DES MOINES, Iowa – Opening day at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Drake Stadium had the Texas A&M Aggies advancing both 4 x 100 relays to the finals as well as three individuals – Simone Facey in the 100 meters, Julian Reid in the long jump and Christina Munoz in the 5,000 meters.
Another pair of Aggies moved to the semifinals in their respective events. Jessica Beard advanced in the 400 and Nick Robinson qualified in the 400 hurdles.
Munoz ran in the one of the last races of the first night of the four-day meet and produced the fastest time in the qualifying round of the 5,000 meters. She recorded her third fastest time ever over the 5,000-meter distance to win the second heat in 16:45.48. Munoz’s personal best in the event is 16:33.23.
Finishing behind Munoz in her heat were Tasmin Fanning of Virginia Tech (16:47.66) and Florida’s Rebecca Lowe (16:47.90). Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego, a six-time national champion, won the first heat in 17:23.14.
In qualifying both sprint relays to Friday’s finals the Aggie women posted the top time of the day with a 43.18 while the A&M men had the second-fastest time with a 39.13.
The line-up for the women’s sprint relay was Elizabeth Adeoti, Porscha Lucas, Simone Facey and Allison George. They broke the stadium record of 43.29 that Texas A&M set in winning the Midwest Region title at Drake Stadium last season.
It’s the fastest time produced by that particular Aggie foursome and equals the fifth-fastest performance on the A&M all-time list.
Other heat winners on the women’s side were LSU (43.35), Florida (43.65) and Baylor (44.15). The other time qualifiers for the final included UTEP (44.10). Tennessee (44.15), California (44.56) and South Carolina (44.48).
The Aggie men’s relay time only trailed LSU’s heat winner of 39.11. Tennessee claimed the third and final heat in 39.24. Texas A&M ran with a crew of Richard Adu-Bobie, Justin Oliver, Dominique Stafford and Chris Dykes. Oliver ran in place of Gerald Phiri.
Other teams advancing on time were South Carolina (39.37), Florida (39.49), Florida State (39.53), TCU (39.55) and Baylor (39.77). Four teams advanced from the second heat that was claimed by the Aggies. The trio of schools finishing behind A&M included Florida State, TCU and Baylor.
Gusty winds in the men’s long jump led to four athletes posting marks over 26 feet. That group included Texas A&M freshman Julian Reid who was the second-best qualifier with a distance of 26-1 ¾ (7.97), which was aided by a 4.9 meter-per-second wind.
Florida State freshman Ngonidzashe Makusha recorded the best mark in qualifying with a 26-6 ¼ (8.08) effort. The other pair of 26-footers included seniors Matt Turner of Arizona State and Indiana’s Kiwan Lawson, who both jumped 26-1 (7.95).
The NCAA Indoor champion, freshman Reindell Cole of Cal State Northridge, was the seventh-best qualifier at 25-7 ½ (7.81) while Midwest Region champ Nicholas Gordon of Nebraska, another frosh, made the final as the ninth qualifier with a 25-5 ¼ (7.75).
Those same aiding winds in the long jump turned into major head winds for the sprinters.
In the women’s 100 the Aggies advanced three of their four sprinters to the semifinal, but only Facey made it out of the next round to Friday’s final.
Facey won her opening round heat in 11.68 (-3.8 wind) while Lucas was runner-up in 11.72 (-3.7 wind) to Alexandria Anderson of Texas, who clocked 11.67. Advancing as a time qualifier was Khyrstal Carter with a time of 11.90. Just missing the semifinal field was Adeoti with an 11.93.
LSU also advanced three of its four sprinters to the semi. Kelly-Ann Baptiste clocked 11.68, Juanita Broaddus ran 11.72 and Samantha Henry turned in an 11.80. Not advancing was Kenyanna Wilson with an 11.93.
In the semifinal Facey was a heat winner in 11.61 versus a 4.4 headwind. Running in the same heat were Lucas (11.79) and Carter (12.01) as they placed fifth and eighth, respectively.
