GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Four University of North Dakota freshmen departed Grand Forks today for the U.S. Junior Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where they will become UND’s first-ever participants in the national event.
UND’s contingency of competitors includes D’Monte Farley (Cottage Grove, Minn.) from the men’s team, and throwers Ke-Ke Burks (Madison, Wis.), Jayd Eggert (Minot, N.D.) and Molly Griep (Whitewater, Wis.) on the women’s side. They are the first U.S. Junior Championships qualifiers in the history of UND track and field.
Additionally, incoming freshman John Hoplin, a Grand Forks Red River High School product who will join UND next season, will also be competing.
The U.S. Junior Championships, which run June 19-23 at Drake Stadium, feature the top junior athletes (ages 16-19) in the country. The top finishers advance to the 2013 Pan Am Junior Championships to be held Aug. 23-25 in Medellin, Colombia.
Farley will kick off the championships for UND on Thursday at 11:45 a.m. when he competes in the triple jump, in which he is ranked sixth.
Burks will participate in a pair of events, including the hammer throw on Thursday and the discus on Saturday. She is ranked 15th in the hammer and 17th in the discus. She will be joined in the discus by teammate Griep, who is ranked 11th.
Eggert rounds out the schedule for UND’s current student-athletes, taking part in the javelin on Friday at noon. She is ranked 11th.
Hoplin, who signed a National Letter of Intent with UND in April, is ranked 10th in the javelin and will compete in that event on Saturday.
The top eight finishers in each event earn USA Track and Field All-America honors, and the top two qualify for the Pan Am Junior Games.