Andrews Advances to Finals of 800m on First Day of NCAA Championships
DES MOINES, Iowa – Sophomore Robby Andrews advanced to the finals of the 800m to lead Virginia on the opening day of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University. In addition, four other Cavaliers – senior Lyndsay Harper (800m), senior Ayla Smith (400mH), junior Andy Fahringer (javelin) and junior Erin Wykoff (discus) – earned second-team All-America honors in their respective events throughout the today’s competition.
Andrews, the 2010 NCAA runner-up in the event, used a season-best time of 1:46.99 to win his heat and automatically advance to Friday’s finals of the event. The eight-competitor race is scheduled to start at 8:20 p.m. ET.
In her first NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance, senior Ayla Smith narrowly missed advancing to the finals of the 400m hurdles, but broke the school record in the event to become the program’s all-time leader in all three of the hurdle events – the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles outdoors, in addition to the 60m hurdles indoors. The Winchester, Va., native finished 10th overall with a time of 56.54 to replace former All-American Erin Crawford’s record of 56.87 from 2006. Smith’s 100m hurdles time of 13.51 from 2009 stands at the top of the record boards, while her mark of 8.39 in the 60m hurdles indoors ranks first. She also holds both the indoor and outdoor school records in the distance medley relay, in addition to the ACC meet record in the pentathlon 60m hurdles (8.39). She ranks third at UVa with a pentathlon score of 3879.
During this year’s indoor season, Smith earned her first All-America honor as the 400m leg of Virginia’s distance medley relay team that finished third at NCAAs. With her finish today, she earns second-team All-America honors.
Senior Lyndsay Harper wrapped up her first NCAA Outdoor Championship appearance with a 13th-place finish in the 800m. Harper, one of only 22 female student-athletes in the nation to compete at the NCAA Championships during cross country and indoor and outdoor track this year, crossed in 2:05.91 to earn second-team All-America honors.
The Albuquerque, N.M., native concludes her career as a two-time All-American, as she also earned the distinction during the indoor season – finishing third as the 800m leg of Virginia’s distance medley relay team. Harper ranks third on UVa’s all-time program records in the 800m after shaving close to four seconds off of her personal-best time this year, running 2:05.84 at the NCAA East Preliminary Round. That time marks the fastest for a Cavalier since Gail Bryant set the school record at 2:04.21 in 1985. Harper is also the school record holder in the distance medley relay during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
In field events, junior Andy Fahringer finished his season with an 11th-place finish in the javelin, throwing 230’11”. With his finish, the Whitehall, Pa., native earned second-team All-America honors, his first-ever national accolade.
Junior Erin Wykoff, making her first NCAA Championship appearance, also earned second-team All-America honors today. Wykoff, from St. Jacob, Ill., finished 12th in the discus with a throw of 167′ 7″.
Virginia will return to action tomorrow with the men’s and women’s 1500m semifinals at 7 and 7:15 p.m. ET. The men’s 110m hurdles semifinal is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET and the women’s steeplechase semifinal will round out competition for the Cavaliers at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Men’s Javelin – Andy Fahringer – 11th – 230′ 11″
Women’s Discus – Erin Wykoff – 12th – 167′ 7″
Women’s 800m Semifinal – Lyndsay Harper – 13th – 2:05.91
Men’s 800m Semifinal- Robby Andrews – 1st in heat, 5th overall – 1:46.99 **
Women’s 400mH Semifinal – Ayla Smith – 10th – 56.54
** – Automatically advances to Friday’s finals