Five Sea Gulls get set for NCAA indoor championships

Five Sea Gulls get set for NCAA indoor championships

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's track & field teams will be well represented at the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12. Senior Luke Campbell, junior Jerel Madison, and sophomores Zach Schmelz and Eric Halton are headed to Grinnell, Iowa for the men's team, while junior Meghan McGowan is going for the women's team.

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The events

Campbell is making his fourth-straight appearance at the indoor championships in the 60-meter hurdles. The preliminary race for the hurdles will take place on Friday at 3:10 p.m., eastern time and the finals race will be on Saturday at 3:05 p.m., (ET). The Sea Gulls will also be competing in the 4x400-meter relay, Campbell will team with Madison, Schmelz, and Halton. The preliminary races for the relay will be on Friday at 7:10 p.m., (ET) with the finals race on Saturday at 6 p.m., (ET).

McGowan returns to the indoor championships in the high jump for the second-straight season. Her event will be on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m., (ET).

How she got here

McGowan took advantage of the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships to earn her spot in the national championships. She tied her school record in the high jump with a height of 5' 6.5" to place second at the ECAC championships. The effort also tied her for 11th in the country to secure her trip to the NCAA title meet.

How he got here

Campbell tallied his third-straight Capital Athletic Conference championship in the 60-meter hurdles this season with a time of 7.98 seconds, which currently sits at a tie for No. 3 in the country to earn him a spot in the national championships. He has posted two sub-eight second races this season, as he recorded a 7.99-second time at the George Mason University Last Chance Meet on February 28.

How they got here

The Sea Gulls' 4x400-meter relay team, made up of Schmelz, Halton, Madison, and Campbell, has had a successful indoor season that has seen the school record broken on two occasions. Currently, the team is tied at No. 11 in the country with a time of 3:18.93 for their place at the NCAA championships. The time was good for first at the George Mason Last Chance Meet, while breaking the school record in the process.

NCAA history

Campbell is making his fourth appearance at the indoor national championships, while he is looking for his third-straight national championship in the 60-meter hurdles. In 2014, Campbell set the Division III record with a 7.75-second race to win his first title, before repeating in 2015 with a time of 7.93 seconds. He is also looking for his fourth All-American honor in the event, which would make him the 27th Division III athlete with four indoor All-American awards in the same event. In all, a win would be the senior's eighth individual national championship, as he has also won the outdoor 110-meter hurdles championship in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and the 400-meter hurdles championship in 2014 and 2015.

McGowan is appearing in her second indoor national championship meet. Last season, she finished fifth in the meet with a height of 5' 5", gaining her first All-American honor. McGowan also competed in the 2015 outdoor NCAA national championships, making this her third total national championship meet.

The Salisbury 4x400 relay team, made up of Schmelz, Halton, Madison, and Campbell, is making its first appearance at the indoor championships. Last season, all four athletes earned outdoor All-American honors, as Campbell and Schmelz both grabbed the awards in the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay. Halton was also on the All-American 4x400 team, while Madison was on the 4x100 team.

The competition

The women's high jump features two athletes that are tied for first in the country that McGowan will be competing with. Gladys Njoku from Stevens Institute of Technology and Melanie Winters from Baldwin-Wallace College both have a top height of 5' 8.75" to lead the pool.

Campbell will be up against three other athletes that have cracked the 8.00-second mark this season, as Dan Arnold from University of Wisconsin-Platteville currently leads the nation with a time of 7.96 seconds. Aurora University's Bobby Cooks ranks second in 7.97 seconds, while Methodist University's Ziere Diggs is tied with Campbell at 7.98.

Augustana College comes into the championships with the best time in the 4x400-meter relay, posting a time of 3:16.53 at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Indoor Track & Field Championships.

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