Okagbare Qualifies in 100m
Nine-time All-American Blessing Okagbare advanced to the finals in the women’s 100-meter dash on opening day of the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Okagbare dashed to a time of 10.21 to finish first in the second of three heats to automatically qualify for Friday’s final.
“I came out the blocks and 40 meters in I was already in front of the race and when I have a race like that I feel too relaxed,” Okagbare said about her performance in the 100m. “I know Friday it’s going to be a different race. But I got what I wanted, I just wanted to get to the finish line and qualify for Friday.”
The rest of the Miners did not fare as well as Okagbare on a rainy day one of competition at the Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
The men’s 4x100m relay missed qualifying for the final after a bad exchange between the second and third legs.
“Our men’s relay really had a chance to get something done here today,” head coach Bob Kitchens said. “But that one bad exchange got the best of us. If it wasn’t for that our men would have easily been in the final.”
Even after the bad exchange, the quartet of Suji Adeniyan, Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock and Ronalds Arajs finished third in the second of three heats with a time of 39.79. With the top two from each heat plus the next best two advancing to the final, the Miners had to wait for the third heat too see whether or not they had made the cut. UCLA’s relay was the last one in posting a time of 39.75 for third in the final heat leaving the Miners as the first team out of the finals by .04 seconds.
The women’s relay was fourth in their heat with a time of 44.72 behind Clemson, host Oregon and South Carolina for an overall 12th-place finish in the semifinals.
The heartbreaks continued for the Miners as Mutegi, who led through most of the men’s 400 meters, fell off at the end to finish fourth crossing the finish line at 46.01. Arajs fell short of a bid to the 100m finals as he ran his final race in a Miner uniform finishing fifth in his heat with a time of 10.45.
Nicodemus Ng’etich also closed out his UTEP career on Wednesday night in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase. Ng’etich finished 10th in his the first of two sections with a time of 8:53.58.
Junior Terran Alexander will be the lone competitor for the Miners on Thursday when she takes the field in the women’s hammer throw competition at 3 p.m. (PT).