LSU’s trio of sprinters competed in heat two, which faced a significantly lower headwind of 0.4. Baptiste won the semi in 11.28 while Henry (11.51) and Broaddus (11.56) advanced on time in fourth and fifth place.
Jesscia Beard cruised to the semifinals of the 400 meters with a time of 53.35 to win the fifth and final heat. Beard finished ahead of another freshman, LaJada Baldwin of Mississippi (53.38), and Penn State senior Dominique Blake (53.44).
Nick Robinson was an automatic qualifier for the 400-meter hurdle semi with a 50.73 clocking that placed him second to South Carolina’s Jussi Heikkila (50.56) in the opening round.
In the men’s 100 Adu-Bobie auto-qualified for the semifinal with a runner-up effort of 10.53 (-2.6 wind). Phiri did not start in his heat.
Adu-Bobie recorded a time of 10.50 in the men’s semifinal to place seventh. The two time qualifiers following the top three finishers in each heat came from the first heat, but Adu-Bobie was 0.04 behind the 10.46 that advanced to the final.
Also missing out on the 100 final was Tennessee speedster Rubin Williams, who ran 10.47 to place sixth ahead of Adu-Bobie.
Bryan Miller ran 47.15 in the 400 prelims while A.C. Robinson posted a 47.19, but neither made the semifinal field. Lindsey Adams turned in a 59.85 in the 400 hurdles, but needed a 59.02 to advance on time.
Ashika Charan finished 14th in long jump qualifying where the top 12 moved on the finals. Charan opened the competition with a mark of 20-8 (6.30) and that held as her best mark of the day. Oklahoma’s Toni Smith claimed the final qualifying position with a distance of 20-11 ¾ (6.39).
Running a time of 9:00.33 placed Kevin McNab ninth in his heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 17th overall in the qualifying round. NcNab posted a faster time than Colorado’s Pete Janson (9:10.43) and Texas Tech’s Gilbert Limo (9:07.27), who were third and fourth at the Big 12 meet.
In the men’s discus Josh Tiemann placed 20th in qualifying with a toss of 165-11 (50.57) while Dylan Conway finished 23rd with a mark of 159-3 (48.54).
Day One – Qualifiers to next round
400 Hurdles: Nick Robinson 50.73.
4 x 100: Texas A&M 39.13.
Long Jump: Julian Reid, 26-1 ¾ (7.97) wind-aided
100: Simone Facey 11.61.
400: Jessica Beard 53.35.
5,000: Christina Munoz 16:45.58.
4 x 100: Texas A&M 43.18.
Day One RESULTS - prelims
100: First round – 6. Richard Adu-Bobie, 10.53 (-2.6). Semifinal – 11. Richard Adu-Bobie, 10.50 (-2.6).
400: 19. Byran Miller, 47.15; 20. A.C. Robinson, 47.19.
Steeplechase: 17. Kevin McNab, 9:00.33.
400 Hurdles: 9. Nick Robinson, 50.73.
4 x 100: 1. LSU 39.11; 2. Texas A&M 39.13; 3. Tennessee 39.24.
Long Jump: 2. Julian Reid, 26-1 ¾ (7.97) wind-aided.
Discus: 20. Josh Tiemann, 165-11 (50.57); 23. Dylan Conway, 159-3 (48.54).
100: First round – 3. Simone Facey, 11.68 (-3.8); 6. Porscha Lucas, 11.72 (-3.7); 15. Khrystal Carter, 11.90 (-3.2); 17. Elizabeth Adeoti, 11.93 (-3.2).
Semifinal – 2. Simone Facey, 11.61 (-4.4); 13. Porscha Lucas, 11.79 (-4.4); 16. Khrystal Carter, 12.01 (-4.4).
400: 5. Jessica Beard, 53.35.
5,000: 1. Christina Munoz, 16:45.58.
400 Hurdles: 20. Lindsey Adams, 59.85.
4 x 100: 1. Texas A&M 43.18; 2. LSU 43.35; 3. Florida 43.65.
Long Jump: 14. Ashika Charan, 20-8 (6.30) wind aided.