Pac-12 Track & Field athletes head to Austin for NCAA West Prelims
SAN FRANCISCO - Nearly 400 Pac-12 men's and women's track & field student-athletes will compete at the 2017 NCAA West Preliminaries May 25-27 at the University of Texas’ Myers Stadium with their sights set on qualifying for the NCAA Championships to be held next month at Oregon's historic Hayward Field.
A complete list of men’s and women’s competitors representing Pac-12 institutions, as well as schedule of events and live results at the NCAA West Regional are available at http://www.rtspt.com/ncaa/d1outdoor17/.
Additionally, Texas will provide live streaming of the prelims with daily links available on its headquarters site.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFICATION
Qualifying to the NCAA final championships competition is accomplished through performance at the regional (East and West) competitions for events contested at those competitions. Twelve competitors from each individual events and 12 teams from each relay event advance from each regional to the final championships in Eugene. Qualifcation through competition in an event at the regional meets is required to participate in that event at the final national championships. The NCAA East Regional is being hosted by the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.
Heptathletes and decathletes who have achieved qualifying marks received an automatic bid into the national championships in those events. There is no multis competition at the regional meets.
NCAA WEST PRELIMS - MEN'S PREVIEW
More than 130 men’s athletes and eight relay teams from the Pac-12 are slated to compete at the NCAA West Preliminaries Round May 25-27 at University of Texas’ Myers Stadium.
In total, the Pac-12 will boast 163 men’s event entries at the West Prelims (155 individual, eight relays), with No. 20 nationally ranked UCLA leading the way as a team with 28 (27 plus one relay). No. 5 ranked and 11-time defending Pac-12 team champion OREGON is second with 23 (22 + 1 relay) and No. 14 USC third with 20 (18 + 2 relays).
Four Pac-12 athletes are ranked in the top 5 in the country in their respective events, highlighted by OREGON’s Edward Cheserek in the 5,000-meter run (2nd) and ARIZONA’s Bailey Roth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (2nd), a standard he set at the Pac-12 Championships on May 13. COLORADO’s Ben Saarel is fourth in the 1,500m and UCLA’s Dotun Ogundeji is fifth in the shot put.
An additional 17 Pac-12 athletes, as well as a 4x100 relay team, have posted marks in the top 10 in the nation this season, including Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Meet Kyree King of OREGON (200m) and Pac-12 Field Athlete and Freshman of the Year Isaiah Holmes of UCLA (high jump). Defending NCAA high jump national champ Randall Cunningham of USC also appears on that list.
However, Cheserek will be notably absent from the list of Pac-12 competitors as he will not compete at Prelims due to a lower back strain and therefore will miss qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Cheserek, whose last competitive collegiate race was a victory in the 10,000-meter run at the Pac-12 Championships on May 13, will finish his career with 17 individual national titles (14 track & field, 3 cross country), the most of any T&F/XC athlete in NCAA history.
In addition to the entries for the West Prelims, OREGON decathletes Mitch Modin and Joe Delgado are among the 24 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Modin and Delgado finished 1-2 in the Pac-12 decathlon to secure 18 points for the Ducks’ title total.
NCAA WEST PRELIMS - WOMEN'S PREVIEW
More than 150 women’s athletes and eight relay teams from the Pac-12 are slated to compete at the NCAA West Preliminaries Round May 25-27 at University of Texas’ Myers Stadium.
In total, Pac-12 athletes will boast 180 women’s event entries at the West Prelims (172 individual, eight relays), with No. 1 nationally ranked and nine-time defending Pac-12 team champion OREGON leading the way as a team with 31 (29 plus two relays). No. 4 USC (20 + 2 relays) and No. 20 STANFORD (22 + 1 relay) are tied for second with 22. No. 18 WASHINGTON is close behind with 19 event entries (18 + 1 relay), while No. 19 ARIZONA STATE has 11 event entries, highlighted by Bowerman Award candidate and Pac-12 Women’s Field Athlete of the Year Maggie Ewen.
Ewen is the current national leader in the hammer, while fellow Bowerman Award candidates Deajah Stevens and Raevyn Rogers of OREGON also pace the country in the 200m and 800m, respectively, with Stevens tying the world’s fastest 200 this season and the second-fastest in NCAA history. ARIZONA’s Sage Watson is the leader in the 400m hurdles and OREGON has the nation’s best 4x400 relay mark and tied for the top 4x100 relay time.
In addition to those national standards, WASHINGTON’s Amy-Eloise Neale leads the West in the 1,500 and STANFORD’s Mackenzie Little is the West’s best in the javelin.
All tallied, Pac-12 athletes boast 46 marks in the top 10 in the NCAA so far this season (39 individual events, seven in relays).
Along with the entries for the West Prelims, WASHINGTON STATE’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson and OREGON STATE’s Kara Hallock both qualified for the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships meet. Brooks-Johnson won her second Pac-12 decathlon crown on May 7, while Hallock set a personal-best to finish second.
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