SEGUIN, Texas -- Nine Texas Lutheran student-athletes will represent the university this Thursday through Saturday at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
The championships will be held at the SPIRE Institute.
Bulldogs qualifying for the championships were: Tia Hart (Edna/Industrial) in the javelin, Ashley Myers (Ingleside/Edna) in the 100 meters, Cortnee Priour (Victoria/Goliad) in the triple jump, Ashley Rynard (Temple/Temple) in the 800, Paris Foster (Magnolia/Magnolia) in the 100 and the 110 Hurdles, Garrett Garza (Round Rock/Stony Point) in the shot put, Darren Jones (Waller/Waller) in the 100 and the 200, Connor Thompson (Nederland/Nederland) in the 400, and the 4x100 Relay Team of Foster, Thompson, Tyler Dykes (Iola/Iola), and Jones.
"This year was a little different for us," said Darlene Holland, TLU's head coach for Women's and Men's Track & Field. "For instance, Cortnee Priour qualified in the triple jump, even though she is All-American in the long jump; and Ashley Myers qualified in the 100 meters, even though her specialty and is a former NCAA qualifier in the 200 meters. Times and distances really fluctuated this year versus years past. Chalk it up to bad weather not only here during the outdoor track season, but across the U.S."
Hart will be making her first trip to NCAAs and will be looking for a big throw to make finals and finish off a great season in an event which is totally new to her.
Ashley Rynard continues to see improvement in the outdoor season and will look to build upon her sixth-place finish from the indoor season. She was ninth in the outdoor 800 a year ago.
"For the men we are looking strong with both Paris and Darren qualifying in three events," said Holland. "Darren has avoided injury this year and staying healthy makes all the difference. He's ranked high in his individual races and should be a contender to make finals.
"Garrett will be making his third NCAA appearance. And after a great indoor season, he finds himself sitting in third out of all shot throwers in D3. He's yet to lose this outdoor season to a D3 thrower. His consistency will play a huge role in his success at NCAAs."
Thompson and Dykes find themselves as newcomers to the national stage, but their confidence has been building over the season. The duo will pair up with Jones and Forst for the 4x100 relay. Jones and Foster were on TLU's national runner-up 4x100 relay team in 2018.
Thompson also ran a personal best in the 400 this season to make his debut in an individual event as well.
"The important part for everyone was making it to the national championships," said Holland. "And once we are there, we intend on making finals and going for the top eight spots in each event. The mindset and fitness is there for everyone. It should be another exciting championship event for TLU."