AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn track and field team wrapped up day three of the NCAA East Preliminaries in Lexington, Ky. on a rainy Saturday, advancing seven athletes and three relays to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. On the weekend, the Tigers qualified 14 athletes for 15 events and three relays.
“We really had a great prelims overall and probably one of the best since I have been at Auburn,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “This team is really starting to come together. We are performing at a very high level right now and we just have to stay focused and get ready for the next step. Our coaches did a great job of getting the team prepared and I am excited to see this team compete in Eugene.”
Kahlil Henderson and Teray Smith both punched their tickets to Eugene after running 20.25 in the 200 meters, which ties them for third all-time at Auburn. A three-time All-American in the event, Henderson will make his fourth straight trip to NCAA Outdoors, while Smith will compete in the event for the third time.
Senior Wellington Zaza will make his second straight NCAA Outdoors appearance in the 110mH after qualifying with a time of 13.75.
The Auburn men showed their dominance in the relays, finishing as the top qualifiers in the 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter.
Just like on the men’s side, two female Tigers advanced in the 200 meters. A freshman, Whyte ran 22.88 to finish seventh overall, while sophomore Jenae Ambrose qualified with a personal best time of 23.05.
Marshay Ryan will make her third-straight appearance at NCAA Outdoors after finishing fourth overall with a 44-1.5/13.45m. The three-time All-American is a two-time NCAA Runner up in the event and joins Shelly-Ann Frazier (Gallimore) as the only two Auburn women to qualify for NCAA’s four times.
Senior Veronica Eder became only the second Auburn female to qualify for the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters since 1995 after running 16:28.65 in the 5k. The Pennsylvania native qualified for the 10,000 meters on Thursday with a time of 33:38.13 to finish second overall.
Overall, the Auburn women advanced six athletes for seven events and one relay to NCAA Outdoors, while the ninth-ranked men advanced eight and two relays.
The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set for June 7-10 in Eugene, Ore.