Men's Track and Field advances three to finals on first day of NCAA Championships
SACRAMENTO -- Senior high jumper Andra Manson, senior discus thrower Derek Randall, and junior 800-meter runner Jacob Hernandez were the top advancers for the 10th-ranked Texas men's track and field team on the first day (June 6) of the 2007 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
A familiar site at the NCAA national championships over the past few years, Manson (Brenham, Texas) continued his streak of high jump finals appearances with a qualifying round clearance of 6-10.75 (2.10m). Manson takes a shot at his final high jump title on Friday, June 8 at 5 p.m. CT.
Randall (Beeville, Texas) also advanced to his event finals, tossing the ninth-farthest discus mark of the qualifying round -- 192-5 (58.64m). The 2007 NCAA Midwest Region Discus Champion hit the mark on his third and final attempt, and will step into the ring for a shot at the national title at 7:15 p.m. CT on Friday.
"Manson and Randall did what they were so supposed to do," said Texas head men's track and coach Bubba Thornton." They qualified easily and I think they will get a lot of confidence from that."
As the first advancer of the day for the Longhorns, Hernandez (Magnolia, Texas) clocked 1:49.06 as one of 16 first round advancers in Thursday's semifinals (7:05 p.m. CT).
Competing in the combined events, redshirt freshman Andrew Webb (Midland, Texas) used a first-place finish in the high jump to finish ninth overall with a first-day point total of 3,801 points. Webb jumped three-fourths of an inch higher than his lifetime best in high school, clearing 6-8.75 (2.05m), and tying for first in the decathlon high jump event with 2007 Big 12 Decathlon Champion Neil Hines.
Webb started the day clocking another lifetime best mark of 11.08 seconds in the 100. In the long jump, Webb landed in the pit at 21-10.75 (6.66m). He tossed the shot put 39-6 (12.04m), and in the final event of the day, rounded the track in the 400 in 51.09 seconds.
"Andrew really had an excellent day," said Thornton. "His high jump performance really put him into the mix. He definitely competed very well today. He's come (here) to compete and is doing a good job."
True freshman Shawn Schmidt (Plano, Texas) had a solid performance as his best outing came in the long jump. He registered his second farthest jump of the season with a 21-8.75 (6.62m) mark.
In the other events, Schmidt cleared 6-4 (1.93m) in the high jump, and tossed 41-6 (12.65m) in the decathlon shot put. Schmidt ended the day with a 51.88 in the 400.
Junior All-American Jake Morse (Arlington, Texas) fought some adversity in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He set the pace during the first few laps before settling into the middle of the pack of runners. Mississippi State's Travis McKay took a bad fall in the water pit slowing down a few runners, including Morse, who finished the race in 9:11.76.
UT will race in four events tomorrow, all on the track. Junior Hamza Deyaf (Richardson, Texas) starts with the 400-meter hurdles at 6:10 p.m. Hernandez returns to run the 800 semifinal at 6:50 p.m., just ahead of the trio of 1,500-meter runners from Texas (Leo Manzano, Darren Brown and Erik Stanley) slated for 8:05 p.m. Senior Andrew Middleton (College Station, Texas) ends the day at 10 p.m. in the 10,000-meter run. All times are Central.
2007 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
800-meter first round
Discus qualifying round