Trio of Tigers Advance to Track Nationals

Louisville, Ky.--Freshman Ryan Fleck and juniors Jean-Pierre Weerts and Eric Werskey qualified for the nationals on the opening day of competition at the NCAA Mideast Track and Field Regional.

Fleck jumped seven feet, 2 1/4 inches to finish third in the high jump, his highest leap competing as a Tiger. It also moved him to fourth on the AU all-time list.

Weerts took third in the 5000 meters with a time of 14:09.02 after being seeded 10th. The top five individuals in each event advance to the nationals set for June 10-13 in Fayettville, Ark. It was the only track event with a finals race. The rest will be run on Saturday.

Werskey threw the shot put 59 feet, 8 1/2 inches to take fifth place. He qualified on his fifth and final throw on Friday.

On the downside for Auburn, the women's 4x100-meter relay team, which ranked fourth nationally, was disqualified after an exchange problem and can't compete in the nationals.

Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said, "Unfortunately our first event was the women's 4x100 relay and we just didn't get the baton around, but after that we really cleaned up.

"Everybody that we were expecting to get through got the job done. We're doing what we came here to do. That's the most important thing is to get to the finals to give yourself a chance to finish in the top five. We came here to get a lot of people qualified for the national championships and right now we're on pace to do that."

Freshman Marcus Rowland ran a 10.16, just .03 of his personal record set at the SEC meet, to advance to the finals of the 100 meters. That was the fastest time in the prelims.

Rowland also qualified for the 200 in 20.78, the third fastest time on Friday as he won his heat. Another Auburn freshman, Michael DeHaven, also ran a 20.78 on Friday as he won his heat.

In the women's 200 sophomore Cache Ambrister ran a 23.57 and freshman C.C. Williams also qualified with a personal-record 23.77.

Sophomore Joanna Atkins, the favorite in the event, advanced in the 400 as expected with a time of 53.09.

The men's 4x100-meter relay team advanced to Saturday's final by winning its heat with a time of 39.78 seconds that ranked third fastest overall. The team of Stephen Fly, Jerod Wims, DeHaven and Rowland entered the meet ranked third in the region.

Marcus Rowland takes the baton from Michael DeHaven in the 4x100.

Junior Felix Kiboiywo qualified for the finals of the men's 1500 meters posting the fourth fastest time in the prelims with a mark of 3:46.05.

Junior Danielle Gilchrist won her heat of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.03 seconds which ranked fifth-best in the field. Gilchrist also ran in the 100-meter hurdles, but hit the first hurdle and never fully recovered, finishing 16th with a time of 13.84 seconds.

Junior Shaquela Williams, who entered the meet ranked 12th in the women's 100 meters field, had the fifth-best time in the prelims, qualifying for Saturday's final with a season-best time of 11.57.

Meet Results

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