May 29, 2014
University of Cincinnati track & field runners Kenya Woodall and Darnell Gilbert kicked off the 2014 NCAA East Prelims on Thursday night in Jacksonville, Florida. Woodall competed in the 100 and 400-meter dashes, while Gilbert ran the 400m.
Woodall, who is a sophomore from Coatesville, Pa., had the challenging feat of competing in the 100m and 400m within the same hour. The sprinter first competed in the 100m at 7:25 p.m. and clocked a time of 11.74, which was third in her heat and automatically qualified her for the finals. She now runs Friday at 6:45 p.m. and looks to finish in the top 12 to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Just 50 minutes later Woodall was back at it again but this time in the 400. She ran a time of 53.61 in the first heat of the event to finish sixth and would have to wait five other heats to see if she finished with one of the top 24 times. After all heats, Woodall’s time finished 20th and advanced her to the quarterfinals race on Friday at 6:15 p.m. Again, she will need to finish within the top 12 to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Woodall holds both the indoor and outdoor 400-meter dash record for the Bearcats. Just two weeks ago, she broke Olympic gold medalist Mary (Danner) Wineberg’s 12-year old outdoor 400m record by running 53.26. She also holds the third fastest 100-meter dash time of 11.58.
Gilbert was the only other UC runner competing on Thursday as he ran the 400. The senior finished fifth in the fifth heat of the event with a time of 47.04, which came up just over a tenth of a second from advancing.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native finishes his career as the sixth fastest 400-meter runner in school history with a career-best time of 46.95. During the indoor season, he won the 400m crown at the American Athlete Indoor Championships and followed that up with a runner-up finish outdoors.
Along with Woodall, UC has five other athletes competing in the Sunshine State. Below is a list of those competing and what time their event is slated for.
Jessica Molyet 3:30 p.m. Discus
Erika Hurd 5 p.m. High jump
Michael Nwankwo 5 p.m. Triple jump
Bryan Cain 5 p.m. 110H
Je'Rica Sanders 5:30 p.m. 100H
Kenya Woodall 6:15 p.m. 400m
Kenya Woodall 6:45 p.m. 100m
Sophomore Alyssa McBride was originally supposed to compete at the NCAA East Prelims, but the pole vaulter will not due to a leg injury suffered prior to the meet. She would have entered the meet as the 21st seed.