The St. Thomas Aquinas College Outdoor Men's Track & Field trio of Dante Brown, St. Jacob Diodonet and Rickssen Opont has qualified to compete in the NCAA Division II National Championships, which will be hosted by Texas A&M University - Kingsville and held at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas on May 23-25.
St. Jacob Diodonet (Sr./West Milford, N.J.) will be making his second appearance at the Outdoor National Championships in the 400 Meter Dash. This past weekend, in his final tune-up race before Texas at the University of Mount Olive Meet in North Carolina, Diodonet surpassed his personal best and hit the 15th fastest time in Division II, clocking in at 46.96. Saint was also named an All-East Region selection in the 100, 200, 400 Meter Dashes and 4x100 Meter Relay. St. Jacob will close out his collegiate career as one of the most decorated track & field athletes in the program's history, having taken part 6 National Championships (4 Indoor and 2 Outdoor). Diodonet is multiple time All-American, and will once again hold that distinction following yet another outstanding academic and athletic year at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
Rickssen Opont (RJr./Nyack, N.Y.) will be making his first appearance at Division II National Championships, competing in the Shot Put, where he finished 17th in the country with a throw of 17.67m (57-11.5). Opont finished 1st in the East Region with that mark and was also named to the All-Region honor roll. Rickssen hit his qualifying mark of 17.67m back in mid-March at the University of Miami Hurricane Invitational, while the team was on their week-long Spring Break Florida tour.
Like Rickssen, Dante Brown (So./Nyack, N.Y.) will also be making his National Championship debut, taking on Division II's best in the Long Jump, where he leaped 7.45m (24-5.5). Dante has the 19th best jump heading into the Lone Star State meet and was the top jumper in the East Region with that mark of 7.45m. Dante hit his qualifying mark of at the St. John's University Tom Farrell Classic on May 4. Dante was also named an All-Region selection in the Long Jump, as well as the 4x100 Meter Relay.