Pac-12 Track & Field punches tickets, takes names at NCAA West Prelims
Survive and advance is the name of the game at this point for NCAA Track & Field. Thursday marked the first day of the NCAA Preliminary Rounds, where it gets determined who punches their ticket to the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
The top 48 declared student-athletes are accepted into preliminary competition, then the top 12 student-athletes from each Preliminary Round site — East and West — will compete in Eugene. All twelve Pac-12 institutions compete in the West Preliminary. The heptathlon and decathlon are not contested in the prelims, so those accepted student-athletes have already been determined.
On this first day, only certain field events and the 10,000m sent folks to Eugene. The rest of the events have another round beforing determining who takes the trip June 6.
Alrighty, now that we’ve got that out of the way — here’s how day one action shook out for our 12 universities:
Alyssa Thompson already earned her spot on the line at the national championships (seven times over) in the heptathlon. She’s still waiting to find out which Wildcats will be on that plane with her, but teammate Tatum Waggoner has a chance in Friday’s 400-meter, which she advanced to with a 53.15-second lap.
Collins Kibet will attempt to be one of the 12 fastest two-lappers on Friday after advancing to the determining round in 1:50.28. Carlos Villarreal will run 700 meters farther on Saturday after advancing in the 1500m (3:46.02).
It’s Maggie’s world and we’re just living in it. The NCAA record-holder advanced easily in the shot put, winning the event by nearly two meters with a 19.16m (62 feet, 10 inches) best throw. Maggie Ewen will be joined by teammate Samantha Noennig in the same event, who advanced with a 16.14m (52 feet, 11 inches) best throw.
On the track, Alethia Marrero cruised a 2:08.34 in the 800-meter to secure her spot in the next round on Friday.
Silviu Bocancea punched his ticket to Historic Hayward Field, throwing a personal-best 64.65m (212 feet, 1 inch) in the hammer throw to finish fourth overall. That mark also puts him at No. 3 all-time in Golden Bear history.
"Running with the Buffaloes" took on a whole new meaning during the women's 10,000m at the NCAA West Prelims. Colorado saw three women punch their tickets to the NCAA Championships — all setting new personal bests in their events along the way. Makena Morley (32:28.58), Erin Clark (32:38.88), and Kaitlyn Benner (32:45.05) are all heading to Eugene with shiny new PBs in their arsenals.
Pac-12 Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year Ben Saarel ran a smart 1500m in 3:46.53 to advance to the next round on Saturday. Elissa Mann ran 2:08.16 over two laps for the Buffs to move on to Friday’s 800m competition.
The Ducks saw 23 student-athletes advance to the next round of action — with four personal bests along the way! Who says you can’t set a PB in prelims?
Freshman Keira McCarrell punched her ticket with a massive PB in the javelin, throwing 52.15m (171 feet, 1 inch — nearly five meters better than her previous best), to finish fifht overall in the West Prelims and claim the No. 4 all-time mark in Oregon history. Field event teammate Damarcus Simpson had a little wind at his back to help him fly to a new long jump PB of 8.22m (27 feet) and an event win in the preliminary round. Rhesa Foster joins Simpson in jumping back to Eugene, advancing with a 6.21m (20 feet, 4 inches) best jump. Alli Cash set the third PB of the day for the Ducks over 25 laps, taking the 12th and final NCAA Championships spot in 33:02.89.
Folks coming back this weekend with the intent to finalize their spot at the NCAA Champs: Sam Prakel, Reed Brown, Mick Stanovsek, Jessica Hull, and Katie Rainsberger in the 1500m; Sabrina Southerland and Susan Ejore in the 800m; Cameron Stone, Orwin Emilien, Joe Herrera, Makenzie Dunmore, Briyahna Desrosiers, Shae Anderson, and Vanessa D’Arpino (she’s the fourth PB!) in the 400m; and Cravon Gillespie, Ariana Washington, Jasmin Reed, and Lauren Rain Williams in the 100m.
Destiny Dawson is heading back to the Beaver State with a berth to the NCAA Championships. Dawson threw 49.93m (163 feet, 10 inches) in the javelin to secure the final spot in the event.
Nicole Goecke also held it down for the Beavers, advancing to the next round of the 800m in 2:07.84.
Pac-12 Javelin Champion Mackenzie Little let everyone know that her last name has nothing to do with how she throws. Little dominated the West Prelims competition, winning the javelin with a 57.19m (187 feet, 8 inches) best throw — nearly four meters better than the second place finisher.
Lena Giger is joining her throws teammate in Eugene, earning her spot in the shot put with a 17.03m (55 feet, 10 inches) best throw in the event for a fourth place prelims finish.
Pac-12 Decathlon Champion Harrison Williams already punched his ticket to the NCAA Champs to compete in those very same 10 events.
A pair of Card runners in Christina Aragon and Elise Cranny will toe the line in the next round of the 1500m, finishing in 4:23.01 and 4:25.67, respectively. Olivia Baker and male 800m counterpart Hari Sathyamurthy will also compete in the next round of their event, running 2:06.84 and 1:50.07 in Thursday's action. Isaiah Brandt-Sims rounds out the Card continuing competition, earning his spot in the next round of the 100m, finishing in 10.43.
