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Byrne, Owens Advance to NCAAs, Lead Track and Field at East Preliminary Rounds

Tyler Byrne pushed his way through the preliminaries to secure his first NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance.

Tyler Byrne pushed his way through the preliminaries to secure his first NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance.

May 30, 2014


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville track and field’s Tyler Byrne and Brittany Owens are advancing to the NCAA Championships, leading the Cardinals on the first day of action at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

A senior, Byrne raced to a time of 29:55.41 in the 10,000m event, logging an eighth-place showing. With his top-12 finish, the Georgetown, Ind., native secured his first career trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 11-14 at Oregon University’s Hayward Field in Eugene.

"Tyler was really impressive tonight," head coach Dale Cowper said. "He really went to work the second half of the 10,000m and advanced through the high humidity conditions."

Byrne is putting a stamp on the best track season of his career. He won the AAC outdoor 5,000m title and captured the league’s indoor 3,000m crown. In the fall, he became the third cross country All-American in school history after earning all-region accolades. He won the AAC individual cross country title, while setting school records in the 8K and 10K along the way.

Owens had a series of three solid long jump marks in the first round, including her best mark of 6.18m/20-3.50 on her third attempt. The leap landed her inside the top 10, and after the finals, she secured a 10th-place finish to solidify her first appearance at the national championships.

Brittany Owens took 10th in the women's long jump to punch her ticket to the national championships.

"Brittany Owens has done a great job of developing as a long jumper and team leader this year," Cowper added. "Tonight is a testament to the hard work she has put in."

The sophomore entered the meet with the 13th-best long jump in the East region of 6.29m/20-7.75 that she achieved at the Border Battle in April. A Boise, Idaho, native, she has accumulated five event titles during the 2013-14 campaign.

Arsenault also had a stellar day on the track. The junior, who continues to rewrite the hurdles records, navigated to a fifth-place finish in the 400m hurdles to qualify for Friday’s semifinals. He sprinted to a collegiate best and school-record time of 51.09.

Should Arsenault finish in the top 12 in the semifinals, he would advance to Eugene for the national championships. The Kitchener, Ontario, native also is slated to take part in the 110m hurdles on Friday evening.

Sophomore Ernest Kibet just narrowly missed the final qualifying spot in the 10,000m. He finished just outside the top 12, completing the race in 30:08.68 for 13th.

In the throwing events, Patrice Gates had a team-best 20th-place finish in the women’s hammer. Caitlin Gilmore registered a 21st-place showing.

Louisville returns to action for the second of three days at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Friday, beginning with the men’s hammer throw at 10 a.m.

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Thursday, May 29

Women’s Hammer Throw Preliminaries
20. Patrice Gates - 57.47m/188-6
21. Caitlin Gilmore - 56.88m/186-7
36. Rachel Serafin - 53.69m/176-1
37. Hannah Baker - 53.64m/176-0

Men’s 400m Hurdles Preliminaries
5. Calvin Arsenault - 51.09Q

Women’s Javelin Preliminaries
37. Jenna Wargo - 42.95m/140-11

Women’s Long Jump Preliminaries
10. Brittany Owens - 6.18m/20-3.50

Men’s 10,000m Preliminaries
8. Tyler Byrne - 29:55.41
13. Ernest Kibet - 30:08.68



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