AUSTIN — It was a day of close but not close enough, as UTSA was unable to add to its number of entries advancing to the national semifinals on Saturday at the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds.
Sophomore Keyunta Hayes, who won his section and posed the fourth-quickest 400-meter hurdles time (PR 50.37) on Friday night, just missed qualifying for his second hurdles event in as many days. The Southland Conference Champion clocked a wind-aided 13.82 in the first quarterfinal heat of the evening, which was was good for 13th place, but only the top dozen times earned berths in the semis. He missed the elusive 12th spot by a mere two one-hundredths of a second.
Meanwhile, junior All-American Keith Benford was successful on his first three attempts in the high jump (6-8/2.03m, 6-9 ¾/2.08m & 6-11 ¾/2.13m), but the Pflugerville native was unable to clear 7-1 ¾ (2.17m) and he missed advancing to the semifinals by one spot with his 14th-place showing. Sophomore teammate Kerry Thompson was good on his first jump at the opening height, but he followed that with three consecutive misses at 6-9 ¾ (2.08m), which placed him in a 31st-place tie in the 48-man field.
Junior Richard Garrett Jr. just missed out on a spot in the discus quarterfinals. The Garland native, who advanced to the national semis in Thursday's shot put, launched the platter 177-8 (54.15m) on his third and final throw of the day and that was good for 17th place, but it was nine inches short of qualifying for the next round.
Juniors Taylor Reed and Kyle Tomasini cleared the opening two heights of the pole vault (16-2 ¾/4.95m & 16-8 ¾/5.10m), but both were unable to surpass the afternoon's third standard of 17-2 ¾ (5.25m).
Tomasini was successful on his first two vaults of the day, while Reed soared over the bar on his first attempt before needing two tries at 16-8 ¾ (5.10m) to continue on. The pair finished the campaign as the program's co-record holders in the event (16-10 ¾/5.15m).
The Roadrunners' other entry of the day, the 1,600m relay quartet of Hayes, freshman Christopher Hall and juniors Darryl Wyrick and James Pailin, circled the Mike A. Myers Stadium oval four times in 3:13.48, which ranked 23rd in the field of 24 relay teams.
The NCAA Championships continue from June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. UTSA will be represented by Garrett Jr. (shot put), fellow junior Tyler Williamson (long jump) and Hayes (400m hurdles).