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Four Wolverines Qualify For NCAAs On Final Day At East Prelims

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Website: Bloomington, Ind. (Robert C. Haugh Track and Field complex)
Event: NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Day 2 of 2)
UM Result: No team score
Next UM event: Wednesday and Friday June 8 and 10 — at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Oregon)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. † Four individuals from the University of Michigan track and field team advanced to the national championships after posting qualifying performances on Friday (May 27) on the final day of men’s competition during the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds at the University of Indiana.

Joshua Zeller (110 meters hurdles), Dubem Amene (400 meters), Miles Brown (800 meters) and Christian Hubaker (3,000-meter steeplechase) all berths for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 8 and 10 at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore.

It will be a second year in a row at NCAA Outdoors for Zeller, Hubak and Amene, and the first outdoor Nationals for freshman colleague Brown. Zeller, Amene and Brown also all competed for the Wolverines at the NCAA Indoor Championships last winter.

Zeller caught up through the first three hurdles before even pulling Davidson’s Jayden Smith on the fourth of 10 hurdles. It wasn’t until between the seventh and eighth hurdles that the Englishman began to create some separation from the rest of the field, and by the ninth barrier he drifted forward to full advantage. No one could catch up with him as he crossed the last hurdle and stormed to the finish.

With a strong headwind of 1.9 m/s in wet, rainy conditions, Zeller nevertheless set the second fastest time of his career. Adjusted for wind conditions, the performance may have been superior to his Big Ten record run of 13.19 (+1.6 m/s) at the conference two weekends ago.

He will have the chance to top both efforts in Eugene in less than two weeks, and he will also seek some measure of redemption after crashing into the semifinals during his 2021 NCAA Championships debut.

He will be one of the favorites for the top spots at national championships, as only Florida state NCAA leader Trey Cunningham was faster at 1:07 p.m.

While Zeller left no doubt in the closing stages of his qualifying run, Amene and Brown kept their status in the air until the final meters in their respective races.

Amene came out of the last corner to the home stretch in the 400m quarter-finals and narrowly finished fourth as a tightly packed field competed for three automatic berths for nationals in the final 100m.

He was third with about 70m to go and second with less than 30m to go. Amene kept pushing through the line as he crossed the line in second in a significant career-best 45.51, well ahead of what was a photo finish for the third and final automatic qualifying spot in the heat.

The performance – a personal best by just over half a second – was good for sixth overall in the field, just 0.02 seconds behind Ohio State Big Ten champion Tyler Johnson and just 0.04 less than the school record held by Omar Davidson since 1986. It also took him to number 18 in Nigerian history.

Having previously qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships individually at 400 meters and in the distance medley relay, as well as as part of the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifying 4×400 relay team, this will be his first national 400-meter appearance.

Brown appeared to be in even more trouble as he rounded the corner in sixth place in his 800m quarter-final, on the outside of a seven-man pack all chasing three automatic berths. He threw a wave to fifth with 70 yards to go, then simultaneously overtook two more runners to take third with less than 50 to go.

He didn’t stop there as he moved into the lead a few paces later creating daylight between him and the rest of the field as he crossed over in 1:48.73 for the heat win and auto berth.

Like Amene, this will be his third NCAA Championships berth this year, following the 800m indoor meeting and in the distance medley relay.

Hubaker was the first Wolverine to make his journey to Nationals, and the only one to do so without an automatic berth. He ran the entire second of three motos with the lead pack en route to the best time of a season at 8:41.16.

He finished fifth in his heat, which put him in line for second of three non-automatic qualifying spots. To move forward and have a chance to match or improve on his second-team All-America honors, he needed four or fewer men in the final heat to outrun him. Only three did and secured his berth to Eugene.

In the quarter finals of the 1500 meters Tom Dodd was denied a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, although both he and Nick Foster were in the fray well into the final round. After both men moved to the front of the pack with one lap to go, Foster was the third of a three-wide breakaway at the bell and Dodd was just off his shoulder.

Dodd started pulling away a bit with a group of four heading into the final corner with 200 yards to go, holding that position as he exited the corner to the final home stretch. Unable to hold on to his position, he slipped outside the top five of the only guaranteed NCAA qualifiers in the heat to seventh in 3:42.47. He was also eliminated in qualifying overall as the previous heat was the fastest of the two producing the two time qualifiers.

Those who have qualified will conclude their 2022 collegiate seasons at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 8 and 10.

Michigan results

Q/q = qualified for the next round

400m sprint

Quarter-finals
6. Dubem Amene / 45.51Q [New PR]

First round
8. Dubem Amene / 46.11Q

800 meters run

Quarter-finals
9. Miles Brown / 1:48.73Q (NCAA Qualifier)
23. Cole Johnson / 1:51.96

First round
12. Cole Johnson / 1: 49.09Q
16. Miles Brown / 1:49.33Q

1500 meters run

Quarter-finals
17. Tom Dodd / 3:42.47
21. Nick Foster / 3:44.48

First round
9. Tom Dodd / 3: 45.06Q
11. Nick Foster / 3:45.47Q

Steeplechase

Quarter-finals
11. Christian Hubaker / 8:41.16q (NCAA Qualifier)
18. Austin Remick / 8:49.88
28. Joost Plaetinck / 9:01.29

10,000 meters run

Semi-finals
30. Tom Brady / 30:12.63

110 meters hurdles

Quarter-finals
2. Joshua Zeller / 13.39Q [-1.9m/s] (NCAA Qualifier)

First round
3. Joshua Zeller / 13.47Q [+1.2m/s]

32. Job Mayhue / 13.98 [+1.2m/s]

4×400 relay

Quarter-finals
17. Jacob KoernerMiles BrownLawrence GilliamDubem Amene / 3:09.48

high jump

First round
32. Cassidy Henshaw / 2.05m (6-8.75)

Pole Vault

First round
21. Henry Sheldon / 5.04m (16-6.5)

Triple jump

First round
27. Bera Ajala / 15.32m (50-3.25) [+0.3m/s]

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://mgoblue.com/news/2022/5/27/mens-track-field-four-wolverines-qualify-for-ncaas-on-final-day-at-east-prelims.aspx

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