EUGENE, Ore. — Texas A&M’s Moitalel Mpoke led the Aggie sprinters on the track Wednesday by claiming the top time in the preliminaries of the men’s 400-meter hurdles on the opening day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.
Mpoke won the third heat in the 400 hurdle semifinals in 48.85 seconds to qualify for Friday’s final. LSU’s Sean Burrell had the second-fastest time of 49.06 followed by Southern California’s Cameron Samuel (49.37).
The A&M men’s team had five of nine entrants advance in the running preliminaries. The top two finishers in each race’s three semifinal heats plus the next three fastest times advanced to Friday’s finals.
A&M’s Bryce Deadmon advanced in the men’s 400, finishing in 45.48 with the fifth-fastest qualifying time. Deadmon finished third in his heat but advanced on time. NC A&T’s Randolph Ross led the preliminaries in 45.24 followed by Ohio State’s Tyler Johnson (45.33) and NC A&T’s Trever Stewart (45.36).
The Aggies’ 4x400 relay team of Mpoke, Devin Dixon, Omajuwa Etiwe and Deadmon advanced by placing fifth in 3:04.53. North Carolina A&T posted the fastest semifinal time at 3:03.23 followed by Southern California (3:04.00) and Kentucky (3:04.42).
A&M’s Brandon Miller also advanced in the 800, placing seventh in the prelims in 1:47.50. Dixon finished 22nd in 1:52.06.
A&M’s Emmanuel Yeboah, Devon Achane, Lance Broome, Jace Comick earned the ninth and last qualifying spot in the 4x100 relay final, finishing in 39.23 seconds. LSU led the preliminaries with a 38.66 followed by Florida State (38.75), Houston (38.84) and Clemson (38.94). A&M advanced by finishing second in its heat, just edging TCU (39.24). NC A&T won the heat in 39.00.
Achane failed to advance in the men’s 100, finishing in 11th at 10.22. The cutoff to reach the final was 10.21 run by three different runners. Achane also placed 14th in the 200 (20.73), while teammate Lance Broome finished 21st (20.91).
A&M’s Sam Hankins finished 18th in the men’s javelin at 213 feet, 1 inch.
The meet will continue Thursday with the A&M women’s team hitting the track for running preliminaries and the long jump final.