EUGENE, Ore. – Braxton Klavins ran his second fastest 400-meter race of the season but did not qualify for the finals at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Klavins ran the third of three heats in the semifinals to a time of 46.40 seconds. He finished fourth in the heat and 16th overall. The top two finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advanced to Friday's final.
"He competed great and was a fraction of a second too fast in the first 200 meters," said SIUE Interim Head Coach Eileen McAllister.
Klavins, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, said his strategy was to stay with the leaders and adjust his position once he was on the final straightaway.
"I saw the whole field start pushing the pace so I had to go with them," Klavins said. "I'm not disappointed with my time or how I run. Being able to compete against the top athletes in the country and know that I can compete with them will make me more experienced and a better athlete."
Mike Berry, of Oregon, won the third heat in 45.41. Deon Lendore, of Texas A&M posted the fastest time in the semifinals at 45.18.
McAllister said Klavins, who will return for his senior season in 2015, has turned in a great season for the Cougars.
"Meet after meet he was our runner of the meet. He scored a lot of points for us this season. He is a testament to hard work," she added.
The focus now shifts to SIUE's jumpers. La'Derrick Ward will be aiming for the top spot at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow in the trials and finals of the long jump. Jatavia Wright will make her bid for a national title Friday at 5:25 p.m. in the trials and final of the triple jump.