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Ryan, Johnsen Advance to Finals

Jun 9, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – The Washington State Track & Field program saw the success of the outdoor season continue at the NCAA Championships from Eugene, Oregon at Hayward Field Wednesday evening.  

The men's 1500-meter race started the day for the Cougars at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships as two competitors from Washington State, Paul Ryan and Zach Stallings would be in action. Both Cougs would be running during heat number two in the race, looking to secure a spot in the finals as the top 12 to qualify advanced to the finals on Friday. Ryan and Stallings each started the race solid, with Paul holding down a second and third place spot throughout most of the event. Stallings found himself a bit behind the competition as the race progress but continued to hold strong heading into the final stretch.

Ryan ultimately went on to qualify for the finals, finishing third in the heat, and ninth overall with a time of 3:39.12. Stallings would cross the finish line in ninth overall in the heat, which in turn led to a 20th overall finish in the event with a time of 3:44.08 as well and earned himself an All-American Honorable Mention. Paul will now prepare to run once again this Friday, June 11 as he competes in the finals of the 1500m event, set for a 5:11 p.m. start time from Hayward Field.
"I felt very good throughout the race and stuck to the game plan of trying to stick in the top three for the entirety of the race," Paul Ryan discussed. "Grateful to be able to get a chance to run for a NCAA Championship on Friday evening."

Colton Johnsen was up next for Washington State in the 3000-meter steeplechase, which proved to be even more challenging as a bit of rain began to make its way to Eugene. Johnsen provided an incredible performance in a heat that was loaded with talent, as he ran in the top five throughout nearly all this race. Colton continued to run at a great pace late into the race, crossing the finish line with a time of 8:32.11 overall, a new personal best and a time that now ranks seventh all-time in WSU history. Johnsen placed sixth overall in the heat and in the event combined as well and now looks to the finals which will be held Friday, June 11 at 5:24 p.m.

"I felt good throughout the race," said Colton Johnsen. "It's a little bittersweet to be so close to making the Olympic trials standard of 8:32.00. I'm excited for the final and look forward to representing WSU in one of the best NCAA fields ever."
Sam Brixey capped off the day for the Cougars in the 110-meter hurdles where Brixey too would have to battle the elements with the rain continuing in spurts during the NCAA Championships. Sam began the race with a solid overall start, but just could not keep that pace of that of the top two runners in heat number three who posted times of 13.47 and 13.57 overall. Brixey posted a final time of 13.82 for a sixth-place finish, which led to a 14th overall finish in the nation in the event, and he earned himself Second Team All-American honors as well. 

1500m – Semifinals:  Paul Ryan – 3:38.87 (10th) – Q; Zach Stallings – 3:44.08 (20th)
110m Hurdles – Semifinals:  Sam Brixey – 13.82 (14th)
3000m Steeplechase – Semifinals:  Colton Johnsen – 8:32.11 (6th), PR – Q



Washington State Track & Field will return to action tomorrow, Thursday, June 10 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as Stephanie Cho will compete in the 400-meter hurdles for the Cougars. Cho will look to run at Hayward Field in the semifinals beginning at 5:30 p.m. (PT).

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