Despite Gallant Efforts, Jernigan Is CSC’s Only National Qualifier


(Story Written By Con Marshall)

Members of the Chadron State College track and field team gave it their best shots last weekend while trying to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships that are this weekend at Allendale, Mich., but didn’t quite achieve the necessary marks.

That means the Eagles’ only national qualifier is redshirt freshman Naishaun Jernigan of Springfield, Mass., in the long jump, where he is fourth nationally with his winning leap of 25 feet, 7 ¼ inches at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Meet on April 30.

The Chadron State men’s 4×100 relay crew made up of Emory Yoosook, Osvaldo Cano, Morgan Fawver and Brodie Roden was among top 12 teams that would compete at nationals for about 23 hours over the weekend after turning in a season-best time of 40.68 seconds at the first Last Chance Meet hosted by Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday.

 However, the Eagles were bumped down a couple of places during the second meet at UNK on Sunday, when two teams from Kansas, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State, posted faster times in the relay.

Unofficially, Chadron State is now 14th on the national list, just .03 of a second behind Oklahoma Baptist at No. 12.

“We gave it our best shot (to qualify),” said CSC Coach Riley Northrup.  “For a while, it looked like we would make it, but it didn’t happen.”

The Eagles hoped to run the relay again on Sunday, but Roden had a tight hamstring and was unable to compete again.

The 40.68 mark Saturday is the second best in Chadron State annals. The all-time best is 40.50 seconds set by Brandon Segelke, Karl McFarlane, Phil Rivera and Jake Grover while winning the relay at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Meet in 2011.  The same quartet placed sixth at the National Meet in 41.10.

The Eagles won both the men’s 4×100 and 4×400 relays at this year’s conference showdown. 

Northrup said the meets at Kearney “were like mini-national meets,” featuring an array of national contenders from at least 20 schools ranging from NAIA to Division I, all with hopes of earning a ticket to their national meet.  Some events had up to 20 entries.

Eagles added two career bests over the weekend.  On Saturday, sophomore Shane Collins had a mark of 189-9 in the hammer throw, adding three inches to his previous best, and on Sunday, true freshman Jourdaine Cerenil high jumped 5-7 ¼, adding 1 ½ inches to her previous best.

A sophomore from Bison, S.D., Collins is second on the Eagles’ all-time hammer throw list behind only Cory Martens, who hit 194-2 in 2017.  Cerenil, a Pine Bluffs, Wyo., native is now tied for fourth on the Eagles’ all-time list behind only Jazmyn Webster (5-9 ¾ in 2012) and Patrice Henson (5-8 in 2007) and Webster (5-8 in 2011).

Although he automatically qualified for the national meet when he won the long jump with his tremendous mark at the RMAC Meet, Jernigan competed Sunday at Kearney to help him keep tuned up for this coming weekend’s activities.  He went 23-11 and passed on his final attempt.

As usual, the long jump will be one of the first events the national meet.  It will begin at 4:05 p.m. Thursday.  While Jernigan’s gold medal jump at the conference meet was the longest in Division II at the time, he is now fourth on the national list. 

The list is led by Kizan David of Lincoln University in Missouri at 25-10 ¼, followed by Dhanushka Sandaruwan, the 27-year-old graduate student at West Texas A&M and a native of Sri Lanka, and Chris Goodwin of Central Missouri, both at 25-8 ¾. Jernigan’s 25-7 ¼ is next.  Five more men have gone at least 25 feet this spring.

David won the DII National Indoor Meet long jump at 25-1 ¾, Goodwin was third at 24-10 and Jernigan was eighth at 24-3.

The Eagles’ placings and marks at the Last Chance Meets:

               Concordia University’s Twilight Meet, May 14

               Men’s Results

               100–2, Morgan Fawver, 21.61 seconds.

               200–1, Brodie Roden, 21.61.

               4×100 relay–2, Chadron State (Emory Yoosook, Osvaldo Cano, Morgan Fawver, Brodie Roden), 41.31.

               Hammer throw–8, Shane Collins, 183-1¼.

               Triple jump–3, Derrick Nwagwu, 45-7¾; 5, Brock Voth, 45-2½.

               Women’s Results

               High jump–7, Jourdaine Cerenil, 5-½.

               Nebraska-Kearney Last Chance Meet I, May 15

               Men’s Events

4×100 relay–3, Chadron State (same runners as above), +40.68.

               Hammer throw–5, Shane Collins, +189-9.

               Women’s Events

               High jump–6, Jourdaine Cerenil, 5-4 ¼.

               Nebraska-Kearney Last Chance Meet II, May 16

               Men’s Events

               Long jump–3, Naishaun Jernigan, 23-11.

               Triple jump–2, Derrick Nwagwu, 48-0; 4, Brock Voth, 47-¼.

               Discus–7, Shane Collins, 178-9.

               Women’s Events

               High jump–2, Jourdaine Cerenil, +5-7 ¼.

               +Season best marks. 

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