DES MOINES, Iowa (6/11/08) The road to the NCAA Championship for track and field athletes is a long and arduous one but Toby Edwards and Ciara Smith will see their hard work pay off tonight. The two North Texas athletes will compete in the high jump and 400-meter dash respectively in the preliminaries of the 2008 NCAA Championship.
It has been 25 years since North Texas has sent two athletes to the NCAA Championship but Edwards and Smith have their sights set on making waves at the national meet.
“I’m very excited about competing but I’m not satisfied,” Edwards said. “I still have some things that I want to accomplish but it is definitely going to be exciting going up against some great competition”
Edwards competes at 6:15 p.m. tonight in the high jump while Smith opens her championship run at 6:30 p.m. in the 400-meter dash. Edwards season best height in the high jump came on April 24 when he cleared 7-00.50. His height is tied for the 21st best in the country.
Smith set the school record at the Midwest Regional in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.41 and in the process earned an automatic bid to the championship. Her time is the 26th fastest in the nation this season.
“This was a little bit unexpected but to make it to the championship is very exciting,” said Smith. “We have gone up against some of the best in the nation at the regional meet so I’m just going to treat this like it’s another track meet”.
The finals of the high-jump are on Friday night while the semifinals of the women’s 400-meter dash take place on Friday with the finals on Saturday.
CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) will broadcast live from Drake Stadium on Friday, June 13 between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Central time before CBS Sports hits the air on Saturday starting at 12 p.m. for a two-hour show.