Falda, Hammer punch tickets to Austin


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (USD) – Another pair of Coyotes advanced to the NCAA Championships as senior Ben Hammer qualified in the discus and junior Helen Falda moved on in the pole vault at the NCAA West Preliminary Friday inside Hornet Stadium.

Hammer sent the discus 184 feet, 4 inches, to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the second-straight year. He posted the seventh-best mark in the qualifying round. Hammer will finish out his Coyote career on the nation’s biggest stage. Junior Kino Dunkley, competing at the meet in a Coyote uniform for the first time, took 33rd in 173-2.

Falda was the only Coyote to advance in an ultra-competitive women’s pole vault field in the NCAA West. She was clean throughout the competition, until needing a third-attempt make at 14-2 to advance. Falda is a four-time All-American in the pole vault.

Senior Kimmy Peterson, a graduate transfer from Sioux Falls, narrowly missed her shot at the NCAA Division I Championships in 13th place. She was one of two athletes to vault 14 feet even, but not clear 14-2. UCLA’s Elleyse Garrett cleared 14-0 on her second attempt while Peterson needed three tries to make the height, breaking the tie for the final spot. Sophomore Landon Kemp and freshman Deidra Marrison both made 13-8 ¼ in the competition to place 16th and 20th, respectively.

The NCAA West Preliminary featured 11 of the nation’s top-15 women in the women’s pole vault in addition to the nation’s top-two women’s squads with Arkansas and South Dakota. Eleven of the 12 qualifiers in the NCAA West advanced by clearing 14-2. The NCAA East competition stopped at 13-8 ¼ with two women advancing with a height of 13-4 ¼.

Junior Armand Khan made his debut at the NCAA West Preliminary in the javelin. He took 42nd with a throw of 186-0.

Sophomore Jonna Bart clocked 10:39.14 for 44th place in the women’s steeplechase. She was making her second-straight appearance at the preliminary meet.

The Coyotes have four qualifiers for the NCAA Championships entering the final day of the NCAA West Preliminaries. Action kicks off at 4:45 p.m. (CT) with Hammer competing in the shot put.

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