Stewart Qualifies For NCAA Finals Off Record-Breaking Time

May 27, 2016

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Chastity Stewart broke her own school record and qualified for NCAA finals in the 400-meter hurdles Friday at the NCAA West preliminaries hosted by Kansas at Rock Chalk Park.

Stewart, competing in the first heat, ran a school-record and personal best time of 57.71 to qualify for NCAA finals hosted by Oregon University in Eugene, Ore. June 8-11. 

“Running in the first heat was definitely nerve racking,” Stewart said. “My goal was to go out there and give my all. I wanted to make the school record faster. I couldn’t control what others ran so I knew I had to execute my race.”

After running a blistering 57.71, Stewart had to watch five other heats and hope to come away with a top-12 fastest time.

“Coach Sheffield told me to approach the 400-hurdles aggressively and to leave it all out on the track,” Stewart said. “I didn’t have the greatest warm-up so I think that kept me focused in running a fast race.”

In the end, Stewart’s time was the second fastest to not win one of the six heats and placed her seventh at the NCAA West prelims.

Stewart, who sat out an entire season in 2015, returned for her graduate season and has qualified for NCAA finals for the second time in her career when she placed 24th in the 400m hurdles in 2014.

“It was intimidating at first after not competing for a full year but buying into the program and staying faithful kept me focused,” Stewart said. “I knew coming into this meet god had a plan for this race.”

Stewart might have another chance to qualify for nationals in the 100-meter hurdles Saturday, May 28 at 11:30 a.m.

“I have been to nationals before so it takes a lot of pressure off in the 100-meter hurdles tomorrow because I already punched my ticket to Oregon,” Stewart said. “I am looking forward to competing in front of my teammates again.”

Quick Hits
-Senior Eddie Wilcox finished 36th in his final meet at North Texas in the high jump at 2.02 meters
-Senior Mona Landry finished in the long jump with a mark of 5.53 meters 

Place Athlete Affiliation Time Heat (pl)
1 Shamier Little JR Texas A&M 56.52 Q 2 (1)
2 Jaide Stepter SR USC 56.87 Q 4 (1)
3 Amalie Iuel JR USC 56.90 Q 1 (1)
4 Sage Watson JR Arizona 57.08 Q 6 (1)
5 Montayla Holder SR Iowa 57.12 q 1 (2)
6 Ariel Jones SO Texas 57.61 Q 5 (1)
7 Chastity Stewart SR North Texas 57.71 q 1 (3)
8 Kyra Johnson SR Fresno State 57.85 q 6 (2)
9 Damajahnee Birch FR Arkansas 57.89 q 5 (2)
10 Ranae McKenzie FR Kansas State 57.94 q 1 (4)
11 Kiana Hawn SO Baylor 57.97 q 4 (2)
12 Karolina Pahlitzsch SO Nebraska 58.17 Q 3 (1)



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