Hamm Punches Ticket to Austin for NCAA Championships

Iesha Hamm. Credit Kirby Lee
Iesha Hamm. Credit Kirby Lee

SACRAMENTO – Cal State Fullerton track and field opened up the first day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento on Thursday with Iesha Hamm making history. The sophomore high jumper will compete in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 5-8 in Austin, Texas in the event. Day two of this competition resumes on Friday at 12 p.m. PT.

Hamm cleared 5-10.75 (1.80m) in the high jump to tie for sixth place overall and earn a spot in the final in Austin. She is the first Titan to ever compete at the NCAA Championships in the event and is the first Titan to make NCAAs at all since 2011. There was some drama throughout her series as she cleared 5-7 (1.70m) on her first try, then had to clear 5-8.75 (1.75m) on her third and final attempt. It all came down to her final attempt once again as cleared 5-10.75 (1.80m) to secure a spot in Austin.

Samantha Huerta won heat 1 of the women's 800 meters with a time of 2:05.71 to automatically qualify for the quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m. PT on Friday. She posted split times of 62.16 and 63.55 to comfortably finish in the top three and automatically advance.

"She led wire to wire," head coach John Elders said. "We decided ahead of time not to mess around and to go out strong. Some girls tried to run her down at the end but she held them off and took care of business."

Mason Rollins clocked a time of 10.57 (+1.2 wind) in the 100-meter dash to take 39th place. He did not advance to the quarterfinal round.

Marcel Espinoza ran the 400-meter race in 47.00 and did not qualify for the quarterfinal round as he took 25th place.

"He had a tough race and just didn't get out fast enough," Elders said. "He tried to come back at the end but it was just too little too late. It's unfortunate but we need him to get his mind right and bounce back for both relays on Saturday."

Nicole Clark had a toss of 143-1 (43.63m) in the women's javelin to take 31st place. She will not advance to Austin.

Charles Kelly clocked a 400-meter hurdles time of 52.78 and Diego Courbis posted a time of 52.87. They will not advance to the second round as they took 40th and 42nd place, respectively.

Trevor Gorwin posted a mark of 188-0 (57.30m) in the men's hammer throw and finished in 40th place overall.

Rollins will compete in the first round of the 200-meter sprint on Friday at 7:55 p.m. PT. Sierra Valdivieso will throw in flight one of the women's discus at 12 p.m. Anthony Alfaro will run in heat one of the men's 3K steeplechase at 9 p.m while Jorge Sanchez will run in heat 2.

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