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Gooding To Compete in NCAA Indoor Championships

March 5, 2001

Austin Peay's Sheena Gooding will compete 4 p.m., Friday, at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., hosted by the University of Arkansas.

The finals, composed of the top eight runners from Friday's preliminaries, will begin, 6:25 p.m., Saturday.

Gooding, a junior, is among the 20 participants invited to compete in the 800-meter run. Gooding's best time this season was recorded at Southern Illinois, Jan. 17, when she ran a time of 2:07.77. That time currently ranks 14th best this season among 800-meter indoor participants. Patricia Pearson and Natalie Watson, both of the University of Miami, have recorded the nation's top times at 2:06.25 and 2:06.33, respectively.

Austin Peay head women's track coach Elvis Forde believes Gooding, a three-time Ohio Valley Conference indoor 800-meter champion and first NCAA qualifier in Forde's 12-year career, is ready for the test.

"She has worked hard," said Forde. "This is something special. It will take a lot of determination and confidence because she will be running with the best." Although Gooding is ranked among the lower half of the field based on times this season, Forde looks for her best performance.

"Knowing Sheena, she is very capable of finishing at the top," said Forde. "She can run much faster than she has run so far this year. She has yet to be tested. It will be good for her."

Contributing Writer: Brad Kirtley