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T&F NCAA Championships Preview

Jun 7, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University Track and Field program now looks ahead to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships where eight Cougars will compete against the best in the country at Eugene, Oregon. 
University of Oregon will serve as host of the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships beginning Wednesday, June 9, and will run through Saturday, June 12. The four days of competition will take place at Hayward Field and feature the nation's top student-athletes in their respective events. 

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.
Charisma Taylor continued to show why she is one of the best in Washington State Track & Field history, as she had yet another incredible outing in the triple jump. Taylor began the event with the only jump she would need, posting a mark of 44-feet 8 3/4 inches (13.63m). That jump would break her own WSU record in the triple jump as well, and she would not need to attempt another as she punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships.

Stephanie Cho continued her impressive outdoor season in the 400-meter hurdles as she wrapped up day two at the NCAA West Preliminaries for the Cougars. Cho ran a 58.61 overall to win heat number four and advance into the quarterfinals. Stephanie continued her dominance in a Cougar uniform, as she would end up with a seventh overall finish during the quarterfinals and earn a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Cho recorded a time of 57.75, a personal best for her, and that mark sees her jump up to fourth all-time in Washington State Track & Field history as well.
Suzy Pace punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in the high jump in dramatic fashion. Pace posted an official mark of 5-feet 9 3/4 inches (1.77m), tying her person best, and then went on to outlast the competition in an intense jump-off, which lead her to secure the number 12 spot in the event and advance herself to Eugene. 

The 1500-meter duo of Paul Ryan and Zach Stallings continued their impressive 2021 campaign as each qualified for the event quarterfinals at the NCAA West Prelims. Ryan went on to win heat number two with a time of 3:44.93 and finish sixth overall in the first round of the 1500-meter race. Stallings would advance as well in the event, posting a time of 3:45.43 and finishing second in heat number four. Paul and Zach will now look ahead to the quarterfinals of the 1500m run which will take place Friday, May 28 at 3:45 p.m. PT. The men's 1500-meter got the day started for the Cougars as the duo of Paul Ryan and Zach Stallings were in action in heat number one. Ryan and Stallings both punched their tickets to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Championships as well. Ryan posted a second-place overall finish with a time of 3:38.87, just behind the leader from Oregon who finished with a time of 3:38.29. Stallings turned in an equally impressive performance with a fifth-place overall finish, recording a personal best in the event with a time of 3:39.32, which sees Zach remain at sixth best all-time in Washington State history also.

Colton Johnsen furthered his success during the 2021 outdoor season as he punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase. During the West Prelims Johnsen ran in the top three throughout the entire race, as the only other competitors were just a second or less ahead. Colton continued to run at an incredible pace during this race's entirety as he would clock a time of 8:39.99, a personal best for him, which would result in a seventh overall finish, and the opportunity to run in the finals at Eugene.
Sam Brixey continued his dominance in the 110-meter hurdles this outdoor season as he qualified for the quarterfinals in the event at the NCAA West Prelims with a time of 13.72 overall. Brixey knocked out this solid overall time in heat number one and beat out multiple top runners of other heats in the 110-meter hurdles. Sam continued to his successful fun as he too qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene during the quarterfinals at the West Prelims. Brixey not only posted an incredible time of 13.70 overall during the race, but that mark moves him up to seventh all-time in Washington State Track & Field history as well.
Mitch Jacobson began day three of the West Prelims with a bang as he punched his ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the high jump event. Jacobson cleared the first height with ease at 6-feet 7 inches (2.01m). Mitch then missed the first jump on the following two heights of 6-feet 9 inches (2.06m) and 6-feet 11 inches (2.11m) but recovered and cleared them both during jump two of each of those rounds. He then cleared the height of 7-feet 1 inch (2.16m) during attempt number one and turned his sights to the next. Jacobson was close but ultimately could not make the clearance of 7-feet 2 1/4 inches (2.19m), which would have been a new personal best for him as well. Mitch finished in 12th place overall which saw him qualify and advance to the NCAA Championships at Eugene, Oregon which will be held June 9-12 at Hayward Field.
"It's been an exciting year, and certainly have never seen a year like this ever," head coach Wayne Phipps said. "To have as many as we have going to Eugene is pretty incredible, eight individual entries, the most we've had in a long, long time is a testament to the work and the dedication that this group has put in, but also the support that they have received over the last year, coming from our medical staff to our administration, who have really gone above and beyond to provide these opportunities, and these kids have taken full advantage and have competed unbelievably well all year long."
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Fans can follow each day of the action at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Click here for live results.

Be sure to catch all of the the NCAA Outdoor Championship action at Hayward Field from Eugene, Oregon with a full broadcast schedule below: