McCann Advances To NCAA Championship In The Steeplechase
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Drake University sophomore Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario) advanced to the NCAA Track and Field Championships by finishing sixth in the preliminary heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA West Preliminary on Friday night in Fayetteville, Ark.
McCann finished second in his heat and sixth overall in 8:46.44 to advance to the NCAA Championships with his personal best and the second fastest steeplechase time in school history. The only runner faster than him in his heat was the defending NCAA Champion in the event, UTEP’s Anthony Rotich, who had the fastest qualifying time on the day in 8:38.80.
“I think he was a little nervous going into the race,” said Drake distance coach Dan Hostager. “But once the gun went off, he ran a great tactical race and used his closing speed to pass three or four runners in the final 200 meters. He’s just scratching the surface as he continues to build confidence.”
Advancing to the NCAA Championships next month in Eugene, Ore., is just another honor for McCann during his breakout sophomore season. Two weeks ago, he became the Missouri Valley Conference Champion in the steeplechase and was named the conference’s Elite 18 Award winner for having the highest GPA at the championship event.
McCann wasn’t the only Bulldog to have a successful showing on Friday night. Senior Sarah Yeager (Ottumwa, Iowa) advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary quarterfinals by finishing 22nd in the opening heats of the 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 13.81 was the fourth fastest in her heat. To advance to the NCAA Championships, she will need to improve to a 12th place or better finish in Saturday’s quarterfinal heats, set to go off at 7:20 p.m.
Drake was also represented on Friday by senior Andy Curtis (Manchester, Iowa) in the hammer throw. Curtis did not advance through the NCAA West Preliminary, finishing 42nd with a throw of 176-8.