Jaguars Competing in National Track Finals
Posted on June 8, 2016 by Brian Fremund
EUGENE, Ore. – For the three members of the University of South Alabama men's and women's track and field teams scheduled to compete this week, June 8-11, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the hope is that previous experience will lead to a successful meet.
That's because the trio of Kaitlyn Beans, Renaldo Frechou and Jan-Louw Kotze all qualified for the national championship a year ago, with the first two making their third straight appearance at the event.
"That experience from last year should pay off for all three. They have been there before, they know what it is all about, there shouldn't be any surprises," South head coach Paul Brueske said. "They know what to expect so if they just go out there and do what they are capable of doing, they will be successful. All three of them are ready to do well at nationals. They just need to try not to overdo it and I think we will see them do their best."
Not only will past trips to the championship help the three prepare for the competition, so will the Jaguars' schedule this spring. In the last three months, the three have participated at meets hosted by Alabama, Florida and Auburn in addition to qualifying for the event with their performances at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries.
"I think it pushes them to be at their best, hopefully that big-meet experience will also pay off at a meet like the NCAAs," observed Brueske. "Jan-Louw has been in tougher competitions; when he went to the Triton Invitational he was competing against several Olympians. It's not like these three haven't faced good competition before. They all have."
Frechou will be the first to compete at the championship as the men's hammer throw is the initial field event of the meet, with a scheduled start time of 4 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday at Hayward Field. He will be the last of 12 individuals to take part in the first of two flights after finishing seventh at the regional with a 66.35m mark — that effort was just .02m shy of his best of the spring, which he recorded in winning the discipline at the Sun Belt Conference Championship last month. Frechou also had a throw of better than 66 meters at Auburn's Tiger Track Classic in April.
He has earned first-team All-America honors each of the last two years after placing among the top eight at the NCAA Championship, including finishing fifth in 2015 with a 68.74m throw. His career-best mark of 69.67m — which set school and Sun Belt records — was posted at the league championship last spring.
After placing sixth at the NCAA East Regional, Kotze will be in the second flight of the men's discus on Friday, with the event slated to get underway at 7:05 p.m. Although seeded on a mark of 59.20m, Kotze ranks fifth nationally after recording a 62.11m throw at the Pepsi Florida Relays the first weekend of April. He was the top collegiate finisher at the Triton Invitational with a 61.75m mark and surpassed the 60-meter mark at the Tiger Track Classic later that month as well before going on to win the event for the fourth time in as many years at the SBC Championship.
In 2015, Kotze advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time with a seventh-place finish at the region meet as he would go on to garner honorable mention All-America recognition.
Beans will take part in the first flight of the women's triple jump on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., marking the third time in as many years that the junior has qualified for the national championship in the event. She enters the competition coming off back-to-back career-best performances, having jumped 13.19m to claim the title at the conference championship before recording a school-record 13.38m leap while finishing seventh at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries; that mark is ranked 10th in the country.
In addition to winning the event at the Sun Belt meet, Beans was victorious on four occasions during the regular season this spring. She has come in 17th place at the NCAA Championship in each of her first two appearances at the meet, missing second-team All-America honors by just one spot in the final standings.
Television coverage of the NCAA Championship will be available each day that the three compete. ESPN2 will cover the action from 6:30-10 p.m. on the opening day of the meet, with ESPN set to broadcast Friday from 7:30-10 p.m. as well as 5:30-8 p.m. the following afternoon.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
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