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Freshman runner at NCAA championships

Derrius Rodgers made Illinois State University history as the first 60-meter runner to ever qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships held during the spring semester. He finished with a time of 6.77 in the preliminary round, missing the finals.

His time earned him Second Team All-American honors and capped an impressive year as a freshman from Lockport studying business management.

“To be a NCAA qualifier is not an easy task, especially indoors where it is only the top 16 in the country that qualify,” assistant coach Brenton Emanuel said. “Not very many people can say they have done that, especially as a true freshman.”

During the season Rodgers crushed a 21-year-old school record in the 60-meters with a time at 6.64, which he ran at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. He received All-MVC accolades in the 60- and 200-meter dash. He also ran a leg on the Valley champion 4×400-meter relay.

Rodgers captured the MVC Male Freshman of the Year Award and entered the national competition ranked 13th in the country.

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