LA CROSSE, Wis. – Gallaudet University senior Darius Flowers (Birmingham, Ala.) was officially announced as part of the 2013 NCAA Division III men's and women's outdoor track and field championships by the NCAA Division III men's and women's track and field committee on Sunday. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse serves as this year's host for the national championships being held at the Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on May 23-25.
Flowers qualified for two events; the triple jump for a third straight year and the long jump for the first time. For each men's individual event contested, the top 20 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. The long jump will take place on Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. The triple jump is the first event on Saturday, May 25, at 12:35 p.m.
Flowers had the third best jump in the men's triple jump among Division III jumpers with a mark of 15.20 meters, a school record he set on May 12, at the Aggie Last Chance meet. He trails two jumpers from Wisconsin schools in seniors Marcus Smith from Wisconsin-Whitewater (16.13 meters) and Isaac Vazquez from Wisconsin-La Crosse (15.31 meters). Vazquez finished second last year at the national championships and won the event in 2011. Smith has finished seventh at the national championships for two straight years in this event. A fourth senior, Lukey Klintz from Wisconsin-Oshkosh is fourth (15.11 meters) as the quartet are the favorites in the event.
Flowers placed ninth last year at the national championships in the triple jump after placing sixth in 2011, where he earned All-American honors for being a top eight finisher.
Flowers is making his national championship debut in the long jump, an event he just started this season, as he is seeded No. 17 after he made a leap of 7.18 meters, a school record, on April 27, at the Paul Kaiser Classic. Vazquez, the defending champion in this event, is the No. 1 seed after he cleared 7.67 meters this season. He won last year's competition with a jump of 7.61 meters.