COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After each posted NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships qualifiers during last weekend’s action, as well as efforts that top the conference performance list, senior sprinter Kaymarie Jones (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) and sophomore thrower Katie Kruger (Alamosa, Colo.) have been named as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Athletes of the Week, it was announced Wednesday.
Jones, whose effort came in the 400 meter hurdles last Thursday at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia, was named as the RMAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week. Kruger went big in the shot put on Saturday at the Jack Christiansen Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., and was tabbed for the RMAC Field Athlete of the Week honors.
Entering her race at the Penn Relays, Jones led the DII performance list in the 400 meter hurdles, but was even more impressive Thursday. Jones placed second, crossing the line only behind the University of Illinois’ Latoya Griffith, and did so in an ASC record time of 57.98 seconds. That mark is currently leading DII by nearly a full second.
Jones now owns NCAA automatic qualifying marks in both the 400 and 100 meter hurdles, and is a member of the Grizzlies No. 2-ranked and automatic qualifying 4×100 meter relay squads. Last spring, Jones claimed RMAC individual titles in both hurdle events.
Kruger has consistently achieved NCAA provisional marks in the shot put all season, but managed a season best of 14.65 meters (48’ ¾”) at the Colorado State hosted Jack Christiansen Invitational Saturday, a mark that ranks sixth in DII this season while also leading all RMAC throwers.
The defending league champion in the shot put last spring, Kruger was also a competitor at last year’s DII outdoor championships.
The Grizzlies gained points in this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) DII Team Rankings thanks in part to the efforts of Jones and Kruger, but were unable to hold onto the top ranking which was gained for the first time in program history last week. Defending outdoor team champ Grand Valley State (Mich.) regained the No. 1 ranking from the USTFCCCA and ASC returned to second.
Just three dates remain on the schedule for the Grizzlies, who will next go after their ninth consecutive RMAC women’s team championship at the league meet at Western State’s Mountaineer Bowl from May 6-8 in Gunnison. ASC was picked by the league’s coaches as the preseason favorite, and will head into the meet was one of three squads ranked in the USTFCCCA top 10, as New Mexico Highlands and Western State are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
Following the league meet, Adams State will look for last-minute qualifying marks and improvements at the May 13 Colorado Mines Last Chance Open before a return to the ThunderBowl at Colorado State-Pueblo for the 2012 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships from May 24-26. Adams State finished third last year and has two runner-up finishes (2004 & ’08) to its credit, and will aim to be the first RMAC squad to bring a DII outdoor track & field championship.