Auburn track and field complete successful first day at NCAA Championships
On day one of the 2017 NCAA Outdoors on Wednesday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Auburn’s track and field men’s team advanced four individuals and two relays to Friday’s finals. Four members of Auburn’s seventh ranked team earned Second Team All-American honors after their performance on Wednesday.
“Today was a really good day for our men,” Auburn head coach Ralph Spry said. “We picked up where we left off at NCAA Prelims and posted some strong marks. We put ourselves in position to score some good points on Friday. This is a tough competition and I am proud of these guys for stepping up and competing. We are really starting to fire on all cylinders and I look forward to watching these guys compete on Friday.”
Auburn’s 4x100 meter relay squad gave the men an early advantage as Odean Skeen, Kahlil Henderson, Raheem Chambers and Teray Smith ran 38.47 to advance to the finals on Friday. On the season, their time is ranked sixth fastest in the world and second fastest in Auburn history.
Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen are also advancing to Friday’s 400 meter final after Bloomfield’s second heat win with a time of 44.95 and Allen’s third heat winning time of 45.05. Randall Ceneus finished 13th overall in the event and earned second team All-American honors after running a personal best time of 45.82.
Junior Odean Skeen finished second in the second heat of the 100 meter final with a time of 10.05, ranking ninth on Auburn’s all-time performance list. Freshman Raheem Chambers finished 16th overall in the event and ran a personal best time of 10.20. Chambers also earned second team All-American honors.
Teray Smith, a senior from the Bahamas and a 2016 Olympian, qualified for the 200 meter final for the first time after running 20.36 and finishing third in the first heat. Senior Kahlil Henderson also earned second team All-American after running 20.55 in the third heat and finishing 13th overall on the day.
The Tigers ended the night with a win in the third heat of the men’s 4x400 meter relay. Senior Wellington Zaza finished 16th overall and earned his second straight All-American honors after running 13.74 in the men’s 110 meter hurdles.
The women’s semifinals will kick off tonight at 6:32 p.m. CT at Hayward Field with the 4x100 meter relay. Auburn senior Veronica Eder is set to cap off day two with the 10,000 meter final at 9:08 p.m. CT.