TAMPA, Fla. – Senior Nahom Solomon’s impressive year continues as the long-distance runner secured his spot at Nationals in Eugene, Ore., finishing seventh in the 10K at the 2018 NCAA East Preliminaries on Thursday night at the USF Track & Field Stadium.
Despite being delayed by a lengthy thunderstorm that blew through the Tampa area, Solomon was no worse for wear, moving from 14th to eighth over the course of the final three laps – including a 62.96 final split – to record a final time of 29:24.44. An ultra-competitive race through and through, the No. 1-9 finishers in the race recorded the No. 2-10-best performances in East Prelims history – making Solomon’s time the eighth-best all-time.
His qualification makes him the second Yellow Jacket in school history to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships in the 10K – Kevin Graham (1995). He will be one of only two to qualify this season from the Atlantic Coast Conference – Colin Bennie (Syracuse).
Meanwhile in the 800m, Avery Bartlett also lives to race another day after finishing second in his heat to receive an automatic qualification into the next round on Friday. Bartlett was once again able to turn on the jets in the final 100 to get the qualification, turning in a time of 1:48.66 – fifth-best overall in the first round. All-ACC selection Andres Littig finished just over a second back in the standings, recording a time of 1:49.97 (31st).
All-ACC honorees Daniel Pietsch and Benjamin Jean then represented Tech well in the 400m as Pietsch missed advancing by 0.17 seconds, turning in a time of 46.73 (26th). Jean followed shortly after with a time of 46.99 (32 nd).
Wrapping up the day for the Yellow Jackets was William Solomon, who turned in a leap of 7.04 meters in the long jump.
The NCAA East Regionals will continue on Friday, May 24, beginning for Tech at 9:30 a.m. with Ksenia Novikova in the pole vault.Jeanine Williams, Kenya Collins and Raven Stewart will then race at 12:30 p.m. in the women’s 100m hurdles, before Bartlett battles in the NCAA quarterfinal of the 800m at 2 p.m. All-ACC selection Hailey Gollnick then caps the evening at 8:40 p.m. in the 3000m steeplechase.
The 2018 NCAA East Preliminaries can be streamed live on FloTrack with a subscription fee. Tickets for the event begin at $15 for a single session and $35 for all three days.