COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- History made.
Bozeman native and Montana State junior Lucy Corbett clinched a spot in the women's high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, becoming the first Bobcat to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the event. Duncan Hamilton, another Bozeman native on MSU's track and field team, also continued his assault on MSU's record books and will next compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships.
Corbett had no problems at the NCAA West preliminary competition on Saturday, clearing the bar on every one of her jumps. She entered the event at 5 feet, 5.75 inches, and jumped a total of four times, also clearing heights at 5-7.75, 5-9.75 and 5-11.5. Corbett was one of three jumpers to clear 5-11.5 without a miss, tying Corbett with Madison Langley-Walker of Oklahoma and Lamara Distin of Texas A&M atop the leaderboard.
"It was pretty exciting," MSU jumps coach Dustin Cichosz said in a media release. "We did some run-throughs a couple days ago and she was on, so we didn't have to spend a lot of time doing that. We got here and we did a couple (Saturday) and she looked on again, which is big for her because it's the most jumping she's done consecutively all year. She just started making them early, she had a good approach, and for her four consecutive jumps is great. It puts her in a really good position to not only do well here, but to stay healthy. We didn't want her to take a lot of jumps and it ended up working out great.
"I think Lucy is really cool-headed and smart. Even though she'll be excited and nervous, I have a lot of confidence in her at the next stage (in Eugene)."
Aislinn Overby, another Bozeman native, was also in the event representing Washington State. Overby had a solid showing, clearing the bar on her first attempts at 5-5.75 and 5-7.75. She got over 5-9.75 on her third jump and then missed all three attempts at 5-11.5 to try to punch her ticket to the NCAA Championships. With the 5-9.75 height, Overby placed 19th.
Hamilton, meanwhile, record a third-place finish in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday, finishing with a time of 8 minutes, 39.02 seconds. It was the second-fastest time in MSU history.
"This was a great experience for Duncan to have," said Lyle Weese, MSU's Dale Kennedy director of track and field. "This year he has been out front for the entire race, so this was good for him to be part of a pack that was running a similar caliber time as him. It should really benefit him going to Eugene because he'll be in a place that has similar weather to what we experience. I think he's really prepared to run well at the NCAA Championships."
The Bobcats also had Levi Taylor competing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and he placed 28th with a time of 9:03.96. Bennett Pascoe of Arkansas State won the event in 8:37.45.
Triple jumper Carla Nicosia was the last of Montana State's field athletes to compete at the prelims. She marked a best jump of 40 feet, 4 inches, which placed her 36th. Deborah Acquah of Texas A&M marked a 45-00.25 to win the women's triple jump.
Meanwhile, Christina Aragon will make another trip to the NCAA Championships. The former Billings Senior standout now at Stanford placed sixth in the 1,500-meter run on Saturday with a time of 4:12.44. Aragon's teammate, Julia Heymach, won Saturday's 1,500 with a time of 4:09.89.
Heymach also ran a 15:55.72 to win the 5,000-meter run, which included Annie Hill, a Kalispell Glacier product now at Colorado. Hill placed 28th with a time of 16:39.13.
In the men's 5,000-meter run, Aidan Reed, a Helena High graduate now at Southern Utah, placed 23rd with a time of 14:12.68. Iowa State's Wesley Kiptoo won the event with a time of 13:42.70.
The NCAA Championships are June 9-12 at Eugene, Ore.