AUSTIN – Texas A&M advanced very well on the opening day of the NCAA West preliminary rounds held at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The No. 2 Aggies had a pair of field eventers advance to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon, while a crew of 14 moved on to the quarterfinals this weekend in six events.
Dalton Rowan and LaQue Moen-Davis each qualified for the trip to Eugene in the discus and long jump, respectively. In addition the A&M men had eight qualifiers in the 400 hurdles (1), 100 (3), 400 (2) and 800 (2) while the Aggie women advanced six sprinters with five moving on in the 100 with one entrant in the 400.
In the men’s discus Rowan finished eighth with a toss of 186-4 (56.80) to earn a berth into the NCAA Championship field. Rowan produced his mark in the second round after opening with a foul.
The top mark belonged to UCLA’s Julian Wruck of Australia, who reached a distance of 209-10 (63.95) to top the field by 11 feet. Chad Wright of Nebraska followed with a 198-3 (60.44) while Iowa’s Gabe Hull was the only other thrower over 190 with a 191-10 (58.47).
Moen-Davis improved over the course of the first four rounds to place 10th with a mark of 20-6.25 (6.25) as the top 12 moved on to Eugene. Her opening leap measured 20-3.75 (6.19) while a 20-4.25 (6.20) in round three followed a foul. In the fourth round Moen-Davis hit her best effort to secure her position.
The leading long jump went to Andrea Geubelle of Kansas, who reached a mark of 21-4.75 (6.52), and was followed by a 21-4 (6.50) from Arizona State’s Christabel Nettey.
In the first round of the 100 meters the Aggies had a total of nine entries, with six in the women’s field and three in the men’s. Texas A&M advanced eight of the nine sprinters to the quarterfinals, which will be held Friday. The lone sprinter who missed advancing in the women’s 100 did so by a narrow 0.01 of a second.
Ashley Collier (11.33w), Olivia Ekpone (11.37w) and Ashton Purvis (11.56w) were heat winners in the women’s 100. Jennifer Madu (11.46w) placed second in a heat and LaKeidra Stewart (11.51w) finished third in her heat to earn automatic qualification to the quarterfinals.
India Daniels placed fifth in a very close finish in her heat of the 100 as fourth through seventh place all stopped the clock at 11.62. The final time qualifier to advance was 11.61.
Ameer Webb (10.14) and Prezel Hardy, Jr. (10.31w) were both heat winners in the men’s 100 while Michael Bryan (10.30) finished second in his heat to TCU’s Charles Silmon (10.03).
The Aggies also fared well in 400, as three of four advanced to the quarterfinal. Ibukun Mayungbe was the lone A&M entrant in the women’s 400 and she placed third in 53.32 from lane 1 to earn an automatic qualification to the next round.
Deon Lendore cruised to a heat win in 46.23 in the men’s 400 with the runner-up crossing the finish line in 47.14. Lendore’s time was third overall to a pair of 46.14s run by USC’s Bryshon Nellum and Akheem Gauntlett of Arkansas.
Ricky Babineaux placed third in the final of six heats with a 46.55 to earn an automatic qualification to the next round. Carlyle Roudette finished fifth in his heat and his 47.35 did not advance on time.
Greg Coleman advanced to the next round of the 400 hurdles with a second place finish in his heat as he ran 51.24 behind the 51.16 from Steven White of North Texas. The leading time advancing to the quarterfinals was 50.01 by Jeffery Gibson of Oral Roberts.
Aikan Graham placed fifth in his heat of the 400 hurdles with a 52.76 to place 33rd overall among the field of 48. He was seeded 37th coming into the meet.
The men’s 800 had a pair of Aggies advance with Hector Hernandez producing a heat victory in 1:50.06, as he moved from third to first in the final 60 meters of the race. Josh Hernandez moved from eighth to fourth over the final 200 meters of his race, running a 1:49.57 to qualify on time. James Bonn ran 1:53.24 for seventh in his heat and didn’t advance.