Symmonds, Smith Qualify For Saturday Finals; Women's Relay Team Set to Run Later Tonight

LISLE, IL - Senior Nick Symmonds began defense of his two NCAA titles as he easily qualified for the finals of the 1500 and sophomore Jordyn Smith qualified for the finals in the 400 hurdles at opening day action of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships at Benedictine University in Lisle IL Thursday.

Smith, pictured left, was the last of eight qualifiers in a very fast race where four runners exceeded the best Division III time previously posted this year, and two broke the stadium record. Smith ran a 62.30. That time betters Smith previous best this season by over a second.

Teammate Roseanne Kassebaum suffered through a difficult race in her heat and failed to qualify for the finals, finishing in 64.30.

Symmonds cruised to a second place finish in his heat and fourth overall as he ran a comfortable 3:50.57. Pomona's Will Leer set a stadium record at 3:50.10 to lead the qualifiers. The finals of the 1500 will be run Saturday.

Symmonds, the defending title-holder in both the 1500 and 80 meters, will run Friday in the prelims of the 800.

Still to race on Thursday is the women's 1600 relay team of Smith, Kassebaum, Andrea May and Lindsey Patterson. Those prelims are scheduled for 4:20 Pacific time.