The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships got under way Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa, and after a long first day, four local athletes earned spots in their respective finals.

Three of the four qualifiers are from BYU, which led in-state schools by bringing 10 athletes to the championships.

BYU sophomore Leif Arrhenius advanced after a second-place showing in the men's discus. Despite a three-hour weather delay, Arrhenius had a 190-foot throw, eight inches shorter than Colorado State's Jason Schutz.

In the women's 800 meters, BYU senior Carlee Clark-Platt qualified for the finals with a second-place finish. Clark-Platt won her heat of the 800 meters in 2:06.41 minutes. The 800 finals are Saturday afternoon.

In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, BYU's Angela Wagner was fifth during Wednesday's prelim in 10:12.51. Three seconds behind was Weber State's Sariah Long (10:15.68) in sixth place. Wagner and Long will both run in the finals on Friday.

University of Utah junior Chelsea Shapard qualified for finals in the 400-meter hurdles after finishing her prelim in 59.02 for 16th place. Shapard, a Park City native, finished in third place at the NCAA West Regional two weeks ago.

BYU runner Kyle Perry finished just one spot away from the finals, 17th overall in the 5,000-meter run in14:37.00. Southern Utah's Mark Currell also competed in the 5,000, taking 22nd place in 14:46.64.

The Cougars had three athletes in the pole vault. On the women's side, senior Ashley McAllister had her day's best vault of 13-feet-1 1/2-inches to finish 15th. Senior Matt Weirich and junior Bob Low failed to qualify for finals and tied for 16th place at 16-8 3/4 .

In javelin, BYU freshman Chase Dalton had a 17th-place finish with a throw of 205-3. Dalton came into the event ranked in 25th place. BYU seniors Chandler Goodwin and Derek Taylor were 20th and 22nd in the men's steeplechase. In the women's hammer throw, Utah junior Josefin Berg finished in 22nd place, with a throw of 185-10. feet 10 inches.

Day 2 of the four-day event is today, with Weber State's Morgan Haws and Seth Pilkington both competing in the 10,000-meter run.


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