Ernest concludes opening round of competition at NCAA Outdoor Championships



Missouri State freshman Leander Ernest competed in Wednesday's preliminary round in 800-meter run at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., finishing sixth in her heat and 18th overall with a run of 2:07.57.


Ernest came up just short in her bid to advance to Thursday's semifinal round. The top three performers in each of the four preliminary heats moved on, as did the next four finishers overall.


After finishing second in the 800 meters at the MVC Outdoor Championships, Ernest came in seventh in the event at the Mideast Regional in Columbia, Mo., on May 26. She set a new personal best during the preliminary round of that competition, posting a time of 2:06.33 to qualify for the final. The St. Lucia native narrowly missed eclipsing the Missouri State school record, held by Augustina Charles with a top performance of 2:06.30 in 1999.


The top five finishers in each regional event qualify for the national meet, but Ernest received one of the at-large bids for the 800-meter run, which were filled according to a descending order of the top performances of those student-athletes outside of the top five regional finishers in the event.



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