Nevada Qualifies Eight for NCAA Preliminary Round

May 16, 2013

RENO, Nev. -

The University of Nevada track and field team has qualified eight student-athletes to compete in eight events at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary West region round. Seniors Samantha Calhoun, Angelica Earls, Deborah Amoah, and La Tijera Avery will represent Nevada along with  juniors Tanisha Hawkins, Samantha Diaz, Kerri Simmons, and sophomore Kashae Knox.

The NCAA Preliminary Championship competitions will be held May 23-25th.  The West region will be hosted at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, while the East region will take place on the campus of North Carolina A&T State in Greensboro N.C. The qualifiers out of these regions will compete in the NCAA Championships held June 5-8 on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. Nevada sent five members of the team to the preliminary championships last season.

Fresh off of a 2013 Mountain West Outdoor Championships 4x100 relay title, Calhoun, Earls, Hawkins, and Knox enter the NCAA qualifier round as the sixth best team in the West region. The quartet was named to the MW All-Conference team following a record-breaking first place time of 44.37 at the championships last weekend in Las Vegas. The time broke the program record that was set by the group during the close of the regular season this year and is .01 seconds off the stadium record. The finish also ranks third all-time at both the MW Championship and all-time in MW history. Sophomores Anita Momodu and Baylee Hearns will travel with the team as alternates.

Calhoun, Earls, and Knox will represent the Wolf Pack in the 100-meter dash. All three currently sit in Nevada's top-five all-time. Calhoun will also race in the 200-meter event.

Amoah returns to the qualifiers as the lone member of the group that qualified for the meet during the 2012 season. The senior competed in the long jump and triple jump last season, finishing 24th with a mark of 5.96m and 27th with a distance of 12.37m respectively. Amoah is entered into the triple jump, where she took third at the MW Outdoor Championships with a jump of 12.77m. The mark ranks No. 11 in the West region. She was later honored by joining the MW All-Conference team.

Avery, who became the program's fourth athlete to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year, will compete in the high jump. Avery placed 16th at the NCAA's last season, clearing 5'-8 3/4". The senior will look to make it back to Nationals in the high jump after claiming the MW Championships title with a Nevada record-breaking jump of 5'-10.75". The jump earned Avery a place on the MW All-Conference team. Avery's mark is ranked No. 12 in the region.

Diaz will race in 1,500 meter event, in which she placed fourth in Las Vegas with a time of 4:29.01. The time was just seconds off of Diaz's program leading mark of 4:23.01 that was set in 2011.

Simmons will throw in the shot put, where she won the MW title with a record-breaking toss of 53'-2.75" last weekend. The distance ranks third all-time at the MW Championship and fourth all-time in the conference. The mark beat out her previous program best throw of 51'-1.75" that was set earlier this year. Simmons also was named to the MW All-Conference team.