JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – WKU junior Annastacia Forrester punched WKU Track and Field’s
first ticket to the NCAA Championships after recording a personal-best mark to
finish fourth in the women’s long jump. Forrester was one of four Hilltoppers to
advance in their events as Kymari Gates, Juannae Lewis and Maor Seged each earned
spots in their respective quarterfinals on the track.
“We had a good opening day of competition,” head coach Erik Jenkins opened. “The
NCAA East Preliminary is an extremely tough place to advance. We have some of the
NCAA’s highest-ranked athletes and teams in this region of the country. Everyone who
advanced to the quarterfinals earned their spot and will have to fight to move on to
Forrester’s long jump clear of 6.19 meters (20’3.75″) held as the event’s top mark
through the first three flights before three competitors out of the final flight
pushed the Lady Topper down to fourth. Forrester was the lone competitor in the
field to produce a personal best en route to her first trip to the NCAA
Championships. She’s the first Lady Topper since Sharika Smith in 2013 to represent
WKU at the NCAAs in the long jump.
“I am thrilled that Anna has secured her place at the NCAA Championships in Austin,”
Jenkins added. “She will represent WKU well in the long jump.”
Seged was the first Hilltopper to earn a spot in the quarterfinals after taking
second in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles. The senior notched a 51.77, which
ranked 27th across the 48-person field. Seged will run at 6:15 p.m. CT on Friday and
will look to earn a top-three finish in his heat or one of the three next best marks
to punch his ticket to Nationals.
WKU saw student-athletes advance to the quarterfinals in both the men’s and women’s
400 meter. Lewis clocked a 53.06 to take second in the first heat of the women’s
event. Her season-best mark ranks 16th across the field. Gates kept things going on
the men’s side, clocking a 46.62 to win the third heat and earn a spot in Friday’s
race. Lewis will compete in the 400-meter quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. on Friday while
Gates will follow at 4:45 p.m. from the University of North Florida.
Oliver Alexandre also ran in the third heat of the men’s 400 meter and turned in a
Forrester and Katie Isenbarger both represented the Red and White in the high jump.
Forrester tied for 21st with a clear of 1.70 meters (5’7″) while Isenbarger tied for
44th with a 1.65-meter (5’5″) mark.
Getter Lemberg will be the first WKU student-athlete to compete on Friday as the
women’s pole vault kicks off at 4 p.m. Martin Owusu-Antwi will also be in action,
taking the track for the men’s 200 meter at 6:55 p.m.