A last-chance meet ended up giving Jusean Archibald his first chance at the NCAA nationals.
Archibald, a junior for the Missouri S&T men's track team, will be competing in the 110-meter hurdles this weekend in Pueblo, Colo. during the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
He is scheduled to run the 110-hurdle prelims at 7:55 p.m. Central time Friday night. The 110-meter hurdle final is set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday. There will be 21 competitors at the 110-hurdle national event.
It is the first national qualification for Archibald, who is majoring in engineering management.
During this season Archibald hit the provisional standard in the 110 hurdles three times. However, he didn't assure himself a spot at nationals until he competed in a last-chance meet two weeks ago at Emporia, Kan.
Provisional standards are the minimum marks to be considered when qualifying athletes to national competition. When an athlete reaches the automatic standard set in an event, that athlete is assured a spot in the event at the national meet.
In that Emporia last-chance meet Archibald crushed a 24-year-old S&T school record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of :14.11. The old mark was :14.40 set by Pat Short.
"That record was older than I am!" Archibald said of breaking Short's mark. "Twenty-four years... that held up for a long time."
And the :14.11 put him over the hump in Archibald's quest for Pueblo.
"Once they announced the time (at Emporia) I knew it would hold up," Archibald said. "It was only .01 of a second off the automatic standard. But during the spring 12 people hit the automatic standard, so it's really competitive this year."
This spring has been a redemption season for Archibald.
He missed most of the indoor season and all of the outdoor season in 2011-12 due to a stress fracture in his hip – certainly a major injury for a hurdler.
He earned All-Midwest Region honors during the 2011-12 indoor season from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He had a time of :08.28 in the 60-meter hurdles in 2012 indoor season. In addition, he had a 22-11 3/4 mark in the long jump – S&T's best mark of the indoor season.
However, he was unable to compete at nationals due to the injury despite making a provisional qualifying mark.
"I do think (All-America) is possible this year," Archibald said. "It was hard for me last year when I was injured. I lost a whole year."
Archibald, who attended Trinity Catholic High School in Bridgeton, Mo., said he started thinking national meet when he won the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) 110-meter hurdle championship earlier this month.
"I would say probably at the conference meet," he said. "I had a PR and won the meet by over a half-second and hit a provisional time."
Page 2 of 2 - However, he knows he's got his work cut out this weekend to finish in the top eight, which earns All-America recognition.
The top time turned in so far this season is by Saint Augustine junior Moussa Dembele at :13.59. In all, six of the 21 competitors in the field have posted a time under 14 seconds in 2013.
"I'm assuming it will take under 14 seconds to get in (the finals)," he said. "It took :14.01 to get in last year and :13.7 won it last year."