PUEBLO, Colo. - Junior Micah Chelimo and junior Susan Tanui each won their respective 3,000-meter steeplechase preliminary heats to advance to the finals at the 2012 NCAA Div. II Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl.
Combined, the Seawolves qualified five athletes to the final events that will be contested on Friday and Saturday on the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo.
A local of Kapkoi, Kenya, Chelimo cruised to victory in his heat with a time of 9:32.16, good for second overall. The West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year, Chelimo entered the championships with the third-fastest overall time at 8:45.63. Chelimo will look to collect his third straight All-America accolade at 5:35 p.m. ADT Friday.
Tanui, from Eldoret, Kenya, qualified for the finals with a winning time of 10:44.67. The Great Northwest Athletic Conference record holder in the event, will look for her first All-America honor at 5:15 p.m. ADT on Friday. Competing in the same heat as Tanui was senior Hallidie Wilt. Wilt, from Unalaska, wrapped up her successful collegiate career with a 14th-place finish at 11:28.58.
Senior Alfred Kangogo (Eldoret, Kenya) will have a chance to secure his third straight All-America honor in the 1500 meters, after posting an automatic qualifying time of 4:04.84 in Heat 1 of the preliminaries, good for eighth overall.
Joining Kangogo in the 1500 meters is sophomore Ivy O'Guinn. A local of Soldotna, O'Guinn will make her second straight NCAA appearance in the event finals after finishing 11th in the prelims with a time of 4:43.71. The finals of the 1500 meters will be held on Saturday.
In the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Haleigh Lloyd (Ladysmith, B.C.) advanced to the finals with a seventh-place showing (fourth in Heat 2) at 1:00.24. The GNAC-record holder in the event will compete at 5:20 p.m. ADT on Saturday.
After four-scored events, senior multi-eventer Kelsea Johnson currently sits 14th with 2,858 points in the women's heptathlon. The GNAC runner-up in the heptathlon, Johnson set a personal record in the 100-meter hurdles with at time if 14.95, before recording a leap of 5-0 ½ in the high jump. A local of Sitka, Johnson went on to register a toss of 32-11.25, before ending the day with a career-best time of 25.83 in the 200 meters.
Action continues tomorrow at 9 a.m. ADT with Johnson in the heptathlon, before Chelimo and Tanui compete in the men's and women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.