Bradford, Dudarev punch tickets to NCAA Championships on first day of West Prelims



SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Kansas track & field freshman Zach Bradford and junior Gleb Dudarev each punched their ticket to the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships by finishing in the top-12 of their respective events on Thursday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Sacramento, California. Bradford earned his first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas in the pole vault, while Dudarev will make his third appearance at the outdoor national meet in the hammer throw.

Dudarev started the action for the Jayhawks on Thursday at Hornet Stadium by notching the top finish out of the West with a throw of 74.20 meters (243-5 ft.). Dudarev’s best mark of the day is tied for ninth all-time at Kansas, and was more than four meters better than the next-best competitor in Sacramento.

Bradford took three perfect attempts on the day to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championships, clearing bars of 5.21 meters (17-1 ft.), 5.31 meters (17-5 ft.) and 5.36 meters (17-7 ft.).

Along with Dudarev and Bradford advancing to Austin, four Jayhawks qualified for the quarterfinals in their respective events on Thursday evening.

Junior Cody Johnson moved on to the quarterfinals with and auto-qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles by finishing third in his heat with a time of 50.84 seconds. Honour Finley also earned an auto-qualifier for the quarterfinals in 400-meter dash, finishing third in her heat as well with a time of 53.95 seconds.

Senior Nicole Montgomery earned a time qualifier in the women’s 800-meter run, finishing 19th overall in the first round with a time of 2:07.67, and junior Bryce Hoppel won his 16th-straight race to move on to the quarterfinals of the men’s 800 with a time of 1:50.34.

The NCAA West Preliminary Rounds will continue on Friday, May 24 at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California. The Jayhawks are slated to compete in nine events, starting at noon PDT (2 p.m. CDT).