ENMU qualifies pair of athletes for nationals

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Senior Zach Gerleve and junior Kyle Harris will become Eastern New Mexico University’s first representatives in NCAA Division II national track competition.

The meet is May 24-26 at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.

Gerleve, from Truth or Consequences, was the No. 17 qualifier out of 18 in javelin competition. His season-best throw of 200 feet came at the New Mexico State Spring Classic.

Harris, from Altamonte Springs, Fla., was 14th out of 18 qualifiers in triple jump, making it to nationals with a season-best jump of 49-4 in Angelo State’s David Noble Relays in San Angelo, Texas.

Both compete on the final day of the meet, with Harris jumping at 9:30 a.m. and Gerleve throwing at 3:30 p.m. (MDT).

Fifth-year coach Eric Boll said Gerleve has been close to being selected for nationals in recent years, having made the NCAA’s “provisional” qualifying standard. The provisional mark is 195 feet, while the automatic qualifying mark is 218 feet, Boll said.

“Zach’s been on a list (of possible qualifiers) every year,” Boll said. “I told him yesterday, ‘Hey, man, they’ve got to be tired of seeing your name on that list.’”

ENMU restarted its program in the 2002-03 school year under Boll. The school competed at the NAIA level, winning national titles in 1974 and 1976, before disbanding the program in the early 1980s.