Jacksonville, Fla. - Youngstown State junior Collin Harden placed third in his heat and was 17th overall in the 400m hurdles in the first round at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Hodges Stadium.
Harden is now one of 24 runners who will compete on Friday at 7:15 p.m. with a chance to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The top 12 finishers - top three from the three heats and next three fastest times - will advance to the semifinals in Austin, Texas.
On Thursday, Harden clocked a time of 51.18 seconds as part of the fourth heat. He finished third in his heat behind Virginia Tech's Mile Green (50.63 seconds) and Hampton's Jaelen Williams (50.66 seconds) to advance automatically as a finisher in the top three places.
In the 100m dash, Jaliyah Elliott ran the fifth fastest time in Heat 3 at 11.62 seconds (11.617 officially) as the top three advanced to tomorrow's quarterfinals. She finished 27th overall in the event and missed qualifying by just .058 seconds.
Freshman Wyatt Lefker became the first pole vaulter in school history to be participant at the NCAA Preliminaries. Unfortunately, Lefker didn't register a height after failing to clear the bar at 4.81m on any of his three attempts.
The Penguins will also have Jaliyah Elliott, Chad Zallow, Zach Gehm, Jake Wilson and Noah Drudy compete on Friday. Wilson and Drudy are set to throw the javelin at 12:00 p.m., Gehm will throw the discus at 4:00 p.m., Zallow will race in the 110m hurdles at 5:00 p.m. and Elliott will run in the 200m dash at 7:30 p.m.