May 26, 2012
Saturday at the NCAA West Prelims in Austin, TX was a productive one for the men's track and field squad as two more athletes and a relay qualified for the NCAA Championships. Punching their ticket to Nationals on the final day of competition were Mike Woepse in the pole vault, Matthew Kosecki in the discus and the 4x100m relay squad.
Woepse entered the competition at opening height, 16-2.75, to acclimate to the windy conditions and sailed over the bar with ease. He then cleared 16-8.75 on his first attempt and passed the next bar of 17-2.75. Things then got dicey as he missed 17-6.50 on his first two tries, but Woepse was able to clear the bar and advance to the next height on his third and final attempt.
With the bar at 17-8.50 and 14 vaulters left in the competition, he just needed one clearance to guarantee him a spot at NCAAs. It only took one try as he cleared the bar on his first attempt, advancing him to the NCAA meet in Des Moines, IA June 6-9. Overall, he tied for second in the competition. He will be competing in his second consecutive NCAA Outdoor meet after tying for 20th in 2011.
Kosecki qualified for his first NCAA Championship meet on Saturday after finishing sixth in the discus competition. Kosecki opened up the meet with a mark of 191-5 to lead through the first round, but fell to sixth throughout the six rounds of throws. He has now thrown over 190-feet in two straight meets. He entered the meet ranked ninth in the West Region.
Also in the discus, senior Thomas Nagengast finished 18th overall with a solid throw of 177-1 and concludes his Bruin career with today's competition.
Jamal Alston led the Bruins off in the relay, handing the baton to Maxwell Dyce. Dyce picked up speed towards the end of his leg, handing off to R.J. Frasier as the Bruins were in good position to finish in the top three. Frasier handed off to Laijon White and White went to work, chasing down Texas Tech's anchor. White pulled away over the final few meters, sealing the win for the Bruins and a spot at the NCAA Championship meet. Their time ranked sixth overall in all three heats (they came into the meet ranked eighth). This will be the fourth straight year in which the 4x100m relay has qualified for NCAAs.
Dyce was also in action in the 200m quarterfinal rounds, running out of lane three in heat one. He finished fourth in his heat with a time of 20.77 and had to wait and see how the other two heats played out to see if he would advance as one of the three time qualifiers. After all three heats concluded, Dyce was into the meet with the fastest time qualifier of the three spots available and was 10th overall. He came into the meet ranked 24th in the region. His time was also a season-best, bettering yesterday's time of 22.80 and it was just .02 seconds shy of his lifetime-best (20.75). Dyce will be competing in the 200m for the second consecutive year at the NCAA meet (he finished 18th in 2011).
In the 5000m semifinals, redshirt freshman Dustin Fay took about a 70 meter lead early in the race and maintained that lead until the 10 minute mark when the other runners caught up to him. He then fell back to 14th, which is where he would finish in heat two (14:39.70). He came into the meet ranked 33rd and finished 24th in the Region on Saturday night.
Out of the NCAA Prelim round, the men's team qualified five individuals and the 4x100m relay to Nationals. Heading to Des Moines, IA June 6-9 will be Alec Faldermeyer (hammer), Kosecki (discus), Derek Eager (javelin), Dyce (200m) and Woepse (pole vault). Decathlete Marcus Nilsson will also compete at NCAAs after qualifying with his score on the descending order list.