By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
AUSTIN, Texas - UT Arlington enjoyed a tremendous first day at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Among UTA's six athletes competing, the Mavericks had one qualify for the NCAA Championships and three more advance to the next round of the prelims.
"We are here to compete," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "The athletes we have here this week are ready. We really set the tone tonight. It was an awesome night."
Highlighting the Mavericks' efforts was junior Roland Sales, who cleared 7 feet, 1 1/2 inches to top his personal record by an inch and record the second-best mark in school history.
His effort earned him one of 12 spots in the NCAA Championships two weeks from now in Eugene, Ore.. It will be his first appearance at the meet. A three-time regional qualifier, he placed 30th and 31st at the NCAA Preliminary Round his first two years at UTA.
In addition, the senior duo of Clayton Vaughn and Quentin Butler dominated their heats of the men's 100m to move through the first round and into Friday's quarterfinals. UTA is one of just four schools, along with Texas, Texas A&M and USC, to have two runners in the 100m quarterfinals.
Vaughn cruised through the line with a time of 10.04 in the third heat. His clocking ended up as the fifth-fastest time in the field.
Butler followed up with a 10.07 in heat five, posting a personal record by .10 and finishing sixth overall. His clocking put him in the second position on the school's all-time list, behind only Vaughn (9.93).
Also advancing to Friday's quarterfinals was fellow senior Ashly Wright, who is through in the women's 800 meters with a time of 2:09.28. Wright placed fourth in her heat and had the 15th-fastest time among the 48 runners.
Sophomore Tamerah Gorham placed fifth in her heat of the 800 meters and had the 34th time overall at 2:10.86. Freshman Taylor Davis, who earlier this year set a school record in the women's 400 meters, finished seventh in her heat of the event (44th overall) with a clocking of 55.48.
Vaughn and Butler will participate in the quarterfinals of the 100m tomorrow at 6:45 p.m., while Wright will run in the 800m quarters at 7 p.m. The top 12 finishers in each event will qualify for the NCAA Championships.
UTA will also have runners competing in the first round of the men's 110m hurdles (Victor Fincher) and men's 200m (Tarik Crear and Cameron Newson) as well as in the quarterfinals of the men's 3000m steeplechase (Emil Blomberg).
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