June 8, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa - The first day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Wednesday night, with two Big Ten student-athletes earning top-eight finishes in their respective event finals.
Michigan State's Beth Rohl placed sixth in the women's discus finals, earning three team points for the Spartans. Fellow Spartan Lonnie Pugh took eighth in the men's discus finals, picking up another team point for Michigan State. Both also earned first-team All-America honors with their finishes.
Seven men's student-athletes and two men's relay teams qualified for their respective event finals on Wednesday. The Big Ten boasts four runners in the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals after Michigan's Craig Forys (4th) and Indiana's Andrew Poore (T-5th), De'Sean Turner (11th) and Andy Weatherford (12th) finished in the top 14 in the qualifier.
Penn State's Casimir Loxsom took seventh place in the 800-meter run while Illinois' Stanley Azie placed seventh in the 100-meter dash and teammate Cody Wisslead took eighth in the 400-meter hurdles to move on to each event's final. Illinois' and Indiana's 4x100-meter relay teams also moved on to the finals after the Illini placed third and the Hoosiers took seventh in the qualifier.
Illinois' Ashley Kelly clocked the eighth-best time in the 400-meter dash to move on to Friday's finals.
Thursday's action gets underway at 3 p.m. CT beginning with field events. Running events are set to begin at 5:30 p.m.