HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Competition in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field championships begins Wednesday at historic Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
Sam Houston’s two entrants will book end the championships as Matt Johnson starts action in the decathlon Wednesday morning and Charles White will compete in one of the final events on Saturday in the triple jump.
Johnson enters the decathlon ranked No. 15 in the field of 24 with a season best mark of 7,496 points.
Four of last season’s top eight decathletes are back this season. A pair of freshmen also look to compete for the title.
Johannes Jock of Texas is the top seed at 8,293, narrowly ahead of Maicel Uibo of Georgia at 8,223. Indoor heptathlon national champ Kevin Lazas of Arkansas also is in the field.
Johnson earned his spot in the 2013 NCAA field by winning the Southland Conference championship in May in Lake Charles.
The decathlon will begin at 12 noon (Pacific time) Wednesday, June 5, with the 100 meters. Other events on Wednesday at the long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meter dash.
Thursday, June 6, action begins at 11 a.m. (Pacific time) with the 110 hurdles, followed by the discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500 meters.
White will have to wait until the championship’s final day on Saturday, June 8, when the triple jump begins at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific time).
The runner-up at the Southland Conference in May, White finished 12th at the NCAA West Preliminary Round to qualify for the NCAA finals. His mark of 51 feet, 3.5 inches ranks No. 15 among the event’s 24 competitors.
Teammates Marquis Dendy and Omar Craddock of Florida are the pair to beat in the triple jump. Dendy won the 2013 NCAA indoor long jump champion title. Craddock is the only triple jumper in the field to reach 54 feet this outdoor season. Two others, Dave Brown of Texas A&M and Tarik Batchelor of Arkansas, both have jumped farther than 53 feet.
Johnson and White both have the opportunity to earn All-America honors. The top eight finishers in each individual event as first team All-America honorees while ninth through 16th places receive second team selection.
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