Five Cougs Advance In Track & Field West Regional - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Five Cougs Advance In Track & Field West Regional

Courtesy Washington State athletics

AUSTIN, Texas - Five Washington State University track competitors advanced out of the first round Thursday at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

It was a good day for WSU middle distance runners. Both 800m runners advanced to the Friday quarterfinals with Jesse Jorgensen (redshirt sophomore, Puyallup, Wash.) qualifying with a second-place finish in his prelim heat in a time of 1 minute, 50.21 seconds and Courtney Zalud (redshirt junior, Colbert, Wash.) ran a lifetime-best time of 2:08.22 to qualify on time. Zalud's time is ninth-best in WSU women's history.

Both Cougar 1500m runners advanced to the Saturday quarterfinals races. Todd Wakefield (junior, Kearns, Australia) won his heat of the men's 1500m first round in a time of 3:47.13 while Ruby Roberts (junior, Kingston, Wash.) was fifth in her heat, the final automatic qualifier, with a time of 4:23.90.

Shawna Fermin (senior, Victorville, Calif.) was second in her heat of the women's 400m dash, clocking in with a time of 53.77 seconds, and will race in the Friday quarterfinal.

Jono Lafler (senior, Maple Valley, Wash.) was 21st among the 48 runners in the men's 10,000m, with only 12 runners advancing from the one preliminary race to the national final. Lafler's time was 30:46.98.

The day was not as kind for the WSU field competitors. Trevor Rogers (senior, Richmond, Calif.) long jumped a wind-aided season-best 24-feet 4 1/4 inches (7.42m) which was the best mark of his flight. He was one of the 16 to advance to the next round and his first jump was his best, leaving him at 16th with the top 12 advancing to Eugene.

Oliver Henry (senior, Spanaway, Wash.) threw the discus 172-0 (52.44m) with was 31st on the day.

In the men's high jump, Jovan Vukicevic (senior, Trstenik, Serbia) cleared a height of 6-9 1/2 (2.07m) and Ross VanZanten (senior, Longview, Wash.) cleared a height of 6-7 1/2 (2.02m) for 24th and 36th places respectively.

The NCAA West Region Preliminary Round Track & Field Championships resume Friday, May 24, with 10 more Cougars competing for one of the 12 spots in each event that will advance to the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Eugene.