Spry Pleased With AU Effort At NCAA Championships

Sacramento, Calif.--The men's team reached its goal of a Top 10 finish and the women's team finished 15th at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

The men's team scored 23 points to finish tied for ninth with Oregon and Arizona while the women's team scored 17 points. SEC teams took the top three spots with Arkansas winning the title with 60 points. Florida was next with 49 and followed by LSU with 36.

The women's competition was won by Texas, which scored 55 points. South Carolina led the SEC teams at the competition in California with 48 points, which put USC in a tie for second with UCLA. Auburn finished in a tie with Washington.

Auburn athletes earned All-America honors 12 times in Sacramento in 10 events.

"This group continues to impress me more and more," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said Saturday night. "This was probably the most competitive field I have seen in the past four or five years. The athletes that we brought all represented Auburn well and competed hard. Unfortunately, we just did not have enough depth to be a factor for the national title on either side.

"We had five school records during the meet which shows the level that our group was competing," Spry said. "It was really just a phenomenal showing by everyone and I am very proud of this group and how they competed every day."

The highlight for the men's team on the final day of competition was senior Sherridan Kirk running a personal record time of 1:45.43 to break his own AU record in the 800 meters to finish fourth.

The top performances for the women on Saturday came in the 4x400 relay and the 400 hurdles.

Junior Josanne Lucas ran a personal best time of 55.66 in the hurdles to finish fifth in a school record time. "Josanne ran one of the best races I have seen her run over the past three years at Auburn," Spry said. "She continues to improve at every competition and we still have her for another year."

Lucas helped set the school record in the 4x400 relay with a leg of 52.77 as the Tigers finished fifth in 3:29.21. Anchor Markita James ran the fastest leg, a 51.76. Kareen Gayle ran a 52.13 split and Tamara Thomas posted a time of 52.32.

"This 4x400 team really stepped up in the finals," Spry said. "They had a school record two nights ago and to come back and do it again is very impressive and what you hope that a team can accomplish at the national championship. Overall it was a good effort from all four girls."

Also on Saturday, NCAA shot put champ Edis Elkasevic scored one point for the Tigers in the discus with a toss of 184 feet, 10 inches, which placed him in eighth.

AU freshman Reuben McCoy is shown in action in the 400-meter hurdles.

Reuben McCoy finished eighth in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal record time of 49.82. That is the fastest time in that event by an AU freshman.

Men's team members earning All-American honors include: Elkasevic, shot put and discus; Kirk, 800 meters; Cory Martin, hammer; and McCoy in the 400 hurdles. For the women's team All-America honors went to Fana Ashby in the 100 and 4x100; Lucas, 400 hurdles and 4x400; Daniele Browning, 4x100; Gayle, 4x400; Angela Homan, 10,000; James, 4x400; Jovanee Jarrett, 4x100; and Thomas in the 4x100 and 4x400.

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