EUGENE, Ore. – The University of South Alabama’s track and field team will send juniors Renaldo Frechou and Jan-Louw Kotze as well as sophomore Kaitlyn Beans to the NCAA Outdoor Championships this week, set to take place at Oregon’s Hayward Field. The meet will begin on Wednesday at 1 p.m. (CDT), concluding at 6:20 p.m. Saturday with the finals of the women’s 4×400-meter relay.
In the men’s hammer throw, Frechou posted a distance of 66.54m at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries two weeks ago to earn the eighth seed among the 24 participants in the event; he will compete at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Also ranked eighth with a qualifying throw of 58.83m, Kotze will represent the Jags in the men’s discus at 6:05 p.m. on Friday.
On the women’s side, Beans advanced to the national championships with a mark of 12.78m to rank 24th in the triple jump; the event takes place on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“The East Regional was extremely tough, particularly in the throws; the discus competition Jan-Louw just went through is probably even tougher than the NCAAs will be,” Jaguar head coach Paul Brueske said. “But all three are talented individuals and can compete at the highest levels of the NCAA. I believe each has All-American potential.”
The top eight finishers in each event earn first-team All-America status, with the next eight in the final results making second-team All-America and the rest of the field receiving honorable mention All-America distinction. A year ago — the first for both with the USA program — Frechou and Beans qualified for the national championships in the same disciplines. The former set a then-school record with a toss of 67.64m to place seventh, while the latter’s 12.67m distance was 17th overall, just two-hundredths of a meter shy of earning second-team All-America honors.
It’s the first time in three seasons that Kotze has advanced past the region meet.
“Having competed last year at the NCAA Championships will help Renaldo and Kaitlyn, they both ought to be more relaxed and confident,” stated Brueske. “Jan-Louw has really grown mentally tougher and developed into a very strong competitor when it counts. He has shined in big meets, plus he has a lot of experience in international competition and that always helps.”
The trio of Jags matches the most student-athletes South Alabama has sent to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 2007, two individuals earned All-American honors as Vincent Rono finished fourth in men’s 1,500 meters and Tonny Okello placed fifth in men’s 5,000-meter run, and Ajoke Odumosu also qualified for the event in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.
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