June 10, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Juniors Ashley Marshall and Raquel Lambdin will compete against the best collegiate track and field athletes in the country this week when they travel to Oregon's historic Hayward Field for the NCAA Championships which begin on Wednesday.
Marshall, the two-time Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year who was also awarded the Heitman Award on Saturday as the top female athlete this year at UC Davis, is making her second straight appearance at the national finals in the 100-meter dash.
Lambdin, from Camarillo, Calif., is two-time defending Big West champion in the 1,500 and advanced to the NCAA Finals for the first time. Both Aggies qualified for this week's meet at the University of Oregon after strong performances at the NCAA West Prelim Meet at the University of Arkansas two weeks ago.
Competition at the national championships begins with the decathlon on Wednesday morning before the track events start in earnest at 4 p.m. with the men's 4x100 relay semifinals. Marshall will open competition with the 100 semis at 5:45 p.m. while Lambdin will race in the 1,500 semis on Thursday at 4:45.
Marshall was the first Aggie sprinter in the school's Div. I era to advance to the NCAA Finals when she did so last season. She was 18th in the 24-person semifinal heats, posting a wind-aided time of 11.45 seconds. Marshall is seeded 15th in this year's field with a time of 11.47 seconds from the prelims. She'll be in lane 8 of the third and final heat on Wednesday, needing to either finish in the top two of her race or have one of the next two fastest times overall.
The final will be held on Friday at 5:07 p.m.
Lambdin put together a strong surge over the final 200 meters in her second-round race at the regional meet, propelling her to edge her way into fifth place and the accompanying automatic berth to Oregon. She posted a PR along the way, crossing in 4:20.89 that moved her to No. 2 all-time at UC Davis.
Lambdin is racing in the first of two heats on Thursday afternoon and is seeded 23rd. The top five from each of the two races as well as the next two fastest times will move on to the national championship race on Saturday at 2:29 p.m.
The Aggies had three qualifiers to last year's NCAA Finals which were also held at Oregon. Lauren Wallace led the way with an eighth-place finish and school record in the 800 (2:02.91) and earned All-America first-team honors.