AUSTIN – Arizona saw eight more athletes qualify to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene as Justice Summerset and the men's and women's 4x400-meter relay teams all punched their tickets today.
Summerset cleared seven feet for the first time since April 8 as he jumped 7-0½ (2.15m) to take seventh place. He was the only freshman in the NCAA West Prelims to advance to the finals and will be one of two freshman competing in high jump in Eugene.
"It was a great high jump," head coach Fred Harvey said. "Him going on as a freshman compliments what he did in indoors well and it is very satisfying to see him there."
He is also the first freshman men's high jumper to advance to the NCAA Finals since Nick Ross and Edgar Rivera-Morales went as freshman back in 2011. Ross is also the last Arizona high jumper to advance to the finals, which was back in 2014.
In the women's 4x400-meter relay, the team of Diana Gajda, Brena Andrews, Jasper Gray and Sage Watson finished in third place in their heat with a season-best time of 3:34.71, which will send them to Eugene. With 400 meters to go, the Wildcats were in sixth place, but Watson was able to finish strong to give Arizona the third qualifying spot in the first heat. The squad shaved about three second off their previous season-best and had the ninth-fastest time overall.
"The women's team really stepped up," Harvey said. "The ladies ran good times in the first three legs and then Sage Watson ran 50.5 in the anchor leg, which gave us the opportunity to move on."
On the men's side, the 4x400-meter relay team of Bryce Houston, Miles Parish, Michael Demby and Zakee Washington clocked a season-best time of 3:05.28 to qualify for Eugene. They shaved about 1.4 seconds off their previous season-best and had the eighth-fastest time overall.
"What really inspired them was watching the women's team make it on to Eugene," Harvey said. "That gave them some additional fire to go out there and run well. I'm really excited about all our athletes who made it to Eugene. It was a great day to be a Wildcat."
Viktor Gardenkrans finished in 16th place in the discus throw with a toss of 179-2 (54.63m) and Megan Dulaney took 28th with a toss of 49-5½ (15.07m) in the shot put, marks that did not qualify for the finals in Eugene. In the 5K, Claire Green took 16th place in her heat and will not advance to Eugene.
With that, 12 Wildcats will compete in Eugene for the National Championships starting on Wednesday, June 7 at Historic Hayward Field. The 12 include Summerset, Houston, Parish, Demby, Watson, Gajda, Gray, Andrews, Bailey Roth, Aaron Castle, Lisanne Hagens and Karla Teran.