SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University track & field team will be looking for its ninth and 10th individual national championships this weekend as sophomore Luke Campbell and junior Tyler Austin run in Lincoln, Neb., at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships.
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This marks the third NCAA championship appearance for Campbell, and Austin will make his second appearance. Campbell qualified for both the indoor and outdoor championships as a freshman, earning All-American honors in the 60-meter hurdles at the indoor championships last season, and in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles at the outdoor championships in 2013. Austin qualified for the outdoor championships as a sophomore, running in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
The pair will run in their preliminary races on Friday afternoon. Campbell will go first in the 60-meter hurdles, at 3:10 p.m., eastern time, and Austin's preliminary run will begin at 4:30 p.m. Should they advance to the finals of their respective events, Campbell would compete on Saturday at 3:05 p.m., eastern time and Austin would run in the 60-meter dash finals at 4:15 p.m.
Among the fastest in NCAA history
Campbell saved the best performance of his young career for Salisbury's last indoor meet of the regular season, running his race in 7.97 seconds this past Saturday. He became just the fifth runner in Division III history to break the eight-second barrier and his time is fourth-fastest in Division III history. He enters the championships with his time just .14 of a second off the fastest time in Division III history of 7.83 seconds, and the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships record stands at 7.93 seconds.
Chasing down the field
Austin made the field with a time of 6.90, tied with two other student-athletes, as the highest time of any qualifier. Despite being near the bottom of the seeding, of 15 runners, Austin's time is just .15 of a second off the time of two runners tied for the fastest qualifying time in the field of 6.75 seconds.
Salisbury University's national champions
Salisbury's men's and women's programs have combined for eight individual national championships, two of which have come at the indoor championships. Salisbury saw Delannie Spriggs win the men's 55-meter dash at the 2010 championships, and Chelsea Tavik won the women's shot put at the 2012 championships. The Sea Gulls have also won six outdoor titles, including Campbell's win in the 110-meter hurdles last season.
This weekend's event closes the indoor season, but the duo will be back in action with the rest of the Sea Gulls in two weeks as Campbell and Austin begin competition in the outdoor season. Salisbury's next outdoor event will be the Goucher Invitational on March 29.