Frogs Set to Open NCAA Championships

Briyanni Thomas

June 10, 2014



FORT WORTH, Texas -- Showtime has arrived.

Members of the TCU men's and women's track and field teams will compete in the NCAA Championships Wednesday-Saturday in Eugene, Oregon, with the goal of bringing home national championships and all-American accolades.

"We start training in September and this is the payoff," TCU track and field coach Darryl Anderson said. "This is what you're doing all the work for, and this is why you sweat and hurt. This is the payoff for all the hard work."

Four Frogs -- Lorraine Ugen, Ronnie Baker, Narada Jackson and Harvey McSwain -- are making return trips to the NCAA Championships, while 13 others will be competing for the first time.

"No matter what your lot in life is, if you make it to the top of whatever your discipline may be, it's what you're doing it for," Anderson said. "The 17 kids that are going to the national championships get a chance to see the highest level of our sport."

Along with the four repeat performers, Megan Smith (discus); Big 12 champion Jordan Moore (110H); Judy Emeodi (4x1, 4x4); Sabrina Moore (4x1); Iphona-Clemence Paiement (4x1, 4x4); Alexandria Peters (4x4); Tiffany Terry (4x4); Briyanni Thomas (4x4); Kolby Listenbee (4x1, 4x4); Cameron Echols-Luper (4x1); Sam Watts (4x1); Ramone Bailey (4x1); and Justin Chambers (4x4) will compete.

"When you look at the kids we have going, Lorraine, Briyanni, Justin and Narada are seniors. The predominate amount of our underclassmen are freshmen," Anderson said. "(In the women's relays) we have five freshmen running three legs. That's pretty impressive I think. Our sport is not real friendly to freshmen. It's only going to help us get better in the future."

Ugen enters the meet as the reigning 2013 and 2014 outdoor and indoor champion in the long jump.

"Lorraine is the defending champion and there's no need to say any more," Anderson said. "She has one objective and one reason for going and that's to defend her title. She is very capable physically and emotionally to do it."

Baker qualified for the NCAA Championships in four events (100 meters, 200 meters, 4 x 100 relay, 4 x 400 relay).

"For Ronnie as a sophomore to make it to this meet (in four events) is pretty impressive," Anderson said. "His development has been extremely good. I'll be interested to see how this thing plays out for him."

Anderson said the Frogs are entering the meet right at the peak of their performance.

"We talk that our program is going to be based on conference, regionals and nationals, and you want to be performing at your highest level now and for the most part we are doing that," Anderson said. "Almost everybody that qualified (at the NCAA Preliminaries in Fayetteville) to move on ran a season best."

Ugen will begin her title defense Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. (CT), while the men's and women's 4 x 100 relay teams compete in the semifinals beginning at 6 p.m and 6:15 p.m., respectively. Baker will compete in the semifinals of 100 meters at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Smith (discus, 4 p.m.), Baker (200 meters semis, 6 p.m), Moore (110H semis, 7:05 p.m.) and the men's 4 x 400 semis (8:20 p.m.) and the women's 4 x 400 semis (8:20 p.m.) will compete. The finals are set for Friday and Saturday.



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