It was not a clean sweep of Cougars advancing – a few did fall by the wayside – but the majority of Cougars, led by senior thrower McKenzie Garberg and freshman hurdling sensation Jeshua Anderson, competing on Day One of the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa advanced to either the semi-finals or finals of their respective events.
Garberg headlined the Cougar highlight reel as the senior thrower, making her return appearance at the NCAA championships, walloped the field in the discus by tossing the metallic frisbee a personal-best [and third-best in school history] 54.04 meters [177-1] in the preliminaries – to lead by a whopping seven-foot margin over the next-closest competitor, Tai Battle of Arizona State. But Garberg did not stop there, she also advanced to the finals in the hammer, with a throw of 62.21 meters [204.1] – fifth-best in that event.
Coming off a 49.41 personal-best and meet record in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA West regional, Anderson picked up where he left off, cruising to a 49.90 win in his preliminary heat – good enough for the top time going into the semi-finals meet record. Fellow 400-meter hurdler, junior Barry Leavitt, finished 21st overall with a 51.63 and did not advance.
Senior decathlete Rickey Moody, Jr. sat in third place in the decathlon with 4048 points after the first day and javelin-tosser Jon Jeffreys also advanced to the finals in his event, recording the ninth-best mark overall at 64.95 meters [213-1].
Meanwhile, sophomore 400-meter hurdler Lorraine King, making her NCAA championship meet debut, advanced to the semi-finals with a 54.96 that is fourth-best in school history and put her 14th-best overall, but steeplechasers Sara Trane - the two-time reigning Pac-10 steeplechase queen – and Meghan Leonard, did not advance.
In addition, freshman women's high jumper Ebba Jungmark - the reigning NCAA indoor champ – sophomore men's high jumper Trent Arrivey and redshirt frosh 800-meter runner Anna Layman, all advanced to the semifinals, with Layman recording the seventh-best time overall.
When Day Two gets underway in Des Moines, live results of each days events can be found here.
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