SUNY Cobleskill freshman Winston Lee and Oneonta State sophomore Joe Carr earned shots at NCAA Division III indoor track titles Friday afternoon.
Lee tied for second in his eight-man qualifying heat during the national championships at the University of Nebraska’s Bob Devaney Sports Center. His time of 6.80 seconds matched Wisconsin-Whitewater sophomore Corey Broussard in the heat, which was won by Wisconsin-La Crosse junior Alex Koenen in 6.78 seconds.
Thurgood Dennis, a junior from Wisconsin-Eau Claire, won the first heat in 6.75 seconds for the top overall time. Dennis is the reigning NCAA Division III outdoor champion in the 100 as he edged former Oneonta State standout Sean Bernstein by .007 seconds in the 2013 final May 27 at Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Dennis will be the top seed for Saturday’s final in the 60 dash. He’ll be followed in the seedings by Koenen, Greenville junior Bruce Gray (6.77), Broussard and Lee. The rest of the eight-man finals field features CCNY junior Thierry Diessongo (6.84), Salisbury junior Tyler Austin (6.84) and Baldwin Wallace senior Kevin Johnson (6.86).
“The hard part is now over and we’ll come back tomorrow and see how he does against the best competitors in the country,” Fighting Tigers coach Brad Fichthorn said of Lee, who qualified for the NCAAs by setting an Eastern College Athletic Conference record of 6.78 seconds to win the 60 title at the ECAC Championships on March 1 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury Center, Mass. “All the pressure is off, the butterflies are now gone and all Winston has to do (Saturday) is run.”
The 60 finals are scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
Carr took second in one of four 200 preliminary heats Friday with a time of 21.65 seconds, which was good for fourth overall. Carr also will have to compete against Dennis, who won his heat with the second-best time of 21.56. Gray had the top 200 time Friday, at 21.44.