STARKVILLE, Miss. - Two weeks after an impressive showing at the SEC Outdoor Championships, the Mississippi State men's and women's track teams gear up for the NCAA Mideast Regional in Louisville, Ky.
The two-day event, held at Cardinal Park, is scheduled to begin Friday and conclude on Saturday.
Mississippi State had 16 student-athletes qualify for the regionals, including 10 on the men's side.
"Our goal is to always get to the nationals, and then to finish in the top 10 at the nationals," longtime MSU coach Al Schmidt said. "But it starts with the regionals. We've got some work to do, but leaving the SECs I really liked the mindset we had and believe it will carry over into this week."
The men travel to Louisville ranked No. 23 nationally after finishing with 44.5 points to place ninth at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The women, who scored a school-record 42 points at Florida, are ranked 71st.
Last year at the regionals, the Bulldogs garnered 48 points to finish sixth, the highest in program history. The Lady Bulldogs finished 18th, their second-highest placement.
"You always want to improve on what you did the previous year," Schmidt said. "And that's what I expect in Louisville."
In the individual rankings, the men are paced by Dwight Mullings, John Bailey and D'Angelo Cherry. Mullings is currently ranked No. 3 in the 400-meter dash, followed by Bailey at No. 8. Cherry, a true freshman, is No. 8 in the 100-meter dash. In addition, the 4x100-meter relay team of Mullings, Cherry, Justin Christian and Emanuel Mayers is No. 8.
On the women's side, senior All-American Marrissa Harris No. 10 in the heptathlon. However, this event doesn't take place at the regionals, and Harris, along with LaQuinta Aaron, has already qualified the nationals, scheduled for June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
MSU Participation List
Wendy Copeland (Junior, Tupelo, Miss.): long jump, triple jump, 4x100-meter relay;
Priscilla Gaines (Senior, Mariette, Ga.): long jump, 4x100-meter relay;
Bridgett Rose (Junior, Leeds, Ala.): 100-meter hurdles, 4x100-meter relay;
Marrissa Harris (Senior, Memphis, Tenn.): 100-meter hurdles;
LaQuinta Aaron (Junior, Tuscaloosa, Ala.): 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay;
Crystal Wilson (Freshman, Kingston, Jamaica): 400-meter dash.
Kendrick Poullard (Junior, Welsh, La.): triple jump;
D'Angelo Cherry (Freshman, Jonesboro, Ga.): 100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay;
Justin Christian (Sophomore, Atlanta, Ga.): 100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay;
John Bailey (Senior, Terry, Miss.): 400-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay;
Emanuel Mayers (Sophomore, Lakewood, N.J.): 400-meter hurdles, 4x400-meter relay;
Trey Charles (Freshman, Marietta, Ga.): 4x400-meter relay;
Dwight Mullings (Junior, Spanish Town, Jamaica): 400-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay;
Trevarus Christian (Freshman, Carrolton, Miss.): 4x400-meter relay;
Delandus O'Neal (Senior, Carrollton, Ga.): 4x400 alternate;
Matthew Cameron (Sophomore, Madison, Miss.): 1,500-meter run.