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Huskies advance three to Texas after strong first day at Western Prelims

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Chase Smith completes a successful vault during the 2018 indoor season. The senior was one of three UW athletes to punch their tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas. 

The first day of the NCAA West Preliminaries proved fruitful for the Washington track and field team with 13 of its 23 athletes advancing to the next stage of competition.

Among those 13, three of them punched their ticket directly to Austin, Texas for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in two weeks.

Onyie Chibuogwu was the first to do so, throwing a mark of 206 feet and 5 inches in the hammer to finish fifth overall in the field of 48.

Shortly after, in the men’s pole vault, Chase Smith reached his first ever outdoor championship. Smith cleared the bar on his final attempt for the final two heights to secure his place in Austin. He tied seven other vaulters at the top by clearing 17 feet and 7 inches.

Izzi Batt-Doyle continued her hot streak with a third place finish in the 10,000-meter race, getting her second career trip to the outdoor finals in the 10k, with her last experience in 2016. Fellow Husky Kaitlyn Neal missed the cut in the event with a 19th place finish.

The Huskies started out hot on the track, with the first nine runners all qualifying for the final stage of the weekend in their respective events.

It all started with the women’s 400-meter hurdles, with the trio of Dahrian Mills, Carly Lester, and Morganne Hill, who have been so strong all year. Mills and Hill each won their heats, and Lester grabbed third in the same heat that Hill won. They will compete in the 400-meter hurdles quarterfinals on Friday with a shot at Texas if they finish near the top of the competition.

Immediately after, Cass Elliott was the lone Dawg on the men’s side, and took second in his heat to also advance him to tomorrow’s final.

Washington was very successful in the 1500-meter run as well, as all five runners finished with qualifying times. Katie Rainsberger finished third with time of 4:16.34, her best of the season. Allie Schadler and Anna Maxwell will also be competing in the quarterfinal later this weekend. For the men, Mick Stanovsek and Nate Beamer each made the national quarterfinal as well.

Four Huskies went into the 800-meter race, and only Connor Morello was able to break through to the next stage. The junior posted a time of 1:46.72, good for tenth overall.

Other notable results:

- Katherine Taylor (javelin), Hannah Derby (800m), Nicole Goecke (800m), all saw their collegiate careers come to a close tonight after failing to move on past the first rounds of their events.

- Samuel Richmond came into the long jump ranked 48th, but finished 30th in the field, after a jump of 23 feet and 8.25 inches.

- Khalil Winfrey placed 37th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.54.

Reach reporter Josh Eddy at Twitter: @JoshTreEddy

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