Lincoln women set to compete for Division II national title

Usually second place in the country is a nice finish. But not when you’re used to finishing first.

After three straight second-place finishes, the Lincoln women’s track team will look to get back on top when they open the NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships today in Pueblo, Colo.

Lincoln won six titles from 2003-2009 but has been second every year since. Ironically enough, the Blue Tigers enter this year’s championships ranked second behind Academy of Art (Calif.).

It’s been a good year for the women’s squad as they won their third straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association title.

They will send 15 athletes to the meet in 24 events, which is the most of any school in the country.

Five Blue Tigers will compete in three events each including Yanique Ellington (200-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay), Yanique Haye (400- and 800-meter run, 4x400-meter relay), Donna-Lee Hylton (400- and 200-meter dash, 4x400-meter relay), Latoya King (200- and 100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay) and Lovan Palmer (400- and 800-meter run, 4x400-meter run).

Other Lincoln participants include Juneille Barker (100-meter hurdles), Nickeisha Beaumont (long jump), Jonelle Campbell (Triple jump), Cardine Copeland (100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay), Michelle Cumberbatch (400-meter hurdles, 4x400-meter relay), Anna-Kay James (100-meter hurdles), Jenea Johnson (200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay), Daniele Newman (triple jump), Twishana Williams (800-meter run, 1,500-meter run), and Sheri Kaye Campbell (high jump, triple jump).

Lincoln’s best chance at points will come in the sprints just like last season.

Hylton is seeded third in the 400-meter dash while Haye is sixth. In the 400-meter hurdles Haye is seeded second and Cumberbatch is seeded third.

Lincoln’s 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams are both ranked second.

King is the defending champion in the 100- and 200-meter dash while Cumberbatch was first and Haye was second in the 400-meter hurdles last season.

Competition begins at 11:30 a.m.

III

The Lincoln men are in the same boat as the women, coming off a second-place finish last season.

Six Blue Tigers will compete in eight events. Sabiel Anderson will take part in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles along with the 4x100- and 4x400 relay teams. Michael Ashley is running in the 200- and 400-meter dash and is also on the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay teams.

Other Lincoln runners include Jermaine Blake (800-meter run and 4x400-meter relay), Tyronne Hawkins (4x400-meter relay), Devin Hill (4x100-meter relay), and Romel Lewis (100- and 400-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay).

The Blue Tigers are expected to score some points this weekend. Lewis is the defending champion in the 100-meter dash while Blake was second last year in the 800-meter run. Anderson and Lewis finished first and second, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles.

III

Central Missouri senior Brent Vogel will look to get back on top today in the decathlon.

Vogel (Helias High School) has the second-highest score in Division II this season in the decathlon after winning the Texas State Bobcat Open with a score of 7,274 points.

Vogel won the outdoor decathlon in 2011 and is also a member of the Mules’ 4x400-meter relay team.

Freshman Daniel McCarty (Blair Oaks High School) is also a member of the relay team.

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