FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State University wrapped up the third day of competition at the 2006 Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday evening with three athletes qualifying for Sunday's event finals.
"The women are just doing amazing," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "Joy (Griffith) fell early in the steeplechase and came back to finish third. Meggan (Hodge) fought. Her injury from two years ago got to her. She couldn't hardly warm up two days ago, and tonight, she fought."
Junior Jen McPherson (Nampa, Idaho) posted the top qualifying time in the women's 1500-meter run with a regional-qualifying time of 4:25.75. Senior Zita Magloire (Tallahassee, Fla.) also qualified for Sunday's event final, coming in fourth with a personal-best and regional-qualifying 4:25.80.
Junior Bruce Davis (Phenix City, Ala.) qualified for Sunday's 400-meter dash finals, running a regional-qualifying 46.68 to finish sixth. Junior Nathan Daniels (New Iberia, La.) ran 47.33 to take 13th and junior Ezra Jones (Wildwood, Fla.) was one spot behind Daniels in 14th (47.35).
Continuing her already impressive meet, freshman Marrissa Harris scored again for the Lady Bulldogs. After finishing fourth in the heptathlon on Friday, Harris leaped a personal best 19 feet, nine-and-three-quarters inches on Saturday in the women's long jump finals to finish seventh overall. The mark qualifies the Memphis, Tenn. native for the NCAA Mideast Regional and is the third-best leap in school history. Harris also finished 13th in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries, clocking 13.95.
In the women's 3000-meter steeplechase, a pair of Lady Bulldogs scored for MSU. Junior Joy Griffith (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) took third, running a regional-qualifying 10:43.30, while senior Meggan Hodge (Beaumont, Alberta) was seventh in 10:52.14. In the men's 3000-meter steeplechase, junior Travis McKay clocked the second-fastest time in school history with a regional-qualifying and personal-best 8:59.42.
In the women's high jump, senior Jasmine Walls (Picayune, Miss.) took fourth, leaping a regional-qualifying 5-10 ½, one-quarter-of-an-inch shy of her MSU school record.
"Jasmine (Walls) was tremendous. She's a big meet person. She's gone into every SEC meet with very few people considering her a threat, and she proves them wrong," Schmidt added. "Marrissa (Harris) has earned herself a lot of scholarship money this weekend. She's doing a great job, and Lauren (Johnson) qualified for regionals after her injury last year. I'm proud of them all. But, with the men, we've been so good the past several years, and you're going to have years like this."
Senior Lauren Johnson (Scottsboro, Ala) finished one spot shy of scoring for the Lady Bulldogs in the long jump. Johnson took ninth, jumping a personal best 19-08 ¼ to qualify her for the Mideast Regional. Johnson's mark is the fourth best on the MSU all-time superlatives list in the event.
In the men's 1500-meter run, two Bulldogs clocked personal best times. Redshirt freshman Pad Judd (Cushing, Wis.) ran 3:55.16, while junior Ryan Irwin (Ballwin, Mo.) recorded a time of 4:01.33. Freshman Gabrielle Dillon (Liberty, Miss.) ran a personal-best 12.03 in the women's 100-meter dash preliminaries.
Heading into the final day of competition, the Lady Bulldogs are fifth with 24 points, while the Bulldogs are 10th with six points.
The final day of action begins at noon CT at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus.
BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. - The Mississippi State women's golf squad concluded its season Saturday, firing a 308 in the final round of the NCAA East Regional. State's season was capped by its second straight appearance in an NCAA Regional and its fifth in seven years.
On the final day of action, the Lady Bulldogs were led by Senior Ashleigh Korzack. The Toronto, Ontario native shot a career best round of 70 to conclude the tournament in a tie for 25th. Junior Amanda Mathis fired a 74 on the final day of the tournament to finish in a tie for 44th. Sophomore Julia Huh concluded the tournament with a three-round score of 237 while Senior Stephanie Godare finished her career, shooting a 242. Frehman Leigh Phillips concluded the tournament with a 249.
Tennesse shot a 286 in the third round to overtake LSU and win the team competition. UT's Marci Turner shot a 3-under 69 to win the individual competion by two strokes.