During the second and final day of the women’s competition at the NCAA East Prelims, the Lady Bulldogs added another half dozen qualifiers in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.
Not counting Asya Reynolds’ qualification in the heptathlon, the Lady Bulldogs finished the meet with 10 qualified entries for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12.
Mimicking their showing in the long jump, both sophomore Jasmine Moore and junior Titiana Marsh had triple jump measurements that were long enough to put them in the qualifying 12.
The Lady Bulldogs also put a pair through in the high jump as sophomores Shelby Tyler and Anna Hall cleared four bars and two bars, respectively, to break into the qualifying group.
Twice an SEC champion, senior and UGA graduate Amber Tanner advanced to her second outdoor Nationals after running the second-fastest 800 meters time of her career to take seventh overall.
Fellow graduate Jessica Drop continued her stellar run by running the ninth best 5000m time of the day and notching her third invitation to the NCAA outdoor meet.
There were 48 competitors from the East Region in every individual event and 24 in the relays. The NCAA West Prelims ran simultaneously in College Station, Texas, with the same format. The top 12 in each event from both regions advanced to the NCAA outdoor meet.
Friday featured the foursome of Arian Smith, Elija Godwin, Delano Dunkley and Matthew Boling setting a school record in the 4x100m relay for the second meet in a row to have the second-fastest qualifying time and book their spot to Nationals. Boling and Smith returned to the track in the 100m quarterfinal and each locked in their spots for Eugene with a 10.09 and 10.10, respectively.
Another relay leg, Godwin, secured his first invitation in an individual event to the NCAA Outdoor Championships by automatically qualifying with a 400m time of 45.41. Sophomore Caleb Cavanaugh provided the Bulldogs yet another sprinter in the Nationals field after flying to the fastest time of his career in the 400m hurdles.
In the third to last event on Friday night, Boling increased his workload at the NCAA Championships to three events after running the fourth fastest 200m time in the quarterfinals.
During Thursday’s action, the Lady Bulldogs had a pair of top-five finishers in the long jump to extend the seasons of both Moore and Marsh. This will also mark the third trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for senior Kayla Smith after the Indianapolis, Ind., native had three first attempt clearances in the pole vault. In addition, senior Marie-Therese Obst lifted her opening attempt in the javelin 179 feet to advance to Nationals after taking second overall.
On Wednesday, junior Alencar Pereira advanced to the NCAA Championships with a personal-best toss in the hammer throw.
Two Bulldogs ranked in the nation’s top five in the multi-events earned the right to skip the Prelims by automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships (Reynolds – heptathlon; Karel Tilga – decathlon). Hall (high jump, long jump) and Kyle Garland (long jump, 110m hurdles) were also in that category, but chose to compete in open events and not compete in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively, in Eugene. As mentioned above, Hall advanced to the NCAA meet in the high jump.
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The Lowdown: Moore answered an opening foul in the triple jump with the competition’s third-best mark (44 feet, 9 ½ inches) to give her a second qualifying event. Marsh also qualified for a second event after starting her series with an effort of 43-5.25, which put her in eighth place after the field’s three attempts.
Tyler, a native of Noblesville, Ind., and Hall, a native of Greenwood, Colo., will be getting their first crack at outdoor Nationals since the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic. Tyler posted a second attempt clearance at a season-best height of 5-11.50 while Hall went over the bar at 5-9.75 on her first try to slip into the top 12.
Tanner, a native of Brentwood, Tenn., was fourth in her heat but seventh overall after flying to a 2:01.66 to be a time qualifier. This marks Tanner’s second trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after taking 18th in 2019.
Drop, who hails from Durham, Conn., was the final runner from her 5000m flight to advance after running 12.5 laps in 16:00.03. Drop was a First Team All-American in the event at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships and also scored indoors that year to help the Lady Bulldogs clinch the national team title.
Tanner returned alongside Julia Hall, Destiny Jackson and Chelsea Zoller to register the ninth-best time in school history (3:36.00) for 14th place at the meet.
Junior Imani Carothers managed a 20th-place finish in the 100m hurdle quarterfinals after streaking across the finish line in 13.22.
Next Up: Those who qualified will make the trip to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Championships prior to the start of the meet that runs June 9-12. Incidentally, the U.S. Olympic Trials will then arrive on the University of Oregon campus on June 17-27.