Twenty-Three Mountain West Student-Athletes Headed To 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A total of 23 Mountain West student-athletes from eight institutions have qualified for the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, which will be held June 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon. The student-athletes punched their respective tickets at last week’s West Preliminary in Austin, Texas, by placing in the top-12 of their event.

Boise State’s Emma Bates (5000 and 10,000 Meters), Colorado State’s Kiah Hicks (Discus, Hammer) and Fresno State’s Kyra Johnson (400 Hurdles and 4x400 Relay) qualified in multiple women’s events.

Bates, a senior and the 2014 national champion at 10,000 Meters, finished fourth in the race at the West Preliminary with a time of 34:29.05. She took third in her heat and overall at 5000 Meters, crossing the finish line in 15:52.74. Bates was fourth in the 5000 Meters at nationals last year. Hicks put together a pair of top-10 finishes in her events to earn the trip to Eugene. The senior was eighth in the Hammer (205’-0.00’’) and ninth in the Discus (176’-9.00’’). Johnson, a junior, first garnered a spot at nationals by running the 400 Hurdles in 58.36, good for 11th overall. On the final day of competition, Johnson paired with Bulldog teammates Nailah Harris-Murillo, Dezirae Johnson and Njeri Omawahleh in the 4x400 Relay. The quartet set a new school record with a time of 3:35.34 to qualify for nationals.

Air Force will send three participants to Eugene, led by junior Hannah Everson, who won the 10,000 Meters at Austin with an Academy-record time of 24:23.52. Junior Zach Perkins qualified in the men’s 1500 Meters by finishing second in his heat and sixth overall (3:42.93) and senior Dylan Bell will compete in the Pole Vault after clearing 17’-6.50’’ to tie for 10th-place.

Joining Bates at nationals from Boise State will be seniors Marisa Howard, Jordin Andrade, Tessa Murray and David Elliott. Howard, who finished second at the 2014 NCAA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 3000 Steeplechase, qualified in the event again in 2015 after winning her heat and placing fifth overall with a time of 9:59.55. Andrade will compete in the 400 Hurdles after finishing second overall at the West Preliminary in 49.67. Murray will run alongside Bates in the 5000 Meters. Murray was sixth in her heat and overall (16:02.04) to secure her national position. Elliott was runner-up in his heat and overall in the 1500 Meters (3:42.12).

Colorado State will also send sophomore Aaliyah Pete to nationals. Pete threw a personal-best 51’-10.50’’ to claim the 12th and final qualifying spot in the Shot Put.

New Mexico had four competitors advance to Eugene, led by freshman Alice Wright. Wright was second to Air Force’s Everson in the 10,000 Meters with a time of 34:25.04. Senior Logan Pflibsen qualified in the Pole Vault, as his clearance of 17’-6.50’’ earned him a fifth-place finish. Senior Peter Callahan won his heat and was second overall in the 1500 Meters race in 3:42.93. Callahan was fourth at nationals in the 1500 Meters last year. Junior Calli Thackery is also headed to Eugene, thanks to her fourth-place run at 5000 Meters (15:33.26).

San Diego State’s Kristen Brown is headed back to the NCAA National Championship in the Pole Vault. Brown cleared 13’-11.00’’ to finish 10th at the West Preliminary.

Utah State’s Cole Lambourne and Chari Hawkins, the 2015 Mountain West Women's Outstanding Performer of the Meet at the MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will represent the Aggies at the national meet. Hawkins, thanks to a top-24 national ranking in the Heptathlon, automatically-qualified for Eugene, while Lambourne raced to a sixth-place finish in the 400 Meters in 46.10.

Harry Fisher, a graduate student of Wyoming, was third in his heat and ninth overall in the 800 Meters with a time of 1:48.78 to earn his spot at nationals.