By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
In one of the biggest weekends for track and field in the United States, ACU athletes in two locations qualified for nationals either provisionally or automatically in seven new events.
Several standout athletes represented ACU at the prestigious Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia, an event witnessed by more than 50,000 spectators in attendance and many thousands more in a national television audience.
On Thursday, Adeh Mwamba placed third in the women’s 5,000-meter run with an automatic time of 16:30.64. Mwamba continued her outstanding season by posting the top Division II time in the event, after doing the same last weekend in the 1,500-meter run.
Freshman Olha Kryv’yak was tenth in the women’s 3,000-meter run but posted a provisional time of 9:49.68. Junior Bernard Manirakiza, who already has qualified in the 1,500- and 800-meter runs, competed in the Olympic Development mile run Sat-urday afternoon against several standout athletes. The multi-time all-American didn’t do much in the race except beat all but two of his competitors, placing third in 4:05.
Two Wildcat relay squads also competed at Penn, only one of which finished the race. While the men’s distance medley relay team didn’t finish its race on Thursday, the men’s 4×400-meter relay team posted a time of 3:09.33 in the preliminaries of the event Friday.
The majority of the team competed in the Mean Green Twilight Invitational in Denton Thursday, coming away with a handful of good performances and five new qualifiers.
Headlining the qualifiers in Denton was triple jumper Yevgen Pashchenko, who won the event with an automatic jump of 51-9. Pashchenko won the indoor title in the event in March, and is one of the favorites to repeat the feat at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Walnut, Calif., next month.
Teammate Ben Washington placed third in the event, posting a provisional mark of 49-5 3/4 in the process. Washington won the outdoor title in the event in 2003.
Two women qualified provisionally for the first time at the Mean Green Invitational. Freshman Wafaa Taissir posted a provisional time in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.92, and Ashley Armstrong cleared 5-8 to place second and provisionally qualify in the high jump.
Both teams will compete at the University of Texas-Arlington Open Saturday. The meet will mark the last chance for Wildcat athletes to qualify for nationals before the Lone Star Conference Championships May 7-8 in Kingsville.