Forty Chadron State College track and field athletes have qualified for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday at Western Colorado University at Gunnison.
Since several of the Eagles are qualified in more than one event, they’ll be busy. Coach Riley Northrup said his travel roster includes 23 men and 17 women. That’s up from a total of 29 last year.
The athletes with the top 18 marks during the season qualify for the individual events. Each team is allowed to enter the relays.
“This conference is made up of a lot of really good teams and a lot of great athletes,” the coach added. “It’s going to take outstanding performances to place in all of the events.”
The CSC men finished fourth at last year’s indoor meet with 72.5 points while the women were 11th with 12.5. Both have improved, but the CSC men have been without two of their leaders, sprinter Brodie Roden and long jumper Naishaun Jernigan, because of injuries all season. Hopefully, both will be back for the outdoor schedule.
Another goal is to finish the conference showdown with marks that will allow them to advance to the National Indoor Championships. As things now stand, the only CSC athlete who seems assured of qualifying for nationals is redshirt freshman Morgan Fawver of McCook. His long jump of 24 feet, 4 ½ inches at the Colorado Mines Winter Classic ranks second in the RMAC and puts him in a tie for eighth nationally.
The 16 individuals with the best marks in each event qualify for the national meet, along with the 12 relay teams with the fastest times.
Others such as Derrick Nwagwu of Aurora, Colo., who has triple jumped 49-3 ½, and Jourdaine Cerenil of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., who has high jumped 5-7 ¾, are “on the bubble.” The same is true for the men’s 4×400 relay team, which has an adjusted time of 3:15.35 that puts them in contention, but it is anticipated that it will take a time around 3:14.00 to qualify.
Chadron State athletes hold or share the RMAC Indoor Championships records in four events. They are: men’s 400 meters—Brodie Roden, 47.93, 2020; men’s 60-meter hurdles–Karl McFarlane, 7.89 seconds, 2014; men’s long jump—Damarcus Simpson, 25-4 ½, 2016; and women’s weight throw—Mel Herl, 71-6 ½, 2017.