Smith 21st in 200 at NCAA meet

Published 10:20 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

Terrell Smith was fast, but not fast enough to keep his stellar freshman season going.

The Kansas State sprinter and former Vicksburg High star clocked a time of 20.88 seconds in the semifinals of the men’s 200 meter dash Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Smith finished seventh in his eight-man heat and 21st overall in the event. The top two finishers in each of three heats and the next two best times advanced to Friday’s final.

Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith

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Running in the inside lane, Smith watched as the top half of the heat — the top four finishers all clocked times of 20.32 seconds or better — pulled away. He stayed ahead of Northern Iowa’s Brandon Carnes, but was nipped by .01 seconds for sixth place by Alabama’s Ahmed Ali.

All but two runners in the 24-man field in the semifinals ran under 21 seconds. Smith broke that barrier for the seventh time this season, but fell victim to the deep field. His time would have tied for ninth place overall in the semifinals at last year’s NCAA Championships.

“Really for Terrell, it’s kind of hard to run fast out of lane one. And still he ran a legal 20.88 out of lane one, which over the course of the year he’s only ran faster than that a couple times,” Kansas State coach Cliff Rovelto said. “So, for a freshman after a long year to come here and run solid like that is pretty good. I know he’s disappointed he didn’t run faster and whatnot, but that’s pretty solid. That’s a very good result for an athlete in his first national meet.”

Baylor’s Trayvon Bromell and Florida’s Dedric Dukes tied for the best time in the semifinals. Each finished in 20.03 seconds and won their respective heats. Smith was in Dukes’ heat.

Southern California’s Andre De Grasse won the other heat. Clemson’s Tevin Hester (20.14 seconds), LSU’s Tremayne Acy (20.17), and LSU’s Aaron Ernest (20.35) all earned bids to the final by finishing first or second in their heats. Auburn’s Khalil Henders (20.29 seconds) and Florida State freshman Kendal Williams (20.30) qualified based on time.

In other events, Mississippi State freshman Curtis Thompson finished third in the javelin with a throw of 247 feet, 5 inches.

MSU junior Brandon McBride, the defending champion in the men’s 800 meters, will have the opportunity to defend his title after winning his heat and qualifying fifth overall with a time of 1 minute, 47.28 seconds.

Mississippi State’s 4×400 meter relay team of McBride, Jovan Davis, Scottie Hearn and Alfred Larry also qualified for Friday’s final.

Ole Miss had seven athletes competing in Wednesday’s men’s semifinal round, but none advanced to the finals on Friday.

The women’s NCAA Championships begin today, with the finals on Saturday.

The women’s heptathlon, however, began on Wednesday and Mississippi State’s Erica Bougard was sitting in fourth place with 3,714 points.

Bougard was third in the 100 meter hurdles, second in the high jump, fourth in the 200 meters and threw the shot put 34 feet, 5 inches to place 22nd in that event.

Ole Miss’ Fabia McDonald was in 19th place, with 3,349 points, and teammate Britanny Kelly was 20th with 3,336. Kansas State’s Akela Jones is leading, with 4,023 points.

The second day of the heptathlon includes the long jump, javelin and 800 meter run.