Freshman Kaelin Moore entered the year aiming to run a 53 second 400-meter hurdles race before the season ended.
He managed that at his second collegiate meet. His early success forced him to set a new target.
A sub-52 second time.
In the last meet to qualify for nationals held at Occidental College on Saturday, Moore just missed out on his goal but moved a step closer to his greater goal.
With a personal best 52.23, Moore set the 13th best time in the country putting him in prime position to qualify for nationals.
“My goal has always been to get to nationals as a freshman, it’s definitely going to be a great experience,” Moore said. “Best year I’ve ever had in track.”
Moore navigated the first hurdle perfectly but stumbled over hurdles two and three.
Despite clean jumps over hurdles four through eight, Moore sat in fifth place with two hurdles remaining.
In the final stretch, Moore passed three, finishing in second.
“I had to push, I had to stand tall, give all I had to pass three guys,” Moore said.
According to Moore, improving his jumps over the hurdles and avoiding the stumbles he had this weekend is what is between him and a sub-52 time.
“I can execute my hurdles better,” Moore said. “I’m not very consistent with going over the hurdles cleanly, I stumble over quite a few during the race and that affects my time greatly.”
Moore joins fellow hurdler Shane Martin, who secured his place at nationals last week at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and has the third best time in the country in the 110-meter hurdles.
Martin placed fourth this weekend with a time of 14.36.
Senior Kyle Victoria entered the meet needing to improve on his personal best to qualify for nationals in the pole vault event.
He needed to hit a 5.05m mark to guarantee a place at nationals.
Victoria placed first in the meet with a 4.90m vault, enough for a provisional mark but short of the mark needed to qualify.
“It definitely wasn’t my best technical jump, but it was just a good mark to hit,” Victoria said.
Victoria described his final season as a Bronco as up and down with injuries throughout the year making it difficult at different points to reach the marks he was looking for.
At the CCAA Championships last week, Victoria placed second with a personal best of 4.95m vault.
“Today, I was really feeling good about last week and I carried it into this weekend,” Victoria said.
Cal Poly Pomona had 10 athletes who were within range of a national qualifying mark competing at Occidental.
Along with Moore, Martin and Victoria, Junior Araseli Servin hit a provisional mark in the 3,000m steeple chase with a time of 10 minutes, 46.21 seconds. She placed sixth in the race and ranks 20th in the country.
On the field, juniors Paul Bentz and Alejandro Sandoval placed fifth and seventh in the discus event with throws of 47.79m and 42.53m respectively.
In women’s shot put, sophomore Anela Miki-Han’s throw of 11.23m was good enough for a sixth-place finish.
In the long jump, Imani Williams placed 13th with a jump of 5.28m.
The announcement for who will be joining Martin at nationals will take place at 3 p.m. today via press release on the NCAA website.
According to coach Chris Bradford, Moore and Servin are the most likely to qualify.
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