While all eyes are focused on Sin City for March Madness, the track and field team is conducting a little madness of their own.
Three athletes qualified for NCAA Championships in New Mexico this coming weekend: Kiah Hicks in weight throw, Justin Greene in the heptathlon and Trevor Brown in the 60-meter hurdles. Qualifying means being ranked in the top-16 for each specified event. Hicks threw herself into the competition in high fashion a couple of weeks ago, and is now ranked No. 7 in the nation. Brown, however, had not broken the top-16 all season.
But after another qualifier was forced to scratch for medical reasons, Brown had his in.
“Out of 16 people competing tomorrow, he is number 16,” hurdle coach Karim Abdul-Wahab said. “The attitude we have right now is we want to see how many people we can beat tomorrow. Him moving up in the list is an accomplishment.”
But Brown’s expectations of himself are a little higher. He had originally set a goal of a 7.69 seconds by the end of his collegiate career, his best thus far is a 7.77. For his last meet of the indoor season, Brown wants to make an impression; especially because he says the championship atmosphere is slightly hostile.
Wahab is working to keep Brown warm without fatiguing his muscles, so that he is at the top of his game Friday for the preliminary round.
“I guess I am a little more nervous,” Brown said of his final competition. “I feel like I put more pressure on myself because it’s my senior year, and I’ve got to out-do what I did last year. I just want to make finals.”
Brown’s teammates will also be competing tomorrow, but Hicks is heading into her throwing day with a little less nervousness and more pure excitement.
“The atmosphere in the event area is the most intense I’ve been in in a long time. You can feel that tension – everyone wants to compete right now,” Hicks said. But there’s also that excitement, I love it. I’m just getting stir crazy; I want it to happen right now.”
Hicks is hoping to go home a winner, and if she throws like she has been this season, CSU might have a national champion to boast about. Keeping track of the progress of these athletes over the weekend can be done through the CSU Track and Field website.Collegian Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @c_rasta5.