JACKSONVILLE – Twice as nice: Senior Thomas Awad joined classmate Sam Mattis as the second Quaker to punch his ticket to the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. as he cruised to a top-5 finish in the men’s 5,000 meters on Saturday night.
By finishing in the top-5 of his heat, Awad earned an automatic qualification and his third-straight return trip to Eugene where he’ll race at historic Hayward Field June 8-11. The senior harrier comfortably ran in the lead pack that broke away from the field at the 3k mark and cruised to the finish. The top five in the heat were a solid two seconds ahead of the chase pack as Awad crossed the line in 14:10.31.
On the women’s side, a trio of Quakers in Ashley Montgomery, Kylene Cochrane, and Clarissa Whiting all competed in the 5,000 meter run shortly after 8 p.m. at Hodges Stadium. Montgomery and Whiting were placed in the first of two heats and both fought hard throughout the 12 and a half lap race. Montgomery led the trio and finished in 21st place in 16:43.42 while Whiting was 42nd in 17:27.63. Cochrane led the Red and Blue in heat two to clock in at 17:03.90.
In the field events, sophomore Mike Monroe began the day for the Quakers in the men’s high jump and started off on a strong note when he cleared the opening height of 2.03 meters on his first attempt. As the bar moved up to 2.08 meters, Monroe passed the height on this third jump, but the second-year jumper couldn’t clear the next progression which moved to 2.13 meters. It marked the second-straight year Monroe competed at the NCAA East Regional as he concluded his 2016 season.
Rounding out the final day of competition was junior Chris Hatler in the quarterfinals of the 1,500 meters. Hatler stayed with the lead pack in the first of two heats through 1,000 meters, but as the group surged on the bell lap Hatler fell slightly off pace in the kick to the finish. He would go on to place 11th in his heat and 21st overall in 3:54.27.
Joining Awad in Eugene is fellow senior Sam Mattis, who on the second day of competition qualified for the NCAA finals in the discus where he’ll look to defend his 2015 NCAA National Championship. They’ll compete in the finals of their respective events June 8-11.
Javelin: Kelsey Hay – 21st (44.43m); Lisa Sesink-Clee – 45th (37.51m)
200m: Taylor McCorkle – 45th (24.16)
5,000m: Ashley Montgomery – 21st (16:43.42); Kylene Cochrane – 38th (17:03.90); Clarissa Whiting – 42nd (17:27.63)
Steeplechase: Amy Darlington – 23rd (10:23.89)
High Jump: Mike Monroe – 27th (2.08m)
Discus: Sam Mattis – 2nd (61.95m); Noah Kennedy-White – 14th (56.04m)
200m: Calvary Rogers – 44th (21.66)
1,500m: Chris Hatler – 21st (3:54.27)
5,000m: Thomas Awad – 7th – (14:10.31)
10,000m: Brendan Shearn – DNF
Steeplechase: Brendan Smith – 27th (8:57.88); Nick Tuck – DNF