Colleges: Area Athletes Headed to NCAA Track & Field Championships

Colleges: Area Athletes Headed to NCAA Track & Field Championships

By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise (Brockton)

BROCKTON, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University and the Stonehill College women’s track & field teams will be represented at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this week.

BSU juniors Jayci Andrews of Plymouth and Kira Gilbreath have qualified for the Division 3 national meet on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Stonehill senior Alison Tobin is at the Division 2 championship meet, hosted by Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.

Andrews, making her fourth trip to the NCAAs, has qualified in both the 100-meter hurdles where she is the No. 6 seed and the 400-meter hurdles as the No. 11 seed. Gilbreath, a transfer from Minot State University in North Dakota, is the No. 16 seed in the shot put.

Tobin, who owns the indoor and outdoor records at Stonehill, is the No. 12 seed out of 24 competitors.

Andrews raced in the 400-meter as a freshman, finishing 11th indoors and 10th outdoors. She was 17th in the 60-meter hurdles last March at the indoor meet.

The owner of eight individual records at BSU plus three relay records, Andrews’ best time in the 100 hurdles is 14.27 and has run 1:01.37 in the 400 hurdles.

Andrews did not take part in either national meet as a sophomore after fracturing the navicular bone in her left foot during the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships in February 2017. She returned this year and has been a consistent winner for the Bears.

“She’s just been awesome,″ said coach Amy Delgado. “It was a tough go for a while, but she jumped right back in and has had a great season.″

During the indoor championships, though, Andrews hit one of the hurdles, which slowed her down and ended any chance of earning All-America honors.

“She’s definitely out there for some revenge after the indoor season,″ said Delgado. “She hit the second hurdle in the trials and it slowed her down and she couldn’t recover.″

Andrews will take part in the preliminary race for the 400 hurdles on Thursday afternoon with the finals on Saturday afternoon. The preliminaries for the 100 hurdles are Friday afternoon with the finals on Saturday afternoon.

Gilbreath, who is from Utah, earned a spot in the NCAAs with a throw of 44 feet,10.25 inches during MASCAC Championships last month, breaking the school record.

This is Gilbreath’s first season on the BSU team after transferring from Minot in 2016. Her event begins at 2 p.m. on Friday.

“She worked extremely hard,″ said Delgado. “She was pretty close to qualifying indoors and we’re exciting that she’s going now. She’s been struggling with back issues, but hopefully she can put it all together. She just needs that one big throw.″

Andrews and Gilbreath both earned spots on the All-New England Division 3 team. Andrews was picked in two events and has been chosen four times during her career.

Tobin solidified her spot in the Division 2 Championships with a vault of 12 feet, 9 inches at the Northeast-10 Conference Championships, helping Stonehill win the title.

After spending the 2016-17 academic year studying abroad, Tobin returned to the Skyhawks’ team this season and had a strong showing.

“When she was a sophomore, her best was 10 feet, 10 inches, so she improved by just about two feet,″ said Stonehill assistant coach Dan Schwartz. “She’s a great athletes. Her mentality changed. She’s extremely confident this year. She took a little bit of a different approach.

“She came into the season in phenomenal shape. The year kind of helped her ground herself a little bit more. She was more excited than I ever saw her at the beginning of the fall. It definitely helped.″

Tobin’s event begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday in North Carolina.

Williamson Earns Honor: Bridgewater State senior Cameron Williamson of Easton was named to the Division 3 All-New England Track & Field team in the triple jump.

Williamson was 21st nationally and just missed qualifying for the NCAAs. It marks the third time he has been named to the All-New England team.

BSU’s Nick Johnson also received All-New England honors in the discus.