JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One Tennessee Tech runner has advanced to the next round Friday at the NCAA Track & Field Preliminary Championships, and two other Golden Eagles came up just short Thursday in competition in the East Region in Jacksonville. Fla.
D'Airrien Jackson, a standout freshman speedster from Santa Clara, Calif., placed 21st in the 400-meter dash in 53.07 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals Friday.
The 400m quarterfinals are scheduled for three heats Friday, beginning at 5 p.m. CT. Jackson is slated to race in lane two of the second heat, a group of eight runners who come from Southern Miss, Miami, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan.
The top three finishers in each of the three heats, along with the next three best times overall, will earn a ticket to run in the NCAA National Championships next month in Eugene, Ore.
Fellow TTU freshman Na'Asha Robinson came within a whisker of joining Jackson in the 24-person quarterfinals. A Huntsville, Ala., Native, Robinson placed 25th in 53.15 seconds, missing qualifying by a mere .01 seconds. The 24th qualifying spot was claimed in 53.14 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the men's 10,000-meter semifinal run to close out action on Thursday, Golden Eagle freshman Gilbert Boit was running for an opportunity to advance directly to the finals in Eugene next month. He posted a time of 30.31.90, finishing 24th overall. The top 12 finishers move on to the finals.