4x400 Meter Relay Team Earns Trip to Nationals
The TCU women's 4x400 meter relay team earned a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a third place finish at the Midwest Regional meet, completed at the John Jacobs Complex on the University of Oklahoma campus Saturday.
The quartet of Marquita Davis, Deborah Jones, Donita Harmon and Nathandra John set a school record with a time of 3:31.49 to finish behind only Texas (3:29.03) and Texas Tech (3:29.94) and just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Wyoming for the final automatic qualifying spot. That same TCU quartet set the school record earlier this season with a time of 3:33.76 on this same track in April.It is the first time that TCU will send a women's 4x400 meter relay squad to the NCAA meet.
"We were in lane one, so we were playing catch-up the whole way," said TCU head coach Darryl Anderson. "Marquita did what she could out of lane one, then Deborah ran a 52.6 on the second leg, but we were still in fifth place. Donita started to catch some people with a 52.5, then Nathandra ran a 51.5 anchor and caught two people. It was a great way to end the meet. It made it worth coming up here. It's the first time TCU has sent a women's mile relay team to the NCAA's and they set a school record. That solidifies them as a mile relay team," noted Anderson. "I'm proud of the girls and what they were able to accomplish in about four and a half months."
In other action involving TCU athletes, sophomore Nathandra John just missed automatically qualifying for the national meet with her sixth place finish in the 400 meters. The St. Kitts product turned in a time of 53.20 seconds in the finals after running a 53.94 in the prelims. She is the only TCU female athlete to run 400 meters under 53 seconds, having clocked a 52.92 at the Conference USA Championships in Houston on May 14. She will have to wait and see if she makes the NCAA Championships as an at-large selection.
Junior Donita Harmon placed seventh in the 200 meters with a time of 24.13 seconds, slower than the 23.90 she clocked in the prelims on Friday and well off the 23.49 the Albuquerque, New Mexico native turned in at the Conference USA Championships two weeks ago.
Sophomore Zelma Wade placed 21st in the discus throw with a mark of 43.57 meters (142-11). The Manor, Texas product earned a spot at the regional meet with a season-best toss of 48.14 meters (157-11) at the UTA Open on May 7.
The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held in Sacramento, California in two weeks.