UC Davis sprinter Ashley Marshall and middle distance runners Lauren Wallace and Katie Fry each qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., after standout performances on Friday night at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Meet at the University of Texas.
Marshall became the program’s first female sprinter to advance to the Division I national championships after finishing with the eighth-fastest time in the 100-meter dash (11.70 seconds). Wallace qualified for Eugene in the 800, posting the second-fastest time in 2:04.05, and Fry concluded the evening with a school-record performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:58.97).
The Aggie trio was among a handful of UC Davis women competing during Friday’s meet, which was delayed several hours due to thunderstorms. Racing didn’t beginning until 6 p.m. CDT, three hours after its scheduled start.
The delay didn’t hurt Marshall, who advanced to the quarterfinal round from Thursday’s prelims. She returned on Friday to place third in her heat, earning a top-three finish that guaranteed an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships at the University of Oregon.
She came back later in the meet to open her racing in the 200, qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals with a second-place finish in the first heat. Marshall crossed in 23.79.
Wallace, who easily advanced during Thursday’s 800 prelims, came on strong during the second lap of her quarterfinal on Friday night. She nearly chased down Samantha Murphy of Illinois (2:03.83) before finishing second and earning an automatic berth to Eugene.
Fry then capped an impressive day for UCD with a second-place finish in the first heat of the steeplechase. Her time of 9:58.97 smashed her previous school-record time of 10:16.46 set at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this season and made her the first Aggie woman to break 10 minutes in the event.
All three Aggies won Big West championships this season in their respective events.