By Steve Holt, Copy Editor
Athletes were added to the provisional qualifying list in seven new events last weekend as the ACU track and field teams competed at the 45th annual Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Three meets remain in the outdoor season for Wildcat athletes to qualify for the Division II Outdoor National Championships May 22-24 in Edwardsville, Ill.
The Mt. SAC Relays, which lasted from Thursday through Saturday, featured many of the top Division I and II universities, as well as some of the top elite track and field athletes in the world.
Senior Nic Alexander added himself to the provisional list in the Olympic Development men’s 100-meter dash, winning the event in 10.31. Teammate Christie VanWyk, who qualified automatically in the event earlier this season, placed third at Mt. SAC.
Freshman Delt Cockrell again improved his time in the 400-meter dash, placing seventh with a provisional time of 47.4. Junior Nick Branen qualified provisionally in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, placing15th in 9:19.06. The final men’s qualifier was junior Arthemon Sindayigaya, whose time of 14:27.42 in the 5,000-meter run qualified him provisionally.
Cockrell said his performance was sweet after struggling with a hamstring injury for much of the season.
“It felt good,” he said. “I’ve been waiting to run that good all year.”
Sophomore Bernard Manirakiza placed fourth in the men’s invitational mile run with a time of 4:05.64. Though the mile is not run at outdoor nationals, Manirakiza competed well against some of the nation’s fastest milers.
Three ACU women qualified provisionally in four events. Junior Sofi Hildenborg posted provisional marks in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes with times of 24.37 and 55.09, respectively. Senior Althea Johnson finished 13th in the 200-meter dash in 24.24 for a provisional mark, while senior Angie Waters qualified provisionally with her 2:12.73 run in the 800 meters.
Cockrell said the team looks good at this point in the season and has its sights set for another national title.
“I think we’ll do great,” he said. “Even if we don’t win we’ll give whoever does a run for their money. It’s not gonna be any easy walk in the park for whoever wins.”