Three Aztecs Qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships

March 5, 2012

SAN DIEGO - A school-record three San Diego State student-athletes have qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will be held this weekend (March 9-10) at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho.

Sophomore Shanieka Thomas automatically qualified to the NCAA meet in the triple jump, while junior Kelsy Hintz (pole vault) and senior Whitney Ashley (shot put) made it as provisional qualifiers. It is the first time in the program's history that three different athletes will compete in the indoor championship meet.

Thomas automatically qualified in the triple jump on Feb. 10 at the Don Kirby Elite with a leap of 43 feet, 9 ¼ inches in Albuquerque, N.M. It is the second-best mark in school history and only trails junior Andrea Geubelle (44-07.00) heading into the weekend. Thomas will be looking to become SDSU's first-ever indoor national champion and first national champion since LaTanya Sheffield (400 hurdles) and Laura DeSnoo (discus throw) won their respective events at the 1985 outdoor meet.

Hintz, meanwhile, heads into the meet with the ninth-best pole vault mark in the country. Hintz earned her way into the meet by clearing 14-00.00 on Feb. 24 in a victory at the Mountain West Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. The mark is tied for the third-best indoor vault in program history.

Ashley has the 10th-best shot put heading into the weekend. Like Thomas, Ashley had her top mark of the year at the Don Kirby Elite in Albuquerque, N.M., on Feb. 10 with a toss of 55-07.50. Ashley owns the school record in the event with the Feb. 10 throw.

All three athletes, who each won their respective event at the Mountain West Indoor Championships two weeks ago, will compete on Saturday (March 10). Hintz will kick things off in the pole vault at 5 p.m. MT (final), followed by Thomas in the triple jump at 6:30 p.m. MT (prelims/final) and Ashley in the shot put at 7 p.m. MT (prelims/final).

San Diego State's best ever finish in the indoor meet was 2010 when they tied for 21st with 10 points.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on Friday from 4:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m. PT and Saturday from 5 p.m.-8:15 p.m. PT. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m. PT on ESPNU. NCAA.com and BroncoSports.com will stream what ESPN3 is not covering on Friday (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. PT) and Saturday (9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. PT).

The entire qualifying list can be found at http://www.rtspt.com/ncaa/d1indoor12/women_declared.htm.

The rest of the team will make the short drive to UC San Diego to compete in the San Diego Collegiate Championships, beginning at 11 a.m. PT.