KINGSVILLE, Texas - Tiffin track & field's hard work and preparation all season has come down to the final meet, as 17 Dragons will compete in 12 different events at the NCAA Division II National Championships from May 23-25.
TU has 14 qualifiers on the men's side and three on the women's side as they look to build off of strong showings all season, including dominating victories on both sides at the GMAC Championships a month ago.
The men will also attempt to make it eight-straight National Championship meets with a top-three finish, trying to extend their streak of seven in a row that is the longest in the NCAA, regardless of division. In order, the finishes are: 2016 Indoor - Champions, 2016 Outdoor - 2nd, 2017 Indoor - Champions, 2017 Outdoor - 3rd, 2018 Indoor - 2nd, 2018 Outdoor - 3rd, 2019 Indoor - 3rd. Over that three and half year period, the Dragons have recorded 86 total All-American honors and seven individual National Champions.
Below is a list of Tiffin's qualifiers in order of event time (subject to change) at the championships this weekend:
Thursday, May 23
2:30 PM CDT/3:30 PM EDT - Men's Pole Vault Final - Davis Bowers
In his final season for the Dragons, Bowers is making his fifth National Championships appearance in the pole vault and will go for his third All-American honor. The senior's highest nationals finish was at 2018 Indoors with a third-place performance as he vaulted a career-best 5.25 meters, while his other top-8 finish came at the 2019 Indoors earlier this season when he came in seventh. Bowers is seeded 11th in event with a height of 5.10 meters.
3:30 PM CDT/4:30 PM EDT - Men's Hammer Throw Final - Tristen Durr, Toryko Grace
The duo of Durr and Grace will look to make noise in the hammer for Tiffin to cap off their senior seasons. Durr comes in seeded seventh (64.76m), while Grace is seeded 18th (60.42m). After transferring to TU at the beginning of this year, Durr has made it two-for-two in qualifying for national meets as he also reached the 2019 Indoors in the weight throw. Grace is making his fourth nationals appearance but first Outdoor championships, as he reached the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Indoor meets in the weight throw, earning All-American honors in 2017 and 2019. Both qualifying marks are career-highs for the senior throwers.
5:45 PM CDT/6:45 PM EDT - Men's 4x100m Prelims - Tajarie Arthurton, Jonte Baker, Zion Cross, Elijah Gauldin, Lamar Hargrove, Quincy Scott
The Dragons will have a choice to make when it comes to which four sprinters will run the 4x100, as two different combinations of the above six athletes set championship qualifying marks this season. TU is seeded ninth in the event with a 40.48 mark from the lineup of Arthurton, Baker, Cross, and Gauldin. The combination of Arthurton, Baker, Hargrove, and Scott tied for the fouth-best mark in Division II this season, though, with a time of 40.36. Tiffin has seen great success in the recent past in the 4x100 on the national stage, as the Dragons finished second in each of the last two years, with Baker running a leg of the event on both occasions.
6:20 PM CDT/7:20 PM EDT - Men's Long Jump Final - Quincy Scott
Just a freshman, Scott has reached his second National Championships in as many tries, as he also qualified for the indoor long jump and earned All-American honors with a seventh-place finish. He is seeded 18th with a mark of 7.47 meters.
7:10 PM CDT/8:10 PM EDT - Men's 100m Prelims - Jonte Baker
Baker will look to defend his unofficial title as the 'fastest man in Division II', as he took the title in the 60m at the 2019 Indoor meet back in March. That finish is one of six All-American honors for the junior, as he was a part of both Outdoor 4x100 second-place finishes in 2017 and 2018, finished second in the Indoor 60m in 2018, third in the Indoor 60m in 2017, and fifth in the 100m last season at the Outdoor championships. Baker is seeded ninth in the event with a career-best mark of 10.33.
Friday, May 24
4:30 PM CDT/5:30 PM EDT - Men's Discus Final - Eric Jackson
Jackson enters his second-straight Outdoor championships in the discus with a mark of 54.52 meters that has him seeded 11th. The junior also reached national meets in the shot put at the 2017 Outdoors, 2018 Indoors, 2018 Outdoors, and 2019 Indoors, including All-American honors in 2017 and at the 2018 Indoor meet. Jackson's qualifying mark for this championships is his career-high in the discus.
5:05 PM CDT/6:05 PM EDT - Women's High Jump Final - Marisa Gwinner, Dalaney Rogala
Tiffin qualified a pair for the women's high jump in freshman Gwinner and junior Rogala. Gwinner is seeded sixth with a height of 1.75 meters, and looks to repeat as an All-American after finishing third at the Indoor meet earlier this season. Rogala has been a consistent top finisher at conference meets over her three seasons, and has now qualified for her first National Championships with a career-best mark of 1.72 meters that is seeded 13th.
5:50 PM CDT/6:50 PM EDT - Men's 200m Prelims - Lamar Hargrove
Coming back to TU for his senior year, Hargrove is seeded 17th in the 200m with a mark of 20.95. Hargrove is one of the most decorated athletes in Tiffin track & field history, as his two qualifications for his final meet in the 200m and 4x100m are the 13th and 14th of his career. During that time, he has earned All-American honors nine times, including five individual national titles (all Indoor, twice in the 60m and three times in the 200m).
6:55 PM CDT/7:55 PM EDT - Men's 110m Hurdles Prelims - Errik Snell
Snell has qualified for the National Championships for the second time in his senior season and career, as he also reached the Indoor meet earlier this season in the 60m Hurdles. In this meet's 110m Hurdles, Snell is seeded 15th with a career-best mark of 14.13.
Saturday, May 25
1:15 PM CDT/2:15 PM EDT - Women's Shot Put Final - Nicole Berry
Berry joins Gwinner as a pair of freshmen on the women's team to qualify for both the Indoor and Outdoor National Championships in their first season in a Dragon uniform. The GMAC Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Berry is seeded ninth with a mark of 15.65 meters.
5:05 PM CDT/6:05 PM EDT - Men's Shot Put Final - Jabari Bennett, Nikolas Curtiss, Eric Jackson
Men's shot put has the most Dragon qualifiers in this years' championships, with three throwers reaching the biggest stage. Curtiss, a sophomore, reaches his fourth national meet in as many tries and will look to also make it a perfect 4-for-4 in All-American finishes in the shot put, including a second-place performance at last seasons' Outdoor championships. He is seeded fifth with a mark of 18.53 meters. Another fabulous freshman for TU, Bennett is seeded 11th with a mark of 18.03 meters, and will look to build upon his All-American third-place finish earlier this season in the shot put at the Indoor meet. Seeded 21st with a mark of 17.47 meters, Jackson has reached his third-straight Outdoor championships in the shot put, and will go for his third overall All-American honor with a sixth-place finish at the 2017 Outdoors and a second-place performance at 2018 Indoors.
5:20 PM CDT/6:20 PM EDT - Men's 4x100m Final
5:30 PM CDT/6:30 PM EDT - Men's High Jump Final - Cameron Burrows
A junior, Burrows has qualified for his eighth event at a National Championship, as he has reached the final meets in the long jump once, heptathlon once, and high jump in all six tries. He will be going for his seventh All-American honor, with his highest finish coming in the high jump at this years' Indoor meet when he placed third overall. Burrows is seeded sixth at this weekend's championships with a mark of 2.15 meters.
6:45 PM CDT/7:45 PM EDT - Men's 100m Final - Baker