Coppin State senior Christina Epps advanced to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships by placing third in the triple jump with a personal-best 43 feet, 11.75 inches (13.40 meters) on Saturday at the East Regional Preliminary in Jacksonville, Fla.
"It means a lot to qualify for nationals," said Epps, who has rebounded from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in 2012 and will compete June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
"I got there during the indoor season and it's nice to get there for outdoors. I had my ups and downs during the outdoor season. I remember being here two years ago and trying too hard. Today, I had a lot of nerves and excitement before I jumped. It was nice to perform well here and see how much I've grown."
Epps qualified on her final attempt.
"I knew I needed to put a good jump out there because everybody else in the competition had been jumping big," she said. "I knew a big jump was coming and I once I got in midflight, I felt it and it was exciting. It's nice to make it to the big stage of nationals."
More track and field: UMES senior Gayon Evans finished 11th in the women's 100-meter quarterfinals in 11.483seconds, advancing to Eugene. ... UMBC senior Trae Proctor finished 22nd in the 110-meter hurdles quarterfinal in 14.09 seconds and failed to advance. Seniors Dennison Long and Andrew Smith, as well as sophomore Vincent Rentzsch, also competed for the Retrievers. Long and Smith earned quarterfinal berths in the 100-meter dash and 800-meter run, respectively, but did not advance further.