A total of 620 participants will compete in the championships after qualifying for the event by reaching the automatic or provisional standards established for each event. Four of those athletes will be wearing the Green and White of Bemidji State when they compete. Sheena Devine (North Branch, Minn.), Shelby Hougen (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.), Justin Cox (Sr., Menahga, Minn.) and Joe Remitz (Jr., North Branch, Minn.) have each been invited to participate and will be in action when the 2007 championships get underway.
NCAA Indoor Shot Put Champion Devine enters the meet ranked second in the country after a BSU- and NSIC-record throw of 49-02 1/4 in the shot put two weeks ago while Remitz holds down the fourth seed in the men's shot (57-00 3/4). Hougen enters the women's 400-meter hurdles holding the 18th position with a BSU record time of 1:02.28 and Cox is 19th in the discus riding a school-record mark of 163-10.
The BSU contingent will depart from Bemidji tomorrow morning at 10:45 a.m. After arriving in the Charlotte area around 6 p.m. the team will settle into its hotel. Wednesday's schedule includes practice at the championship site an a banquet for participants and coaches later in the evening. Competition begins Thursday and runs into the evening Saturday.
A total of 42 individual NCAA Division II Champions will be decided during the three-day affair while over 300 student-athletes will garner All-American honors.
Thursday Hougen is the first out of the blocks as she attempts to stride through the 7:10 p.m. 400-meter hurdles preliminaries and earn a spot in the finals set for Saturday at 7:09 p.m.
Bemidji State's pair of All-American shot putters will be in action Friday. Remitz is the third out of flight 1 and will vie for his second consecutive outdoor All-American honor. Devine, the seventh thrower in the first flight, steps into the throwing circle at 5:45 p.m. in search of a outdoor title to cap a 2007 indoor/outdoor campaign in which she has not been defeated by a single NCAA Division II athlete in the event.
Cox is the final BSU participant to begin competition as he has a 3 p.m. appointment Saturday in the discus cage as the first thrower of the second flight.
Complete real time results can be viewed at http://www.jcsu.edu/athletics/ncaa/07DIINationals.htm