Sarah Sumpter became the first woman in UC Davis’ five-year NCAA Divison I track and field history to qualify for the NCAA Championship Finals on Thursday.
Sumpter finished 12th on Thursday night in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA West Prelim Meet atTexas.
Sumpter, the Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, secured the last qualifying spot for the national finals, which will be held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa next month. She was timed in 34 minutes, 24.87 seconds, almost three seconds ahead of Weber State’s Sarah Callister, who was 13th.
“Sarah found herself in the unenviable position of bouncing between 11th and 13th place before locking up a trip to the national championships on the final lap of the race,” said head coach Drew Wartenburg.
Senior Ashley Hearn will join Sumpter in Iowa, after qualifying for the finals with a school record discus throw of 54.13 meters on Friday.
Hearn’s throw, which converts to 177 feet, 7 inches, broke her own UC Davis mark of 173-05 set at the 2010 Big West Championships..
“Ashley Hearn advancing to the NCAA Finals proved to be the highlight of the second day,” said Wartenburg. “Her early mark held up well and now enables her to finish her collegiate career competing with the best.”
Junior Melanise Chapman, who holds the school record (11.67) in the 100 but entered the regional ranked 28th with a wind-aided mark of 11.59 seconds, advanced to the semi-finals in the 100m dash, but was unable to qualify for the finals, as she placed ninth with a time of 11.76 seconds.
UC Davis junior Ethan Ostrom tied the school record in the pole vault on Saturday, but narrowly missed advancing to the national finals after a jump-off.
Ostrom was one of four Aggies in action during the last day of the regional meet. Senior Jonathan Peterson and sophomore Alycia Cridebring were not able to advance in the 5,000-meter run while fellow pole vaulter Mike Peterson also did not advance.
“Solid vaulting provided the highlights on the final day of competition,” said Coach Wartenburg. “Ethan saw his season close in bittersweet fashion with a school-record mark that earned him a jump-off for the final spot to nationals.”
After qualifying for the finals this weekend, Sumpter and Hearn will now continue training for the NCAA Finals which will begin June 6.
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