Track And Field Sends Four To NCAA Preliminary Round
Four Drake University student-athletes are set to compete this week at the NCAA West Preliminary round with the goal of advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as the Bulldogs continue the championship portion of their season. Sarah Yeager (Ottumwa, Iowa), Andy Curtis (Manchester, Iowa), Kai Asberry (Carrollton, Texas) and Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario) will begin competition on Thursday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
To qualify for the West Preliminary, competitors must rank within the top-48 in their individual event in the region. The 12 finalists from each region advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., June 11-14
It will be Drake’s second trip this season to the Razorbacks’ McConnell Field where the Bulldogs opened up the outdoor season at the Arkansas Spring Invitational on April 5.
McCann enters the West Preliminary round as the Bulldogs’ highest ranking competitor checking in with the 12th fastest time in the region in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The sophomore and reigning Missouri Valley Champion, posted a career best time of 8:50.79 in winning that title and currently ranks 26th nationally in the event. McCann will vie for one of the 12 coveted spots to advance to the NCAA Championships on Friday evening at 8:50 p.m.
Drake will also be well represented in the hurdles with Yeager and Asberry competing in three total races. Asberry will be the first to step into the blocks with his first-round heat of the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Asberry qualified for the West Preliminary thanks his personal best time of 51.70 set at the MVC Championship. That mark is the 39th fastest in the field at Fayetteville.
Yeager will be pulling double duty this week, competing in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. Shortly after Asberry’s 400-meter hurdle race, Yeager will follow with the first women’s heat of the event at 5 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday at 5:30 p.m. she will compete in the first heats of the 100-meter hurdles. Her season best 100-meter hurdle time of 13.60, set in finishing third at the MVC Championship, is the 34th best time in the West Preliminary field. Her time of 1:00.21 in the 400-meter hurdles is the 47th best in the field.
Curtis, Drake’s lone competitor in the field events, qualified in the hammer throw thanks to his personal best of 196-3 that ranks 47th in the West region. He’ll look to improve upon that mark starting on Friday at 10 a.m.