Four former Kentucky athletes qualified for the 2013 NCAA D1 National Championships this weekend at the East Regional in North Carolina. The four are Amashi Kendall from Owensboro, Sharika Smith from Fulton County, Ann Eason from Sayre, and Matt Hillenbrand from St. Xavier.
In the women’s race, Eason placed third in the second heat of the 5000 Meter Run with a time of 16:11.51.
Eason, the 2012 OVC Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year, will both be making their first career appearances at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which are held June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
Amashi Kendall earned her trip in the shot put, placing third on a career-best throw of 16.59m/54-5.25. Kendall has scored two victories in the shot put this season, while also finishing runner-up in the event at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships. The senior will be making her first trip to the outdoor championships after earning indoor All-America honors last year.
Sharika Smith nabbed fifth-place honors at the NCAA East Prelims with a leap of 42-feet-3 ¼ inches. Smith set a WKU record in the event at the Hilltopper Relays on April 14th, recording a mark of 43-feet-5 ½ inches.
Smith will head to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the third time in her career, but it will be her first time competing in the triple jump. Smith earned All-American honors in both the triple jump and long jump at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and competed as a member of the Lady Toppers 4X100-meter relay at the 2009 and 2010 outdoor championships.
Matt Hillenbrand displayed an impressive kick on the bell lap holding off three rival competitors down the home stretch to win his heat of the 1500m Run in 3:47.72. The SEC Indoor Mile Champion reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career.
- 10,000 Meter Run - Elizabeth Anderson (Vanderbilt University) 33:54.89;
- 100 Meter Dash - Tamyah Pipkin (University of Kentucky) 11.61 SB;
- 200 Meter Dash - Tamyah Pipkin (University of Kentucky) 23.64 SB; Tamyah Pipkin (University of Kentucky) 23.71;
- 3,000 Meter Steeplechase - Caroline McCaslin (Elon University) 11:07.26;
- 5,000 Meter Run - Ann Eason (Eastern Kentucky University) 16:11.51;
- Discus - Amashi-Ali Kendall (University of Louisville) 159-7.25;
- Long Jump - Sharika Smith (Western Kentucky University) 19-7w;
- Pole Vault - Leigh Allin (Virginia Tech) 12-1.75; Michelle Canterna (University of Kentucky) 12-7.5;
- Shot Put - Amashi-Ali Kendall (University of Louisville) 54-5.25 SB;
- Triple Jump - Sharika Smith (Western Kentucky University) 42-3;