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Twenty-Three Buffs Qualify For NCAA Preliminary Round

May 21, 2015

BOULDERG - Twenty-three University of Colorado athletes, 12 men and 11 women, have qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Preliminary round, which will be held at two sites next week ahead of next month's NCAA Championships.

The Buffaloes will compete in the NCAA West Preliminaries, May 28-30, in Austin, Texas at the Mike A Myers Stadium. The 23 Buffaloes qualified for a total of 29 events, including the women's 4x400-meter relay.

Leading the way are seniors Sara Sutherland, who is seeded No. 2 in the west in the 1,500-meter run, and Blake Theroux, seeded fifth in the steeplechase, juniors Morgan Pearson (No. 3 seed), Pierce Murphy (No. 5 seed) and Ammar Moussa (No. 6 seed), all in the 5,000, and redshirt freshman Erin Clark, the No. 6 seed in the steeplechase.

Sutherland ran 4:13.56 for a second place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, while Theroux ran his personal best of 8:43.77 early this season at the Stanford Invitational. Pearson (13:36.22) and Moussa (13:41.87) ran their best times at Mt. SAC Relays and Murphy clocked in at 13:37.05 at the Stanford Invitational. Murphy and Moussa will also be racing in the 10k; Murphy has the 11th fastest time (28:52.70), while Moussa is 38th (29:34.28). Clark, another double-qualifier, ran 10:02.16 to win the Pac-12 steeplechase title and is also ranked sixth in the 5k after clocking a 15:57.54 effort.

Two other Buffs will be competing in a pair of events. Junior Maddie Alm will race in the 1,500 (4:18.84) and 5k (16:14.97), and Abby Levene has advanced in the 5k (15:59.55) and 10k (34:14.20).

The other seven women qualifiers, their events and best times or mark are: senior Lindsy Mattson, 400-meters (54.20), junior Abrianna Torres, long jump (21-01),  redshirt freshmen Ana Holland, 200-meters (23.61 - converted for altitude) and Annie Kelly, 10,000 (34:23.60), and freshmen Kaitlyn Benner, 5,000 (16:15.79), Mackenzie Caldwell, 10,000 (34:39.01) and Val Constien, steeplechase (10:28.08). The women's 4x400 relay (Mattson, Holland, freshman Tashay Brown and junior Eileen Gehring) recorded a time of 3:39.03 to advance to the preliminary round with a No. 17 seed.

The men have qualified eight others. They, along with their events and best qualifying efforts are: seniors Jake Hurysz, 1,500-meters (3:42.56) and Alex Kizirian, hammer throw (212-4), junior Connor Winter, steeplechase (8:48.93), sophomores Austin Mitsch, 200-meters (21.03), Ben Saarel, 1,500-meters (3:41.85) and Jaron Thomas, 110-hurdles (14.26) and redshirt freshmen Zach Perrin, 1,500 (3:43.00) and Adam Peterman, steeplechase (8:48.68).

Live results and a live video stream are available at texassports.com on the track and field page. The top 12 athletes in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships June 10-13 in Eugene, Ore.