When the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa, four USF athletes will chase their goals of becoming national champions.
Discus thrower Jared Thomas, sprinter David Aristil, steeplechaser Nicole Rozario and pole vaulter Stephanie Duffy will have a chance to compete for a national title after qualifying through the East Regional in Bloomington, Ind. Duffy is a senior, and the other three are all juniors.
Entering the NCAA East Preliminary Round last weekend, Thomas was seventh in the region, but a throw of 183-feet-10-inches in his first attempt moved him up to fifth place and earned him a spot in the championship event. Thomas also competed for a national championship in 2010, finishing 19th.
Aristil nearly set a personal record in the 400-meter hurdles, winning the race with a time of 50.09. That time was sixth-fastest nationwide, easily qualifying Aristil for his second consecutive NCAA Championships. He set a personal best of 50.03 at the Big East Championships and looks to improve on a fifth-place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships.
Rozario will compete in the steeplechase after setting a new personal best of 10:17.60 in the qualifying event – good enough to clinch the final berth out of the East region. The steeplechase consists of a 3,000-meter run that features obstacles including four standard hurdles and a fifth with a water pit in the landing zone.
Duffy advances to the NCAA Championships after tying for fourth in the East Preliminary Round and clearing a height of 13-1.50 in her third attempt to earn one of the 12 spots in the championship event.
Notre Dame tickets open
Student tickets for the Sept. 3 football season opener against Notre Dame are now on sale through the USF Student Ticket Zone on gousfbulls.com.
Tickets for the game in South Bend, Ind., are priced at $73 each and will be allotted based on Student Priority Points. Payment is only due once you are awarded a ticket.
The request window closes June 24. Only active students registered for the fall semester are eligible to receive a ticket.
Spirit campaign enacted
In an effort to raise school spirit and begin a new tradition, USF Athletics launched usffightsong.com on Wednesday.
After arriving from East Carolina in January 2010, football coach Skip Holtz required his staff and players to learn the words to the USF fight song, “USF Bulls Are We.” The new website is a place to see behind-the-scenes video footage from the football program.
Fans are also invited to record videos of themselves singing the fight song and post them to the website. One video will be chosen to play on the video board at Raymond James Stadium before each of the seven home games this season.