Rainer ready for first career trip to NCAA Championships
James Rainer begins competition at NCAAs on Thursday.
James Rainer begins competition at NCAAs on Thursday.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 6, 2006) - Senior James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.) will cap his career as a member of the ETSU track and field team in grand fashion this week, running in the NCAA Championships, set for June 7-10, in Sacramento, Calif.  Rainer will take on a talented 100-meter field, entering the meet as the 10th-fastest participant in the 27-athlete competition with a career-best mark of 10.16 seconds.

           

Rainer, a four-time Atlantic Sun Athlete of the Week, has had quite the senior campaign for the Bucs, leading the ETSU troops to the A-Sun Indoor Championships in February, with wins in both the 60- and 200-meter dashes on his way to being named Track Athlete of the Championship. 

           

The senior also shined at the Outdoor Conference Championships, taking gold medals in both the 100 and 200, while also anchoring the 4x100-meter team to victory.

           

The Alcoa, Tenn., native finished sixth in the NCAA Mid-East Regional Championships on May 27, clocking a time of 10.37 in the final round.  With the top five finishers in each event earning automatic bids to the NCAA Championships, Rainer was able to secure an at-large invitation, thanks to his lifetime-low time of 10.16 in the preliminary heats.

           

Rainer has managed a handful of event wins this outdoor season, including victories at Raleigh Relays, Vanderbilt Invitational, and Western Carolina Invitational. 

           

Rainer is the first Buccaneer to qualify for the NCAA Championships since the 2000 season, when past ETSU great Catherine Berry put a stamp on an outstanding career, placing eighth in the 5,000-meters in 16:18.03, good for All-America honors.

           

Former Buc star Jeff Horton is the last ETSU All-American in the sprinting events after taking ninth place in the 55-meter dash at the 1995 Indoor Championships.  The top eight finishers in each event, as well as the top eight Americans in each event receive All-America status.

           

Rainer will begin competition at NCAAs with the 100 qualifying rounds, on Thursday at 3:50 p.m. PST.  The competition continues on Thursday night, with the semi-finals kicking off at 5:35 p.m. PST.  The 100 finals are set for Saturday, at 12:42 p.m. PST.    

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