Ten Big West Athletes Head To Eugene For NCAA Championships
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Track and Field Weekly Release No. 12
Ten Big West athletes converge upon the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field for the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week.
The four days of competition in Eugene run June 5-8 with ESPNU/ESPN3 broadcasting the majority of the meet. The 10 Big West representatives are making their appearances at the national championship after qualifying at the West Prelim Meet at the University of Texas May 23-25.
UC Davis and UC Riverside lead the Big West contingent with three individuals apiece competing in various events.
UC Davis senior Lauren Wallace leads off the action Wednesday in the 800 meters. Wallace, the school record holder and Big West champion in the event, ranks fifth in the nation with a time of 2:03.39 at the conference championship meet on May 11. She will race in the first of three semifinal heats of the 800 at 4:30 p.m. Wallace owns the second-fastest seed mark in her race, trailing only LSU’s Natoya Goule who went 2:01.04 at the East Regional. The top two from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance to Friday’s final at 5:20 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara senior Jennifer Carey is next to take the track in the 400 meters at 5:00 p.m. Carey ran a 52.72 in the West Prelims to qualify for nationals, owning the fifth-fastest mark in the first of three semifinal heats. She achieved a career-best 52.29 at the Big West Championships. The women’s 400 finals are scheduled for Friday at 5:55 p.m.
Ashley Marshall, the 2013 Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, is the first Aggie sprinter to reach nationals after qualifying in the 100 meters. Like the others, she seeks to finish within the top two of her heat or hold one of the next two fastest times to make the finals. Marshall will run in the third semifinal race at 5:30 p.m. She broke the conference meet record with an 11.34, a mark that also ranks her 16th nationally. The 100 finals are at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.
The top Big West men’s sprinter concludes day one activity in Eugene at 5:45 p.m. in the 100 meters. Cal State Northridge junior Carl Horsley will appear in the first of three heats in lane three. He ran a school record 10.23 in the Preliminary Round of the regional meet two weeks ago. Should he advance to the finals, he would compete on Friday at 5:10 p.m. Horsley is the only Big West athlete to qualify for two events at the national championships. He makes his 200 debut on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. after running a 20.79 seed time at the West Prelims. Horsley, who ran a school record 20.73 in the preliminary round of the regional meet, will race in the first of three heats. In the event Horsley reaches the final eight in the 200, he would run again on Saturday at 2:50 p.m.
UC Riverside senior Ted Hooper and Long Beach State freshman Willie Alexander are the first Big West representatives to participate in a field event competition. The two begin their quest for a national title in the long jump Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Twenty-four athletes are split up into two flights with the top nine advancing to the finals. Hooper and Alexander are stationed in the second flight. Hooper has the third-best seed mark in his flight as he jumped 25-06.75 to finish fifth overall at the regional meet. Hooper’s career-best mark of 25-8 took place at the Big West Championships three weeks ago. Alexander paved his way to Eugene with a personal-best clearance of 24-11.25.
Highlander senior Damajeria Dubose takes the track for her signature event – the women’s 1,500 – on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Dubose clocked a career-best time of 4:20.04 to qualify for nationals. She must finish in the top five of her heat or place among the next two fastest times to reach Saturday’s 2:19 p.m. final.
UC Davis sophomore Katie Fry rounds of the list of Big West representatives competing on Thursday as she battles in the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase. Among the 24 competitors in the race, she is one of only six to have run under 10 minutes. Fry’s school record 9:58.97, which she set at the West Prelims, is the third-fastest seed time in her race. The top five from each heat plus the next two fastest times advance to Saturday’s finals at 2:57 p.m.
Only one Big West athlete is assured of competing on Friday. Hawai’i senior Amanda Alvarez chases her dream of a national title in the women’s triple jump. She will compete in the first of two flights, each comprised of 12 jumpers. The top nine jumps will advance to the finals. Alvarez is ranked No. 14 nationally as she cleared a career-best 42-9.5 on Mar. 29 at the Stanford Invitational. The Big West champion in the event, Alvarez then bettered her personal record at the regional meet as she soared 43-07.75. That seed mark represents the second-farthest in her flight.
UC Riverside senior Ryan Swafford gets his opportunity in the men’s triple jump on Saturday. He will compete in flight one, which begins at 12:30 p.m. The top nine advance to the finals where they will each get three more attempts. Swafford posted the nation’s tenth-best mark when he cleared 52-4.5 at the Big West Championships. He had the No. 7 qualifying mark at the West Prelims (52-00.00), and is seeded fifth in his flight. Swafford is making his second straight appearance in the national championships after competing last year in Des Moines, Iowa.