JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the opening day of the NCAA East Prelims, both Bobby Colantonio Jr. and Victor Kiprop became the first two Alabama track and field athletes to qualify to the NCAA National Championships.
Entering his final attempt of the event, hammer thrower Colantonio Jr. found himself in 13th place, one spot shy of the top-12 qualifying threshold. Minutes later, the seven-time All-American recorded a 68.66-meter throw (225-3) to secure his fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (no NCAA championship in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic).
Closing the night, reigning Southeastern Conference champion Kiprop ran away with the 10,000-meter to become the Tide’s second Nationals qualifier for the opening day. The Iten, Kenya, native remained in striking distance until the final two laps where he took the lead and never looked back. Kiprop’s 28:54.97 time was the fastest time recorded in the entire East Region.
Earlier, in the track preliminary events, 400-meter runner Khaleb McRae became Alabama’s first athlete to advance to an event final. McRae clocked the fastest, preliminary time (45.50) to secure his automatic qualifying spot in Friday’s final as the top seed.
Four-hundred-meter hurdle duo Chris Robinson (49.47) and Corde Long (49.48) also secured their spots in Friday’s event final after winning both of their respective heats en route to a first and second place, overall finish, respectively.
Tarsis Orogot became the Crimson Tide’s final athlete to advance out of the preliminary round, clocking a new PR (20.12) en route to a heat-winning, second-place overall finish to advance to Friday’s 200-meter final.
Long, McRae, Orogot and Robinson will have to finish in the top 12 of their respective event final to punch their ticket to the NCAA National Championships (June 7-10), held in Austin, Texas.
Crimson Tide Top Finishes
- Bobby Colantonio Jr. punched his ticket to the National Championships on his final attempt of the hammer throw, recording a 68.66-meter throw (225-3) to finish seventh in the event
- Khaleb McRae clocked the fastest, preliminary 400-meter run (45.50), spanning across six heats, to advance to Friday’s event final where he will have the opportunity to qualify for Nationals
- Chris Robinson (first overall, 49.47) and Corde Long (second overall, 49.48) both advanced to…
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