T&F's Shanieka Thomas Heads to NCAA Championships

March 7, 2013

SAN DIEGO -

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San Diego State's Shanieka Thomas will look to bring home a national title in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

A junior, Thomas owns the best triple jump mark in the country of 46 feet, 2 ½ inches (14.08 meters) heading into the meet. The jump, which came at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational on Feb. 8, was the sixth-best indoor mark in NCAA history, the third best in a non-NCAA Championship meet, a Mountain West record, a school record and a Don Kirby Elite Invitational record (collegiate or non-collegiate). Additionally, the 46-02.50 would have won 14 of the past 15 indoor titles, including each of the past four.

Thomas will look to become the first indoor national champion in program history and fifth overall, joining outdoor champions Whitney Ashley (2012 discus throw), LaTanya Sheffield (1985 400-meter hurdles), Laura DeSnoo (1985 discus throw) and Ramona Pagel (1984 shot put).

This year, Thomas has been named the USTFCCCA Women's West Region Field Athlete of the Year and the outstanding women's performer at the MW Championships, as well as an all-conference selection in three events (triple jump, 400 meters, 4x400-meter relay) and the MW Athlete of the Week on three occasions.

Thomas, a St. Andrew, Jamaica, native, has plenty of experience at the NCAA Championships after finishing second at the NCAA outdoor meet in 2012 and seventh and ninth, respectively, at the 2011 and 2012 NCAA indoor championships.

The triple jump, which kicks off at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) Saturday, features 16 athletes, including defending indoor champion Andrea Geubelle of Kansas.

Click on the NCAA Championships page at http://www.ustfccca.org/weekly-results/national-championships-central-indoor-track-field#d1 for more information, including a schedule, broadcast schedule and live results.

The rest of the team will begin their outdoor season at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge in La Jolla on the campus of UC San Diego. The meet kicks off at noon PT.