Whoever tries to say the 10,000m isn’t exciting obviously didn’t watch Thursday's race. Robert Brandt took a pretty significant lead with many of the 25 laps to go, only to get caught by the chase pack with 200m to go. He hung on, though, squeezing in to the NCAA Championships in the event with an eighth place finish. Fewer than four seconds separated places 1-12.
Pac-12 Heptathlon runner-up Kendall Gustafson already has a ticket to Eugene in her seven-event specialty. Alyssa Wilson knows she’ll join Gustafson in Eugene, after punching her ticket in the shot put with a 16.22m (53 feet, 3 inches) best throw. Justin Stafford is also set to throw heavy stuff in Eugene. He made it through in the hammer throw with a 64.65m (212 feet, 1 inch) best throw.
Riley Kelly is among the Pac-12 men to make the next round of the 800m, running 1:50.42 in the initial round.
Lyndsey Lopes is just going to go ahead and qualify for all the events. Just kidding. Kind of. Lopes already earned a spot at the NCAA Championships in the heptathlon, and Thursday placed well enough to earn a bid in the high jump. She's joined by jumps teammate Madisen Richards, who qualified in the long jump with a second place preliminary finish in 6.21m (20 feet, 4 inches).
The Women of Troy are ranked No. 1 in the nation as of this writing and are favorites by a few to win the national title, so don’t expect to see that laundry list of qualifiers dwindle terribly much as the weekend wears on.
A duo of Utes repped the U during Thursday's action in the 800m. Caitie Faust made it out from the first round in 2:08.39 to compete in Friday’s NCAA determination.
Two Dawgs had their days at prelims, earning spots in the next round of the 400m hurdles. Morganne Hill ran a personal-best 58.65 to do so, while Hanna Tarleton was right behind her in 58.69 to earn hers.
Connor Morello will also see (at least) another day, running 1:50.60 to secure a spot in the next round of the 800m. Fellow middle-distancer Allie Schadler ran 4:23.44 in the 1500m to earn her spot in Saturday’s three and three-quarter lap fun.
Three-time Pac-12 Heptathlon Champion Alissa Brooks-Johnson will be chasing her 6,000-point goal in the event at the NCAA Champs. Brock Eager finished third overall for the hammer throw, punching his ticket to Eugene with a 68.64m (225 feet, 2 inches) best throw. Freshman and Pac-12 Pole Vault Champion Sander Moldau also advanced to the NCAA Championships in his event, jumping 5.15m (16 feet, 11 inches) to tie for ninth.
Chandler Teigen and Kaili Keefe, both 1500m runners, advance to the next round in the event, running 3:46.30 and 4:23.21, respectively. Shorter in distance, Stephanie Cho and Brooks-Johnson will compete in the next round of the 400m hurdles after running 58.90 and 59.49, respectively.
NCAA West Preliminaries continue Friday at 12 p.m. PT at Sacramento State University, livestreamed on FloTrack.
PAC-12 TRACK & FIELD - NCAA QUALIFIERS (THROUGH THURSDAY)
Maggie Ewen - Women's Shot Put
Samantha Noennig - Women's Shot Put
Silviu Bocancea - Men's Hammer
Makena Morley - Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Erin Clark - Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Kaitlyn Benner - Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Keira McCarrell - Women's Javelin
Damarcus Simpson - Men's Long Jump
Rhesa Foster - Women's Long Jump
Alli Cash - Women's 10,000-Meter Run
Destiny Dawson - Women's Javelin
Mackenzie Little - Women's Javelin
Jenna Gray - Women's Javelin
Lena Giger - Women's Shot Put
Justin Stafford - Men's Hammer
Alyssa Wilson - Women's Shot Put
Robert Brandt - Men's 10,000-Meter Run
Lyndsey Lopes - Women's High Jump
Madisen Richards - Women's Long Jump
Brock Eager - Men's Hammer
Sander Moldau - Men's Pole Vault
Men's Hammer (3)
Silviu Bocancea - CAL
Justin Stafford - UCLA
Brock Eager - WSU
Women's Javelin (4)
Mackenzie Little - STAN
Keira McCarrell - ORE
Jenna Gray - STAN
Destiny Dawson - OSU
Women's High Jump (1)
Lyndsey Lopes - USC
Women's Shot Put (4)
Maggie Ewen - ASU
Lena Giger - STAN
Alyssa Wilson - UCLA
Samantha Noennig - ASU
Men's Long Jump (1)
Damarcus Simpson - ORE
Men's Pole Vault (1)
Sander Moldau - WSU
Women's Long Jump (2)
Madisen Richards - USC
Rhesa Foster - ORE
Men's 10,000-Meter Run (1)
Robert Brandt - UCLA
Women's 10,000-Meter Run (4)
Makena Morley - COLO
Erin Clark - COLO
Kaitlyn Benner - COLO
Alli Cash - ORE
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