Thursday, June 07, 2012
After running 1:46.62 and 1:46.65, respectively, in the blazing second heat of the men's 800-meter prelims at the NCAA Divsion I Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, the Gopher duo earned the poisoned honor of being the fastest-ever non-qualifiers for an NCAA 800-meter final.
Pachuta, bettering his U of M school record, finished 5th and Abda 6th in the heat, won by Iowa's Erik Sowinski in 1:46.09. The Gophers were actually the 7th and 8th-fastest runners in the heats, but the winner and runner-up of the pokey third heat earned automatic berths in the 800-meter final ahead of the Gophers and four other faster athletes.
"Those guys both ran lifetime-bests so I can't fault them at all," Gopher men's coach Steve Plasencia said of Pachuta and Abda in a media release. "It was such a good heat and both ran really strong races. The 800 meters is one of those races where the margins are very fine and today it just did not go our way."
Find men's 800-meter prelim results HERE.
The half-milers were emblematic of a frustrating day for the maroon and gold in Des Moines. Jack Szmanda, competing on an injured ankle, was forced to pull out of the decathlon competition after just three events yesterday.
Szmanda scored 2,064 points before shutting down prior to the high jump. The junior ran 11.42 in the 100 meters (769 points), marked a long jump of 19-11 ¾ (606 points), and put the shot 43-10 (689 points) before abandoning.
In women's competition, the Gopher 4 x 100-meter relay team of Todea-Kay Willis, Nyoka Giles, Chimerem Okoroji, and Kylie Peterson finished 4th in their heat and a non-advancing 13th overall in their preliminary round.
The quartet ran 44.48, just off their school record mark of 44.32 set at the NCAA West Preliminary two weeks ago.
Find women's 4 x 100-meter results HERE.
Follow today's NCAA action HERE.
Posted by Charlie at 8:47 AM