COLLEGE STATION, Texas – After a three-hour lightning and thunderstorm delay, the NCAA West Preliminary will be postponed until Saturday, leaving the men’s track events and all of the remaining women’s events to be completed on the final day.
The official word from the track was as follows: “Due to inclement weather, the remainder of tonight’s competition has been postponed and will be made up on Saturday. Updated schedule and more information will be released soon."
The first lightning strike occurred just as Tech’s 4x100 relay squad was about to be escorted to the track for their original 5:30 start. That relay, plus the 4x400 in addition to individual competitors Courtney Lindsey (100m, 200m), Jacolby Shelton (100m), Karayme Bartley (200m), Terrence Jones Jr. (200m), Maliek Kendall (110mH) and Marco Vilca (800m) will have to wait until tomorrow.
Before the delay, however, Tech’s men’s field competitors finalized competition. The Red Raiders emerged with two nationals qualifications, both coming from the triple jump.
Safin Wills and Jalen Seals punched their first tickets to an outdoor national meet. Wills turned in a career day, landing a massive all-conditions PR. It came on his first attempt and marked 52’-9.25” (16.08m). He had heavy wind at his back – 3.8 m/s – but it would count as the fifth-farthest wind-aided jump in school history. It put him second among the 24 jumping in the first two flights, and his mark would weather the strong distances put up by the third and fourth flights.
Jalen Seals used a career-best 52’-4.75” (15.97m) to get through. His ticket to Eugene would come with more suspense, as his PR placed him ninth before he was knocked down to 10th and then 12th as the round went on. The seven-inch outdoor PR, however, would hold him in the 12th-place cutoff spot, securing his first career trip to the outdoor national meet.
Jequan Hogan and Jack Scarborough high jumped Friday. Hogan tied a career best after clearing 6’-11” (2.11m). He did so on his third of three straight heights cleared without a miss. The bar would move up, however, two whole inches to 7’-1” (2.16m), where he would go out. Scarborough exited after clearing 6’-9” (2.06m).
Gabe Oladipo’s season would also end in College Station. The thrower marked 174’-7” (53.21m).
The schedule for Saturday’s action is TBD, though the women were originally scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The meet will stream live on SEC Network+ at 5:30 p.m., though that may or may not be impacted by the postponement.