Ward places sixth to earn All-American status at NCAA D-1 Championships

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville senior La’Derrick Ward is an NCAA Division I All-American for the second year in a row.

Competing in the long jump at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field championships in Eugene, Ore., Ward had a top effort of 25-feet, 8-inches and placed sixth on Thursday at Heyward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

A former Cahokia High School standout, Ward placed fourth at the NCAA Championships a year ago.

Ward entered the NCAA finals with the second-best jump in the nation this year — 26-8 3/4. He accomplished the distance at the NCAA West Regional in Austin, Texas. Ward recently was named the Ohio Valley Conference Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

Pre-meet favorite Marquis Dendy, of the University of Florida ,won the title with a leap of 27-8. Jarrion Lawson, of University of Arkansas was second with a leap of 27-4 1/2.

Adoree Jackson of the University, of Southern California, was fifth with a jump of 25-11 1/2. Jackson, a freshman at USC, attended Belleville East as a freshman and competed for the Lancers track team four years ago before moving to Southern California following his freshman year.

Hemann in 10th in the heptathlon

Looking to end her collegiate career on a positive note, Hemann used solid performances in the high jump and shot put during the first day of the seven-event heptahlon to sit in 10th place heading into the final three events, the long jump, javelin and 800 meters.

The Texas A & M record holder in the heptathlon when she posted 6,002 points at the Texas Relays in March, Hemann has 3,423 points after the first day and trails leader Akela Jones, of Kansas State, by 570 points. Jones has 4,023 points, 219 more than second-place Kendall Williams, of the University of Georgia.

Hemann came into the competition seeded eighth, after placing 14th as a junior.

In 21st place after posting the 21st-best time in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 14.27 seconds, Hemann quickly climbed up the leaderboard in the next two events..

A four-time state champion in the high jump while at Central High School, Hemann cleared 5-7 1/4 in the high jump to take fifth place. She followed with a throw of 42-9 in the shot put, which ranked sixth.

Hemann capped her day by placing 16th in the 200 with a time of 24.91.