GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum freshman sprinter Widchard Guervil will become the first Pioneer to compete at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships when the meet is held March 9 and 10 in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Guervil qualified for nationals in the men's 60 meters, where is seeded 11th in the field with a time of 6.77 seconds. Guervil's qualifying time came in the finals of the 60 meters at the South Atlantic Conference Championship meet, which enabled him to become Tusculum's first-ever SAC track & field champion.
Earlier this week, Guervil was named All-Southeast Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2018 NCAA Division II indoor track & field season. The top five individuals in each event from each region earned All-Region distinction, with Guervil receiving the honor after ranking second in the Southeast Region in the 60 meters.
The freshman from Fort Myers, Florida initially posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 6.86 seconds in his first race of the season at the ETSU Invitational on Jan. 12. Provisional qualification does not guarantee a spot in the final championship field, but is used to complete fields that are not filled by competitors who reach the automatic qualifying time of 6.73 seconds.
Guervil ran several more 60-meter races under seven seconds, but did not improve upon his initial qualifying time until the ETSU Buccaneer Invitational on Feb. 2, when he was clocked at 6.82 seconds in preliminaries and 6.81 in finals. Guervil was tied for 14th on the NCAA performance list and seeded third at the SAC Championships, and qualified for the finals with a time of 6.84 seconds in preliminaries. In the final, Guervil posted the best mark of the season by a SAC runner with a winning time of 6.77 seconds.
Based on other performance from around Division II on the final weekend of the season (Feb. 24-25), Guervil would not have qualified for the championship field on his best pre-SAC Championship time of 6.81 seconds. Instead, his 6.77 seconds puts him 11th on a final entry list of 17 runners for nationals.
A total of 270 men's and 270 women's participants are entered in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be hosted by Pittsburg State University and the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 at the Robert W. Plaster Center. Preliminaries in the men's 60 meters will be held Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Central) with the finals on Saturday at 6:20 p.m. Eastern (5:20 p.m. Central). The championships will be streamed live on NCAA.com.