SACRAMENTO, Calif. Forest Braden and Simon Wardhaugh both advanced to the finals of their respective events on Wednesday (June 6) during the first day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor National Track and Field Championships.

            Braden and Wardhaugh were two of six Boise State University student-athletes competing in preliminary events, but were the only two to advance to the final round.

A two-time NCAA All-American, Braden qualified for the finals of the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:57.33, the seventh fastest time in the preliminaries.  Chris Solinsky of the University of Wisconsin had the fastest time at 13:56.81.  Braden will compete in the finals on Friday (June 8) at 7:45 p.m. (MT).

Wardhaugh advanced to the finals of the men’s hammer when he placed 12th with a throw of 206-6 (62.95m).  Nick Owens of the University of North Carolina had the top hammer throw on Wednesday at 230-4 (70.22m).  Wardhaugh will compete in the finals on Friday beginning at 1:15 p.m. (MT).

            Wardhaugh’s teammate, Jarrod Stevens, also competed in the hammer on Wednesday, but failed to advance when he placed 14th with a throw of 205-6 (62.65m).  The top 12 competitors from the prelims of the field events advance to the final round.

            Scott Viafore and Annika Hjelm came within one place of advancing to the finals with both finishing 13th in their respective events.  Viafore posted a mark of 213-5 (65.05m) in the men’s javelin, while Hjelm recorded a throw of 189-4 (57.71m) in the women’s hammer.

            Eleni Kafourou also failed to advance to the next round when she finished 25th in the prelims of the women’s long jump with a mark of 19-3.25 (5.87m).

            Two more Broncos make their first appearance at this year’s national championships on Thursday (June 7) when Erik Whitsitt competes in the qualifying round of the men’s hammer at 5:15 p.m. (MT), and Becky Guyette competes in the finals of the women’s 10,000-meter run at 8:40 p.m.


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