June 9, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Four Huskies will look to collect All-American honors at the NCAA Championships in Oregon this week. Three-time All-American Celina Emerson will seek to become UConn's first All-American in the 400m dash and lead UConn's first 4x400m relay to qualify for the NCAA Championship. The quartet is comprised of Emerson, Nyanka Joseph, Faith Dismuke and Deysha Smith-Jenkins.
The Championship will be held June 11-14 a Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. A complete schedule of events has been posted above, along with a link to live stats and start lists. More information can be found on the NCAA Championship Central page.
The 4x400m squad posted a time of 3:34.83 at the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville, Florida to qualify for Oregon. The foursome has set and reset the UConn record twice this season, most recently lowering the school standard to 3:32.83 at The American Championship in early May. The Huskies have a chance to become the first 4x400 team to earn All-American honors in UConn history. Semifinals for the 4x400m are set for 6:40 p.m. PST on Thursday, June 12th with the finals concluding the Championship at 3:55 p.m. PST on Saturday, June 14. Celina Emerson will compete in the 400m semifinals at 5:15 p.m. PST on Wednesday, June 11.
Meet The 4x400m Team:
Nyanka Joseph has been a crucial piece of the UConn relay teams this season, helping the 4x400 team to a record time at The American Championship, anchoring the 4x100m squad to a gold medal at the ECAC Championship, and contributed the third leg of the 4x200m team that set a school record at the Penn Relays. Joseph qualified for individual competition in the 400m dash at the NCAA East Regional for the first time in her career and will be making her first career trip to Oregon with the relay team. The junior finished fourth in the 400m and sixth in the 200m at the ECAC Championship and fifth in the 400m at the American Athletic Conference Championship.
Faith Dismuke joined the Huskies as a transfer student from Villanova University this year and has immediately contributed to the rich tradition of UConn track and field success. The junior qualified for her second NCAA East Regional with the 4x400 team and as an individual in the 800m. She is coming off a personal-best in the event after clocking 2:06.87 and will look to continue that success in Oregon. Dismuke also helped the 4x800m relay to a gold medal at the ECAC Championship, played a role in the 4x400 record at The American Championship, and captured third in the 800m at the conference championship.
Sophomore Deysha Smith-Jenkins will look to continue her exceptional sophomore campaign in Oregon this week. She is the owner of the second-fastest 200m time in UConn history after recording a time of 23.60 to reach the semifinals of the 100m dash at the ECAC Championships. Only former UConn All-American standout and Jamaican sprinter Trisha-Anne Hawthorne owns a better 200m time with the school marker at 23.22. Smith-Jenkins contributed to a pair of relay records with the 4x400m and 4x200m teams this year and qualified for the NCAA East Regional in the200m dash, the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Senior Tiffany Daley is also in contention to run a leg of the 4x400m relay this week. At the NCAA East Regional, an injury sidelined teammate Deysha Smith-Jenkins and opened the door for Daley to help the squad qualify for a spot at the NCAA Championship. This season, Daley has helped the squad compete at the ECAC Championship in May and finished the 400m dash at the American Athletic Conference Championship in 56.06. As a junior, Daley also competed at the NCAA East Regional with the 4x400m team, pacing the group to a time of 3:40.89. The veteran has been a key anchor to several UConn 4x400 teams over her career at Connecticut and will look to lead the Huskies in Oregon if called upon.
Senior standout Celina Emerson will look to add another pair of All-American titles to her name with the 4x400 relay and in the 400m dash. The Newark, Delaware native earned a trio of accolades with the Distance Medley Relay squad but will look to earn her first solo honors this week. Emerson became the school record holder in both the indoor and outdoor 400m dash this year, setting the outdoor standard to qualify for the NCAA East Regional in 52.79 and recording the indoor time in February with a 53.38 effort. Emerson claimed the 400m dash and 4x100m titles at the ECAC Championship and took home a silver medal in the 400 and 4x400 at the American Athletic Conference Championship. Her efforts with the 4x400 and 4x200squad helped establish new records this year. In total, she has etched her name into the UConn record books as part of five records (400m indoor & outdoor, 4x400m outdoor, indoor DMR).
Emerson is the first Husky to ever qualify for the outdoor NCAA Championships in the 400m and the first to qualify for the 400m since Mandela Graves-Fulgham in the 400m indoor in 2009. The sprinter can also become the first runner to earn an All-America individual title since Trisha-Ann Hawthorne did so at the same track in Eugene, Ore. back in 2010.
"The 4x400 relay team has run some of the best times in the country all year and it's paying off for them. They've given themselves a chance and that's all we are asking for - a chance to prove that the Huskies belong among the best in the country," said Husky interim coach Clive Terrelonge.