Austin, Texas- The Nebraska track and field team opened competition at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas on Thursday. Over the three-day meet the Huskers will compete to earn a top-12 finish and move on to compete at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in two weeks.
Chris Phipps was the first Husker of the meet to advance to nationals with his fourth-place finish in the men's long jump on a leap of 25-10 3/4. He notched a jump of 24-9 1/4 on his first attempt and cleared 25-10 3/4 on his second attempt. He elected to pass on his final four attempts as he moved on to become a three-time NCAA outdoor qualifier.
Mara Griva followed Phipps' lead with a qualifying jump of her own in the women's long jump. She recorded a seventh-place finish behind a season-best jump of 21-2 1/2. Griva cleared the mark on her second attempt and was able to pass on her final three jumps of the competition.
Luke Pinkelman also added his name to the NCAA field with a sixth-place finish in the men's shot put behind a throw of 62-7 1/4. Pinkelman, who finished second in the shot put at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, notched the throw on his third attempt, which would be enough to give him his second outdoor championships appearance.
All three Huskers competing in the men's 400 meter hurdles advanced to tomorrow's quarterfinals as Miles Ukaoma won his heat with a time of 51.52. Tibor Koroknai finished with a time of 52.49, while Jodi-Rae Blackwood posted a time of 52.29.
The Big Ten 1,500 and 800 meter champion Ashley Miller finished second in her heat with a time of 4:25.06 to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal in the women's 1,500 meters. Miller also advanced in the women's 800 meters, recording a time of 2:07.33 to take first in her heat. She will compete in the quarterfinals for the 800 meters tomorrow.
Tim Thompson advanced to tomorrow's men's 100 meter quarterfinals. He recorded a time of 10.42 to finish fourth in his heat.
Competition tomorrow will begin at Mike A. Myers Stadium at 11 a.m. with the women's discus. The first running event is scheduled for 5 p.m. with the men's 110 meter hurdles.