U-M (Men) Punch Three Tickets to NCAA Outdoor Championships

U-M (Men) Punch Three Tickets to NCAA Outdoor Championships

Provided by U of M

» Grant Cartwright and Andrew Liskowitz came through in crunch time to clinch NCAA Outdoor Championships shot put berths on their respective final throws.

» Taylor McLaughlin ran a season's best time to qualify to national outdoors for a second consecutive year in the 400-meter hurdles.

» Action concludes tomorrow (Saturday, May 26) with NCAA Championships bids up for grabs in the discus and 5,000 meters.

Site: Lexington, Ky. (UK Outdoor Track & Field Complex)

Event: NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Day 2)

U-M Team Result: Non-scoring

Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 27 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds - Day 3 (Lexington, Ky.)

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- When the moment called for University of Michigan throwers Grant Cartwright and Andrew Liskowitz to go big or go home in the final round of the NCAA East Prelims shot put on Friday (May 26), the duo could not have come through bigger as they sealed up bids to nationals.

On the outside looking in of the NCAA Championships qualifying bubble entering the ring for their respective final throws, Cartwright and Liskowitz ultimately climbed a combined 21 slots in the standings to finish eighth and 10th, respectively, and book their trips to Eugene, Oregon, for the national meet on June 7-10.

They will be joined by 400-meter hurdler Taylor McLaughlin, who punched his ticket to NCAAs for the second year in a row with an eighth-place finish in a season-best performance.

Those three join decathlete Steven Bastien -- who clinched his berth to Eugene at the Big Ten Championships two weekends ago -- and last night's hammer throw qualifier Joe Ellis on the trip to Historic Hayward Field in two weeks' time.

In the shot put, Cartwright set the tone as the very first thrower of the final round. Stepping into the circle for the last time in 16th with a best mark on the day of 17.97m (58-11.5) from the first round, Cartwright launched the shot 18.87m (61-11) -- just seven centimeters shy of his season best -- to move to fifth. Three more men ultimately passed him in the standings.

Liskowitz, the third-place finisher at Big Tens on the strength of two clutch throws, came from even farther afield to claim his spot at nationals. Though he entered the final round in 19th, four more throwers surpassed him by the time his turn at 10th in the 12-man flight had arrived.

Facing elimination, the redshirt freshman showed fortitude beyond his years as he improved a full meter from 17.67m (57-11.75) to 18.67m (61-3) to rocket up to ninth in the standings and clinch his berth. Only one other thrower passed him in the duration of the contest.

The crunch-time heroics not only clinched Liskowitz his bid to Eugene, it also made him the only freshman from either the East or West region to advance to the national meet in the event. For Cartwright, it marks his second trip to an NCAA Championship meet, as he was the national runner-up in the weight throw this winter indoors.

While Cartwright and Liskowitz left it until late in the shot put, McLaughlin was much more assertive in his bid for a return trip to the NCAA Championships 400-meter hurdles after finishing fifth nationally a year ago.

The sophomore ran at or very near the front of the race throughout the 10-hurdle lap around the track, clocking his fastest time of the season in 50.39 to finish runner-up in his quarterfinal heat and eighth overall. Leading coming off the final bend, only Jaelen Williams of Hampton surpassed him on the homestretch as he held off Gregory Chiles of Virginia Tech by thousandths of a second.

His run comes a day after crossing the line in a then-season-best 50.77 in the first round. While he achieved the goal of advancing to the national meet, McLaughlin said he knows there is more work to be done to continue to improve over the next two weeks.

The Wolverines came close to a fourth NCAA Championships qualifier on the day as Brennan Munley just missed the cut with a 16th-place finish at 800 meters. The junior ran 1:49.05 to finish sixth in his heat, separated from the third-and-final automatic berth from his third-and-final quarterfinal heat clinched by Virginia Tech's Patrick Joseph by a little more than seven-tenths of a second.

Connor Mora also came close to qualifying in the men's 3,000-meter steeple, finishing 19th in 8:54.79. He took sixth in his first of three heats and temporarily controlled the final at-large qualifying spot to NCAAs.

Austin Benoit ran 9:32.67 to finish 15th in his heat, the second of three on the day.

The final day of the NCAA East Prelims on Saturday (May 27) includes Cartwright going for a second NCAA berth in the discus -- an event in which he finished third at the Big Ten Championships with a big career best -- and the 5,000-meter duo of Aaron Baumgarten and Micah Beller.

Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar