Three athletes from Long Beach State University (LBSU) will be making the trip to Iowa this week for the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Championships, which will be held June 8-11 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
Leading the way for the 49ers will be senior thrower Colin Dunbar, who qualified to compete at nationals in both the hammer and discus events. He is the first LBSU track athlete to qualify to compete in more than one event at the national championships since Brent Gray ran the 100-meter and 200-meter races in 2008. Dunbar is also the first LBSU field athlete to be a multi-event qualifier since John Temidara (triple jump and high jump) in 2006.
Joining Dunbar on his journey to the Midwest will be senior Randi Hicks, who qualified to compete in the javelin, and Nicholas Armstrong, who will compete in the decathlon.
On the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at the University of Oregon, Dunbar qualified for the NCAA Championships in the men’s discuss when he notched a lifetime-best 180-feet, 1-inch on his first attempt, which was good enough to put him in the finals of the preliminaries. That mark stood strong through the next round as Dunbar finished 10th overall to advance to the national meet.
A day earlier, Dunbar posted a fourth-place finish in the men’s hammer throw at the West Preliminary Rounds to advance to the NCAA Championships. He threw a distance of 216-05 at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field to secure the fourth spot. The top 12 individuals move on to the national championships.
Hicks punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in the women’s javelin on the first day of the West Preliminary Rounds. This will her second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after garnering All-America honors last year.
Finally, 49er senior Nicholas Armstrong will compete in the decathlon at the NCAA championships. He earned an automatic bid to the national meet when he scored a personal-record 7,478 points at the Mt. SAC Decathlon, a mark that ranks him 21st in the nation this season and second in LBSU history.
During the regular season, Armstrong became just the third 49er to claim the decathlon title at the Big West Conference meet.