Utah State track and field heading to Arkansas for NCAA Championship first round

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s men and women’s track & field teams will be represented by 18 student-athletes competing in 16 events at the NCAA Championship First Round at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark. The championships will be held Thursday through Saturday, May 29-31.

Competition will begin on Thursday at 11 a.m. (MT) with the women’s javelin and will end at 8:40 p.m. with the women’s 10,000m. Action will resume on Friday at 9 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw and will conclude at 8:30 p.m. with the women’s 3,000m steeplechase. Saturday’s action will start at 9 a.m. with the women’s hammer throw, while the women’s 4x400m relay race will wrap the meet up at 8:45 p.m.

Utah State is coming off of its first Mountain West Outdoor Championships, in which the Aggie men placed third and the USU women finished sixth. The Aggies garnered six event titles and 22 first-team all-Mountain West selections. Additionally, junior Nic Bowens was named the Outstanding Performer of the Meet.

“We are really excited to participate in the first round of the NCAA Championships because of how highly ranked our student-athletes are that will be competing this weekend,” said Aggie veteran head coach Gregg Gensel. “All of our qualifying student-athletes have put in a lot of hard work and this is a great accomplishment in their careers.”

For the Aggie women, juniors Rachel Orr and Chari Hawkins will take part in the high jump after setting the 11th (1.80m/5-10.75) and 42nd-best (1.75m/5-08.75) marks in the field, respectively. Hawkins also qualified in the long jump with a 24th ranking (6.09m/19-11.75) and 100m hurdles with a ranking of 30th (13.57).

Senior Sam Nielson qualified in the triple jump with the 40th-best leap of 12.39m (40-07.75), while senior Keeley Eldredge and junior Melanie Heslop will compete in the hammer throw after posting rankings of 20th (60.00m/196-10) and 31st (58.76m/192-09), respectively. Senior Kaylee Hartshorn and freshman Mia Estes both qualified in the javelin after ranking 29th (47.74m/156-07) and 41st (45.94m/150-09), respectively.

On the track, senior Kylie Ross set the 39th-best time of 59.80 to qualify in the 400m hurdles and junior Brittany Bushman will compete in the 3,000m steeplechase after recording a time of 10:28.18, good for the 41st-fastest time in the field.

On the men’s side, Aggie sprinters make up a large portion of the field. Junior Nic Bowens (10th/10.19), senior Silas Pimentel (28th/10.42) and sophomore Parker Bluth (35th/10.43) will compete in the 100m. Bowens (13th/20.77) and Pimentel (28th/10.42) also qualified for the 200m. Bowens, Pimentel and Bluth, along with senior Jacob Bautista Jr., will also take part in the 4x100m relay race, after posting a ranking of ninth with a time of 39.68. Junior Cole Lambourne will represtent Utah State in the 400m after setting the 33rd fastest time of 46.92. Finally, junior Eric Shellhorn (45th/3:46.03) will compete in the 1,500m and freshman Colby Wilson (22nd/8:54.12) will take part in the 3,000m steeplechase.

In the field, senior Bryce Hall qualified in the shot put with a ranking of 45th (17.28m/56-08.50) and sophomore Kevin Allen will compete in the discus after ranking 30th (54.92/180-02).

Meet information, including the complete schedule can be found at http://bit.ly/1mcW08G. Live results will be made available for each day of competition at www.FlashResults.com.

Following the first round, qualifying athletes will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals in Eugene, Ore on Jun. 11-13.

Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including Aggie track & field and cross country, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics, on Instagram at http://instagram.com/USUAthletics, or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/USUAthletics.

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