Four Individuals, One Relay Team Qualify For NCAA Championships
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NCAA West Preliminary Round Central
The Big West upped its number of NCAA qualifiers to 16 individuals after five more successful performances on the final day of the West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
The 16 athletes will join one relay team in Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at historic Hayward Field from June 7-10.
The four athletes and one relay team that advanced to nationals on Saturday were as follows:
Vincent Calhoun, Long Beach State (High Jump)
Calhoun became the first Big West male high jumper to qualify for the NCAA Championship since Cal State Fullerton’s Jonathan Golden in 2009. The top 12 finishers in the event punched their ticket to Eugene. Calhoun scooped up the 12th and final berth with a distance of 7-00.50 (2.15m).
Courtney Robinson, Asheley Bamberg, Lexis Lambert, Marie Veale, CSUN (4x100 Relay)
The CSUN quartet of Courtney Robinson, Asheley Bamberg, Lexis Lambert and Marie Veale posted a season-best 44.27 seconds, finishing second in their heat and fifth overall to qualify for nationals. The top three in each of the three quarterfinal heats plus the next three fastest at-large times made it to Eugene. It is the third time in four years that Lambert and Veale will represent the Matadors in the 4x100 at the NCAA’s.
Jenna Hinkle, UC Santa Barbara (1500 Meters)
Hinkle is believed to be the first female to represent UC Santa Barbara in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Championships, at least according to Big West records that go back to 1989. She qualified on the basis of finishing fourth in her section (15th overall) with a time of 4:29.22. The top five finishers in each of two quarterfinal heats, plus the next two fastest times reached the NCAA’s. The junior will join Gaucho teammate Matthew Kuskey (men’s javelin) in Eugene.
Lloyd Sicard, UC Irvine (110 Meter Hurdles)
Sicard is headed to the NCAA Championships for the third straight year in the 110 meter hurdles. He had the fourth best qualifying time overall, finishing in 13.60 seconds. He placed No. 2 in his own heat. The top three qualifiers from each of three quarterfinal heats plus the next three fastest times advanced to Eugene. Sicard finished 17th in his two previous NCAA appearances in 2015 and 2016.
Peyton Bilo, Cal Poly (5000 Meters)
The most impressive performance of the day came from Cal Poly sophomore Peyton Bilo. Running the majority of her women’s 5000 meter race with one shoe, Bilo managed to secure the 12th and final NCAA-qualifying spot, and did so by the tiniest of margins in a photo finish. Bilo finished fifth in her semifinal heat in 16 minutes, 44.27 seconds. Wisconsin sophomore Amy Davis had the same time, but Bilo (16.44.264) was 6-thousandths of a second faster than Davis (16.44.270). The top five qualifiers in each of the two semifinals advanced to the NCAA’s. Bilo lost her right shoe inside the pack early on, and stayed on the outside of the top five before moving into third place with three laps to go.
Here is the complete list of Big West qualifiers for the NCAA Championships.
|Monique Griffiths, CSUN
||Women’s Hammer, Women’s Discus
|Tayler Fleming, UC Riverside
||Women’s Long Jump
|Matthew Kuskey, UC Santa Barbara
|Erinn Beattie, UC Davis
||Women’s High Jump
|Lexis Lambert, CSUN
||Women’s 400 Meters
|Rianna Goins, UC Davis
||Women’s 800 Meters
|Isaiah Jewett, UC Irvine
||Men’s 800 Meters
|Vincent Calhoun, Long Beach State
||Men’s High Jump
|Courtney Robinson, Asheley Bamberg, Lexis Lambert, Marie Veale
||CSUN Women’s 4x100 Relay
|Jenna Hinkle, UC Santa Barbara
||Women’s 1500 Meters
|Lloyd Sicard, UC Irvine
||Men’s 110 Hurdles
|Peyton Bilo, Cal Poly
||Women’s 5000 Meters
|Riley Cooks, Long Beach State
|Tori Usgaard, UC Santa Barbara