On a day full of trial races, IU started day one of the NCAA Prelims on Thursday in Tampa, Florida, with several NCAA Championship-qualifying performances.
In the Hoosiers’ first event with a participant, sophomore Adam Coulon earned a spot in Nationals after a 10th-place finish in the men’s pole vault. Coulon posted a personal-best mark of 5.35 meters.
Without any other NCAA Championship qualifiers in the field events Thursday, IU still got quality performances from a number of runners.
At the NCAA Prelims, each race begins with 48 runners, which is then reduced to 24 after the first round of trials. Then, in the quarterfinals, the top 12 finishers of those 24 qualify for the NCAA Championships from June 7-9 in Eugene, Oregon.
Out of the 14 runners that participated for IU on Thursday, seven of them advanced to the next round.
On the men’s side, senior Daniel Kuhn and sophomore Cooper Williams qualified for the quarterfinals in the 800-meter run after running times of 1:48.74 and 1:49.32. The times put Kuhn in ninth and Williams in 17th entering the next round Friday.
This continues a recent stretch of impressive performances from the duo, who finished second and third in the 800-meter at the Big Ten Championships on May 13 in Bloomington.
Junior Joe Murphy was also able to move on for the men’s team after running a time of 3:52.98 in the 1500-meter, putting him 36th overall. Despite not being in the top 24 finishers, Murphy was able to advance to the quarterfinals because he finished in the top three in his heat.
Freshman Teddy Browning was on the outside looking in after finishing 30th overall with a time of 3:51.66.
On the women’s side, junior Maggie Allen was the lone NCAA Championship qualifier on the track for either team on the day. After a weather delay due to lightning set the women’s 10,000-meter race back about an hour, she finished with a time of 34:00.89 that put her fourth overall in what would serve as the national semifinal for the event.
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers got one of their top performances of the day from junior Kelsey Harris in the 800-meter run. Harris ran a personal best time of 2:03.89, which was good for fourth overall heading into the quarterfinal Friday and was the fourth-best time in IU program history.
Conversely, the race marked a frustrating day for senior Kendell Wiles, who came in seeded 12th overall, but was knocked out after a disappointing time of 2:08.03 put her in 36th place overall and out of the quarterfinals.
The Hoosiers also had two competitors move on in the women’s 1500-meter run as senior Brenna Calder (4:18.99) and junior Haley Harris (4:20.70) both ran personal-best times and finished 15th and 24th. Their quarterfinal race will take place Saturday.
The Hoosiers will resume competition on day two Friday, which begins at 8:45 a.m. with the men’s Discus.
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