McNeese State track sends another to Nationals

JACKSONVILLE, FL – McNeese State's Ashlee Smith punched her ticket to the 2012 NCAA track and field championship meet by placing seventh in the east regional's on Friday.

The Cowgirl standout uncorked a school record toss of 169-8.  The Southland Conference champion broke her own school record of 166-3.  Taking first place in the event was Emily Pendleton of Michigan with a throw of 180-8.  LSU's Samia Stokes placed eighth with a throw of 169-6.

She joins Cowboy javelin thrower Ben Chretien in the field for the national championship meet.  Chretien had qualified in his speciality on Thursday.

Also on Friday, Cowgirl hurdle standout Maria Georgetown ran a school record 13.34 (breaking her mark of 13.53) as she advanced to the quarterfinal round in the 100 meter high hurdles.

The quarterfinals will be run on Saturday with the top 12 performers getting a berth in the NCAA championship.

Also on Friday for the Cowboys, Jared Crafton went 172-10 for a 44th place finish in the hammer throw.

Joining Georgetown in competition on Saturday will be Cowboy distance running standout David Rooney and shot put participant Thomas Canchola.  Alex Bruce-Littlewood was supposed to have been an entry in the men's steeplechase but did not make the trip because of an injury.

Rooney is one of the top entries in the men's 5,000 meters with a best clocking of 13:53.04 (school record) while Canchola has gone 57-7.50 in the shot.