Riley Cooks, Jason Smith Lead Long Beach State Contingent At USATF Championships
The USA Track and Field Junior and Senior National Championships will be held in Sacramento from June 22-25.
Long Beach, Calif. - A busy postseason continues for two more Long Beach State student-athletes from the 2016-17 season, while more with Beach ties will participate in the USA Track and Field Junior and Senior National Championships in Sacramento.
All-American and two-time Big West heptathlon champion Riley Cooks will make her USA national championship debut in the heptathlon beginning on Saturday, June 24th. Long Beach State's school record holder in the event, Cooks is aiming at qualification for the Thorpe Cup in Germany, a heptathlon/decathlon competition between the two nations by finishing in the Top 10 of 18 competitors.
Big West Freshman of the Year Jason Smith will represent the Beach at the Junior National Championship, held concurrently with the senior national championships. With a qualifying mark of 7.62 meters in the long jump, Smith is one of 18 competitors in that event, with the top two finishers qualifying for the Junior Pan American Games this July in Peru. The junior long jump competition will be held on Friday, June 23 at 2 p.m.
Five others with Long Beach State ties will be competing with the goal of reaching the IAAF Wold Championships in London. LBSU's Assistant sprints and hurdles coach, Jaide Stepter, will participate in the 400m hurdles, while four former 49ers will make their return to the championships.
Colin Dunbar has the fifth-highest qualifying mark in the hammer in the field at 73.05m, well above the qualifying mark, as the former Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Year continues to excel in one of the two events he was an All-American in in 2011.
Ben Woodruff will compete in the Javelin with a qualifying mark of 71.92m. Woodruff was a two-time Big West Champion in the event, and like Dunbar, was the Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Year in 2012.
Jason Harrell rounds out the throws competitors, as the 2014 Beach graduate will compete in the discus. Harrell holds a Top 10 qualifying mark entering the competition.
Finally, Chris Low will compete in the 800m run. Low was a two-time Big West champion and All-American in the event while representing Long Beach State in 2014 and 2015.
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