June 6, 2018
Eugene, Ore. - The sophomore trio of Nathon Allen, Akeem Bloomfield and Raheem Chambers all advanced to Friday's finals during Day 1 of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field Wednesday.
Chambers ran a personal-best 10.05 100m to finish fourth in his heat and fourth overall to advance to his first NCAA Outdoor finals. The Kingston, Jamaica native was 16th a year ago and was third at this year's NCAA Indoors at 60m. Chambers is Auburn's first 100m finalist outdoors since Harry Adams in 2012.
"The key is quality and our top guys were able to advance," Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. "Raheem did a great job posting a season best in the fastest heat of the 100. If he comes back ready to go, he can be right in the hunt on Friday.
In the men's 400m, Allen and Bloomfield each won their respective heats to automatically advance to Friday's finals. Bloomfield established a new PR of 44.72 to easily win heat three while Allen cruised to victory in heat two, leading from start to finish to cross in 44.83. It is the second consecutive year the duo has made it to the outdoor finals. As freshmen in 2017, Allen was the NCAA runner up, while Bloomfield was fifth.
"Akeem and Nathon did what they needed to do by winning their heat and guaranteeing themselves a spot in the center of the track Friday," Spry said. "The both ran strong, confident and looked good in their races."
Freshman Cade Antonucci, one of three freshmen competing in the 24-man field of the javelin throw concluded an outstanding rookie season with a throw of 59.30/194-7 to finish 24th. A SEC placer this year, Antonucci recorded the second-best mark in school history earlier in 2018.
"As a freshman competing at NCAAs is a tremendous accomplishment and this will be a great experience for Cade moving forward," Spry said. "He had an outstanding season and his future is bright."
Thursday the Auburn women will spring into action with the 4x100m relay as well as two sprinters and four in the field events. The 4x100m relay starting off the championships on Thursday at 4:02 p.m. PT. All-American sprinters Jonielle Smith and Natalliah Whyte will race in the 100m dash.
Four athletes will represent Auburn in the women's field events also on Thursday. School record holder Kylee Carter along with teammate Peyton Montgomery will compete in the javelin throw, while freshman Tori McKinley in the shot put and senior Dominique Bullock in the long jump, will also be in action.
Live results can be found at https://auburntige.rs/NCAATFResults