JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Three athletes from state schools other than LSU were among those advancing through the first two rounds of the NCAA track and field championships on Thursday night.
The group was led by Louisiana Tech’s Jarvis Gotch, who earned a berth in the national championships in the long jump, and UL-Lafayette’s Albert Fournette, who advanced in the shot put on the first day of the NCAA East preliminary rounds.
Athletes have to finish in the top 12 to qualify for nationals.
Gotch, a Carencro native who is in his first season at Tech after attending South Plains (Texas) Community College, finished fourth in the long jump with a best of 25 feet, 4½ inches.
Fournette, a New Orleans native, earned a spot for the nationals to be held June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon, by finishing sixth in the shot put quarterfinals with a throw of 65-3½.
They’ll be joined by Louisiana Tech’s Joshua Cox, who picked up the first berth for nationals when he took 12th in the javelin with a throw of 217-8.
Five other state athletes advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals on the track.
Northwestern State’s Justin Walker, a Slidell native who had the fastest time in the country in the 100 meters going into the meet at 9.95 seconds, advanced when he won his heat in 10.38 seconds.
Louisiana Tech’s Dennis Richardson, a Northeast High School graduate, also automatically qualified in the 100 with a time of 10.65 seconds.
In the men’s 400 hurdles, UL-Monroe’s Jamel Sams (51.29 seconds) and New Orleans’ Constant Pretorius (51.97) moved on, while Northwestern State’s Consuela Lindsay earned a spot in the women’s 400 hurdles (58.99).