GAINSEVILLE, FL – Rutgers University junior Anthony Butler (Pittsgrove, NJ) was the headliner for the men’s track and field team at the NCAA Regionals by winning the high jump championship at 2.16 meters (7-1), while Shameka Marshall (Mizpah, NJ) was the headliner for the RU women’s team, qualifying for the NCAA Championships with a leap of 6.30 meters (20-8) to finish in fifth place in the long jump.
The NCAA Championships will take place at the University of Texas in Austin, TX June 9-12. While Butler and Marshall were the only Rutgers athletes who qualified for the NCAA Championships, there is a chance that junior discus thrower Sam Segond (East Stroundsburg, PA), 200-meter sprinter Rob Waters (Bellmawr, NY) and on the women’s side, junior Amonica Phipps(Amherst, VA) in the 800-meter run, will gain at-large berths. Of the three, Segond appears to have the best chance. The NCAA will announce the at-large entries early next week.
Segond, the 2003 NCAA East Regional Champion in the discus, had a rare off weekend, fouling in all three attempts in the shot put and fouling on his first two discus throws before throwing 49.1 meters (161-05) on his third attempt which gave him a 17th place finish. As the ninth-ranked discus thrower in the nation, however, Rutgers head men’s track and field coach Mike Mulqueen is hopeful that Segond will be invited to the NCAA Championships as an at-large entry.
“Sam has had a terrific season and I think he has an excellent chance of making it to the NCAA’s,” said Mulqueen.
In addition to Butler’s first place finish in the high jump, another highlight for the men’s team was Waters’ continued fine freshman campaign. The Outstanding Track Performer at 2004 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships, Waters ran a personal best 20.97 in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Regionals, easily topping his previous best of 21.21. Waters’s 20.97 gave him an eighth place finish. Mulqueen believes Waters has an outside shot at gaining and at-large berth in the NCAA Championships in the 200-meter dash.
“For a freshman to finish in the top eight at the Regionals is fantastic,” said Mulqueen. “To put this in perspective, Rob ran faster as a freshman than our all-time best sprinter at Rutgers, Elliott Quow (three-time All-American, 200-meter NCAA Champion one-time American record-holder in the 300-meter dash).”
Rutgers head women’s track and field coach Roberta Anthes was enthused by the performances of the seven Rutgers women’s athletes who competed in the NCAA Regionals. In addition to finishing fifth in the long jump, Marshall ran a personal best 13.52 in the 100-meter hurdles in the preliminary heat and her 13.64 in the finals gave her an eighth place finish.
Phipps set a personal best and a school record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:07 to place seventh in the event. There is a chance that effort will be enough to gain Phipps an entry into the NCAA Championships as an at-large entry.
“Shameka making the NCAA’s in the long jump is outstanding and there is a chance she’ll be an at-large in the 100-meter hurdles,” said Anthes. “And I am hopeful that Amonica will get an at-large berth in the 800. Her performance was terrific. I know she’s not happy she didn’t qualify (only top five finishers gain are automatic qualifiers) but I am very proud of her, as I am of all our athletes.”
Perhaps the most inspirational note of the NCAA Regionals for the Rutgers women’s team was that of Julie Culley (Lebanon, NJ), a standout in the 5000-meter run whose senior season was marred by a foot injury. Culley underwent arthroscopic surgery on her foot less than two weeks prior to the NCAA Regionals and she gutted out a time of 17:41.45, to finish 36th.
“Julie gave a valiant effort and her injury was a real shame,” said Anthes. “Eight weeks ago, she ran a 16:48 which would have placed her about 10th in the Regionals.”
Other competitors at the NCAA Regionals for Rutgers included Cycerli Ash (Beach Lake, PA), 48.0m in the discus, Kerry Ann Mitchell (East Orange, NJ), 5-8 ½ in the high jump, Kahimah Liverman (Paterson, NJ), 11.84m in the triple jump and Jen Austin (Garfield, NJ), 42.13m in the javelin.
Rutgers Results in 2004 NCAA Regionals (Men)
Anthony Butler High Jump 2.16m 1st place (NCAA qualifier)
Rob Waters 200 meter 20.97 8th place
David Klics 110 HH 14.07 11th place
4x100 Relay (David Klics, Marcel Coleman, Rob Waters, Joe Porter) 40.76 14th place
Rob Waters 100 meter 10.60 17th place
Ryan Westman 400 meter 47.32 15th place
Marquis Allen Long Jump 7.05m 16th place
Sam Segond Shot Put 49.21m 17th place
Sam Segond Discus Foul
Chris Francisco Javelin 58.90m 19th place
Brian Lee Javelin 56.67m 25th place
Ian Menewisch Javelin 54.02m 27th place
Rutgers Results in 2004 NCAA Regionals (Women)
Shameka Marshall Long Jump 6.30m 5th place (NCAA qualifier)
Shameka Marshall 100 HH 13.64 8th place
Amonica Phipps 800 meter 2:07.71 8th place
Cycerli Ash Discus 48.00m 10th place
Kerry Ann Mitchell High Jump 1.74m T-12th
Jen Austin Javelin 42.13m 13th place
Kahimah Liverman Triple Jump 11.84m 27th place
Julie Culley 5000 meter 17:41.45 36th place