FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State’s Jesse Jorgensen and Andrew Gonzales advanced to the NCAA Championships during Friday’s competition at the NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships Preliminary Rounds at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.
Jorgensen, a redshirt junior from Puyallup, Wash., ran the men’s 800m semifinals in a time of 1 minute, 49.05 seconds, third place in the first heat, and the 11th competitor to qualify for the NCAA quarterfinals in Eugene next month. Jorgensen ran the prelims in a time of 1:48.86 Thursday. He was an indoor All-American in 2014 in this same event.
“I thought Jesse ran a good, smart race and got himself in a good position after the first two guys went out real fast and the rest of the pack caught up to Jesse’s heels,” WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. “He held his position after getting challenged coming off the turn and put himself in a good position to be competitive at the end. He held on to third for the final qualifying spot of the heat. He’s showing that he is a legitimate NCAA competitor.”
Senior Andrew Gonzales (Kennewick, Wash.) finished 10th in the men’s 3000m steeplechase with a lifetime-best time of 8:47.14, taking fourth place in the second heat. He chopped an impressive seven seconds off his previous PR time of 8:54.17 and nearly 10 seconds off his 2014 best time of 8:57.40.
“Gonzo raced really well and got a seven-second PR,” Sloan said. “As the pack thinned out he worked his way back up to the front. Coming out of the water jump for the next to the last time, he started charging. He was passed with about 300 meters to go and Gonzo was in a pack of about five guys. He battled those guys for that third spot, the automatic spot, but he fell back to fourth. But it was easily the fastest time qualifier even though he had to sit through the second race of the night.”
In other semifinal racing, Abby Regan and Courtney Zalud finished out of the qualifying Friday night in the women’s 800m. Regan, a junior from Coonamble, NSW, Australia, ran a time of 2:08.15 for 15th place, after running a prelim time of 2:07.44 Thursday. Zalud, a senior from Colbert, Wash., ran the semifinals in a time of 2:10.72 for 22nd after racing to a time of 2:07.59 in the prelims.
Erin Allen, a junior from Kenmore, Wash., ran a lifetime-best time of 59.19 for 20th in the women’s 400m hurdles semifinals and fifth-best in WSU all-time records. Allen ran a PR time of 59.21 in the Thursday prelims.
“Erin was impressive here, running twice in two days with consecutive PRs,” Sloan noted.
Jacob Sealby, a redshirt junior from Wenatchee, Wash., ran the 400m dash semifinals in a time of 47.28, 23rd on the day, after his prelim performance time of 46.97 seconds.
In the men’s 110m hurdles prelims, freshman Daniel Zmuda (DuPont, Wash.) ran a lifetime-best time of 14.22 seconds for the 24th and final qualifying spot in the Saturday semifinals. Josiah Sims (senior, Tacoma) ran a time of 14.40 for 35th and Garrett Gerling (redshirt junior, Walla Walla) ran a time of 14.50 for 41st.
In the women’s 100m hurdles prelims, Shaquana Logan (senior, Tacoma) ran a time of 13.87 for 27th, and did not advance.
Thane Pierson (sophomore, Naches, Wash.) high jumped a PR of height of 6-feet, 11 1/2 inches (2.12m), over the bar on his second attempt. Pierson ended Friday’s performance tied for 16th.
Charlotte Muschamp (redshirt junior, Edendale, New Zealand) triple jumped a distance of 40-11 3/4 (12.49m) on her first attempt and felt her hamstring tighten. She passed on her final two attempts and finished in 18th place. Muschamp, the 2014 Pac-12 high jump champion will high jump Saturday.
The NCAA West Regional Preliminary Rounds conclude May 31, in Fayetteville, Ark. The top 12 from each event at that meet advance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-4 in Eugene.