Four Husker Women Qualify for Track and Field Nationals

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Four Nebraska track and field women qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships with their performances at the NCAA West Preliminary Round on Thursday, giving the Huskers a combined seven qualifiers at the midway point of the four-day meet.

Freshman thrower Axelina Johansson is on her way to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the shot put for the first time. Her throw of 58-7 1/2 (17.87m) was the No. 2 throw at the regional and easily earned her one of the 12 bids to nationals. Johansson placed 11th at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the shot put in March.

Sophomore Maddie Harris will compete in the javelin at Eugene for the second year in a row. The two-time Big Ten champion and school-record holder only needed one throw on Thursday, as her first mark of 179-3 (54.64m) was the third-best throw in the regional.

Joining Harris in the javelin at nationals for the second year in a row will be Mirta Kulisic, who threw 168-3 (51.29m) to qualify with the ninth-best throw. Her qualifying mark also came on her first attempt.

Finally, LaQwasia Stepney qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her Husker career. Her long jump mark of 20-5 1/4 (6.23m) on her first attempt held up as the 11th-best jump and earned her a bid to nationals in two weeks.

The Husker men are back in action at the NCAA West Preliminary Round on Friday with seven athletes set to compete, beginning with Maxwell Otterdahl in the discus at 1 p.m.