Although she was a couple of meters short of advancing out of prelims to the 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships earlier this month at the University of Oregon, College of Charleston rising junior Julisa Tindall wasn’t discouraged from reaching her goal of competing on the national stage.
In fact, Tindall, who won three straight high jump state titles in high school at Northwestern, recently punched her ticket to compete alongside the nation’s best athletes at the 2015 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships June 25 through 28 in Eugene, Ore.
Tindall, the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association champion in the high jump with an outdoor school-record clearance of 1.83 meters and indoor school-record clearance of 1.84 meters, is set to travel to TrackTown USA on Thursday and has been practicing all week in the Lowcountry with her college coaches in preparation for the big event.
“What an incredible opportunity for Julisa,” College of Charleston coach Amy Seago said. “She will compete side-by-side with the best U.S. athletes. What a great experience, not only from which to learn and grow, but one in which to enjoy as a reward for a year’s worth of hard work. We are extremely proud of her and are happy to have her represent College of Charleston at the highest level.”
Two-time U.S. Olympian and American indoor and outdoor record-holder Chaunté Lowe, and former five-time NCAA All-American Maya Pressley are among the big-name high jumpers Tindall will compete against. Tindall is one of six current collegians among the 15 qualifiers; the women’s high jump is set for Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Eastern.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to make it,” said Tindall, who is equally impressive in the classroom with a 3.689 grade-point average. “Just hearing the news that I qualified and that I would be traveling to Eugene, Oregon, was special. I am very excited, can’t wait to compete this weekend and represent the College of Charleston.”
In May, Tindall became the fifth-ever track and field student-athlete in school history to compete at NCAA Prelims. Going into nationals, she was tied for 12th in the East region with her school-record outdoor mark (1.83m).
As far as preparation, Tindall is treating the USA championships like any other meet. During the indoor season for the Cougars, she improved her baseline and placed second at the prestigious ECAC Indoor Championships in the high jump (1.84m). During the outdoor season, she won the high jump event at the UCS Invitational (1.70m) on Feb. 21 and at the 2015 UNF Spring Break Invitational (1.78m) on March 28. She capped the season off by placing 18th with a mark of 1.75 meters at NCAA East Prelims in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I’ve been practicing every day,” she said. “This is a huge track meet with Olympians and professionals. I’m just trying to have a great experience – go out there and do what I do, jump, and hope for the best.”
The USATF Outdoor Championships will be broadcast live from TrackTown USA on Universal Sports from 3-4 p.m. (ET) and on NBC from 4 to 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. U.S. athletes look to earn spots on the 2015 IAAF World Championships team set for Aug. 22 to 30 in Beijing, as well as on the Pan Am Games, Thorpe Cup, Pan Am Juniors and NACAC Championships teams.