BRADENTON, Fla.— Carson-Newman was well represented at day two of the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships as three of the four athletes who made the voyage to the Sunshine State competed on the day with Tanner Stepp (Jefferson City, Tenn.) claiming a top-five finish in the men's high jump and Kevin Snead (Richmond, Va.) qualifying for the finals round of the men's 200 meter dash.
The Eagles other participant on the evening was Tiana Mills (Chattanooga, Tenn.) in the women's triple jump.
Snead took part in the second of two events the junior is competing in on the weekend at the Outdoor Championships as the sprinter qualified for the finals round of the 200 meter dash with a fourth-best time of 20.91 seconds in the preliminary race.
Coming into the race, Snead's fastest time in the event came at the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic on April 22 where the Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year posted the nation's sixth-best time of 20.75 seconds.
The Richmond, Va. native will compete again Saturday evening as Snead embarks in the final sectors of both the 100 and 200 meter dashes beginning at 6:35 and 7:45 p.m.
"Kevin ran in the fastest heat of the 200 meter prelims and was third in heat and fourth overall," Needs said. "He ran against some people who were getting it done today. Being fourth going into the final round is a good position to be in. Tomorrow is Snead's day and we can wait for it to get here."
Competing in Outdoor Championships for the second time in as many years, Stepp finished fourth overall with a 2.13 meter mark in the men's high jump. The sophomore surpassed his 2.10 meter leap from a season ago in the Outdoor Championships on his way to his fourth-career All-American season presented by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Jefferson City, Tenn. native cleared the opening height of 2.00 meters on his first attempt before needing all three tries to secure the next two marks of 2.05 and 2.09 meters. Stepp would then clear the 2.13 meter placement with ease on his first attempt before falling at what would have been a career-high of 2.16 meters on all three attempts.
Prior to tying his season's mark, Stepp's high on the year came at the Aggie Last Chance Meet where the sophomore leaped 2.13 meters in the event to get the four-time all-region performer to No. 4 in Division II.
"With Tanner today, he certainly had his struggles at times with some early misses but the mark of a great athlete is to take something negative and make it a positive at the right time and he did that today," Needs said. "At one point he was 16th and stayed calm, persevered and climbed all the way up to finish fourth. We are so proud of him."
Mills was C-N's lone woman representative Friday evening as the junior placed 21st-overall in the women's triple jump. The four-time Southeast Region selectee leaped 11.89 meters on her first and third jump before fouling on her fourth attempt.
Prior to Thursday's competition, Mill's jumped her way into the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a 12.13 meter leap on her final attempt at the Aggie Last Chance Meet on May 15. This year marks the first NCAA Championship Mills qualified for.
"Tiana had the second-best jump of her career against a strong field," Needs said. "She did well with some really strong girls out there today and again we are proud of her and what she has accomplished this season."
Stay in tune with Snead as the sprinter races for an individual national championship at the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday afternoon by viewing the live stream and watching the live results here. Fans are also encouraged to follow @CN_Track on twitter for all Carson-Newman updates.
Kevin Snead: 200 meter Prelims: 6th- 20.91 seconds
Tiana Mills: Triple Jump: 21st- 11.89 meters
Tanner Stepp: High Jump: 4th- 2.13 meters