After two second-place finishes at the Big Ten Championships May 10-12, IU men’s and women’s track and field teams were back in action this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
There was also a West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California, and the top 12 finishers from each event of both rounds will meet June 6-8 for the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
The Hoosiers garnered 36 entries to Jacksonville, and 17 of them qualified for the NCAA Championships.
On Thursday, five athletes paved their way to Austin, starting with senior Nycia Ford in the hammer throw. Ford finished 10th place by throwing a distance of 61.82 meters.
IU then saw both sophomore Brock Mammoser and junior Adam Coulon qualify in the pole vault after the duo both cleared 5.31 meters.
Late Thursday night, senior Maggie Allen placed fifth in the 10K with a time of 33:32.14. Sophomore Ben Veatch followed suit the next race when he placed seventh with a time of 28:57.61.
The next day, junior Kelsey Harris was the first Hoosier to qualify when she dropped a 2:05.63 in the 800-meter run. It will be Harris’ second outdoor NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Cooper Williams also qualified in the 800 when he clocked a time of 1:48.76, which was the second fastest qualifying time. In the steeplechase, senior Daniel Michalski snatched the second qualifying spot when he finished in 9:35.38.
The final day of competition saw nine Hoosiers punch their ticket to the NCAA’s.
Junior Leah Moran got things started when she jumped 13.04 meters in the triple jump, breaking her own personal record and program record. Senior Eric Bethea also qualified in the triple jump after hitting a mark of 15.76 meters.
Sophomore Jyles Etienne continued the field success for IU when he finished 10th in the high jump with a height of 2.19 meters.
To round out the field events, both junior Khayla Dawson and sophomore Maddy Pollard advanced in the shot put by throwing 16.65 and 16.35 meters respectively.
As for the running events, the Hoosiers qualified three runners in the 1500-meter run as senior Joe Murphy, sophomore Teddy Browning and graduate student Kenneth Hagen finished third, fourth and 12th respectively.
To round out the day, junior Kyle Mau won the 5K with a time of 14:00.41.
After the Big Ten Championships, IU Coach Ron Helmer said he thought his teams had enough talent to qualify a good number of athletes for the NCAA Championships. The Hoosiers did just that as they qualified nine more athletes than a season ago, giving them a better chance to place higher in Austin.
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