May 31, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Raquel Lambdin, Big West champion in the 1,500-meter run, can add the NCAA Finals to her resumé after qualifying in the event on Saturday at the NCAA Div. I Track an Field West Prelim Meet at the University of Arkansas.
Lambdin, a junior from Camarillo, used a strong finish to place fifth in her national semifinal heat and earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Finals at Oregon next month. She crossed in a career-best time of 4 minutes, 20.89 seconds, moving her from No. 6 to No. 2 all-time at UC Davis.
UC Davis, which sent a program-best 21 men and women to the regional meet, was active in seven events on Saturday. The Aggie men's 4x100 relay of Sava Boyadjiev, Marcus Johnson, Kaio Sena and Basil Okoroike finished 21st in 41.11 seconds while Okoroike also took 41st in the triple jump at 47 feet, 2.25 inches.
For the women, the Aggies 4x100 relay of Ashley Marshall, Cekarri Nixon, Leslie Reed and Holly Miller was timed in 45.71 but was later disqualified. Marshall, who will join Lambdin in Eugene, Ore., after advancing in the 100 on Friday, was trying to add the 200 as well but finished 20th Saturday in the semifinal round in 23.98 seconds.
Senior Alycia Cridebring came close to moving on to the national finals in the 5,000. She was 10th in her heat which had the event's top five times and the individuals who qualified with having the next two fastest times after the automatic qualifiers. Cridebring was 14th overall, finishing her standout career in 16:24.65.
Katie Barber was the remaining Aggie competing on Saturday, making her regional debut in the high jump. Barber tied for 39th after clearing 5-5.75.
Lambdin provided the UC Davis excitement on Saturday, running with the tightly bunched 12-competitor heat for the first half of the race. The leaders began to separate themselves and Lambdin entered the last lap in 11th place. But she made her move over the final 400 meters and then used a strong kick down the stretch to pass Molly Williams of Oklahoma (4:21.49) at the line and secure a top-five finish. The top five in each heat automatically qualified for Eugene.
Lambdin will be making her first appearance at the NCAA Championships in Oregon while Marshall is moving on in the 100 for the second consecutive year.
The NCAA Championships are scheduled for June 11-14.
NCAA WEST PRELIM MEET
Fayetteville, Ark. (hosted by Univ. of Arkansas)
Day 3 of 3
UC Davis results only
4x100 (prelim) - 1. Texas A&M, 38.84... 21. UC Davis (Sava Boyadjiev, Marcus Johnson, Kaio Sena, Basil Okoroike), 41.11.
TJ (prelims) - 1. Devin Field, Kansas State, 16.30 (53-5.75)... 41. Basil Okoroike, 14.38 (47-2.25).
200 (semis) - 1. Olivia Ekpone, Texas A&M, 22.59... 20. Ashley Marshall, 23.98.
1500 (semis) - 1. Stephanie Brown, Arkansas, 4:15.94... 11. Raquel Lambdin, 4:20.89.
5,000 (prelims) - 1. Emma Bates, Boise State, 15:55.00... 14. Alycia Cridebring, 16:24.65.
4x100 (prelims) - 1. Oregon, 43.47... 13. UC Davis (Ashley Marshall, Cekarri Nixon, Leslie Reed, Holly Miller), 45.71.
HJ (prelims) - 1. Kirsten Hesseltine, Arkansas, 1.77 (5-9.75)... T39. Katie Barber, 1.67 (5-5.75).