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Fantastic four Cardinals qualify For NCAA West Region

For the second year in a row, the Cardinals will have four members qualify for the postseason with a chance to go to the NCAA Championships.

BEAUMONT, Texas — While most of Lamar University's track and field athletes have seen their seasons come to an end, the overall season for the program is being extended to the upcoming NCAA West Regionals. For the second year in a row, the Cardinals will have four members qualify for the postseason with a chance to go to the NCAA Championships. Representing the Cardinals in the NCAA Regionals are Yasmin Austridge, Jacarrius Demmerritte, Faith Outing, and Chloe Rodriguez.

This past season was Austridge's best in her career. With nine top-five finishes, including four first place finishes, Austridge has broken school records in the DMR (11:35.48; Houston Invitational), 800m (2:04.37; Victor Lopez Classic) and the 3000 meter steeplechase (9:52.12; Joe Walker Invitational), all of which earned her Southland Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week. Austridge's record-breaking 3000S time was the second fastest in the nation and ninth fastest in the world.

She would also claim two conference titles in the 800m (2:09.96) and the 3000S (10:43.15) at the SLC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. This garnered her two All-SLC first team honor for those events. Competing in the 3000S, this will mark her second straight NCAA Regional appearance as the pride of London, England will seek to advance further to the NCAA Championships following last year's 14th place finish in the regionals, which wasn't enough to qualify.

As the only male athlete for LU, Demmerritte will participate in the triple jump. He managed to qualify after taking first place in the event with a PR (15.31m-50'2.75") at the Trinity Last Chance Invitational. This was his second victory in the triple jump as he would have a win at the Joe Walker Invitational (14.71m-48'3.25"). At the SLC Outdoor T&F Championships, Ft. Worth's favorite son earned silver with 15.68m (52'0.5") and would secure SLC second team honors in this event.

Earning her first trip to the NCAA regionals, Leesville, La., resident Faith Outing will participate in the 400m. This past season saw her break a school record in the 400m with a time of 53.51 seconds, which got her third place at the SLC Outdoor T&F Championships. It also earned her one of two SLC all-conference third team honors as the other came in the 4x400m event at 3:43.53 seconds. In addition, she was part of the Houston Invitational DMR squad along with Austridge that broke the school record.

Outing's 4x400m teammate Chloe Rodriguez also made the NCAA regionals. Carrying all of her hometown of Richardson, Texas on her back, Rodriguez will compete in the 400H after picking up two wins in that event this season. Her first win came at the Texas Relays (1:00.57) while she would earn the SLC title (58.51) at the Outdoor Championships. The day prior, she set a new PR in the event posting a time of 58.70 to qualify for the finals. Along with a first team honor in the conference for the 400H, she joined Outing to achieve a third team honor by the SLC in the 4x400m.

The NCAA West Regionals will take place this Wednesday on the campus of Sacramento State University and will run into Saturday. Should any of the four Cardinals qualify for the NCAA Championships, they will travel to Austin, Texas two weeks later beginning June 7th.

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