Francois upgrades NCAA bid

UT's Frank Francois made the most of his last chance in the 800m run Saturday at Iowa State's NCAA Qualifier. The sophomore improved his indoor lifetime best to 1:49.20 to better his previous provisional time and take fifth on the oversized, flat track at Iowa State.

While shaving .21 of a second shaved off his converted time from last weekend's SEC Indoor Championships doesn't move him squarely into the NCAA Indoor field, it does place him in better position. Francois will learn more about his fate as last chance meets around the country wrap up later this weekend and the national leader lists are tweaked.

Jonathan Wade and Karl Jennings also enjoyed good results in qualifying through the prelims and semifinals in their respective events. However, neither Vol made an improvement on his NCAA Indoor stock, leaving both likely out of the show barring unforeseen developments.

Wade pulled double duty in the 60m dash and 200m dash. The freshman sprinter clocked in at 6.85 to advance from the 60m dash preliminaries with the sixth-fastest time. Wade got a step faster in the semifinals with a 6.78 to qualify for the finals with the sixth-fastest time. In the finals, Wade turned it up a notch with a quality second-place, 6.76 finish. However, the effort didn't quite match his provisional time of 6.70 run at the Kroger Invitational in January.

The 200m dash took place in just one round, where Wade ran a sixth-place, 21.28. However, his 21.18 provisional time at the SEC Eastern Division Challenge in January stands a little swifter.

Meanwhile, Jennings ran three rounds of the 60m hurdles with each round's time a provisional mark. He clocked in at 7.94 in the 60m hurdles prelims to move on with the fourth-fastest time. His best time of the day, a 7.89, came in the semifinals, the fifth-fastest in that round. Jenningsâ finals time of 7.95 finished sixth. However, none of the times improved upon his 7.84 run at the SEC Eastern Division Challenge.

UT will release its finalized list of NCAA Indoor qualifiers Tuesday. The NCAA Indoor Championships take place next weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.


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