By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- Three more UT Arlington athletes punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., with stellar showings Friday night at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.
Headlining the evening was the Mavericks' display in the 100 meters. Senior Quentin Butler ran a personal-best time of 9.992 to win the third and final heat. It was the second-fastest time in the competition and also the No. 2 time in school history.
Prior to arriving in Austin, Butler's personal record was a 10.17. In his stay in the state capital, he has posted a 10.07 and a sub-10.00 on back-to-back nights. He will be making his first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships as an individual in the 100 meters.
Just one race prior to Butler's triumph, Clayton Vaughn claimed the title in his heat with a clocking of 10.08. He nabbed the sixth-fastest time among the 24 runners. Vaughn took fifth in the event at last year's NCAA Championships en route to three All-America honors.
UTA is one of just three schools in the nation who will take two men to the NCAA Championships in the 100 meters, joining LSU and USC.
In addition, senior Emil Blomberg capped the night off by qualifying for the NCAA meet in the 3000m steeplechase for the second straight year. He posted a time of 8:48.60 the quarterfinals of the steeple to finish second in the final heat. His time was the fifth-best of the night, less than six seconds off the best time.
The lone UTA woman to compete on Friday was Ashly Wright, who ran a solid 2:07.30 to finish 16th in the quarterfinals of the women's 800 meters. She placed sixth in her quarterfinal heat. The final qualifying time for nationals was 2:05.55.
Victor Fincher placed fifth in his heat, and 27th overall, in the 110m hurdles. He recorded a personal-best clocking of 14.11 and missed out on advancing out of the first round by just .16.
The Mavericks will close their stay at the NCAA West Preliminary Round Saturday. In the field, UTA will feature Chineme Obikudu in the women's triple jump (1:30 p.m.) and Tobi Fawehinmi in the men's triple jump (6 p.m.). Gabriela Alfonzo will run in the women's 5000 meters at 8:05 p.m.
In addition, the men's 4x100 relay (6:15 p.m.) and women's 4x400 relay (9:25 p.m.) will be competing. The men's quartet will consist of Butler, Vaughn, Crear and Newson. The women's quarter-milers include Wright, Dasia Rolfe, Tamerah Gorham and Taylor Davis.
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