By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
With two weekends to go before the Lone Star Conference Championships, the men’s and women’s track and field teams added eight new qualifiers for the national meet at the Michael Johnson Classic in Waco on Saturday.
Four men and four women added their names to the provisional lists with their performances Saturday, and one woman, transfer Adeh Mwamba, qualified automatically for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships.
Mwamba won the women’s 1,500-meter run with an automatic time of 4:25.49, the top Division II time this season. Teammate Olha Kryv’yak bettered her time in the event, in which she placed third overall, with her time of 4:40.20.
“Adeh’s 1,500 meter time was good especially considering she did not have much competition in the race,” said head coach Jon Murray. “I envision a better time for her in the future.”
Amy Williams posted a provisional mark in the discus with a throw of 146-01. Williams also bettered her provisional mark in the shot put, throwing 44-4 3/4 to finish fifth. Senior Sofi Hildenborg qualified provisionally in the 400-meter dash with her winning time in the preliminaries of 55.24. Freshman Ashley Armstrong qualified in the high jump with a leap of 5-8.
On the men’s side, Marvin Essor and Elton Garus-Oab put their names on the provisional list in the 200-meter dash with times of 21.5 and 21.26, respectively. Juniors Bernard Manirakiza and Martin Okello placed first and third, respectively, in the 800-meter run
Freshman Stephon Greenlee continues to improve his time in the 400-meter hurdles, lowering his provisional mark to 52.2 with a first-place finish in the event. Essor also improved his provisional mark in the 400-meter dash, winning the event in 46.96.
Murray said weather was a big part of ACU’s good performances.
“The Baylor meet was a step in the right directions mainly because we had good weather to compete,” Murray said. “The new qualifiers were nice to have and I felt we competed well overall in the meet.”
Several more sprint times will not count toward nationals qualification, however, because of illegal wind levels in several heats. Murray said this season’s weather has been more of a challenge than in past years.
“If the wind has not been bad then it has been cool weather,” he said. “That is part of what makes outdoor track fun though.”
Six individual athletes and two relay teams will travel to compete in the Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia Thursday
through Saturday, while the rest of the team competes in the University of North Texas Twilight Meet in Denton.