May 25, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Two more Golden Bears - hammer thrower Scott Esparza and triple jumper Chad Jones - advanced to the NCAA Championships Friday, giving Cal four qualifiers for the national meet after the first two days of the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds on the University of Texas campus. The meet concludes on Saturday when the Bears will have 10 individuals and a relay in action.
Esparza set PRs in his first three attempts on the afternoon in the hammer, including his leading effort of 206-3 on his third throw. Although he didn't improve on his final three attempts, his eighth-place finish meant he was among the top 12 at the meet for a berth in the NCAA Championships. In addition, Esparza's distance of 206-3 - nearly 10 feet further than his previous lifetime best - puts him fifth all-time in Cal history.
Jones posted his top mark in the triple jump on his third attempt with a wind-legal effort of 51-3.50, which surpassed his old PR by just over a foot. He held on for 11th place to secure a spot at the national meet.
Three other triple jumpers weren't as fortunate. Freshman Jonte Grant ended his day in 16th at 50-7.50, while Taylor Kientzel was 22nd with a wind-aided mark of 50-4.00 and Hammed Suleman was 34th at 48-9.00w.
In the women's 100-meter hurdles, Emani Truluck missed advancing to the quarterfinals by the narrowest of margins. In heat number three, she and Shakina Phillips of Long Beach State crossed the line in a virtual tie for third place and an automatic spot in the next round. Upon closer review, Phillips was timed in 13.647 to Truluck's 13.659, meaning Truluck's hurdles racing was over by a mere 0.012 seconds.
Angelica Weaver finished fifth in her heat and 16th overall in the quarterfinals women's 400-meter hurdles after being timed in 58.49, but she did not advance to Des Moines.
Two others Bears were close to making the national meet, but came up just short. Gianna Fernandez was among 13 high jumpers to clear 5-9.75 (a season-best and PR-tying height for the junior). But based on fewer misses, she tied for 16th. In addition, Collin Jarvis was in the slowest of three heats of the men's 3000-meter steeplechase, meaning he needed to finish among the top three in his race. Timed in 8:58.83, he placed fourth, just 0.31 seconds out of the third spot.
The first Golden Bear in action Saturday will be Derek White in the men's discus, starting at 9 a.m. PT. Others vying for spots at the NCAA Championships will be Taylor Bryson (women's 1500m), Maxime Chevee (men's 5000m), Chelsea Reilly (women's 5000m), Linda Oseso (women's hammer), Brian Carmichael, Nick Ridge and Harrison Steed in the men's high jump, and Amanda Hunter and Aziza Baker in the women's triple jump.
The top 12 qualifiers in each event will advance to the national championships, where they will be joined by qualifiers from the East Region.
NCAA West Preliminary Rounds
100m hurdles (first round) - 29. Emani Truluck 13.66w
400m hurdles (quarterfinal) - 16. Angelica Weaver 58.49
Q - qualified for NCAA Championships; q - qualified for next round at NCAA West Preliminary meet