May 28, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Four Lamar athletes will be making their NCAA debuts this week as the NCAA West Preliminary is set to begin on Thursday at John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
The meet, which will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday, will feature most universities west of the Mississippi river and serve as the final meet before next month's NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Five Cardinals are set to compete, led by Sam Stabler, who is the first LU athlete to win four Southland individual championships in one semester since former Olympic jumper Thomas Eriksson earned five in 1985. The junior out of Queniborough, England, is currently ranked 20th nationally and 10th in the prelims with a time of 3:42.18, which was set at Rice's J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet last month. He was 43rd in the race at last year's NCAA West Preliminary in Austin.
The distance duo of Leigh Lattimore and Louise Webb lead the newcomer group. Webb, who won Southland Indoor Athlete of the Year, is set to run in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Earlier this season, the graduate student out of Southampton, England, put up a time of 10:19.83, which puts her 49th nationally and 24th in this week's race. Lattimore, a Pinner, England, native ranks 25th in the 10,000 meter field with a time of 32:20.83, and she's coming off a 5,000 meter victory at the Southland Outdoor Championships.
Stabler, Webb and Lattimore were each a part of LU's Southland-winning cross country teams last fall.
The final English transplant competing for LU will be Aaron Bennett. The graduate student out of Southampton recorded a time of 1:49.21 in the 800 to grab the 16th spot in the race.
, who graduated from LU earlier this month, will compete in the 400 meter dash. She posted a career-best time of 54.51 seconds at last month's Rice meet.
Stabler will be the first of the group to compete, as he'll take part in the 1,500 meter run on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The first round for the 400 and 800 will take place at 7:45 and 8:10, respectively, and Lattimore's 10,000 meter race will close the opening day at 9:40 p.m.
The meet will continue on Friday with the second rounds for both the 400 and 800, and the 3,000 meter steeplechase will be the last of the day at 9:30 p.m. The final round of the 1,500 will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.