Two Bulls head to NCAA Championships
For USF track and field athlete Courtney Anderson, this weekend is a final opportunity to win a national championship.
Last year the senior nearly pulled off that feat, but finished as the national runner-up.
Anderson’s jump of 6-1.25 last year was her personal best and a USF record.
“Last year I was more of an underdog and I didn’t expect to get there,” Anderson said in a press release. “It helped me because I didn’t know what to expect and there wasn’t a lot of pressure. This year I did feel those pressures and now I’m so relieved to make it this far.”
Anderson, who was an All-American last season, will attempt to become the first back-to-back women’s outdoor All-American in USF history.
In order for that to happen, she will have to clear the bar of six feet in at least one of her jumps. Anderson will compete in the high jump at 3:45 p.m. in Eugene, Oregon this Saturday.
The other Bull going to the NCAA Championships is Matthew O’Neal. The sophomore will compete in the triple jump event Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The AAC champion will also attempt to become an All-American for the second year in a row. O’Neal said he believes he will do much better this weekend than he did in the NCAA Preliminaries, where his triple jump was 52-10.
He said the key to improving his performance is calming his nerves and visualizing success.
“I need to envision myself doing well,” O’Neal said. “Thinking positively is something that really helps me mentally prepare for my races.”
O’Neal, who spends at least two hours a day running and doing squats in the gym to keep up his conditioning, looks to finish higher than he did last year at this event. As a freshman, he placed ninth with a distance of 52-2. O’Neal’s qualifying jump of 52-10 this season would have earned him fourth in the 2013 Championships.
The NCAA Championships will be broadcast Saturday on ESPNU from 5-7 p.m.