Entries to NCAA Outdoor Championships
June 5, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State will send nine men’s and women’s entries – including reigning All-Americans Ryan Hill and Andie Cozzarelli – to this week’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Action begins on Wednesday for the four-day event, with discus throwers Nathaniel Williams, Tremanisha Taylor and Brittany Hampton getting an early start in the competition. There are 24 entries in each event at the meet, with the top eight earning first-team All-America honors and points for the team, the next eight earning second-team honors and the final eight earning an honorable mention designation.
Hill, a multiple All-American in cross country and indoor and outdoor track from Hickory, N.C., is in the men’s 1,500 meters semifinals on Thursday afternoon. He qualified his first two seasons in the 5,000 meters the last two seasons, but this is his first time competing in the 1,500 meters. He broke his own school record in the event earlier this season.
Cozzarelli, a junior from Apex, N.C., earned second-team All-American honors with her 13th-place finish in the women’s 10,000 meters last season. She is a two-time All-ACC selection in outdoor track.
“We talk a lot in our program qualifying for the NCAA Championships, getting in the top eight to score points and to win championships,” said veteran head coach Rollie Geiger. “We want to get athletes on the awards stands. But it is a difficult test. These are 24 best athletes in the country in each event.”
Taylor, a redshirt freshman from Henderson, N.C., is the only Wolfpack athlete who will compete in two events at the meet, starting with Wednesday’s discus followed by Friday’s women’s shot put. She set school records in both events earlier this season.
She’s the first Wolfpack athlete to qualify in two events since distance runner Kristen Price qualified in both the women’s 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters in 2002 and ‘03.
“Trem has had an incredible freshman season,” Geiger said. “To qualify in one event as a redshirt freshman is amazing. To do it in two events is something really special.”
She will be joined in the women’s discus on Wednesday by Hampton, who is competing in her first NCAA Outdoor Championships. Hampton, who was married about 18 months ago, gave birth to the couple’s first child in December and has been competing while juggling parenthood, school work and athletic competition over the last six months. She graduated with a degree in women’s and gender studies in early May.
Junior Kris Kornegay-Gober qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the men’s high jump, but did not clear the bar at the meet in Nampa, Idaho. Geiger believes that experience will push Kornegay-Gober, a two-time outdoor All-ACC selection, at this weekend’s meet.
“Kris has grown and matured a lot in his three years here,” Geiger said. “He has become an excellent high jumper. I believe he is capable of competing with the top people in the country in his event.
Daily results from the meet will be available on GoPack.com.