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Cougs See 23 Total Entries For NCAA West Prelims

May 20, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Track and Field program saw a total of 20 student-athletes qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary, as was announced Thursday.
Charisma Taylor qualified for multiple events at the NCAA West Preliminaries, in both the 100-meter hurdles and in the triple jump. Taylor posted a career-best in the 100m hurdles this season at the Pac-12 Championships with a time of 13.33 overall, a time that ranks second in WSU history. Taylor also posted a season-best in the triple jump at 44-feet 2 3/4 inches (13.48m) while competing at the West Coast Relays. 

Stephanie Cho enters the West Prelims ranked No. 16 overall in the 400-meter hurdles this season with a time of 58.16. Cho ran this time while competing at the Pac-12 Championships just a week ago. 

The Washington State women's high jump squad will send three student-athletes to compete at the NCAA West Preliminaries as Aislinn OverbySuzy Pace, and Kaylee Sowle will each jump at College Station, Texas. Overby enters as the top WSU high jumper at No. 13 with a career-best mark of 5-feet 11 1/4 inches (1.81m), and her clearance also ranks in a tie for ninth overall in WSU history. Pace ranks No. 30 overall with a career-best mark of 5-feet 9 3/4 inches (1.77m) and Sowle ranks No. 32 just behind her teammate at 5-feet 9 1/4 inches (1.76m). 

Neema Kimtai and Kaili Keefe each qualified in the 1500-meter event, with Kimtai being ranked No. 34 and Keefe ranked No. 45 in the west region. Kimtai posted a career-best time of 4:20.69 while running at the West Coast Relays at Fresno, Calif. where her time was the seventh best all-time in WSU history, but also, she set the WSU Freshman record in the event as well. Keefe posted a season-best of 4:23.55 at the West Coast Relays as well but will look to strive for her career-best of 4:15.39 which ranks second all-time in Cougar history. 

Carolina Ulloa-Daza qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in her debut season with WSU as she ranks No. 33 overall in the west in the hammer throw. Ulloa-Daza's career-best of 196-feet 9 inches (59.97m) occurred at the West Coach Relays and became the second-best mark in WSU history, and set a WSU Freshman record in the process as well. Emily Coombs qualified for the West Prelims in the pole vault after recording a career-best mark of 13-feet 3 inches (4.04m) at the UW v. WSU Dual. Coombs also vaulted her way into the WSU history books with the sixth best mark all-time. 

Kendra Sachse rounds of the finally Coug from the WSU women to qualify for the West Prelims, as Sachse will compete in the javelin and is ranked No. 23 in the west region. Kendra posted a career-best throw of 164-feet 6 inches (50.14m) in her debut season with Washington State which ranks fifth all-time in Cougar history as well. 

"We missed getting a few others into NCAAs by the narrowest of margins, despite them hitting marks that would have qualified in any other year," head coach Wayne Phipps discussed. "However, we are very excited about the group we do have going. All event areas are represented, and with several student-athletes ranked very high in the nation, we have set up ourselves very well to advance to the NCAA Finals at Eugene."

Paul Ryan and Zach Stallings each qualified for the 1500-meter run at the West Preliminaries, as both have continued to see success all season. Ryan enters the meet ranked No. 4 overall in the region with a time of 3:37.73, which is also ranked second all-time in Washington State history. Stallings is not far behind his Coug teammate, ranked No. 9 in the region at 3:39.44, a time that saw Zach jump up to sixth all-time in WSU history in the event as well.

Colton Johnsen qualified for multiple events at the West Prelims, in both the 5000-meter and the 3000-meter steeplechase. Johnsen currently ranks No. 17 in the region in the 5000m with a time of 13:39.54 this season, which was just shy of cracking into the WSU all-time top ten list. Colton's success in the 3000m steeple sees him ranked at No. 12 overall in the West, after posting a time of 8:42.80 at the West Coast Relays at Fresno, Calif.

The 110-meter hurdles duo of Sam Brixey and Nick Johnson qualified for the West Preliminaries as Brixey is ranked No. 13 and Johnson is ranked at No. 23 in the region. Brixey posted a season best time of 13.66w at the UW v. WSU Dual, which also saw him run into the WSU all-time list in the event for wind-aided marks. Sam's best non-wind aided is also 13.85 which he ran this season which is also tenth best all-time in Cougar history. Johnson enters the West Prelims with a season best 13.85 as well which he ran at the Pac-12 Championships. Nick is also currently ranked seventh all-time in WSU Track history in the event with a time of 13.77 he ran in 2019.

Ja'Maun Charles will compete in multiple events during the NCAA West Preliminaries as he will run in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Charles posted a season-best time of 10.40 in the 100m to rank No. 46 overall in the west region and a season-best of 21.08 in the 200m to rank No. 46 in the region as well.
John Kolb qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in his debut season as a Coug in the men's discus with a season-best 193-feet 6 inches (59.98m) and ranks No. 7 in the region. Mitch Jacobson enters the West Prelims ranked No. 13 overall in the region in the high jump, after posted a career-best mark of 7-feet 1 3/4 inches (2.18m) at the UW v. WSU Dual this season.
The Cougar men's javelin squad of Gabe Shouman and Alex Cielo each qualified for the West Preliminaries, ranking No. 36 and No. 42, respectively. Shouman enters with a career-best of 211-feet 7 inches (64.51m), and Cielo also posted a career-best during the 2021 campaign at 205-feet 10 inches (62.75m).

For each individual event contested at each of the Preliminary Round sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition.  For each relay event, the top 24 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. Combined events (Heptathlon and Decathlon) are not contested at the Preliminary Round sites. For combined events (Heptathlon and Decathlon), the top 24 declared student-athletes in each event based on their position on the national descending-order list will be accepted directly into the Championships.

Qualifying to the Championships site is accomplished through performance in the Preliminary Round competition. Twelve competitors from each individual event and twelve teams from each relay event advance from each Preliminary Round site.  The individual event student-athletes and relay teams accepted into Championship's competition based on their performance at Preliminary Round competition will be announced and posted on the week prior to Championship's competition.

Texas A&M University will serve as host to the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary round, beginning Thursday May 27, and will run through Saturday, May 29. The three days of competition will take place at E.B. Cushing Stadium and feature some of the nation's premier student-athletes. Qualifying individuals and teams will then advance to the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, traveling to Eugene, Oregon to compete inside Hayward Stadium June 9-12.


1500m:  Kaili Keefe, Neema Kimtai
100m Hurdles:  Charisma Taylor
400m Hurdles:  Stephanie Cho
High Jump:  Aislinn Overby, Suzy Pace, Kaylee Sowle
Pole Vault:  Emily Coombs
Triple Jump:  Charisma Taylor
Hammer:  Carolina Ulloa-Daza
Javelin:  Kendra Sachse

100m:  Ja'Maun Charles
200m:  Ja'Maun Charles
1500m:  Paul Ryan, Zach Stallings
5000m:  Colton Johnsen
110m Hurdles:  Sam Brixey, Nick Johnson
3000m Steeplechase:  Colton Johnsen
High Jump:  Mitch Jacobson
Discus:  John Kolb
Javelin:  Alex Cielo, Gabe Shouman


Washington State will now look ahead to the NCAA West Regional, held May 26-29 and will be located at College Station, Texas hosted by Texas A&M.

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