EUGENE, Ore. – A second-place finish in the semifinals of the 800-meter earned Patrick Rono an automatic qualifying spot to finals on day one of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. The junior notched an overall second-place finish with a time of 1:48.20 automatically qualifying him for the finals and a shot at his first outdoor NCAA Title. The 800m finals will take place Friday night at 7:15 p.m. (CT). “Last year I missed the finals by one spot,” said Rono. “I used last year’s experience as motivation, I didn’t want to go through the motions of not qualifying again. This is my first time making an outdoor final of any event, so I’m excited and I just want to go out there and win the 800.” Returning to the track for his first decathlon since the Texas Relays in March, Kevin Lazas sits in 14th place with 3,859 points. The senior had two top-10 performances on the day, finishing ninth in long jump at 23-10.25, followed by a fourth-place finish in shot put with a mark of 45-1 to keep him in the top 15 at the end of day one. Lazas, the 2013 Indoor Heptathlon National Champion, is known for strong day two performances and looks to gain ground in the final five events on Friday. “Not competing since Texas Relays and not practicing like I should be able to took its effect,” said Lazas who has been battling a bulged disc in his back the past few weeks. “It felt great today though. I come out of day one healthy, so I know I can go into day two strong. As a decathlete the decathlon doesn’t really start until the vault, that’s a make or break event. It’s beneficial for me because that’s my best event. I’m going to go out tomorrow and race a smooth hurdle race and see if I can get after it.” Day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships will kick off at 1 p.m. (CT) with the 110-hurdles of the decathlon. Live results can be followed here and the ESPN3 live broadcast will begin with running events at 5:55 (CT), click here to watch live.
For more information on Razorback Track and Field, follow @RazorbackMTrack on Twitter. Wednesday Results (Day One) 800-Meter 2. Patrick Rono – 1:48.20 12. Tomas Squella – 1:49.52 4×100-Meter Relay 17. Hawkins/Lawson/Braddy/Brown – 39.69 Pole Vault Andrew Irwin – NH Decathlon (Day One) 14. Kevin Lazas – 3,859 13. 100m – 11.07 (845 pts.) 9. LJ – 23-10.25 (878 pts.) 4. SP – 45-1 (712 pts.) 18. HJ – 6-1.5 (687pts.) 20. 400m – 51.71 (737 pts.)