Pac-12 sends 138 to NCAA track & field championships
After three long days of competition in Austin, TX, the field is finally set for the 2015 NCAA outdoor track & field championships to be held June 10-13th at Hayward Field in Eugene. It was Oregon Ducks who ruled the roost of the Pac-12 schools, sending an astounding 45 student-athletes to nationals. In total, the Pac-12 is sending 138 individuals plus relay teams to the NCAA championships. Your team-by-team breakdown of the third and final day of events:
The Wildcats' 4x400m relay team punched its ticket to Eugene on Saturday, and broke its own Arizona record in doing so. Finishing sixth in 3:04.51 (the old record was 3:05.81 and stood since 1981), the quartet of junior Blake Eichler, senior Pete Lauderdale II, sophomore Bryce Houston and sophomore Miles Parish join the eight Track 'Cats that will head to Eugene next month.
Nine individuals and two relay squads will compete for ASU at nationals for a total of 11 student-athletes. Shelby Houlihan headlined Saturday for the Sun Devils, qualifying handily in both the women's 1,500m (first place, 4:13.27) and 5,000m (fifth place, 15:54.21). Redshirt freshman Magdalyn Ewen qualified in shot put, her second event (discus), with a throw of 16.06m to finish in seventh place. On the men's side, Cameron Taylor squeaked into the NCAA's by finishing 11th in the 100m hurdles at 13.77; a personal best for Taylor. Junior Josh Dixon will compete for the Devils in the triple jump, finishing in fourth at 15.80m.
Freshman Bethan Knights (5,000m) and junior Thomas Joyce (1,500m) round out the four Golden Bears who will compete at nationals next month. Knights finished seventh in his event at 16:02.49, a career-best, while Joyce finished 10th at 3:43.23.
The Buffs sent three more to Eugene on Saturday, for a grand total of seven CU student-athletes to appear at nationals. Senior Sara Sutherland (1,500m), sophomore Ben Saarel (1,500m) and junior Morgan Pearson (5,000m) held it down for the distance runners and advanced. Sutherland placed second in her event at 4:13.95, while Saarel and Pearson finished their events in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
It was the Ducks who won the day in Austin, sending a jaw-dropping 24 more student-athletes to nationals. This brings Oregon's grand total of student-athletes competing next month to 45. Headlining the Saturday showing for the Ducks were the women's 1,500m runners, who went four-for-four in qualifying, as well as the men's 1,500m runners, who advance three. Edward Cheserek led the four Oregon men who qualified in the 5,000m at 14:11.66, while Molly Grabill will run the women's 5,000m after finishing in 16:04.62. Three-sport dynamo Liz Brenner qualified after finishing sixth in the javelin with a toss of 48.31m. Check out GoDucks.com for a complete recap of Oregon's NCAA preliminaries showing.
Twelve Cardinal student-athletes are headed to Eugene after eight advanced in Saturday's action. Sophomore Dylan Duvio was the star of the day for the Stanford after claiming the pole vault at 17-6 ½. Three men and two women will advance in the 5,000m; Sean McGorty (13:53.10), Erik Olson (13:53.37) and Jack Keelan (14:06.60) on the men's side, and Jessica Tonn and Vanessa Frazier on the women's. Freshman Elise Cranny finished in fifth in the women's 1,500 at 4:19.38 to secure a place in TrackTown
UCLA rounded out the west regionals by sending two individuals and the women's 4x100m relay team to nationals. A total of 11 student-athletes will represent UCLA in Eugene. Senior Derek Eager finished fifth in the Javelin at 70.02m, while redshirt junior Lane Werley finished seventh in the 5k at 13:56.95.
Seven more individuals and three relay teams qualified for nationals for USC on Saturday, bringing USC to a total of 25 student-athletes headed for the NCAA championships. The men's and women's 4x100m relay teams advanced, as well as the women's 4x400 relay. Freshman Marquis Morris qualified in the men's 110m hurdles with a fourth-place, 13.77 finish, while freshman Ky Westbrook qualified in the women's 200m after finishing in third place at 23.22. Check out USCTrojans.com for a full breakdown of Saturday's action.
Three more Dawgs punched tickets for Eugene on Saturday, bringing the tally to seven in the NCAA's for UW. Curtis Clauson will represent in the javelin after throwing a formidable 72.75m; his best throw ever by more than 12 feet. In the 1,500m, it will be junior Izaic Yorks after he finished in third place at 3:42.99. Sophomore Maddie Meyers will run the women's 5,000m for UW after finishing in fourth place at 16:04.70.
Six more Cougs punched tickets to nationals on Day 3, for a grand total of 10 student-athletes advancing on the weekend. Both the women's 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams will be represented, with the 4x100m team finishing in 44.61 seconds for seventh place. The 4x400 team clocked in at 3:35.66 to finish 12th in Austin. Kyle Stevens finished 10th in Javelin at 67.47m to get to Eugene.
Stay with Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12.com for continuing coverage of the 2015 NCAA outdoor track & field championships.