Tanui qualifies for steeplechase
Seawolves look to capture programs first national championship
PUEBLO, Colo. -- Junior Micah Chelimo and sophomore Susan Tanui each won their respective 3,000-meter steeplechase preliminary heats to advance to the finals at the 2012 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Combined, the Seawolves qualified five athletes to the final events that will be contested on Friday and Saturday on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo.
A local of Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo cruised to victory in his heat with a time of 9:32.16, good for second overall. The West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year, Chelimo entered the championships with the third-fastest overall time at 8:45.63. Chelimo will look to collect his third consecutive All-America accolade on Friday.
Tanui, from Eldoret, Kenya, qualified for the finals with a winning time of 10:44.67. The Great Northwest Athletic Conference record holder in the event, will look for her first All-America honor on Friday. Competing in the same heat as Tanui was senior Hallidie Wilt. Wilt, from Unalaska, wrapped up her successful collegiate career with a 14th-place finish at 11:28.58.
Senior Alfred Kangogo will have a chance to secure his third straight All-America honor in the 1500 meters, after posting an automatic qualifying time of 4:04.84 in Heat 1 of the preliminaries, good for eighth overall.
Joining Kangogo in the 1500 meters is sophomore Ivy O'Guinn. A local of Soldotna, O'Guinn will make her second consecutive NCAA appearance in the event finals after finishing 11th in the prelims with a time of 4:43.71. The finals of the 1500 meters will be held on Saturday.
In the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Haleigh Lloyd advanced to the finals with a seventh-place showing (fourth in Heat 2) at 1:00.24. The GNAC-record holder in the event will compete at 5:20 p.m. ADT on Saturday.
After four-scored events, senior multi-eventer Kelsea Johnson currently sits 14th with 2,858 points in the women's heptathlon. The GNAC runner-up in the heptathlon, Johnson set a personal record in the 100-meter hurdles with at time if 14.95, before recording a leap of 5-0 ½ in the high jump. A local of Sitka, Johnson went on to register a toss of 32-11.25, before ending the day with a career-best time of 25.83 in the 200 meters.