JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four members of the Virginia track and field program advanced to the NCAA Championships following Friday’s final day of men’s competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla.
Two Cavalier freshmen advanced to the national championships from the discus throw. Claudio Romero, the event’s top seed, finished second with a school record throw of 65.78 meters (215’ 10”) on his final attempt. Romero set the Hodges Stadium facility record on his second throw (63.79 209-3) before bettering that mark on his last effort. His record status was short lived as South Alabama’s Francois Prinsloo bettered him on his final throw to win the competition with a mark of 65.85 meters (216’ 0”).
UVA’s Jacob Lemmon used a throw of 56.45 meters (185’ 2”) on his final attempt to move up to 12th place and get the final qualifying spot from the event.
Sophomore long jumper Owayne Owens placed eighth in the triple jump to advance to the NCAA Championships. His best result was 16.03 meters (52’ 7.25”).
In the 3000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Derek Johnson was second in his heat to pick up an automatic spot in the national championship meet. Johnson ran a time of 8:41.99 that figured as the fifth best for the combined heats.
Friday’s qualifiers will be joined at the national championships by senior Sam Young who qualified in the pole vault on Wednesday. The 2021 NCAA Championships take place in in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12.
The NCAA East Preliminary Round concludes Saturday with the final day of competition for the women’s participants. The four-day competition is one of two qualifying sites for the 2021 NCAA Championships The top-12 finishers from each individual event and top-12 relay teams advance from the East Preliminary Round to the national championships.