AUSTIN, TX -- The first event for the Aggie men at the NCAA West preliminary round produced three javelin qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in Des Moines with Sam Humphreys, Devin Bogert and Jon Gomez.
Later in the day Laura Asimakis advanced in the women’s javelin with a toss of 162-11 (49.67). Then in the final race of the night Natosha Rogers placed second in the 10,000 meters to become the fifth A&M qualifier for the NCAA Championships.
During first round races in the 100, 400, 800 and 400 hurdles, Texas A&M advanced 13 to the quarterfinal races that will be held in Austin the remainder of the weekend.
Rogers maintained a position among the lead pack in the field of 48 runners and battled through her second ever 10,000 with a runner-up finish in a personal best time of 33:46.6.
That time earns Rogers a spot in the NCAA final in Des Moines and moves her the No. 2 performer on the A&M all-time list with the No. 3 performance.
Humphreys, who was an NCAA bronze medalist last year and fifth as a freshman in 2010, needed just one throw to claim the top position in the field. His mark of 255 feet, 8 inches (77.94) is the third best performance on the A&M all-time list for the Aggie school record holder.
“That was one of the main things I wanted to do today, save the body for a bigger meet,” Humphreys said. “I’m happy that it came on the first one and I could relax on the rest. The past day I was a little tight, and I got that stretched out. I had confidence I could go out there and get one good throw.”
Devin Bogert snared a pair of career best marks on just two throws in the competition. Bogert, a freshman with the Aggies who threw 222-10 for runner-up honors at the Big 12 meet, opened with a best of 232-7 (70.89) and then improved to 236-1 (71.97) in round two. The mark places Bogert No. 7 on the A&M all-time list.
Finishing between the pair of Aggies was Pac-12 champion Sam Crouser of Oregon (251-8 / 76.70) and defending NCAA champion Tim Glover of Illinois State (246-6 / 75.13).
“I knew these past couple of meets were big one’s to set me up and get me to nationals,” Bogert said. “I felt pretty good today and everything seemed to come together well as the same time.
“I was able to throw in practice this last week and get some more practice under my belt since then. That one throwing session really helped to tie everything together with all the loose ends. All the little technical things came together. I could focus on being quick and fast, just letting it go.”
Down to his final throw of his Aggie career, senior Jon Gomez produced a personal best of 224-7 (68.45) to advance to the final three rounds in eighth place. Gomez had opened with a 188-4 and then fouled on his next attempt. His best effort ranks No. 12 on the A&M all-time list.
“My first throw wasn’t good, then my second one I just got crowded,” noted Gomez. “I was sitting there wondering if this was how I was going to finish my season and end my career.
Waiting to see if he needed to take another throw in the final three rounds, Gomez passed each round and finished 10th to earn a trip to the NCAA Championship weekend.
“When I was getting ready for my third throw Sam told me to watch the tip of my javelin,” explained Gomez. “I knew I needed to keep my tip down. When I threw I made sure I wasn’t fouling by stepping over the line. I didn’t even see how the throw went, so I wasn’t sure how far it went. Someone told me it was a good throw, and then I heard the mark.
“It was really surprising. The fact that it was a personal best caught me more by surprise than the fact that it was going to qualify me. Then the waiting game through the final three rounds was worse than waiting for my last through in the third round. It was a huge relief when I knew I didn’t need to throw again.”
Humphreys added: “I’m supremely excited that I’m having two teammates in the javelin come along with me to nationals. The past two years it’s just been me, so now I’ll have two more guys to hang out with.”
In the women’s javelin Asimakis opened with a 162-11 (49.67) and then added a 148-4 (45.23). She then passed her remaining throws and finished sixth to earn her fourth trip to the NCAA Championships.
“That’s what my plan was, to get it done on my first throw,” noted Asimakis, who will compete in the pole vault on Friday. “I knew I was safe and didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Especially in my situation, I just wanted to get one out of the way and then concentrate on the pole vault.”
The Aggies had a second thrower advance to the next three rounds. Lauren Berg produced a career best of 155-10 (47.50) and was 14th as the field was trimmed to 16. She ended up 16th after the next round of three attempts. Jena Hemann’s mark of 131-5 (40.06) ended up 41st.
“It fires you up with a teammate PRs,” added Asimakis. “She got real close to making it. I wish she had made it so I would have another thrower in Des Moines with me. I’m really happy for her with the PR she set today.”
Gregory Coleman qualified on time for the quarterfinals of the 400 hurdles with a 52.08 that placed the A&M frosh fourth in his heat. Coleman will run in the next round Friday evening.
Six Aggie sprinters, three men and three women, advanced to the quarterfinals in the 100 meters, which will be held on Friday.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. (10.18w) and Ameer Webb (10.17) claimed heat victories while Michael Bryan (10.40) finished third to earn automatic advancement.
In the women’s race Dominique Duncan (11.25w) and Ashley Collier (11.28w) were heat winners while LaKeidra Stewart (11.58w) finished second in the same heat with Collier.
Deon Lendore claimed the first heat of the 400 in 45.91, the leading time of the day, while teammate Ricky Babineaux finished fourth in the same heat with a 46.87. Babineaux advanced on time to the quarterfinals.
In the women’s 400 Kanika Beckles claimed her heat in 52.75, the second fastest qualifying time of the day behind a 52.38 from Regina George of Arkansas. Ibukun Mayungbe and Olivia Ekponé ran in the same heat. Mayungbe finished fourth in 54.37 and advanced on time, while Ekponé finished sixth in 54.99 and didn’t advance.
The Aggies experienced mixed results in the first round of the men’s 800. Michael Preble earned an automatic spot in the quarterfinals as he placed third in his heat with a 1:50.85. Then Joey Roberts faded in the second circuit of his 800 after being with the leaders at the 400m split. He ended up eighth in the heat with a 1:58.81.
James Bonn finished fifth in another heat with a 1:51.66, but didn’t advance on time. In the final 800 heat Oscar Ramirez placed fourth with a 1:49.51 that did advance to the quarterfinals.
Brea Garrett completed her initial season with the Aggies with a mark of 49-4.5 (15.05) to place 24th overall. She entered the meet seeded 38th.