AUSTIN, Texas - Jessica Tebo became the third University of Colorado athlete to earn a bid to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after placing third in the 5,000-meter run on Saturday night at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships.
Tebo finished the 5k race in 15 minutes, 54.12 seconds to join Aric Van Halen and Shalaya Kipp who both qualified for the championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday. The NCAA Outdoor Championships are June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa. Drake University will host the meet at Drake Stadium.
Tebo took the lead to start the race and held on to it until she dropped to second with less than two miles remaining. Tebo moved back to fourth two laps later, but surged ahead to third in the final 400 meters to automatically advance to nationals.
"It was another hot, humid and breezy day and the goal of tonight was to just get her through and I would say she accomplished that following the instructions of coach (Heather) Burroughs and myself with a certain amount of poetic license along the way," head coach Mark Wetmore said. "But the plan was get it (the field) down to four or five and cruise it in. We got what we needed, but it's back to work tomorrow."
The semifinals of the women's steeplechase will be on June 6 at 6:45 p.m. (MST) with the finals on June 8 at 5:30 p.m. The men's steeplechase semis are set for June 7 at 6:25 p.m. and the finals are on June 9 at 10:52 a.m. The finals of the 5,000 will also be contested on June 9 at 11:19 a.m.
"Jessica, Aric and Shalaya all have chances to do well at nationals. We have two weeks to go and to prepare," Wetmore said.
2012 NCAA WEST PRELIMINARY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Mike A. Myers Stadium (Austin, Texas)
Men's 200-Meters - quarterfinals: (1. Ameer Webb, TAMU, 20.20) 20. Joe Morris, 21.04
Women's 1,500-Meters - quarterfinals: (1. Jordan Hasay, Oregon, 4:16.29) 23. Katie Cumming, 4:44.85
Women's 5,000-Meters - semifinals: (1. Megan Goethals, Washington, 15:46.82) 3. Jessica Tebo, 15:54.13
Men's 4x400-Meter Relay - quarterfinals: (1. Arkansas, 3:03.56) 18. Blake Reimer/Joe Morris/Adam Salzmann/Kyle MacIntosh, 3:10.95
Women's 4x400-Meter Relay - quarterfinals: (1. Oregon, 3:29.43) 21. Lindsy Mattson/Eileen Gehring/Brianne Beemer/Bridget Sweeney, 3:42.21
Men's High Jump - first round: (1. Erik Kynard, Kansas State, 7-02.50) t31. Mark Jones, 6-08