Eight Cougars qualify for NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Five qualifying athletes also set personal best in final day of competition



Junior Charisma Taylor leaped a distance of 13.63 meters.

AARIK LONG, Evergreen reporter

WSU athletes traveled to College Station, Texas, to compete in the West Prelims of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from May 26-29.

After the first two days of preliminary qualifying, 12 Cougars had a shot to earn their way into the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

On day one of the finals, senior Mitch Jacobson became the first WSU athlete to punch a ticket to Eugene for 2021. Jacobson finished with a height of 2.16 meters in the high jump to finish 12th overall.

Junior John Kolb also had a shot to qualify for the NCAA Championships, but finished 28th overall in the men’s discus with a distance of 53.3 meters.

Freshman Carolina Ulloa-Daza also saw her season wrap up following a 24th place finish in the women’s hammer throw after a throw of 58.38 meters.

The final day of the West Prelims kicked off with a pair Cougars earning their way into the NCAA Championships.

Seniors Paul Ryan and Zach Stallings both qualified in the 1500-meters. Ryan recorded a time of 3:38.87 to finish second in the event, while Stallings’ time of 3:39.32 was good enough for fifth and a personal record.

Senior Sam Brixey was the next to punch his ticket for WSU. Brixey put up a time of 13.7 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, good enough for 12th in the event and a spot in Eugene.

The next event on the agenda for WSU was the women’s high jump, which saw three Cougars look to punch their ticket. However, only sophomore Suzy Pace was able to qualify out of the group. Pace’s height of 1.77 meters earned her a 12th place finish following a jump-off and a new personal best. Sophomore Aislinn Overby and freshman Kaylee Sowle also were able to reach 1.77 meters, but were not able to earn a qualifying spot in the tiebreaker.

Senior Colton Johnsen also earned his ticket into the field in Eugene with his performance in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Johnsen finished with a time of 8:39.99 to finish seventh. The time was also a new personal best for the senior.

Junior Charisma Taylor continued to make her mark on the WSU track and field record books with another record-breaking performance in the triple jump. This time, she leaped for a distance of 13.63 meters. The distance broke her own school record and earned her a third-place finish, as well as a spot in the NCAA Championships.

The day wrapped up for WSU as senior Stephanie Cho recorded a time of 57.75 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles. The time set a new personal record for Cho and moved her up to the fourth spot in the WSU all-time standings. Cho finished seventh overall and qualified for the same event in Eugene.

The eight qualifying athletes will wrap up their 2021 campaign June 9-12 in Eugene.