UDM Men - Parris Qualifies for NCAA Quarterfinal, Cashner Caps Standout Career

UDM Men - Parris Qualifies for NCAA Quarterfinal, Cashner Caps Standout Career

Provided by UDM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (5/26/2016) -- Junior hurdler Khalil Parris (Windsor, Ont. / Sandwich) became the first University of Detroit Mercy men's track and field student-athlete to qualify for an NCAA quarterfinal in school history after placing 13th in the 400-meter hurdles in the opening day of the 2016 NCAA East Preliminary Round. Parris and senior thrower Colin Cashner (St. Louis, Mo. / St. Mary's) both performed well at the NCAA prelims, which were held on the campus of the University of North Florida.

Parris placed second in his heat to automatically qualify for the quarterfinals in the 400 meter hurdles, running a season-best time of 51.30. He had the 13th-best overall time amongst the 47 hurdlers who competed in the event. The junior moves on to the NCAA quarterfinals, which are set for 5:30 p.m. ET Friday in Jacksonville. The top 12 from the 24 quarterfinalists in the 400 meter hurdles qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

"Khalil has had a great year and ran a great race managing Lane 9," Track and Field Guy head coach Guy Murray '89 said. "He raced tough as he has all year and snared the top three spot racing all the way to the line as he always does. He has been at a high level all year and it's a good sign he can really challenge for a spot in the final 12 on Friday."

Parris, who was making his second-straight appearance at the NCAA East Preliminaries, improved upon last year's run of 52.07, when he missed qualifying for the quarterfinals by one spot, finishing 25th. He won a Horizon League title in the event earlier this season.

Cashner, making his third appearance at the NCAA East Preliminaries, just missed out on qualifying for the NCAA Championship, placing 13th out of 48 throwers in the hammer throw. The top 12 qualify for the NCAA finals. He landed his second throw of three at 65.16 meters (213 feet, 9 inches) to just miss out on qualifying by .25 centimeters. Cashner was the second-to-last thrower in the hammer in the third and toughest heat. Eleven of the 12 qualifiers came out of heat three.

"A heartbreaker for Colin. Such a fantastic career from walk-on who had never touched a hammer to a Penn Relays win and three-time qualifier for the NCAA semi-finals," Murray said. "The hammer has been so competitive in the Horizon League and East region during his career and he made all that beat him earn it."

Under the guidance of assistant track and field coach Brian Richotte, Cashner bettered his finish in each year at the NCAA East Preliminaries. The 2015 Horizon League Outdoor Athlete of the Year placed 13th this year after finishing 16th last season and 33rd in 2014. He broke the Penn Relays event record with his win at the event in 2015 and shattered his own school record with a toss of 66.87 meters (219-5) in his Colonial Relays' win in 2016. Cashner placed in the top-three five different times in the hammer throw during the 2016 outdoor season.

Thursday's competition was the final meet in the red, white and blue for both Cashner and coach Richotte.

"Colin worked hard on an elite-level training program from coach Richotte," Murray said. "Sad to not get a deserved NCAA spot but a credit to athlete and coach for the work and effort to get their all while succeeding in engineering."

Stay with DetroitTitans.com and follow @DetroitTitanTnF on Twitter for all coverage of the NCAA East Preliminary Round from Jacksonville, Fla.