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Juarez qualifies for nationals

From staff reports

Clayton College & State University's Tony Juarez became the fourth Laker track & field athlete to qualify for nationals Friday, placing 14th in the highly touted Sea Ray Relays at the University of Tennessee.

Juarez, a senior, placed 14th in the largely NCAA Division I meet with a time of 3:52.97, provisionally qualifying him for the NCAA Division II National Championships in Walnut, California, May 26-29. He placed second in his heat and defeated 16 Division I runners in the race.

Juarez eclipsed the provisional mark by more than second and will now try to lower his time to the automatic qualifying time of 3:47 in his upcoming meets. Juarez came two seconds from breaking his own school record set last year. He set the school record at the Georgia Tech Invitational with a time of 3:50.97, bettering 22 Division I runners in the field of 37.

In addition to Juarez provisionally qualifying for nations, earlier this season freshman Eric Simmons provisionally qualified in the 400m with a school record time of 47.97, along with freshman Brian Etelman provisionally qualifying in the 200m with a time of 21.47. Senior Rother hit the provisional qualifying standard in the triple jump earlier this year with a leap of 48-feet-1 ? inches.

Juarez along with his Clayton State teammates will return to the track today in the Cumberland Invitational in Williamsburg, Ky.