Henderson Claims NCAA Spot in Triple Jump, Looks to Add Long Jump

SACRAMENTO – After a season full of tremendous success in her new event, the triple jump, Wyoming junior Ja’la Henderson returned to her roots in the long jump Thursday night and advanced to an NCAA Championship meet for the first time in her collegiate career.

Leaping 20 feet, 0.5 inches on her first of three attempts at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, Henderson placed eighth to secure a trip to Eugene, Ore., for the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

“This has been a long time coming,” UW associate head coach Quincy Howe said Thursday. “This has been in the works for a couple seasons and I am proud of the consisted hard work (Ja’la Henderson) has put in.”

Henderson entered the NCAA West Prelims seeded 34th in the region for the women’s long jump. With NCAA qualifying spots going to just the top 12 finishers in each event, Henderson needed a big mark to advance. She found just that on her first attempt.

At the NCAA Championships in June, Henderson will attempt to become the first Cowgirl All-American in the long jump since Patricia Miller-Davis in 1980. Her work at the NCAA West Prelims is not done, however – Henderson will compete in the triple jump on Saturday, entering as the No. 8 seed in the West.

Sophomore Cowboy Daniel Hintz provided another highlight for the Pokes on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the men’s 1,500 meters. Four heats of 12 runners each competed in the event, with the top five in each heat earning automatic bids to the quarterfinal. Hintz passed a competitor with less than 100 meters to go in his heat, taking fifth in the heat with a time of 3:52.96.

“Qualifying rounds are normally strategic and Dan (Hintz) ran a smart race,” UW assistant coach Scott Dahlberg said. “He put himself in good position and closed very well. He showed good composure.”

 Hintz will compete in Saturday’s quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. MT. Junior Michael Downey finished in 3:51.43, 21st overall in the field of 48 for the men’s 1,500 meters, failing to advance.

Senior Damon Unland, entering the regional meet with the No. 40 seed in the men’s hammer throw, tossed 196-9 on Thursday to finish 29th overall.

Junior Jerayah Davis clocked 11.80 in the first round of the women’s 100 meters, taking 37th overall. Juniors Bryce Ailshie and Ricky Faure competed in the first round of the men’s 800 meters on Thursday, with Ailshie finishing 31st in 1:51.57 while Faure was 46th at 1:54.79. In the first round of the women’s 800 meters, senior Kerry White took 46th at 2:16.45.

Redshirt freshman Christopher Henry ended the night for the Pokes by finishing one spot higher than his seed in the men’s 10,000 meters, taking 38th with a time of 30:23.54.

 The NCAA West Preliminary Round continues Friday at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, with redshirt freshman Harry Ewing set to compete in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:20 p.m. MT.