Just like she has been doing all season, University of Colorado junior Emily Hunsucker continues to impress and got the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships off to a great start for the Buffs with a ninth-place finish in the hammer throw.
Hunsucker recorded a toss of 204-8 to earn a spot in the finals as the ninth thrower on Wednesday afternoon. She competed in the first of two flights and after the first three throws was in fourth place before moving to ninth after the second flight had thrown. Hunsucker’s best toss of the day (204-8) was in her second attempt and it proved to be very lucky as it was just one inch further than Southern Illinois’ Kim Fortney (204-7) who was in the second flight and finished 10th overall.
Her ninth-place finish was just off of the podium, but it is the best finish for a CU female thrower since Janet Visosky finished seventh in the hammer throw in 1998.
On the track, senior Aric Van Halen advanced to the finals in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase after recording a third-place finish in the second heat with a time of 8:44.70. Van Halen went right to the front of the pack from the start and that is where he stayed for the entire race. Texas A&M’s Henry Lelei put some distance between him and the rest of the field right from the start, so Van Halen led the chase pack for the majority of the race before BYU’s Curtis Carr passed him with a little over 200 meters remaining. The finals are set for 5:40 p.m. PT on Friday.
Senior Joe Morris finished fifth in the first heat of the 100-meter dash with a season-best wind legal time of 10.24, which ended up 15th overall. He was in a tie with Clemson’s Tevin Hester, but when the time was broken down to the thousandth, it was Hester who had the slight advantage.
The Buffs will be back in action on Thursday at the championships with more semifinal action. Morris will be back to run in the 200 at 4:15 p.m. PT and Emma Coburn will race in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 5:35 p.m. PT. Both races will be streamed live at ESPN3.com (a subscription may be required). Live stats will also be available atwww.flashresults.com.
NCAA Outdoor Championships Schedule (CU Events Only)
Historic Hayward Field (Eugene, Ore.)
Men’s 100-Meter Semis: (1. Dentarius Locke, FSU, 9.97)15. Joe Morris, 10.24
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase Semis: (1. Anthony Rotich, UTEP, 8:32.50) 6. Aric Van Halen, 8:44.70
Women’ Hammer Throw: (1. Chelsea Cassulo, ASU, 226-9) 9. Emily Hunsucker, 204-8