LOGAN, Utah -
Four Utah State student-athletes are set to compete at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships this week at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
The four-day Outdoor Finals will begin Wednesday, June 7, and conclude Saturday, June 10.
“Anytime we go to the NCAA Finals, it’s a great thing for both the athletes that are going and the program,” said veteran Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel. “What a place to go, historic Hayward Field. It’s an exciting time.”
Of the four Aggies going to the Outdoor Finals, two are making return trips to Eugene in the recently graduated AJ Boully and junior Clay Lambourne.
“It means a lot to me,” said Lambourne, who is competing in the semifinals of the 800-meter run on Wednesday at 7:14 p.m. (MT). “It gives me a good opportunity to run a fast time and prove that I can run with the best guys in the NCAA.”
At the 2016 Outdoor Finals, Lambourne garnered honorable mention All-American honors after placing 22nd in the semifinals of the men’s 800m with a time of 1:52.31.
Lambourne punched his ticket to Eugene this year by finishing third overall in the 800m with a personal-best time of 1:47.09, which ranks second all-time in school history, at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships in Austin, Texas.
“In order to accomplish my goals this week, I really just need to have a smart and hard race on Wednesday,” Lambourne said. “If I run the way I know I can, I’m confident that I can make the final (on Friday). The final is going to be fast, so as long as I’m in the race I’ll be able to run something fast.”
Like Lambourne, Boully is back in Eugene for the second consecutive year. He will be racing in the semifinals of the men’s 400-meter hurdles on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (MT).
A year ago, Boully garnered second-team All-American honors after placing 12th in the semifinals of the 4x400-meter relay (3:06.41) and honorable mention All-American honors after placing 20th in the 400m hurdles (52.67).
To advance to Eugene this year, Boully placed third in his heat and ninth overall with a time of 50.68 in the 400m hurdles at the West Preliminary Championships.
“I’m honored to represent USU in Eugene again,” Boully said. “I’m ready.”
The two Aggies appearing in Eugene for the first time are both throwers in redshirt freshman Sindri Gudmundsson on the men’s side and sophomore Brenn Flint on the women’s side.
“It means a lot to me to be able to go to nationals in Eugene as a freshman,” Gudmundsson said. “It means that I have nothing to lose and I can go and give it my all.”
Gudmundsson will be competing in the finals of the men’s javelin throw on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. (MT). He won the West Prelims with a throw of 76.18m (249-11).
“I just want to do my very best and give it all I have, but my goal is to win,” Gudmundsson said. “Everything can happen in this meet and that’s the beauty of it. I’m excited and it’s going to be a great experience, not only this year, but for the next couple of years.”
Flint qualified for Eugene in the women’s shot put. She placed 12th at the West Prelims with a personal-best mark of 15.96m (52-4.50), which ranks second all-time in school history.
“I’m really excited to be going to Eugene for the first time,” Flint said. “It comes with nerves and excitement. There is not as much pressure, but it’s still a big meet and we have worked hard to get here. You’re ready to do well in these situations and that comes down to trusting your training and what coach has to say.”
Flint, who will compete in the finals of the shot put on Thursday at 7:40 p.m. (MT), knows exactly what she needs to do in order to meet the goals she has set for herself this week.
“I need to trust my training and trusting (throws) coach (Matt Ingebritsen) has been a big thing this year,” she said. “He has prepared us well for this moment, so really, trusting my training is the biggest thing to accomplishing my goals.”
The Outdoor Finals will be broadcast live on ESPN. The main feed on the track will be aired live on ESPN2 beginning at 6:30 and 5:30 p.m. (MT) on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and on ESPN starting at 6:30 and 4:30 p.m. (MT) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. There will also be additional live streams on ESPN3 and ESPNU throughout the four-day meet to show the field and combined events.
Fans can follow the Utah State track & field programs at twitter.com/USUTF_XC, on Facebook at USUTrack and on Instagram at instagram.com/USUTF_XC. Aggies fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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