Illini Track and Field Sends 26 Qualifiers to NCAA West Preliminaries

Illini Track and Field Sends 26 Qualifiers to NCAA West Preliminaries

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois men’s and women’s track and field teams both have qualified to the NCAA West Preliminaries hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., on May 22-25. 26 total Illini will make the trip to Arkansas: 12 men and 14 women.


The top 48 individuals from their respective events qualify for the prelims alongside the top 24 relay teams. The top 12 times/marks and top 12 relays from both the East and West Prelims will move on to the NCAA Championships scheduled for June 7-10 in Austin, Texas. The action will be live streamed on SEC+.


All four women’s long jumpers qualified to the NCAA West Preliminary round with top-10 national marks: Sophia Beckmon (No. 2 6.86m, 22-6 1/4), Tacoria Humphrey (No. 4 6.81m, 22-4 1/4), Elizabeth Ndudi (No. 7 6.68m, 21-11) and Darja Sopova (No. 9 6.64m, 21-9 1/2).

Humphrey is fresh off a Big Ten Championships win in the long jump, and Sopova is also qualified in the triple jump with the nation’s No. 11 mark (13.37m, 43-10 1/2).

Amber Simpson qualified with a Big Ten-record hammer throw of 70.21m (230-4), which was also the second-best mark in the nation. Tori Thomas also won a Big Ten title in the pole vault with the Big Ten Outdoor Championships record 4.52m (14-10).

Two other Illini women are heading into the prelims off a Big Ten gold medal: Jessica McDowell in the 400m and Rose Yeboah in the high jump. McDowell’s 51.41 400m and Yeboah’s 1.91m (6-3 1/4) high jump set earlier this season got them qualified to the preliminary round. Bara Sajdokova also high jumped a 1.91m (6-3 1/4) to qualify with the fourth-best mark in the nation this year.

Aiden Ouimet continues to improve his combined-events scores every time he goes out. He qualified with the nation’s eighth-best score of 7,794 points. Tyler Sudduth also threw the nation’s No. 8 shot put to qualify, 19.85m (65-1 1/2). He is also qualified in the discus (55.57m, 182-4)

Cody Johnston is the only freshman to advance to the preliminary round on the men’s side with the nation’s ninth-best vault (5.60m, 18-4 1/2). Kam Garrett rounds out the men’s top qualifiers with the nation’s 11th-best high jump, 2.20m (7-2 1/2).



1. Nicolas Dovalovsky – 800m (1:48.49)

2. Kam Garrett – High Jump (2.20m, 7-2…

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