SACRAMENTO, Calif. — University of New Mexico track and field athletes Carlos Salcido and Charlotte Prouse earned bids to the NCAA Championships with their performances on Friday night at the 2018 NCAA West Preliminary Round.
Salcido punched his ticket in the 400-meter run and Prouse qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento.
They join Alice Wright, who advanced to her fourth-straight NCAA Championship in the 10,000 on Thursday night.
Five more Lobos, including NCAA champs Josh Kerr and Ednah Kurgat, will get a chance to advance Saturday on the final day of the West Prelims, where the top 48 athletes and top 24 relay teams in the NCAA West Region convened in each event. A top-12 finish lands a spot at June’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Salcido advanced to his first NCAA Outdoor Championships by holding his own against a talented field that included USC’s Michael Norman, the 2018 world leader in the indoor 400.
Salcido crossed the line in 46.04 seconds, which was good for third place in his heat. The top three finishers in each of the three quarterfinals and the next three fastest times advanced to the NCAA finals. He becomes the first Lobo since Jarrin Solomon in 2009 to qualify to the NCAA Championships in the 400.
Prouse took over her heat after a lap and never turned back en route to a heat-winning and championship-qualifying time of 9:55.14. She topped Utah State runner-up Cierra Simmons, who defeated Prouse in a tightly contested Mountain West Championship race.
Prouse advances to her second NCAA Championships in the event, with her first appearance coming with Washington in 2016.
Elsewhere, three other New Mexico athletes competed Friday, but did not advance.
In the quarterfinals of the men’s 800, Michael Wilson placed 15th overall with a time of 1:49.19. The 3000 steeplechase saw two other Lobos compete, with Jonny Glen finishing 38th in the men’s race (time of 9:06.73) and Alondra Negrón Texidor finishing 23rd in the women’s race (10:15.77).
Saturday, UNM has Brent Dionisio in the men’s high jump at 5 p.m. MT. Kerr and Ian Crowe-Wright compete in the quarterfinal round of the men’s 1,500 at 7:30 p.m. followed by Kurgat and Weini Kelati in the semifinals of the women’s 5,000 at 9:45 p.m.
NEW MEXICO STATE: Senior Katara Nelson finished 18th in the women’s 400-meter quarterfinals Friday, missing the top-12 finish she needed to advance.
“Katara cleaned up her race and looked much better today,” volunteer assistant sprints coach Jenna Banegas said. “She held her composure and fought hard. When athletes are able to do that in these major competitions, there’s no room for disappointment no matter the outcome.”
Hannah Smith kicks off the Aggies’ run Saturday with the triple jump, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Nelson joins teammates Dominique Joiner, Tanisha Scott, and Lashira Tremble in the 4x100m relay at 7:15 p.m.