Pledger, White Advance to NCAA Finals|
June 12, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Already a veteran and versatile sprinter, Cierra White entered the NCAA Championships as a three-time national qualifier in the 200-meter dash.
But she had yet to make an appearance in the finals of the event. Thursday, on a chilly overcast afternoon at Historic Hayward Field, that changed.
White, who earned All-America honors in the 100-meters as a sophomore last year, used a powerful close off the curve and cruised across the finish line with a near season-best time of 23.01 seconds. The Philadelphia native finished second in her heat, and automatically punched her ticket to Saturday's finals.
"I feel like it was my most comfortable race of the season," White said. "I'm really proud of myself. I've been here before, but to make it to the finals means a lot. I was just focused on running my race today."
White's performance kicked off a strong showing for the No. 15 Lady Raiders at Day 2 of the NCAA Track and Field Championships as teammate Le'Tristan Pledger went on to punch herself a ticket to the finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
The school record holder in the event, Pledger continued her banner sophomore campaign finishing eighth overall in 13.12 seconds. She becomes the first Lady Raider in program history to advance to the finals of the 100-meter hurdles.
White and Pledger will now compete in Saturday's finale at Hayward Field. The 200-meter dash is scheduled for 2:49 p.m. (PST) while the 100-meter hurdles will follow at 3:19 p.m. (PST).
Earlier at Hayward Field, junior Lady Raider Shanice Stewart competed in Day 1 of the Heptathlon scoring 3,176 points over four events and will enter Friday in 17th overall.
Stewart, who finished runner-up at the Big 12 Championships, finished fourth in the shot put (12.36m/40'-6.75"), ninth in the 100-meter hurdles (13.92), 14th in the 200-meters (25.57) and 22nd in the high jump (1.54m/5'-0.50").
She'll open action for Texas Tech tomorrow with the long jump scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (PST), followed by the javelin and 800-meter run.