By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
LAWRENCE, Kan. – UT Arlington freshman Alexus Henry finished fifth in the high jump Friday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Henry cleared 5 feet, 10 3/4 inches, the second-best mark in school history, on her second attempt at the height on Friday. Her clearance topped her previous best season mark by a quarter of an inch. She was one of only seven freshmen among the 48 competitors.
The top 12 finishers advanced to the NCAA Championships, meaning that Henry did not have to jump again. One of just seven participants to top 5 feet, 10 3/4 inches, her next attempt would have been for a school record (6 feet).
"It's remarkable that as a freshman, Alexus was able to compete at such a high level and pull through when it mattered," UTA associate head coach Brandon Berger said. "She was terrific under pressure, and I am very proud of her."
Henry is the first women's high jumper from UTA ever to advance to the NCAA Championships. She will compete in Oregon on Saturday, June 11.
"Alexus competed like a champ," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "Congrats to her and Coach Berger on an amazing accomplishment."
On the men's side, Roland Sales' stellar career came to a close with a 38th-place finish. The All-American high jumper cleared 6 feet, 7 1/2 inches, which was four inches below the 12th and final qualifying spot.
In other action, all three women's runners placed higher than their seed. Taylor Davis, seeded 35th, came in 31st in the women’s 400 meters (55.56).
Meanwhile, Alexis Baldwin placed 37th in the women's 100m with a time of 11.89 after entering the meet seeded 48th. Finally, Katelyn Hayward placed 42nd in the women’s 3000m steeplechase (11:05.96) after being ranked 46th.
The final two UTA individuals and its lone relay team will compete tomorrow. Participants include Tobi Fawehinmi in the men's triple jump (9 a.m.), Emeka Nwangwu in the men's 100m hurdles (noon) and men's 4x400 relay (2:50 p.m.).
Live results and live video are available at kuathletics.com.
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