EUGENE—The University of Washington qualified three athletes for Saturday’s finals on a cool and occasionally rainy day at the second day of the NCAA track & field championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Freshman steeplechaser Charlotte Prouse (above/photo by Mike Scott) looked strong as she finished second in her semi, running a personal best of 9:59.15, and in the process, broke ten minutes for the first time in her career.
In the women’s 1500, the Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale, who has had an injury-riddled career at the UW so far, made her first NCAA final, also running a personal best of 4:13.93, as she finished fifth in the first semi-final. In the same semi, teammate Anna Maxwell never was in the mix with the leaders and finished ninth in 4:16.41, running the second fastest time of her career.
Husky senior Baylee Mires, competing in her penultimate race in the purple and gold, was the final time qualifier in the 800, running 2:04.35 in finishing third in the first semi-final. Her time came at the expense of Olympia’s Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon, who finished third in semi-final two in 2:04.56.
In finals contested Thursday, Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin of Boise State, ran with the lead group for most of the race before finishing eighth in a personal best 32:58.78. Washington’s Katie Knight finished 15th in 33:36.90, just off of her personal best of 33:20.02, set in winning the Pac-12 title.
Pac-12 pole vault champion Liz Quick of Washington finished in a 4-way tie for 11th with a best clearance of 13-3.5 (4.05m).
One of the biggest surprises of the day was Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon, who pulled up in the semis of the 100. According to Ken Goe of the Oregonian, she apparently was injured two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regionals in Lawrence. Oregon does not discuss injuries, but some believe she strained a hamstring.
Earlier in the meet, the Ducks, with Cunliffe running the third leg, ran 43.01 to easily qualify for the finals on Saturday, but with Cunliffe’s apparent injury, Oregon will have to substitute her. Cunliffe’s apparent injury may put the Ducks’ national title hopes in jeopardy.
Other athletes with Washington ties who competed Thursday included Shelby Mills of Gonzaga, who ran in the lead group early in the same steeple heat that Prouse of UW qualified out of, before fading to 9th in 10:12.81. The Huskies’ Kennadi Bouyer was seventh in the third semi-final of the 100, running 11.60.
Friday’s finals include the Huskies’ Izaic Yorks’ bid for a national title in the 1500, while Tacoma native Marcus Chambers looks to contend for the 400 title. The Huskies’ Colby Gilbert will contest the finals of the 5000 meters.
Additionally, Washington State’s Liz Harper begins competition in the first four events of the heptathlon.
Here's the complete schedule of athletes with Washington ties competing at the NCAA championships the next two days:
W heptathlon (12:30 pm)—Liz Harper
M 1500 finals (5:42 pm)—Izaic Yorks
M 400 finals (6:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Colby Gilbert
W Heptathlon (11:30 am)—Harper
W High Jump finals (3:00 pm)—Harper
W Discus finals (3:05 pm)—Tera Novy
W 4 x 100 relay (3:32 pm)—Hannah Cunliffe (?)
W 1500 finals (3:41 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale
W 3000 steeple finals (3:52 pm)—Charlotte Prouse
W 800 finals (4:47 pm)—Baylee Mires
W 5000 finals (5:25 pm)—Brenna Peloquin
The NCAA track & field championships are being carried live each day on the ESPN family of networks. The link to the time schedule is available here.
MÅKESTAD BOVIN TENTH IN BISLETT GAMES MILE
In Oslo, former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finished tenth in the Dream Mile at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games Thursday night.
Måkestad Bovin, making a comeback from an injury, ran 4:31.57, as Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won in a world leading time of 4:18.60.
Results from the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, which is the seventh stop of the IAAF Diamond League tour, are available here.
NOTE: The University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and the NCAA contributed to this report.