Dodson, Medina & 4x100 Head To Nationals
AUSTIN, Texas - University of Colorado senior Jeremy Dodson is heading to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in the 200-meter dash and as a member of the men's 4x100-meter relay.
Richard Medina also qualified for the national championship in the 5,000-meter run on Saturday night at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Championship at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Dodson had a busy, but exciting day on the track. He started off in the quarterfinals of the men's 4x100 relay. Along with Kyle MacIntosh and his brothers, Quinton Dodson and A.J. Whitaker, the quartet posted their best time of the season at 39.91 seconds, the eighth fastest time ever by a CU relay. It was the third best time of the heat, coming in behind UCLA (39.43) and Baylor (39.55). The third-place finish earned the squad an automatic bid to the national championship June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore.
"I'm so proud of the relay," assistant coach Drew Morano said. "The relay came here ranked 16th and ran a great race in a very tough heat. These guys have been working hard all season and I'm excited to see their work pay off."
Morano was not the only one pleased with the performance of the relay as head coach Mark Wetmore said it was the most exciting thing of the day for CU and that he was proud of them for getting through with such a great time.
After the 4x100, Dodson came back to win the second heat of the 200-meter dash quarterfinals with a season-best 20.40. The time is the second fastest by a Buff (the record of 20.37 was set by Dodson in 2008) and was the second best time recorded during the quarterfinal.
Dodson took the lead from the gun and had a good jump on the field as he rounded the turn into the home stretch. He didn't let up and handily won the heat as the runner-up, TCU's Charles Silmon, had a time of 20.58. Texas A&M's Curtis Mitchell had the best time in the field at 20.23.
"I'm very proud of how Jeremy came back yesterday in the 200 after not qualify for the 100," Morano said. "He came back again today and ran a pair of great races. Jeremy is such a strong competitor and even though I know he was disappointed, he showed a great deal of strength and maturity in his races."
Wetmore was also very pleased with Dodson's 200 race.
"We knew all along that he was one of the strongest guys in this region, but it's a very strong region and any mistakes can be fatal," Wetmore said. "He ran a really nice time. This was his fastest non-elevation time. And in hot, muggy and slow conditions no less, which make the air harder to push through. It was a real, real good run for Jeremy. He gets the star of the day for us."
Dodson is excited about the position he put himself in by advancing in the 200 and even looks at yesterday's let down in the 100 as a blessing in disguise.
"I am very blessed to be where I am," he said. "I had to trust the Lord to be patient through this season, not having many races to tune up. It turned out to be very beneficial, as I am healthier and thus stronger. It seemed today as everything played out in my favor, not having made the finals [in the 100] allows me to be well suited to run just the 200 at nationals.
"For the 4x1 to make it was all on the other three legs. They had to have wanted it for me to even play a role in the race. It is their nationals now and I'm just a tour guide. Today really showed their character as they each came to their first regional and stepped up dramatically, rising to be the future starts they are."
Richard Medina ran a solid race in the first section of the men's 5k. He finished fourth in the heat with a time of 14:02.30. Medina was always very close to the front of the pack and never let the leader get out of his sight. With 2 kilometers left, he made sure that he was in the top eight, but his big move came with two laps to go. Medina charged to fourth place and started to push the leaders. He moved into third for a short while in the last lap, but ultimately finished fourth. Northern Arizona's David McNeill won the race in 13:59.30, which was also the fastest time of the night.
"Richard looked really strong today," Wetmore said. "He was smart and the pace of the race was slow. He waited and made it through automatically. He seemed to come on strong in the last couple of laps and once you are in the top five that is all that matters."
Aldo Vega ran a good race as well and was typically on Medina's shoulder throughout most of the race. Vega ended up 15th overall with a time of 14:14.87. He just missed out as the top 12 moved on to nationals.
"It was a real good run for Aldo," Wetmore said. "We are proud of him though and are glad that he joined us this season."
Andy Wacker also ran in the first section and took 30th overall (14:40.40). Jordan Kyle, who was running in his final race as a Buff, led in the middle of the race and dropped out with a couple of laps remaining.
Joe Bosshard and Matt Tebo ran in the second heat of the 5k although neither advanced to nationals. Bosshard had a nice race and was running in the lead pack for almost the entire race. He didn't quite have enough left in the tank at the end when everyone was making their final sprint to the finish, partially due to the fact that he had run a 10k less than 48 hours earlier. Bosshard's time of 14:21.04 earned him a 17th-place finish overall.
Dane Chobanian was the only Buff to compete in the field events. He ended up 39th in the discus with a throw of 155 feet, 11 inches.
"It wasn't his best day in the circle, but we are proud that he made it here," Wetmore said. "He is a freshman eligibility wise and this will serve him well in his three years to come."
The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship is June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore. The Buffs qualified five individuals and the 4x100 relay.
NCAA WEST PRELIMINARY
Austin, Texas (Mike A. Myers Stadium)
Men's 4x100-Meter Relay: (1. Texas A&M, 39.05) 8. Colorado (Whitaker/Q.Dodson/MacIntosh/J.Dodson), 39.91
Men's 200-Meter Dash (quarterfinals): (1. Curtis Mitchell, Texas A&M, 20.23) 2. Jeremy Dodson, 20.40
Men's 5,000-Meter Run (semis): (1. David McNeill, Northern Arizona, 13:59.30) 7. Richard Medina, 14:02.30; 15. Aldo Vega, 14:14.87; 17. Joe Bosshard, 14:21.04; 27. Matt Tebo, 14:38.09; 30. Andy Wacker, 14:40.40
Men's Discus (prelims): (1. Julian Wruck, Texas Tech, 192-07) 39. Dane Chobanian, 155-11