LAKE CHARLES – McNeese State senior thrower La'Shantena Rounds had a dream come true Tuesday when she was notified of her qualification into the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Championships in the weight throw.
The meet will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center, March 14-15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
"I was very excited and thrilled," said Rounds when she was notified of qualifying for nationals. "This is something I've worked hard for all year. I'm very humbled and will go represent McNeese State to the best of my ability."
"It's been nine years since we had a qualifier for women's indoor championships," said head coach Brendon Gilroy. "Indoor Nationals is one of the hardest competitions to qualify for as they only accept the top 16 individuals nationally in each event.
"It's great for 'TT' and for the McNeese State program. What a dream season she has had."
In 2005, Mickie Rzepka last the last Cowgirl to qualify for the indoor nationals and placed sixth in the pole vault.
Rounds ended the 2014 indoor season ranked 14th in the nation in the weight throw event with a school record heave of 68-feet, 9-inches she marked at the McNeese Indoor #3 meet on Feb. 15.
She won the Southland Conference championship in the event for the third straight season and ran through the indoor season unbeaten in six meets. She was rarely challenged on the year and won every meet by at least seven feet, and in three meets, won by 10 or more feet.
Rounds competed in the NCAA East Preliminaries in the outdoor season last spring but this will be her first national competition.
"This really is a dream come true," she said. "My goal is to just go out and give it my best and hopefully earn All-American honors."
Rounds is joined by Sam Houston State hurdler Sabrina Starr and Northwestern State long jumper Emmanuel Williams as the only athletes to represent the Southland Conference at the meet.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 14 starting at 6:55 p.m. and March 15 beginning at 6:50 p.m. A tape delay of the championship will air Saturday, March 22 starting at 5:30 on ESPNU.