Eugene, Ore. • Weber State's Amber Henry advanced to the finals of women's 3,000-meter steeplechase Thursday, finishing first in one of two semifinal heats at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
The senior ran 9 minutes, 58.82 seconds. She ran most of the race with Florida State's Colleen Quigley, who finished second in 10:00.23. The top five finishers in each heat, plus the next two fastest times, qualified for Saturday's final. Henry's time was the fourth-fastest overall in the event. She entered this week ranked fourth in the nation in the steeplechase.
Utah's Amanda Mergaert qualified for Saturday's 1,500 finals by finishing fifth in her semifinal heat in 4:14.89.
The senior's time was her best of the season.
"I thought she ran a very comfortable race," Utah coach Kyle Kepler said. "I think she thought the race would run a little faster, but the front runners didn't hammer the pace. I thought she ran a savvy, intelligent 1,500 and now it is on to the finals."
BYU's Jared Ward placed eighth in the 10,000, finishing in 29:51.59. He was in second place for most of the final 1,200 before fading at the end.
Southern Utah's Nate Jewkes was 11th in 29:56.21 and BYU's Tylor Thatcher was 14th (30:07.12).
Arizona's Lawi Lalang won in 29:29.65, UNC Greensboro's Paul Katam was second in 29:41.27 and Craig Lutz of Texas placed third in 29:41.97.
Utah State's Chari Hawkins will compete in the high jump on Saturday.
Also on Thursday, Clemson junior Brianna Rollins set a collegiate record in the 100 hurdles with a time of 12.47 seconds.
The 21-year-old broke the record of 12.48 set by USC's Ginnie Powell at the 2006 NCAA outdoor championships in Sacramento, Calif. Her mark is also a world best this season.
NCAA Track & Field Championships
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