Add Roshunda Betts to the short list of All-Americans from Sam Houston State.

On Friday, Betts recorded a throw of 52.99 meters, or 173 feet, 10 inches, and finished fifth in the NCAA women’s javelin, becoming only the third Bearkat track and field athlete to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors.

The fifth-place finish stands as the highest individual national championships performance by a Sam Houston State athlete. The previous best was eighth place by Precious Madison in the long jump in 1999. Madison and hurdler Adrian Ray (in 2003) were the other two athletes to earn All-America honors in NCAA track and field.

Betts also competed in the women’s triple jump Friday, finishing 23rd. That event was held immediately after the javelin, and Betts’ top mark in the triple jump was 40 feet, 11 inches.

Entering the finals of the javelin with the second-best preliminary throw, Betts got off to a good start Friday. She fired out of the gate with a toss of 51.60 meters. On her second throw, she unleashed her best toss of the day.

Disappointing day at NCAAs for Tennessee’s Tyson

Cleo Tyson, a standout sprinter from Huntsville, failed to make the finals Friday in the women’s 200-meter dash.

A sophomore at Tennessee, Tyson finished sixth in her heat, running a time of 23.41 seconds, but that wasn’t good enough to qualify her for one of the nine spots in today’s finals.

Shalonda Solomon, a sophomore at South Carolina, turned in the fastest time in the semifinals of the 200. She ran a 22.66-second time in the second heat. LSU’s Kelly Ann Baptiste, also a sophomore, won the first heat in 22.74 seconds.

Tyson, who was third in the 200 a year ago, will now turn her attention toward the 100 meters, an event in which she placed second in 2005. She will run the finals of that event today at at 2:35 p.m. CST.

“I’m a little disappointed with Cleo,” Tennessee head coach J.J. Clark said. “We expected her to be in the finals; she’s not. We have to keep moving on. There’s no reason that I know of that she is not in the finals. She should recover and bounce back for tomorrow.”

Earlier Friday, Tennessee turned in its season-best performance in the 400-meter relay, but it only got the Lady Volunteers a sixth-place finish and three points.

Tyson teamed with senior Patricia Hall and sophomores Courtney Champion and Latonya Loche on the Lady Volunteers’ sprint-relay team, running a time of 43.68 seconds.

Anchored by senior Melanie Walker, Texas won the race in 42.84 seconds. LSU finished second in 42.94, Southern Cal took third (42.96) and South Carolina was fourth (43.09). Tennessee was edged by Auburn (43.46) for fifth.

Tyson takes one more shot at becoming a six-time All-American in the women’s 100 meters this afternoon. On Thursday night, she turned in the fourth-best time in the semifinals. An 11.35-second effort in the semifinal round propelled Tyson to her second consecutive NCAA 100-meter final.

In the first round of the 100, Tyson advanced to the semis with a fourth-place time of 11.50.

“The 100 this year is very deep, and it’s a quality field,” Clark said. “Cleo is a competitor, and I like that about her. She fights and scraps and finds a way to get it done. That’s what we have to do in this kind of meet.”

Some of today’s track action will be televised live on CBS from 2:30 to 5 p.m. CST.

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