TAMPA, Fla. – Alabama track & field’s Vincent Kiprop, Alfred Chelanga, Gilbert Kigen, Daniel Haugh, and Portious Warren punched their tickets to the NCAA Track & Field Championships with their performances on the opening day of the NCAA East Preliminary at the University of South Florida on Thursday.
Kiprop, Chelanga and Kigen finished 1-9-10, respectively in the men’s 10,000 meters on Thursday evening with Kiprop winning in 29:16.49 after edging Lawrence Kipkoech of Campbell and Ben Flanagan of Michigan down the stretch for the win. Chelanga and Kigen crossed the finish line in 29:26.35 and 29:28.76, respectively. The trio earned three of the 12 qualifying spots for the NCAA Championships, which will take place June 6-9 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
In the day’s first event, Haugh finished fourth in the men’s hammer throw with an effort of 234-3 (71.41m). Haugh’s effort ranks No. 4 on Alabama’s all-time list.
Warren opened the evening session on Thursday with a fifth place finish in the women’s shot put with an effort of 55-8 ½ (16.98m) to join Haugh as the second Tide thrower to earn a trip to Eugene. Warren’s mark is the sixth-best effort in UA history.
“This was a solid opening day,” Alabama head coach Dan Waters said. “Any time you’re competing in a regional, the objective is to get through to the championships and we were able to do that in several events. I’m also pleased we advanced to the quarterfinals in the sprints and hurdles today. That sets us up well for the rest of the meet.”
In first round action, junior Keitavious Walter finished third in his heat in the men’s 100 meters in 10.34 to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals, which will determine the 12 runners who will advance to the national championships. Freshman Champion Allison also qualified for the quarterfinals in the men’s 400 meters with a time of 46.08.
Quarterfinal advancers for the Tide women were freshman Tamara Clark, who won her heat in the women’s 100 meters in a time of 11.32, and senior Kaitlin Walker, who finished second in her heat of the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.49 to advance.