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Thursday, June 08, 2006 | Track & Field
NCAA Track and Field Championship Day One Recap
Amarachi Ukabam and Ty Davis of Southern Illinois made it past the preliminary round of competition Wednesday at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex on day one of the NCAA National Track and Field Championships.
Indiana State's Jordan Fife was the final qualifier on the day in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Desiraye Osburn of Wichita State qualified for the finals of the 5,000-meter run, placing sixth in the preliminary race.
These athletes will move on to compete in the finals of their respective events Saturday on the campus of Cal State University.
Fife ran his fastest time of the year with a qualifying 8:43.89 in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The performance was just shy of his all-time best and ISU record time of 8:42.43. The fastest qualifying time of the day came from Arizona State's Aaron Aguayo, crossing the line at 8:38.28.
Sparks mark of 172 feet 6 inches was short of his previous marks in the year and placed 22 out of 26. Despite the finish, the native of West Bend, Wisconsin finishes his career as the all-time record holder at Indiana State and the Missouri Valley Conference in the discus with a mark of 198 feet 5 inches set this year at the Illinois Invitational.
Cepeda has 3,691 points after five events. Cepeda's best effort on the day was in the shot put, where he finished fourth with a throw of 46'7 ½". He placed sixth in the 100 meter dash in a time of 11.29, and was 12th in the long jump with a season-best leap of 22'0 ¾". He placed 15th in the high jump after clearing 6'1 ¼", and was 23rd in the 400 meters in a time of 51.96. The final five events - the 110 high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 meters - will be held on Thursday.
Poljanec cleared 17'4 ½" and was one of 13 athletes to make it to Friday night's pole vault finals. Junior teammate Jarno Kivioja cleared 16'10 ¾", but missed on all three of his attempts at 17'4 ½" and did not advance to the finals.
On Thursday at the NCAA championships, in addition to Cepeda in the decathlon, UNI sophomore Rachel Jansen will compete in the preliminaries of the shot put.
Ukabam threw 181-03 in the women's discus prelims to take the top spot entering Saturday's finals. The senior will also take part in the shot put prelims Friday.
Davis ran 2:06.48 to take 11th overall in the women's 800-meter run, advancing to finals.
On the men's side, Anthony Acklin made it past the first round of the 110-meter hurdles in 14.03 to advance to the semi-finals. In the semi-final round, he ran 13.91 to finish 12th overall and just miss qualifying for finals.
Mark Milleville threw 200-03 in the hammer to finish 21st overall.
Ukabam, along with Brittany Riley will compete Thursday for the Salukis. Ukabam in the prelims of the shot put and Riley in the prelims of the women's hammer.
Osburn will run at a chance for her fourth All-America title, her second-consecutive in the 5,000-meters, on Friday evening.
Junior Sarah Becker and sophomore Linda Feldberga both competed in events Wednesday evening, but both failed to qualify. Becker placed 27th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 10:44.68. Feldberga placed 22nd in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:07.54, the best time of her career.
Junior Tasha Gallegos and senior Jackie Brown will compete in Thursday's preliminary rounds. Gallegos will compete in the 400-meter hurdles, while Brown will pole vault.
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