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Williams, Benford move on to next month's NCAA Championships on Friday

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 05/29/2010
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Senior All-American Teddy Williams (left) and freshman Keith Benford advanced to next month's NCAA Championships on Friday.
AUSTIN — Senior All-American Teddy Williams (100 meters) and freshman Keith Benford (high jump) both qualified for next month's national meet on Friday at the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Williams finished second in the first of three 100m quarterfinal heats with a time of 10.29, which was four one-hundredths of a second behind Texas A&M's Curtis Mitchell. The mark was the fourth-fastest of the evening and the three-time All-American moved on to the national semifinals, which will take place on June 9 in Eugene, Ore. Gerald Phiri of Texas A&M clocked the night's quickest time, a 10.17, in the third and final section.

"I hate to lose, but the ultimate goal this weekend was to get to the next round and come out of the meet healthy," Williams said after his race. "I was able to do that. You can't be worried about what your time is right now and can't win a National Championship in Austin. You win it in Eugene in two weeks."

Meanwhile, Benford became the first high jumper to advance to the NCAA Championships in UTSA history after he cleared 6-11 (2.11m) to finish in an eighth-place tie in the 48-man field. The Pflugerville native passed on the opening height of 6-7 (2.01m) and then was successful on his first attempt at 6-9 (2.06m) and 6-11 (2.11m). He was unable to clear 7-1 (2.16m) but advanced to next month's meet nevertheless. The national title will be decided on June 11.

"This is a great feeling, but I don't think it's completely sunk in yet," Benford said. "My approach was a little off on my first jump, but I stuck with it and cleared 6-9 on my first try. The next height felt perfect, but I was disappointed I wasn't able to get over 7-1. I'll spend the next two weeks recuperating and getting ready for nationals."

Senior Johnathan Whittaker and junior Devon Bond also were in action in the event. Bond leaped 6-9 (2.06m), while Whittaker saw his four-year career come to an end with his 6-7 (2.01m) clearance.

Meanwhile, Williams and freshman Adam Hebert both raced in the first round of the 200m, but the pair was unable to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals. Williams crossed the finish line in 21.31, which was two one-hundredths of a second shy of the 24th and final spot in the quarters. Hebert, who joined his teammate in the fifth heat, clocked a 21.43.

The three-day meet concludes on Saturday.

Bond, who owns the nation's ninth-best mark in the triple jump (52-10 ¾/16.12m), begins competition at 6 p.m. and freshman Richard Garrett Jr. will throw the discus at noon.

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