Mecheso Runs Well, Relay Teams Falter

A report from John McDonnell Track and Field has an update on Auburn's performance at the NCAA Championships.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Freshman Girma Mecheso made Auburn track and field history on Thursday night, but much of the news was not good for Coach Ralph Spry's Tigers who had several disappointing performances.

Mecheso finished seventh in the 10,000 meters with a time of 29:12.99. In addition to being the first Tiger to earn All-America status in that event, he was a cross country All-American last fall.

The biggest disappointment was the women's 4x400 relay team, which finished 12th in the semi-finals and did not qualify for the finals. The Tigers were ranked No. 2 nationally with a time of 3:31.79, but the team of sophomores Joanna Atkins, Latoya Parkinson, Armbrister and freshman C.C. Williams ran a 3:35.47.

The men's 4x400 team didn't qualify for the finals as it finished 18th in a time of 3:10.62.

Also on Thursday, sophomore Cache Armbrister and freshman Marcus Rowland advanced to the finals in the 200 meters. In the men's 200, Rowland posted times of 20.90 and 20.69 in the preliminary rounds. In the women's 200, Ambrister ran times of 23.39 and a season fastest 23.22 to qualify eighth for the finals.

In the men's 1500 meters, junior Felix Kiboiywo was one spot away from qualifying for the finals. He was 13th in a time of 3:42.18, but ran a personal record in the event.

Sophomore Zach Clayton finished 16th in the discus with a throw of 180 feet, five inches. He moved up three places from last year's NCAA finish.

Sophomore Michael DeHaven finished 12th in the semi-finals of the 200 meters with a time of 20.80 and did not make the finals.

"We had some young people step up today," Spry said. "Marcus and Girma are both freshmen, but they ran well today and so did Cache Armbrister and she's just a sophomore. This is a big learning weekend for us with such a young team, and the good thing is when we come back next year we'll have some experience, which is really going to pay off with this group."
On Friday freshman Ryan Fleck will be in the men's high jump finals for the Tigers and junior Jean-Pierre Weerts will compete in the finals of the men's 5,000 meters. Joanna Atkins will compete in the semi-finals of the women's 400 and the men's 4x100 relay team will try to qualify for the finals.

NCAA Track and Field Results

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