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Atkinson Qualifies for NCAA Meet in 60 Hurdles

February 27, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Atkinson Qualifies for NCAA Meet in 60 Hurdles

Liberty redshirt sophomore Jovaine Atkinson will compete in the men's 60 hurdles at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, it was announced tonight.

The meet will take place at Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas, March 9-10. The men's 60 hurdles semifinals are scheduled for 7:55 p.m. Eastern on March 9, with the final slated for 6:10 p.m. Eastern on March 10.

Atkinson is one of 16 men's athletes who will race in the men's 60 hurdles in College Station. His record-breaking time of 7.71 from Saturday's Big South 60 hurdles final is tied for No. 8 in the nation this season.

A native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, Atkinson will make his first trip to the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and will become the first Flames hurdler ever to compete at the meet. He is the first Liberty men's athlete to qualify for the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships since 2011, when Sam Chelanga placed second in the 5K and 15th in the 3K.

Atkinson is undefeated in the men's 60 hurdles this season, winning all nine of his preliminary heats and finals. He has taken first place in the event at the Keydet Invitational, Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, Liberty Elite Invitational and Big South Championship. Atkinson's second straight Big South 60 hurdles crown came in a Liberty, Big South, meet and Liberty Indoor Track Complex-record time of 7.71 seconds.

Atkinson became the first runner in Big South Championship history to win both the men's 60 dash and 60 hurdles at the same meet, with a winning 60 time of 6.79 that ranks No. 2 in program history. As a result, Atkinson was named Big South Men's Outstanding Track Performer and Big South Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the meet's conclusion.

Atkinson will take this weekend off from competition in preparation for the NCAA meet. Meanwhile, a sizeable group of his teammates will head to Boston for the 2018 IC4A and ECAC Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet will run from Friday through Sunday at the Boston University Track & Tennis Center.