By John Nardolillo
Men’s Track & Field
Junior Lloyd Sicard, current Big West co-Athlete of the Year, hurdled his way into the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, OR, after a quality performance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday.
This marks the second year in a row that he has qualified, with the semifinal set to take place on June 8 and the final scheduled for June 10. Sicard was the only Anteater to advance in the men’s or women’s field, where a top-12 finish in a given event is required to move on to Eugene.
Sicard is the only Anteater to represent UCI at the NCAA Division I Championships since Charles Jock won the 800-meter in 2012. He hopes to improve on last year’s campaign where he did not qualify for the championship round after finishing 17th overall in the semifinals.
Due to inclement weather, the events at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence started on Friday rather than Thursday, with junior Matt Seawright placing 21st in the hammer throw with a distance of 199-10. Junior Brandon Howard ran a 52.68 in the 400-meter hurdles good for 31st overall, while senior Cameron Vaca finished 43rd with 54.97.
Saturday was Sicard’s day, which saw him place third overall and first in his heat while nearly eclipsing his own school record of 13.60 in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 13.61. The NCAA semifinals at Hayward Field in Eugene will take place on June 8, while the championship is scheduled for June 10.
Seawright wrapped up the day with a 29th place finish in the discus throw with a distance of 171-10.
Women’s Track and Field
The UCI women’s track and field team competed in five events over the course of the weekend in Lawrence, but failed to notch any top-12 finishes. The competitions were forced to start on Friday as well due to the weather.
Sophomore Persis-William Mensah ran the 100-meter in 11.81 which was good for 32nd overall, while senior Kaulyn Lee-McNeill finished 35th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 60.23.
Freshman Barbara Coward posted a 154-9 mark in the discus throw before the rest of the event was postponed due to lightning in the area, sitting in 21st place. She would finish in 36th after the competition was completed the following day..
On Saturday, the formidable 4×100 relay team of sophomore Taisyn Crutchfield, junior Megan George, sophomore Michelle Norman and Persis William-Mensah competed for the last time this year, ending up in 20th place with a time of 45.71 seconds. The quartet managed a Big West conference title after breaking the school record with a time of 44.51, the fourth time this season they had broken the record.
George, who has two conference titles in the 100-meter hurdles on her resume, placed 23rd overall with a time of 13.51 seconds.
Without a top-12 finish, their season has concluded.