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Cougars Complete Day Three of NCAA Preliminaries

Brittney Gibbs
Brittney Gibbs

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four members of the SIUE men's and women's track and field team had strong performances on day three of the NCAA West Preliminaries.

Julian Harvey, coming off of his ninth-place finish in the long jump Friday to send him to the final round in Eugene, Oregon, finished 25th in the triple jump with a mark of 49 feet, 11.25 inches.

"Julian trusted me enough to take him where he wanted to go," said SIUE Jumps Coach Joey Pacione. "His performance this season was beyond what I expected. When he qualified for nationals in the indoor season, our focus shifted to doing well in nationals in the outdoor season. Thankfully, we did enough to get here."

Brittney Gibbs competed in the triple jump as well, coming into the meet seeded 26th.

"We knew she had an outside chance of finishing in the top 12," said Pacione.

After recording a personal best mark of 41-8.75, Gibbs was sitting in first place after two flights. From there, she waited through two flights to discover if her mark was good enough to send her to the final round in two weeks. Despite the career-best jump for Gibbs, she finished in 17th, well ahead of her seeded place coming into the event.

"This gave her a taste for what is to come and it will help her grow for next year," said Pacione.

LaDonna Caston ended her career with a season-best in the 100-meter hurdles at 13.56, finishing in 25th. She was seeded 45th coming into the day.

"She wanted to go out as best she could and she did that today," said Pacione.

Claire Nolan finished with a mark of 46-11 in the shot put, her first NCAA Preliminaries competition as a Cougar since transferring a season ago. Nolan finished in 41st.

"The theme this weekend was adapting to the situation and finding a way to compete through adversity," said SIUE Interim Head Coach Scott Block.

Harvey continues in his postseason run in the long jump with the NCAA Outdoor Championships June 8-11 in Eugene, Oregon.