AUSTIN, Texas (6/6/23) – Four members of the Arkansas State track and field program are set to compete for national championships at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, beginning Wednesday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
A-State leads the Sun Belt Conference with its four entries – the program’s most since sending seven to Eugene, Oregon, in 2018.
HOW TO FOLLOW
ESPN’s family of networks are set to broadcast the entire NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Field events will be streamed live on ESPN+, while ESPN2 is set to broadcast the latter portion of each day, beginning with the first track events each day. A full broadcast schedule can be found here, while live results will also be available.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
While a championship is the ultimate goal, All-American honors are also at play in this week’s championships. The top eight finishers in each event earn First Team All-American honors, with athletes finishing 9-16 garnering Second Team nods. Remaining athletes (17-24) receive Honorable Mention acclaim.
A-STATE AT THE NCAA OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Arkansas State has had at least one athlete compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 12 consecutive seasons. Including the 2020 indoor championships, which were canceled a day before the first day of the meet, A-State has qualified an athlete in at least one of the championships in 13 straight years.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Aimar Palma Simo has consistently ranked among the top hammer throwers in the nation throughout the season, repeating as Sun Belt champion in the event. Palma Simo’s career-best mark of 68.94m (226-2) set a school record at the Red Wolves Open, while he advanced to Austin by tossing 68.60m (225-1) on his second attempt in the West Prelims. He is A-State’s first nationals qualifier in the men’s hammer throw since 2018 (Cristian Ravar Ladislau).
Bradley Jelmert joined an illustrious list of A-State pole vaulters to advance to the national meet, clearing 5.40m (17-8.5) in Sacramento to become the first Red Wolf since 2019 (Michael Carr) to reach the NCAA Championships in the event. He claimed the Sun Belt Conference men’s pole vault crown with a clearance of 5.56m (18-2.75) that ranks inside the top 10 nationally entering the championships.
Pauline Meyer is set to wrap up her record-setting A-State career on collegiate track and field’s highest stage after obliterating her career-best in the steeplechase at prelims. Meyer finished seventh in the field with a time of 9:44.85, besting her previous school-record mark by nearly 25 seconds and topping a Sun Belt Conference record that stood since 2001. At the Sun Belt Conference Championships, Meyer took triple gold in the 1500 meters, 5000 meters and the steeplechase en route to Women’s Track Performer of the Year and High-Point Scorer honors. She is the first women’s distance runner in program history in the national meet.
Camryn Newton-Smith enters the championships with the eight-best heptathlon score in the nation, totaling a Sun Belt Conference-record 5,818 points to take gold at the conference meet. Her mark also set meet and facility records, while being just three points shy of matching her lifetime best of 5,821 points in the event. She captured Women’s Field Performer of the Year both indoors and outdoors and competed in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in March. The Greenbank, Australia, native is A-State’s first heptathlete at the championships since Shundra Smith in 1996.
For the latest on the A-State track and field and cross country programs, follow @AStateTrack on Twitter and @Arkansas_State_Track on Instagram, while also liking the team’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/AStateTrackAndField.
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NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Notebook. Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council