TAMPA, Fla. – On the second day of the NCAA Track & Field East Prelims, Akua Obeng-Akrofi and Nell Crosby qualified for the NCAA Finals in Eugene after a pair of school record performances in Tampa, Florida.
Obeng-Akrofi got her meet started on Thursday in the first round of the women’s 400m run. The senior clocked a 52.30 on day one, breaking Sharay Hale’s school record from 2011 to move on to the quarterfinal round.
On Friday, the Lawrenceville, Georgia, native had to be in the top three of her quarterfinal heat, or have one of the three next best times in order to advance. Her blazing 51.82 was only good enough for fourth place in the first heat, meaning she would have to wait it out to see if her time was among the next three best after the following two heats concluded. The 51.82 held up for Obeng-Akrofi, as she recorded the seventh best time in the region, and will run in Eugene for the first time in her career.
During the evening session, Crosby was looking to return to Eugene for the second straight year after earning All-American honors in the 3,000m Steeplechase a season ago. Similarly to Obeng-Akrofi, Crosby needed to be in the top three of her quarterfinal heat, or have one of the three next best times.
The second of three heats proved to be the fast heat, as Crosby’s 9:54.55, which smashed her own school record of 10:02.02, put her on the outside as the fourth best time in the heat. After the third and final heat concluded, Crosby ended up with the fourth fastest time overall, securing a top-12 finish, and another trip to the NCAA Finals.
Also competing in the women’s 3,000m Steeplechase was Erin Melly, who ran a career best 10:17.80 for 21st place. Earlier in the day, Alek Sauer ran in the quarterfinal of the men’s 800m, clocking a 1:49.19 for 19th place.
In the final day of competition from Tampa, the Lions still have plenty of athletes with chances to move on to the NCAA Finals.
Saturday, May 26
1:00 p.m. – Men’s 1,500m QF: Sam Ritz
1:15 p.m. – Women’s 1,500m QF: Sarah Hardie
3:30 p.m. – Men’s Triple Jump: Daniel Igbokwe
4:15 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay
8:05 p.m. – Men’s 5,000m SF: Ryan Thomas, Lucky Schreiner, Kenny Vasbinder, Brian Zabilski
8:45 p.m. – Women’s 5,000m SF: Erin Gregoire