EUGENE, Ore. – If there’s one thing Erica Bougard understands as well as anyone, it’s putting herself in position to win titles.
Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field, the sophomore from Byhalia, Miss., totaled 3,581 points in four of the seven heptathlon events to put herself second overall behind SEC champion Makeba Alcide of Arkansas (3,685).
Bougard, who won the NCAA indoor pentathlon title back in March, was in fifth place entering the 200-meter dash, but ran a personal-best time of 23.84 to climb to second in the standings.
In the other three events, she ran 13.37 in the 100-meter hurdles, leaped 5-08.75 in the high jump and threw 36-04 in the shot put. Friday, the heptathlon concludes with the long jump, triple jump and 800-meter run.
“She’s put herself in great position,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “To do what she did in the 200 is what a champion is all about.”
The only other events MSU competed in Thursday were the semifinals of the men’s and women’s 4x400. However, neither team qualified for Saturday’s finals.
The women’s foursome of Brittany Covington, Jody-Ann Muir, Ste’yce McNeil and Ocian Archer ran 3:52.77, while the men’s team of Tavaris Tate, Randy Patterson, Daundre Barnaby and Brandon McBride just missed on making the final eight as they posted a time of 3:06.17.
In addition to Bougard closing out the heptathlon on Friday, Muir will be competing in the finals of the 400-meter dash, while Marcus Jackson will be competing in the finals of the high jump. ESPNU will begin coverage of the championships starting at 6:30 p.m.