Former RSHS Tiger is Going to the NCAA’s

Former RSHS Tiger is Going to the NCAA’s

INDIANAPOLIS — The University of New Mexico track & field team qualified 20 individuals and a relay team to the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Championships competition, the national selection committee announced Thursday.

The Lobos will send nine men, 11 women and a men’s relay team to the NCAA West Preliminary championships at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas, next week with the goal of placing in the top 12 of their respective events.

A top-12 finish at the preliminary rounds — which are split between the West region in Lawrence and the East region in Jacksonville, Fla. — advances a competitor to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

Qualification to the preliminary championships competition is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event contested at each of the prelim competitions, the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted.

On the women’s side, 11 Lobos will compete in Kansas, including six top-10 seeds.

The distance events have four of those top-10 seeds, and those four athletes are all seeded second or better in their events.

Courtney Frerichs takes her NCAA-leading time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to Kansas, and is seeded No. 1 in her speciality. She is the third-fastest athlete in college history.

Also qualifying are Sophie Connor (1500), Call Thackery (5000) and Alice Wright(10000), who are all seeded second in their respective events.

Aasha Marler and Jannell Hadnot are also top-10 seeds in the triple jump, ranking ninth and 10th, respectively, with identical marks. Additionally, Marler qualified in the long jump, where she is seeded 16th.

Rounding out the Lobos’ qualifiers are Emily Hosker-Thornhill in the 1500 (seeded 20th), Samantha Bowe in the long jump (27th), Natasha Bernal in the steeplechase (28th), Holly Van Grinsven in the 100 hurdles (32nd) and Zoe Howellin the 800 (46th).

For the men, nine Lobos and a relay have accepted bids to compete at the prelim meet.

Allan Hamilton, the Mountain West champion in the long jump, is the Lobos top seed, ranking fifth in the long jump. Elmar Engholm (sixth, 3000 steeplechase) and Josh Kerr (eighth, 1500), both MW champs in their qualifying events, are also top-10 seeds.

Also qualifying in the jumps are Sam Trigg in the triple jump (seeded 17th),Graham Thomas in the 3000 steeplechase (19th), Adam Cotton in the 1500 (25th), Dan Milechman in the 10000 (36th), Yannick Roggatz in the long jump (36th) and Ridge Jones in the 100 (44th).

Rounding out the men’s qualifiers is the 4×100 meter relay team of Hamilton, Jones, Carlos Salcido and Scott Bajere. The squad is seeded 23rd with their school-record time.

The 21 total qualifiers (the 20 individuals plus a relay) continues a trend of large groups advancing to the preliminary competition. Since the NCAA reconfigured its preliminary rounds into two regions in 2010, New Mexico has yet to qualify fewer than 18 athletes.

Last year, the Lobos qualified 22 individuals and a relay, just off the high of 29 in 2011.

Every year since 2010, New Mexico has advanced at least four athletes from the NCAA West Preliminary round to the NCAA Championships. Four Lobos made the NCAA finals last year, and all four were named All-Americans.

The three-day preliminary round starts May 26 and runs through May 28.