AUSTIN - Two individuals and a relay team from Sam Houston State will compete in the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships which will be held June 5-8 on the campus of the University of Texas.
Sophomore pole vaulter Clayton Fritsch tied for first at the West Preliminary Round hosted by Sacramento State University May 23-25 with a jump of 17 feet, 7 inches to earn a top-12 performance, qualifying him for the National Championships. He is making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships, he finished 17th last year and will be competing in the pole vault finals Wednesday.
He enters the NCAA Championships in a three-way tie with the fourth-best vault in the county at 18 feet, 8 ¾ inches, a height he achieved at the Abilene Christian Last Chance Meet.
Senior Chris Jefferson placed 10th in the men's 100 meters in Sacramento with a time of 10.30 seconds to secure a bid to compete at the NCAA Championships. The reigning Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, who is making his third NCAA Championships appearance, will be competing in the 100-meter prelims Wednesday.
Jefferson registered 23.75 points at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships to become the men’s Most Valuable Performer. The senior from Jersey Village secured a pair of individual gold-medal finishes in the 100 meters (10.20) and 200 meters (20.48). Jefferson also helped the Bearkats win gold in the 4x100-meter relay as the team’s anchor leg.
The Bearkats representing the 4x100-meter relay team at the National Championships will be A.J. Tisdale, Jo’Vaughn Martin, Bryan Henderson and Eric Callaway. The 4x100-meter relay placed ninth in Sacramento with a time of 39.76 seconds which is 21st in the field of 24 teams competing in Austin.
Tisdel and Henderson competed on last year’s 4x100-meter relay team which finished 15th at NCAA Championships, while Henderson finished fifth in the 100 meters (10.60) and seventh in the 200 meters (21.74) at the 2019 Southland Outdoor Championships.
Martin is the most decorated freshman sprinter in Sam Houston State history, earning SLC Freshman of the Year honors after finishing third in the 100 meters at the conference championships with a time of 10.40 and second in the 200 meters with a 20.92.
Callaway ran the first leg of the relay that posted a time of 39.11 at the Texas Relays this year.
The qualifying standards to make the finals and compete on Friday for the sprinting events are top-two finishes in each heat and the next two fastest times. Making the final round of competition assures the student-athletes a first-team All-American status.
Individual events will be streamed on ESPN3.