PEMBROKE — Three University of North Carolina at Pembroke track and field athletes are in Charlotte for the NCAA championships taking place Thursday through Saturday at Johnson C. Smith University’s Irwin Belk Complex.
Kory Jones, who took seventh place in the Long Jump at the NCAA championships in 2016, will compete in the same event again this year. He is joined by Jeanna Cube, who will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, and Triple Jump qualifier Lashonda Tate.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good weekend,” head coach Peter Ormsby said. “We had a late add with Kory Jones. Kory came away with an All-American award three years ago, and Lashonda and Jeanna are in that 17 or 18 (place) range. If we have a good day and do what we’re supposed to do, we could come away with four All-Americans. “
Jones learned on Monday that he qualified for the championship meet, making him the program’s first two-time national qualifier since Pardon Ndhlovu did so in 2012 and 2013.
His mark of 7.38 meters in the Long Jump at the Peach Belt Conference Championships in April earned Jones a league title.
Cube notched an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 13.89 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles at the Embry-Riddle Spikes Classic in April. She went on to win conference championships in the Long Jump, High Jump and Javelin Throw.
Tate posted her NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 12.18 meters in the Triple Jump at the PBC championships, landing her in second place. She captured the conference title with a 5.87-meter mark in the long jump, which was also a provisional qualifier.
Jones will compete in the Long Jump at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Cube and Tate will have their turn on Friday, with the Triple Jump starting at 4:45 p.m. and the 100-meter Hurdles scheduled for 6:55 p.m.
Ormsby said the weather in Charlotte could be beneficial for the Braves. Forecasts have temperatures hovering in the low 80s, with the potential for some rain throughout the weekend.
“I know the sprinters and the jumpers like it warm, but maybe not humid,” Ormsby said. “I think it’s supposed to be mid-8os, so it should be perfect, ideal weather. For the teams coming from up north, it may shock them a little bit, but it should fare pretty well with us.
“Coach (Patrick) Heckroth and Coach (Caleb) Wisecarver have done a pretty good job of getting the kids ready, so we’ll see what happens over the next few days.”
St. Augustine’s won the men’s national championship last year, and West Texas A&M took home the women’s championship.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or btester @robesonian.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.