Boit In Position For 5k, 10k Double

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- One down, two to go.Arkansas distance specialist Josphat Boit, the reigning 5,000-meter NCAA Indoor champion took the first step toward making the outdoor race golden, too.

Boit qualified for the 5,000 finals Wednesday night with a time of 14, minutes, 3.46 seconds at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor National Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Complex. He finished fourth in his heat, needing only a top-6 finish to advance.

Entering the meet, Boit was seeded second behind only Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky, whom Boit had beaten two weeks ago at the NCAA Mideast Regionals in Knoxville, Tenn. Arkansas sophomore Shawn Forrest failied to qualify in the 5,000.

The finals will be held Friday night. Boit placed sixth a year ago in his first-ever NCAA Outdoor Championships.

But tonight, Boit will run in the 10,000 finals, amongst 25 other athletes. The Kenya native holds the nation's top time in the event of 28.22.09.

Texas-Pan American's Westly Keating is seeded second (28:24.08).

Boit will be joined by fellow senior Marc Rodrigues, of South Africa, in the 10,000.

Arkansas's first competitor came in the high jump in the shape of junior Greg Martin.

In Wednesdays' qualifying round, Martin failed to clear 7 feet, 1 1/2 inches, which was a half-inch under his career best which he set at The Woodlands (Texas) High School.

"He looked like he forced it a little bit on his last height," Arkansas field events coach Dick Booth said. "It looked like he got out of his rhythm. Hopefully he will learn from it and next time do better."

Entering the event, many expected the qualifying height to be 7-0 1/4, but 18 athletes cleared the mark and no more than 16 were allowed to qualify for Friday's finals.

"I'm going to take this as a lesson," Martin said. "I'm so disappointed."

Martin had been nursing an ankle injury since the Southeastern Conference Championships in May, where he finished second.

"I have a lot of stressed tissue in my right ankle," Martin said.

"I don't know what to do. I just have to use this as fuel for next year. I will probably just go home and start all over."

Martin was not expected to score in the high jump.

Today at the NCAAs, javelin thrower Eric Brown, the leading collegiate, will take his qualifying throws at 3:15 pm. (CST). He was fourth in the javelin at last year's NCAAs.

Also, Adam Perkins will race the semifinals of the 1,500, a race in which he placed fourth.

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