Junior Isaiah Samoei and senior Daniel Draper are scheduled to represent Eastern New Mexico University in the men’s portion of the NCAA Division II national outdoor meet next week in at Pueblo, Colo.
Samoei, from Eldoret, Kenya, became ENMU’s first automatic qualifier to the NCAA track nationals in any event, posting a time of 29 minutes, 20.11 seconds at the Mt. Sac Relays on April 20 in Walnut, Calif. The time was the best in the Lone Star Conference this spring and ranks No. 7 this year in Division II.
Draper, from Moriarty, is making his third consecutive appearance in the nationals in javelin. His best throw this season was 210-5 at the West Texas A&M Open, just short of his school record of 211-7 set last season, and the No. 12 mark in Division II this spring.
Draper finished 13th last year at the nationals, throwing an even 190 feet, and 11th in 2010 at an even 187 feet.
Samoei runs at 8:50 p.m. (MDT) next Thursday, while Draper competes at 11:15 a.m. on May 26, the final day of the event. The top eight finishers in each event will earn All-American status.
ENMU also had three other provisional qualifiers this spring who were not accorded spots in the national meet. They were senior Kassie Daugherty of Bridgeport, Texas, in women’s discus; junior LaDawn Spiller-Coleman of Killeen, Texas, in women’s long jump, and freshman D’Omar Boyden of St. Catherine, Jamaica, in the men’s 110 hurdles.
All three set school records with their qualifying marks — Daugherty with a throw of 150-7 in discus at Texas Tech, Coleman with a distance of 18-6 1/2 in long jump at the WT Open, and Boyden with a time of 14.58 seconds in the hurdles at the UTEP Springtime meet.
Samoei led the ENMU men to a fifth-place finish in the LSC meet at Texas A&M-Commerce on May 5, winning both the 5,000 and 10,000, while the women’s team came in eighth.
ENMU earned United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-South Central Region recognition in four events, including Samoei in the 5,000 and 10,000, Draper in javelin and junior Tallam Kipruto of Nairobi, Kenya, in the 3,000 steeplechase.