Big West Sends Five To NCAA Championships
Links associated with this release:
NCAA West Preliminary Page
Preliminary Round Schedule of Events | Thursday Results
Friday Meet Program | Live Scoring
Two long jumpers, two high jumpers and a pole vaulter punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships with qualifying marks at the West Preliminary in Sacramento, Calif. on Thursday.
Long Beach State teammates Jason Smith and Saladin Nasser finished fourth and ninth in the long jump competition at Hornet Stadium, respectively. The top 12 in the event qualify for the NCAA meet in Eugene, Ore. next month.
Smith earned a career-best mark of 25 feet, 6 inches to finish first in his flight. Nasser also achieved a personal-best with a clearance of 25-03.25.
In the high jump, two of the nation’s top women’s performers backed up their reputation with top 10 finishes. UC Davis junior Erinn Beattie and Hawai‘i sophomore Lily Lowe cleared 5-10.75 to move onto nationals. Beattie tied for fourth and Lowe tied for seventh with Beattie finishing higher based on less missed jumps.
UC Davis senior Marc Toney won his flight and placed fourth overall in the men’s pole vault. He tied with seven others with a top mark of 17-02.75 and ended up fourth based on number of misses.
Eight other Big West athletes inched closed to NCAA qualifying on Thursday, advancing out of the first round from their events.
Three women from the 400 hurdles moved to the quarterfinals as UC Santa Barbara junior Hope Bender finished 11th overall – and third in her heat – with a time of 58.60. CSUN senior Samantha Michell was fifth in her heat and 16th overall in 58.75, while Long Beach State freshman Shalee Reynolds was third in her heat and 26th overall in 59.50. The top three finishers in six heats plus the next six fastest times advanced to the quarterfinals. The trio will attempt to reach Eugene on Friday with their quarterfinal race at 7:15 p.m.
The women’s 1500 senior duo of UC Santa Barbara’s Jenna Hinkle and Faith Makau emerged from their respective races with qualifying times. Hinkle had the best overall finish of any Big West athlete – male or female – on Thursday with a second place showing. She completed the event in 4:20.07. Makau ran in a time of 4:24.27 to finish sixth in her heat and 19th overall. Both competitors will appear in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
UC Irvine senior Persis William-Mensah had one of the six fastest times not included in a top three heat finish, clocking 11.59 seconds in the women’s 100 meters to earn her place in the quarterfinals. She is set to run in Friday’s quarterfinals at 6:15 p.m.
UC Davis senior Brian Thomas was the final at-large qualifier in the men’s 400 meters as he finished in 47.04. Thomas will compete in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
In the men’s 800 meters, UC Santa Barbara freshman Jarett Chinn notched a 10th place finish overall in 1:50.05, good enough to win heat one. He moved onto Friday’s quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m.
A full slate of activity awaits on Friday as field events begin at noon with five Big West athletes in the men’s discus. CSUN junior Joshua Turner is the first track athlete to compete in the men’s 110 meter hurdles at 4:30 p.m.