For the third straight year, Arkansas-Pine Bluff's Terron Armstead will compete at the NCAA men's regional track and field meet with the hopes of making it to the national championship.
For the third straight year, Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Terron Armstead will compete at the NCAA men’s regional track and field meet with the hopes of making it to the national championship.
Armstead is hoping to place at the meet in the shot put. Not just the regional meet.
“I feel confident that I can place at the national championship,” Armstead said. “It’s placing at nationals, and making it to nationals would be an accomplishment by itself, but I don’t want to sell myself short.”
The NCAA regional meet begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday in Austin, Texas.
“He is going to be good to go when he goes to the regional and try to make it to the national championship,” UAPB track and field coach Chris McCoy said. “I think he can do it.”
Armstead, a junior, already has trophy case full of SWAC honors. He has won the SWAC outdoor shot put title the last three years. At the last outdoor conference championship, Armstead’s throw of 59 feet, 7 inches broke the meet record.
He has won the shot put title the last two years during the SWAC indoor championship and he also won the weight throw at this year’s indoor meet. During this year’s outdoor championship, he finished second in the hammer throw.
With a track record of success at the SWAC meets, Armstead felt confident he was going to win a third straight shot put title.
“Every meet I go in expecting to win,” he said. “I wanted to go for the three-peat.”
Armstead was able to perform so well at the SWAC outdoor championship despite not being 100 percent. He is also an offensive lineman for the UAPB football team and was injured early in the spring season with a high ankle sprain.
Armstead was not able to practice the three weeks going before the SWAC championship, but we still able to come away with the third-straight title.
“I did not feel too good at all,” he said. “I felt kind of slow since I hadn’t been active in three weeks. But the people were watching me and gave me a slow clap going into my last throw to give me the momentum to break the record.”
The 59-7 throw is not even Armstead’s best throw of the outdoor season. During a meet at Ole Miss, Armstead had a throw of 60-8. That is about what he will have to throw to earn a trip to the national meet.
“It has to be at least 60 feet,” McCoy said. “Without spring football, I think he would be throwing 62 feet, but we have had some good practices and he is ready to throw.”
Armstead is still not 100 percent healthy yet going into the regional meet.
“I am feeling better by the day and I would say I am at 85 percent,” he said. “I have been pushing back and getting in the weight room getting my strength and speed back. I believe I can throw 61-plus.”
Armstead and McCoy leave for the NCAA regional meet today. He has to finish in the top 12 in the region to make it to nationals.
Going into the meet, Armstead’s best throw ranks at No. 11 in the region, giving him good confidence as he heads to Austin.
“I expect to make it to the next round,” he said. “I am ranked No. 11 right now, but it’s all about what you do on that day. I am going to do my absolute best and give whatever I have in me.”