By JACK ROSSI
AUSTIN, Texas – Long jumps led the way during the first day of the 2017 NCAA West Preliminary as juniors O’Shea Wilson and Jahisha Thomas punched their tickets to Eugene.
Wilson and Thomas led the 14 Hawkeyes competing during the first day of competition. Seven qualified for quarterfinals, joining eight more Hawkeyes set to open up tomorrow.
“This is how we wanted to get this meet going,” UI Director of track and field Joey Woody said. “This was definitely a great first day with everybody that qualified for day two.”
Wilson’s big day began in the long jump where he finished with a personal best jump to finish eighth overall. Wilson’s 7.75 meter jump moves him into sixth place in Iowa history.
“I was happy with making it to Eugene,” Wilson said. “I was worried that my 7.75 wasn’t going to make it but I had a good day while everybody else didn’t.”
The all-time mark made the difference in him qualifying as his previous best of 7.67 meters would have left him as one of the first out.
The Houston, Texas, native continued in the 100 meters with another all-time best mark. Wilson ran 10.21 seconds, automatically qualifying for tomorrow’s quarterfinal. His new mark leaves him .01 behind currently school-record holder Justin Austin.
“I am just happy I made it to finals,” Wilson said. “That was my main focus. I didn’t care about time because I just wanted to place for now.”
Thomas improved on her personal best in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.35 meters. Thomas’ preseason goals included making it to Eugene and knows the work isn’t over yet.
“Being able to qualify with only three attempts feels really great,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t hear what everybody else was jumping, so we just knew we had to jump far. But moving forward, the job isn’t over yet.”
As for the rest of the qualifiers, they will compete tomorrow in their respective events for a chance to move onto Eugene. The women’s discus throw starts the second day off and begins at 12 p.m. (CT). The meet will be live streamed on texassports.com/watch.
Briana Guillory – 400 Meters, 53.62
Mar’yea Harris – 400 Meters, 45.66
Alexis Hernandez – 400 Meters, 53.42
Noah Larrison – 400 Meter Hurdles, 51.91
Carter Lilly – 800 Meters, 1:50.08
Emmanuel Ogwo – 400 Meters, 46.10
Mitch Wolff – 400 Meter Hurdles, 51.82