TUESDAY, JUNE 05, 2007
Natasha Harvey and Janel Grooms compete at NCAA Championships beginning on Wednesday

June 5, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On Wednesday, sophomores Natasha Harvey and Janel Grooms will each compete in their biggest track meet of the season when they travel cross country to represent the JU track team at the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

Harvey is set to compete in her second NCAA Championship long jump starting on Wednesday, while Grooms will be running in the 400-meter hurdles beginning on Thursday. Harvey and Grooms are the first set of Dolphins since Andrea Pressley (heptathlon) and Monique Tubbs (100-meter dash) in 2003 to reach the national meet.

"I am proud of the work that Tasha and Janel have put in this year," said JU head coach Ron Grigg. "They have been working hard for this meet and we expect for them to rise to the occasion on this big stage."

Harvey, who is the first Dolphin to qualify for the NCAA's in consecutive seasons since Pressley (2003 & 2004), placed third in the long jump at the East Regional on May 25 with a leap of 21 feet (6.40m). In last year's NCAA meet, she missed the finals by placing 20th in the long jump preliminaries with a mark of 19'11.75" (6.09m). Harvey looks to erase that after posting jumps of 20 feet or more in the last four meets.

Grooms joins Harvey at the national meet by receiving an at-large invitation from the NCAA on May 29.

At the NCAA East Regional, Grooms broke the school record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.37 in the preliminaries to earn the sixth seed in the finals. Grooms struggled late in the finals with a time of 59.04 to finish eighth, but after the dust settled, her preliminary time ranked 21st nationally which earned her the invitation.

The NCAA Championships, hosted by Sacramento State, is set to start on Wednesday and run through Saturday. Harvey will complete in the long jump preliminaries on Wednesday with the finals coming the next day. Grooms runs in the 400-meter hurdles preliminaries on Thursday with the semifinals on Friday. The 400-hurdle finals are Saturday and will be televised on CBS beginning at 1 p.m.