Hawkeyes Advance 5 More on Final Day

May 25, 2013

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AUSTIN, TexasMatt Byers earned his third trip to the NCAA finals and the University of Iowa track and field team advanced to the NCAA final site in five more events following Day 3 of competition at the 2013 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. The West Preliminary Round was hosted by Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Byers, a senior from Wichita, Kan., hit a mark of 234-01 (71.34m) in his final attempt to place seventh overall in men’s javelin.

“It feels good,” said Byers. “This is one of my better finishes at the regional so I’m going to nationals feeling pretty confident. I’ve been consistent all season, hitting 70-plus, so I think I’m ready to pop something big.”

Byers earned All-America honors last season when he placed 10th at the NCAA finals. He said he wants to improve on that performance this year.

“My goal is to finish in the top four or five,” said Byers. “There is going to be great competition, but I think that will bring out the best in everyone. We’ll be throwing at Oregon, which is legendary, and you never know about the weather, but you know it will be a great experience.”

Senior Jordan Mullen will make his first trip the NCAA outdoor finals following a 10th place overall finish in the 110-meter hurdles. Mullen placed fourth in his heat and grabbed the first at-large berth to the final site.

“I went in trying to get top three in my heat,” said Mullen. “It was a fast heat. People ran well and I’m just happy I (qualified). I’m healthy and that’s what’s important right now. I’ve got two weeks to improve my start.”

Mullen also led off the men’s 400-meter relay. He and fellow seniors Justin Austin, Ethan Holmes, and Josh Larney circled the oval in 39.79 to place sixth overall and earn an automatic trip to the final site.

“The 4×1 is a fun race. I’m glad to be able to get that leadoff spot,” added Mullen. “It gives a bigger team aspect of track and field. I feel like we have a real strong team there.”

Austin, who on Friday qualified for the final site in the 100 meters, made it a hat trick with a fourth place finish in the 200-meter quarterfinals. Austin ran a season best 20.53 to earn his third ticket to Eugene. He has qualified for the NCAA 200-meter final site in each of the last three seasons.

“It’s been a long weekend,” said Austin, “but we came out here and we executed. The only other time I’ve tripled up on events has been at the conference meet, so I was a little tired in the block, but I relied on my strength and finished well.”

Klyvens Delaunay punched Iowa’s final ticket to the NCAA Championships with a ninth place finish in the triple jump. Delaunay saved his best performance for the NCAA first round, recording a personal best mark of 51-10 1/2 (15.81m) on his third jump. His effort moves him from No. 4 to No. 3 on the school’s all-time top performers list.

After three days of preliminary round competition, the Hawkeyes advanced to the NCAA final site in 10 events. In addition to today’s five event qualifiers, Gabe Hull advanced Thursday in the discus, and Austin (100 meters), Holmes (400-meter hurdles), Larney (100 meters) and Majesty Tutson (discus) earned qualifying bids on Friday.

The University of Oregon will host the NCAA Championships from June 5-8 at Hayward Field.