INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Kerr, the top 1,500-meter runner in the country, and All-American distance runner Alice Wright are among 10 New Mexico Lobos who have qualified for the NCAA outdoor track and field preliminaries, the national selection committee announced Thursday.
Kerr, a sophomore, enters the West region meet in Austin, Texas, having run the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 35.99 seconds, the sixth fastest in NCAA history.
Wright is the No. 2 seed in the 10,000 meters with her UNM-record 32:29.28. The junior is making her third straight NCAA regional appearance.
Also, senior triple jumper Jannell Hadnot is in her fourth regional, having won the West meet last year at 43 feet, 10 inches. Her top effort this year is 43-5.
Also qualifying are sophomore Natasha Bernal in the 3,000 steeplechase (10:15.90), freshman Sophie Eckel in the 5,000 (16:08.09) and junior Kieran Casey in the 1,500 (4:25.23).
Other Lobos earning spots are senior Graham Thomas in the 3,000 steeplechase (8:54.29), freshman Emil Danielsson in the 1,500 (3:46.08), senior Sam Trigg in the triple jump (52 -10¾) and freshman Tanner Battikha in the long jump (24-9¾).
A top-12 finish at the May 25-27 regional earns athletes a spot in the NCAA Championships next month in Eugene, Ore.
UNM has qualified at least 10 athletes to the prelim round every year since 2010 when the NCAA went to the two-region system. Last season, 10 Lobos made the NCAA finals, with Kerr placing 10th in the 1,500, Wright running second in the 10,000 and Hadnot finishing 17th in the triple jump. Courtney Frerichs set an NCAA record in winning the steeplechase.
New Mexico State’s Crissey Amberg (1,500) and Kayli Farmer (javelin) also advanced to Austin.