Nikkie Rudder finished fifth in her flight at the NCAA West Region prelims
May 29, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Utah track and field wrapped up its first day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminary Meet this evening in Fayetteville, Ark. as two student-athletes advanced to the quarterfinals
Rosalie Waller, fresh off her second-place finish in the 800 meters at the Pac-12 Championships, won her heat in a time of 2:07.51 and qualified for the quarterfinals tomorrow evening at 8:35 p.m.
"Rosalie was pretty relaxed and knew what she needed to do," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "She made a pretty big move after the first 200 and fully recovered on the back stretch to win the heat."
She will be joined by teammate Ali Eisenbeiss who finished fourth during the first heat and qualified in a time of 2:07.89. The top 12 competitors in the quarterfinals will advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
"Ali has learned how to run her race from the front," Kepler said. "In these types of races, you expend a lot of energy bumping around with people if you're in the middle of the pack. She's done a nice job holding people off and battling during her races. They did a really good job tonight and did what they needed to accomplish during the race."
"Rebekah got a little overheated and dropped off at the end after running a pretty good race," Kepler said. "Susannah tried to maintain contact with the pack and it got away from her a little. We'll just see how they recover and get ready to compete in the 5k on Saturday."
The first competitor of the evening for the Utes was senior Nikkie Rudder in the shot put. She finished ninth in the event at the Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago and placed fifth in her flight with a toss of 14.59 meters this evening.
"We always want kids to compete at their highest level in environments like this," Kepler said. "She moved up five spots from where she was ranked coming in and it's a great way for her to finish her career, at the NCAA Championships."
Utah Schedule of Events (All Times Central)
Friday, May 30
7:15 p.m. - 800m - (Waller, Eisenbeiss)
Saturday, May 31
10 a.m. - Hammer - (Hickey, Kaaja)
8:45 p.m. - 5k - (Hurst, Winterton)