"I am pleased with the showing of our freshman as Cosmas (Boit) and Florence (Uwakwe) advance to the quarterfinals, but other than that there was not much to be excited about," head coach Mika Laaksonen said. "Mark (Jackson) fought hard in the men's long jump just coming up short of advancing to the final. He strained his hamstring and it will be a devastating setback for us if he is out of his premier event, the triple jump on Saturday. We are all hoping for the best at the moment and will know more of his status tomorrow."
Kicking off the meet for the Miners was Boit in the 1,500m run prelims. In his first appearance at the national level the distance runner clocked in a time of 3:43.84, marking his second fastest time this season. Placing in the top-24 the newcomer will return to the track on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (MT) to fight for a bid to the NCAA finals in Eugene, Ore.
Teammate Uwakwe was the second Miner to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. The Nigerian native registered a time of 53.17 in the 400m dash. The sprinter placed second in the sixth heat and 12th overall. She will be one of 24 athletes biding for chance at nationals on Friday at 5:15 p.m.
Representing the men in the 400m were Abiola Onakoya and A-Shawni Mitchell. The veterans crossed the finish line at 47.18 and 47.86, respectfully. Despite falling short of the top-12 the sprinters will be running again Saturday night in the men's 4x400m relay scheduled at approximately 8:25 p.m.
Rounding out the track events was Roberto Camacho in the 400m hurdles. The junior-transfer recorded a time of 53.17 but it wasn't enough to advance to the quarter finals.
In his first bid to regionals, Moss delivered a leap of 7.17m (23-6.25). The sophomore scratched his last two jumps keeping him from advancing to the finals.
Earning three more jumps in the final round, Jackson came up just one spot short of the national meet. The All-American posted a leap of 7.51m (24-7.75) placing him 13th out of 48 jumpers. The Conference USA Champion will have one more opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the men's triple jump.