Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Washington's Andrew Gardner advances to steeple finals; Wenatchee native Isaiah Brandt-Sims & Stanford 4x4 relay move on as well...

EUGENE—University of Washington senior Andrew Gardner (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished third in the second of two semi-final heats of the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase on the first day of the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Competing on a perfect day for distance running, Gardner, who was making his second career appearance at the NCAA championships, bided his time and stayed out of trouble to finish in a time of 8:41.48, just behind Stanford’s Steven Fahy, who was second in the heat at 8:40.53, and winner Noah Affolder of Syracuse, who ran 8:40.36.

Gardner’s time was the second fastest of his career, just three seconds off the PR he ran in winning his quarterfinal race back at West Prelims in Sacramento.

In the men’s 4 x 400 relay, Stanford, with Wenatchee native Isaiah Brandt-Sims, advanced to the finals, as the Cardinal ran a season best 3:04.82 in finishing third in their heat, earning a time qualifier.

Earlier in the meet, the Cardinal, with Brandt-Sims on the team, did not qualify for the finals in the 4 x 100 relay, as they ran 39.86.

In the men’s 1500 meter semis, Washington State’s Chandler Teigen ran 3:56.59, as he finished twelfth in his heat.

In the men’s hammer, Washington State’s Brock Eager replicated his 14th place finish from last year, throwing a best of 223-0 (67.97m), as Denzel Comenentia of Georgia won at 250-8 (76.41m).

The men’s pole vault finals saw the Cougars’ Pac-12 champ Sander Moldau finish 17th with a best of 16-10.75 (5.15m), as South Dakota’s Chris Nilsen won at 19-1.5 (5.83m) to set a new meet record.

Thursday, the women take to the track, with Washington State’s Kaili Keefe, the transfer from Eastern Washington, getting things underway in the women’s 1500 at 4:16 pm (top five in each of the two heats, plus the two fastest advance).

Sixteen minutes later, Washington’s Emily Hamlin makes her NCAA track & field championship debut in the 3000 steeplechase, as she looks for a top five finish to automatically advance, or a time qualifier, to Saturday’s final.

At 6 pm, Washington State junior Stephanie Cho runs in the second of three heats in the 400 hurdles, where she’ll need to place in the top two to automatically advance to Saturday’s finals, or get one of the two time qualifiers.

Here’s the time schedule of athletes competing the rest of the week (all times Pacific):

Thursday

W 1500 semis (4:16 pm)—Kaili Keefe
W Steeple semis (4:32 pm)—Emily Hamlin
W 400 hurdles semis (6:00 pm)—Stephanie Cho

Friday

W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson
M Steeple finals (5:54pm)—Andrew Gardner
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Colby Gilbert
M 4 x 400 relay finals (7:51 pm)—Isaiah Brandt-Sims

Saturday

W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson

The ESPN family of networks offers live coverage of the NCAA championships both over-the-air and online each day.

Results from day 1 of the NCAA championships are available here.

NOTE:  The NCAA, University of Oregon, Washington State University, and the University of Washington contributed to this report. 

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