Tigers Advance Relay, Others at NCAA Meet

A report from the opening day of competition at the NCAA track meet is featured.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Rain played havoc with the opening day of competition at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, but Auburn was able to advance its men's 4x100 relay team to the semi-finals on Wednesday night.

Sophomore Stephen Fly, senior Jerod Wims, sophomore Michael DeHaven and freshman Marcus Rowland ran a season-best time of 39.31 seconds that was the fastest by an Auburn team in the last 10 years and the fourth fastest in school history.

Competing late at night after a three-hour rain delay, freshman high jumper Ryan Fleck was successful on both of his jumps to qualify for Friday night's finals with a height of 6-10 3/4.

Joanna Atkins advanced to the semifinals of the women's 400 meters with the third fastest time of 52.53 as she won her heat. She will compete in the semi-finals on Friday.

Jean-Pierre Weerts advanced to Friday night's final in the men's 5,000 meters with his fastest time of the season, 14:04.70.

The other news was not as good for Coach Ralph Spry's Tigers. Junior Eric Werskey did not qualify for the finals of the shot put. His toss of 59 feet, 11 1/4 inches was less than an inch from qualifying.

In the women's high jump senior Raevan Harris, who was expected to be one of the top competitors in the event, struggled and did not qualify for the finals. She went out after clearing 5-8 1/2. She was third at last year's NCAA Championships. SEC women's 400 meters hurdle champ Danielle Gilchrist struggled, too, running a time of 58.68 and did not advance into the semi-finals.

Competing for the Tigers are day two on Thursday will be Rowland and Michael DeHaven in the men's 200 meters, sophomore Cache Armbrister in the women's 200 meters, sophomore Zach Clayton in the discus, junior Felix Kiboiywo in the 1500 meters and the men's and women's 4x400-meter relay teams.

"We had both good and bad today," said head coach Ralph Spry. "We had a couple of opportunities that we didn't capitalize on where our kids competed but not at the level that they needed to to get into the finals. On the positive side our men's 4x100-meter relay ran very well and the three kids that advanced after the rain delay all did a good job of staying focused and keeping their composure throughout the delay."

NCAA Championship Results

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