TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007
Janel Grooms receives at-large invitation to the NCAA Track and Field Championships

May 29, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore Janel Grooms has extended her season for another week as she received an at-large invitation for the 400-meter hurdles at NCAA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., as released today by the NCAA.

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 an invitation to the NCAA Championships on June 6th.

Grooms will join fellow sophomore Natasha Harvey at the NCAA Championships after she placed third in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet (6.40m).

"Sending two student-athletes to the NCAA Championships from Jacksonville University is a significant accomplishment," said JU head coach Ron Grigg. "Natasha as an All America athlete is a veteran of this level of competition. Janel has seen her talent mature and her confidence in her ability has grown tremendously this season. These two women, both sophomores, will be the leaders of our team as we continue to move the program in an exciting direction."

Grooms enters her first NCAA Championship after a stellar sophomore campaign. In the outdoor season, she rewrote the record books in the 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles and 800-meter dash. She earned Atlantic Sun Conference "Most Outstanding Track Performer" honors at the outdoor championships by winning the 400-meter (53.92) and 400-meter hurdles (1:00.36) to help JU earn its second straight title.

Harvey is heading to her second consecutive NCAA Championship long jump since arriving at JU. Last year, 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.

The NCAA Championships, hosted by Sacramento State, is set to start on June 6 and run through June 9. Harvey will complete in the long jump preliminaries on June 6 with the finals coming the next day. Grooms runs in the 400-meter hurdles preliminaries on June 7 with the semifinals on the next day. The 400 hurdles finals are June 9 and will be televised on CBS beginning at 1 p.m.