May 29, 2013
"The Road to Eugene" takes a look at the individual competitors or relays that will be competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore. We will review their season both indoors and outdoors, look back at TCU's history in the event, who are the top contenders that will be in Eugene and what the future holds for TCU for those athletes and in those events.
The same four TCU student-athletes have run the women's 4x100 during the outdoor season. The Horned Frogs have put out a women's 4x100 team 10 times, nine of those times the order has been Veronica Jones, Chaniqua Corinealdi, Larissa Matthews and Lorraine Ugen. The only exception was at the Baylor Quad Meet, TCU's second outdoor meet, when Jones and Corinealdi swapped roles.
It is safe to say that everyone understands their roles. Jones, a 200-meter dash qualifier for the NCAA West Preliminaries, uses her ability through the corner to get the stick to Corinealdi. The Big 12 Indoor champion at the 60-meter dash, Corinealdi is responsible for the backstretch before reaching the corner. Matthews, a West Prelims quarterfinalist in the 100-meter hurdles has the job of getting the stick to Ugen.
It is then up to the anchor, and qualifier for Eugene in the long jump, to bring the Frogs home. She had to take the role to its most significance at the NCAA West Preliminaries with TCU in fourth and out of the automatic qualifying spots when she got the stick. However, Ugen was able to rise to the occasion and get it done for the Frogs.
TCU has consistently been at its best against the best. The Frogs' season-best time of 44.68 came last Saturday at the West Prelims. Their previous best of 44.70 came at the Big 12 Championships, before that it was 44.98 in the UCLA/LSU double-dual meet in Los Angeles and before that their 45.14 in the finals of the Texas Relays.
If the goal is to beat teams, the women's squad has been able to do that as of late. Going into NCAA West Prelims, the Frogs were seeded No. 11, but left in eighth. At the Big 12 Championships, TCU was the No. 6 seed, but finished third.
History at the NCAA Championships
The Horned Frogs have competed in the semifinal round of the women's 4x100 the last two seasons. Jones, Corinealdi, Whitney Gipson and Ugen finished 15th in Des Moines last season. TCU has made the 4x100 final five times in program history, the most recent being in 2007 when the team of Kandis Bell, Jamee Jones, Virgil Hodge and Deborah Jones finished fourth. TCU's highest ever finish came in 1998 when the quartet of Giesla Jackson, Dywana Crudup, Catoshia Lewis and Tinesha Hackney took third.
The No. 1 seed after the regionals was the Kansas Jayhawks in 43.56, but the favorite will be Texas A&M. The Aggies have the nation's fastest time by over six-tenths of a second and are the only team to go below the 43 second mark this year with their 42.56 at the Texas Relays. A&M also has four individuals that will compete in Eugene in the 100-meter dash.
Along with Kansas, who went their best time of the season last week in Eugene, the East Region brings many solid contenders with UCF and LSU the teams with the best shots at knocking off the Aggies.
The Horned Frogs go into the race as the No. 14 seed. Though the NCAA Preliminary races are not the only barometer of how a team will do, only three-tenths of a second separate TCU from the No. 8 seed USC and it is only another tenth to the No. 6 seeded Clemson.
TCU's incoming recruiting class is heavy on women's sprinters so it would be surprising to see another year of only four people running the 4x100. Judy Emeodi (Austin) had times good enough to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 100 and 200-meter dash this season. Jazzmine Folston (Cocoa, Fla.) was a Florida Class 2A finalist in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Sabrina Moore (Huntersville, N.C.) was a state finalist in the 200-meter dash. Jasmine Sillemon (Crowell) was a multiple-time Texas state champion at Class 1A, but sat out the 2013 season due to injury.