"I think a lot of it has to do with the environment back in Auburn," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "We've been fortunate over the years to have some high-level sprinters. Our coaching staff is strong and we know how to get people ready.
"We also have some great resources that help us get our athletes prepared for high-level events like NCAAs," Spry added. "All these guys have the competitiveness that it takes and not everyone has that. We are fortunate to have this talented group.
Adams posted a time of 20.49 seconds and was the first of the one-two punch the Tigers unleashed on the first heat. Keenan Brock finished with a time of 20.65, which puts both in the finals in an event that Auburn is counting on to make a run at a Top 10 finish.
"Today my main point was to make the finals to make up for the mistakes I had in my 100 meters," said Brock, the SEC 100 champ who missed qualifying for the NCAA finals. "I actually came out here and did it. To do it from lane two, which is a difficult task, feels good.
"Yesterday, I was very frustrated," Brock said. "Words can't even really describe how I upset I was. You just have to put it in the past and work towards the future. That's what I did today."
Brock nearly didn't make the cut, however, because of what would have been a bad start. Seconds before the gun sounded, he wisely put his hand in the air to signal officials that something was wrong with his starting block. After fixing the problem, the race took place.
"I knew when I saw Keenan's face before the race that he was ready to run," Adams said. "We had been talking to him and I knew he was ready from the start. I ran my race and he came right with me."
Marcus Rowland finished the event in 15th place, with a time of 20.80, but nearly finished in the top two of the third heat.
The top six runners were neck-and-neck the final 150 meters, and Rowland slowed just enough to fall from a possible second-place finish to fourth, eliminating him from making the finals.
"Marcus Rowland ran a great race out of lane two and it was just unfortunate," Spry said. "Lane two is really tight and you have to work so hard in the turns, but he did a great job."
"Any time you have the chance to run against top sprinters, you push yourself," Spry said. "Our guys are fortunate to get that every day in practice. On any given day, any of them can be the best guy and I think they feed off that energy. There is strength in numbers, and you see that at big meets like this one."
Kai Selvon runs the curve on Thursday in Des Moines.
Kai Selvon was the only woman to compete for the Tigers on Thursday, but lived up to expectations in the 200 meters. Running in the first heat, the junior found herself in a pack of three others near the finish line. Putting all of her effort into the last few meters, Selvon emerged in second place with a time of 22.66, one-hundredth of a second behind heat-winner Paris Daniels.
Selvon's time set a new personal record and tied former Auburn sprinter Juliet Campbell's mark in 1993 for the second best time in school history.
"Kai Selvon did a great job today," Spry said. "That is a personal record for her two days in a row. She came off the turn in second or third and did a great job of finishing. Her time was in the top three overall. She is somebody that we need to come up big in the 100 and 200 and help the women get over the hump into the Top 25."
LSU sprinter Kimberlyn Duncan took the spotlight of the event, running the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.19, marking the fastest it has been ran in the world this year.
"We assured ourselves some points in the finals with two in the 100 and two in the deuce along with the 4x100 and Stephen Saenz," Spry said. "I feel good about what we can do here. We just need to finish it off in the finals. It's really exciting. Tomorrow (Friday) is the first chance we have to put some points on the board and these first two days have put us in good position to be a big factor here over the last two days."
After the second day and six of 21 events complete at the NCAA Championships, Texas leads the men's standings with 19 points. Arkansas and Nebraska trail the Longhorns with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Atop the women's leaderboard for the second day is Stanford,, which has 22 points. Kansas and Oklahoma are tied for second place with 14 points each.
Day three of action for the Tigers begins at 4:30 p.m. CDT with two-time SEC high jump champion Maya Pressley trying to improve her 13th-place finish from a year ago. Also on the schedule is the 100 meters final, which will feature Adams, Rowland and Selvon. Those events are scheduled for 5:55 p.m. and 6:02 p.m., respectively.