May 31, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Emma Bates won the 5,000m at the West Preliminaries with a time of 15:55.00 and qualified for the NCAA National Championships for the second time this weekend. Bates will run in the 5,000m and the 10,000m in Eugene, Ore., on June 11-14, for the second-consecutive year.
Bates ran another superb race and picked her spots in what turned out to be an extremely close finish. She stayed in third for the majority of the race until her and Stanford's Aisling Cuffe separated themselves from the lead pack in the last lap. Cuffe maintained a body-length lead until the final 100m where Bates picked up speed and eventually caught Cuffe before crossing the finish line. Bates finished ahead of Cuffe by just .16 of a second.
Hayli Bozarth took seventh place in the hammer throw and became the second Bronco of the day to earn a trip to nationals. The MW Champion's 195-10 (59.71m) came on her third throw at the end of the opening rounds. During the finals she fouled on her first two throws and came up short of surpassing her previous mark on her last throw. Bozarth set the hammer throw school record (212-7 / 64.79m) two weeks ago at the MW Championships. The Norton, Kan., native will have the opportunity to reset the record in what will be her first nationals appearance of her collegiate career.
Jordan Ward tied for 22nd in the high jump with a 5-7.75 (1.72m). Ward, a freshman from Rathdrum, Idaho, recorded the third-best jump out of any freshman in the event. She also was the top-MW finisher.
David Elliott and Tessa Murray joined Bates as other Broncos to compete in the 5,000m. On the men's side, Elliott finished 28th and crossed the line in 14:33.25. Elliott ran the second-fastest 5,000m time in school history at the Stanford Invite earlier this year (13:57.21).
Murray took 35th with a 17:04.90. She won last year's MW Championship in the 5,000m and took 32nd in the West Preliminaries the same year.
Emma Bates (10,000m and 5,000m), Marisa Howard (3,000m steeplechase) and Hayli Bozarth (Hammer Throw) will compete in two weeks at Eugene, Ore., June 11-14, in the NCAA Outdoor Division I Track and Field Championships.
Full results, news, videos and photos of the West Preliminaries can be found here.