Tyler O'Brien Falls Just Shy of National Quarterfinal
May 27, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - Marquette sprinter Tyler O'Brien finished 25th in the men's 200-meter dash and came within three hundredths of a second of qualifying for the national quarterfinal Friday evening at the West Preliminary Rounds of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
"It was a frustrating end to the season for Tyler after it looked as though he may advance through to tomorrow's quarterfinals," Marquette head track and field coach Bert Rogers said. "He didn't get off to a great start out of the blocks and was about seventh at the turn. He was able to run a couple other sprinters down and place fourth in his heat but it was too little, too late."
O'Brien finished fourth in the fifth heat of the men's 200 meters in a time of 21.66 seconds and had the fastest time to not qualify for Saturday's competition. Heading into the evening's final heat, the Rocky Hill, Conn., native had the 19th fastest time overall and the fourth fastest outside of the automatic qualifiers.
O'Brien watched as six runners notched faster times than his mark in the final heat and dropped him outside of the top six non-qualifiers. The top three times in each preliminary race along with the next six fastest times advanced.
The All-BIG EAST performer entered the weekend 29th in the event and competed at the NCAA regional meet in 2008 as well.
"Jamie capped a nice career at Marquette after walking on as a freshman and Bret has a bright future after qualifying for this meet in his first year," Rogers said.
Roth placed 45th with a toss of 167 feet (50.90 meters), while Hardin was 46th on the men's side with a distance of 170 feet, 1 inch (51.84 meters).
Hardin will compete back in Eugene on June 22-26 at the USA Junior Championships.
Distance runner Blake Johnson improved upon his regional ranking for the second-straight year, this time in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday evening. The junior finished with with a time of 30:05.28 to place 31st after entering the weekend's action 39th in the West Region. The Saline, Mich., native also competed at the 2010 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Austin, Texas in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and placed 29th, well above his seed of 48.
Sophomore Kyle Winter was Marquette's first athlete to compete Thursday in the men's 800-meter run and ran his second-fastest time of the season to place 37th in 1:51.96. Winter entered the weekend 37th on the region's performance list.
Nick Szczech joined Johnson in the men's 10,000 and placed 42nd in 30:59.68.
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