DeCree And Spence, NCAA Bound
May 29, 2004
LAS VEGAS - UNLV's Halima Decree and Christine Spence both claimed trips to the NCAA Championships on Saturday after posting top-five finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field West Regionals at the Cal State Northridge Track & Field Complex. The top five finishers and the top three relay teams in each event in the regionals all advanced to the NCAA Championships.
DeCree, a junior, crossed the finish line in 11.63 in the 100m dash to finish fifth and earn her first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships by just .02 seconds. She then added another top-five finish in the 200m dash, placing fourth with a career personal best time of 23.72.
Spence, also a junior, turned in a career-best time of 57.64 in the 400m hurdles to place third and return to the NCAAs for the first time since running on the Rebels' 4x400m relay team in the 2002 NCAA championships. This is her first appearance in an individual event. Spence came into the regionals as the Mountain West Conference champion in the high jump, but could not match her conference record performance in the event. Spence was one of four that cleared 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches, but BYU's Lindsey Metcalf would claim fifth place and the final NCAA qualifying spot as she needed the least attempts to clear her heights of the four involved in the tie. Spence would finish seventh in the event.
Senior Tiffany Smith also competed in the triple jump, and placed 14th with a leap of 37 feet, 7 3/4 inches.
The Rebels finished 15th out of 25 teams in the regional with 17 points, just one year after not placing in the regional after not scoring any points. UNLV finished ahead of in-state rival Nevada, Reno (16th, 15 points) and of MWC rival Utah (20th, 10 points). MWC champion BYU was fourth with 56 points, while San Diego State placed sixth with 40.
DeCree and Spence will now compete in the NCAA Championships, held June 9-12 in Austin, Texas.
2004 NCAA West Regionals Cal State Northridge Track & Field Complex