EUGENE, Ore. (KTSM) – UTEP sprinter Jevaughn Powell is headed to the NCAA finals in the 400 meters.
Running in the second of three 400m heats at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Wednesday night at the historic Hayward Field, Powell finished third in the heat in 45.47 seconds in the heat that proved to be by far the fastest in the event.
The top two runners in each heat qualify automatically, then the next three fastest times also get a ticket to the final. Powell’s time was the fourth-fastest in the event overall, trailing only Champion Allison (Florida), Randolph Ross (North Carolina A&T) and Jonathan Jones (Texas), all of whom qualified automatically by virtue of finishing in the top two of their respective heats. Allison and Ross finished in front of Powell in heat two.
By virtue of qualifying for the final, Powell will automatically be an NCAA All-American.
Powell got off to a slow start, but down the final 100 meters of the race he kicked hard, out-sprinting the majority of the field as he out-leaned Georgia’s Elijah Goodwin (45.462) at the tape. Florida’s Ryan Willie (45.470), Texas A&M’s Emmanuel Bamidele (45.53), Ohio State’s Tyler Johnson (45.58) and Oklahoma’s Richard Kuykendoll (45.59) rounded out Friday’s championship field.
The 400m finals will be held at 8:02 p.m. MT Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene and can be seen on ESPN2. This is the second consecutive season that a UTEP sprinter will run in the 400m finals, after Sean Bailey did so in 2021.
Meanwhile, Franklin graduate Omajuwa Etiwe ran the anchor leg of the 4×400 meter relay for Texas A&M, as the Aggies won heat two on the strength of Etiwe.
The 2019 Class 6A state champion in the 400 meters, Etiwe ran a personal-best time of 45.64 seconds in the relay as he held off North Carolina A&T to send A&M through to Friday’s 4x400m finals at 9:20 p.m. MT.
Etiwe found out that he was running the race about 10 minutes before he was sent on to the Hayward Field track to compete and still put forth his best time ever. He was a part of the Texas A&M 4×400 team that won the Indoor national championships in March; he and the Aggies are hoping to make it a double-dip on Friday in Eugene.
Elsewhere at the meet for UTEP, thrower Arianne Morais will take part in the women’s javelin on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. MT. Morais finished in the top 10 at the West Prelims two weeks ago in Arkansas.