BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Virginia men’s track and field program punched four more tickets to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon as Jacob Lemmon, Claudio Romero, Yasin Sado and Owayne Owens all secured qualification to compete for a national title on the final day of competition in the regional preliminary.
Lemmon entered the men’s discus with the No. 21 seed in the field of 48 looking to break into the top-12 and advance to the NCAA Championships. On his very first throw, Lemmon let it fly as he recorded a season-best mark of 58.19 meters (190’11”). The mark topped the second flight and would eventually rank as the third-best qualifying mark.
Lemmon earned his second-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships. Last season as a freshman, the Pennsylvania native placed fifth at the national championships where he secured his status as an All-American.
Romero was faced with adversity as the third flight of the discus rolled around. Rain poured down on the competitors throughout their warm-up period before clearing just prior to competition forcing the throwers to adjust to the surface’s varying levels slickness on the fly. After fouling on his first attempt, Romero qualified with his second throw recording a mark of 59.06 meters (193’9”). Romero will return to Eugene after placing third at the national championships a year ago.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Sado was also faced with trying conditions as a steady rain fell over the runners throughout. Coming down the final stretch, Sado powered across the finish line to edge Virginia Tech’s Benjamin Nibbelink for the final automatic qualifying spot.
In the triple jump, Owens entered with the fourth-best mark in the nation (16.61 meters). On his first attempt, he recorded a mark of 15.48 meters which put him right on the line of qualification. After fouling his second attempt, Owens found himself on the outside looking in with just one jump remaining. With his third and final attempt, Owens soared to a mark of 16.05 meters (52’8”) to post the fourth-best qualifying mark and secure qualification for the NCAA Championships. Owens finished 15th in the triple jump at the national championships in 2021.
Virginia will send a total of five competitors to challenge for national championships in Oregon: Ethan Dabbs (javelin), Claudio Romero (discus), Jacob Lemmon (discus), Owayne Owens (triple jump), and Yasin Sado (3,000-meter steeplechase).
The Virginia women will be back in action tomorrow (May 28) for their final day of competition at the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries beginning at 1 p.m. with the women’s discus.
From Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna:
“I am very pleased with the performance we saw from our team today. Jacob and Claudio did a great job to advance to Eugene. Owayne did very well with an exciting finish in the triple jump. Not to be overshadowed was Yasin in the steeplechase who was also excellent today. We also have great opportunities on the women’s side tomorrow to qualify and that is where our focus is.”