FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three Nebraska track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships on day one of the NCAA West Preliminary Round on Wednesday at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus.
Alex Talley (hammer throw), Maxwell Otterdahl (shot put) and Burger Lambrechts Jr. (shot put) all secured bids to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on the first of four days of competition at the regional meet. Athletes who finish in the top 12 of their respective events at the NCAA West Preliminary Round earn one of the 24 spots at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., from June 8-11.
Talley started the day by finishing sixth in the hammer throw to earn a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Talley’s second throw of 219-9 (66.99m) was enough to qualify him for his third NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance in the hammer throw. The Nebraska school-record holder finished sixth last year in the event while at North Dakota State and was a USTFCCCA First-Team All-American. He he placed 22nd in his first nationals appearance in 2019.
Otterdahl placed sixth in the shot put to clinch an NCAA Outdoor Championships bid for the first time, though he was a first-team All-American at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships after finishing eighth while at North Dakota State. Otterdahl’s throw of 64-6 1/2 was enough to send the Big Ten outdoor champion to the NCAA Outdoor Championships one year after missing out on qualifying by one spot.
Lambrechts Jr., the Big Ten indoor champion and fourth-place finisher at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships, will make another trip to Eugene after finishing ninth with a throw of 64-3 3/4 (19.60m). Lambrechts Jr. is a four-time All-American in the event and a two-time Big Ten champion. Kevin Shubert, a Millard North grad, narrowly missed out on qualifying for nationals by finishing 14th with an outdoor PR of 62-7 1/4 (19.08m).
On the track, the Husker men had two athletes compete in preliminary races and both qualified for the finals on Friday. Lincoln High grad Darius Luff qualified for the 110-meter hurdles final after finishing in 13.70, the ninth-fastest time in the 48-man field. Cory Berg earned the 24th and final qualifying spot in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.65. Luff will run at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, while Berg will race at 7:25 p.m.
The regional meet continues on Thursday with nine Husker women competing, beginning at 2 p.m. with the women’s javelin.