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GREENSBORO, N.C. - As the final competitor remaining for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team this season, junior Darryll Oliver finished his 2010 campaign in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Greensboro, N.C., Friday.
Three Quakers competed at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, but Oliver was the only one to reach Friday's quarterfinals at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium. The top 12 advanced to compete in the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12, but Oliver placed 24th in the 800 meters.
He led his heat through the first lap, but re-injured his foot and his time of 2:03.42 placed him eighth in that race. Overall, it was a fast field as Oliver would have had to set a career best in order to reach the NCAA Semifinals. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native is fourth all-time at Penn in the event at 1:48.41 and the final semifinal qualifier came across the finish line in 1:47.99.
On Thursday night, Oliver advanced past the NCAA First Round by the slimmest of margins to qualify for the quarterfinals. Running in by far the fastest heat of the event, Oliver finished sixth. Only the top three in each heat automatically qualify for the quarterfinals, so Oliver had to wait to see if his time of 1:49.70 would hold up as one of the next six fastest times. It did, but just barely. Of the 24 runners to advance, Oliver's time ranked 21st, but he was the final non-automatic qualifier to earn a berth in the next round. For that final spot, he edged out Florida State's Nathan Duby by one-tenth of a second.
This marked the second straight season in which Oliver qualified for the NCAA meet. Friday capped a junior season that included two All-East honors and second-team outdoor All-Ivy recognition. Oliver will enter his senior season fourth all-time in the outdoor 800 meters and as a school record-holder in the outdoor 4x800 relay.