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Beekman, Boyal Compete for Cal Poly on Opening Night of NCAA Prelims

Beekman, Boyal Compete for Cal Poly on Opening Night of NCAA Prelims

SACRAMENTO — Cal Poly seniors Brad Beekman and Swarnjit Boyal opened the NCAA Track & Field Championship Preliminary Round for the Mustangs on Thursday night, as Top 12 finishers per each event at Hornet Stadium earned at least All-American Honorable Mention while advancing to the national finals at Oregon.

Boyal, selected as the 2018 Big West Men's Track Athlete of the Year on May 16 following his double-title performance at the conference championships, came into Thursday's West Regional battling a recently-sustained foot injury.

Despite the injury, Boyal completed the 10,000-meter event, taking 47th place in the NCAA semifinal with a time of 31 minutes, 34.39 seconds.

BYU's Rory Linkletter won the western crown in 29:14.29, while Portland's Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse claimed the last spot in qualifying for Hayward Field, moving on with a performance of 29:17.96.

Top-12 qualifiers from the East Region (simultaneously ongoing in Tampa, Fla.) joined them in heading to Eugene, which will host June 6-9.

Boyal's PR of 29:05.54 earned second place in the Elite Invitational section at the Stanford Invitational on March 30. A Civil and Environmental Engineering major from Yuba City, Boyal is the back-to-back Big West 10,000m champion.

Earlier Thursday, Beekman no-heighted in the pole vault.

South Dakota sophomore Chris Nilsen, the first round's top seed and ranked No. 6 in the world for 2018 at 19' 2.75", earned the region's No. 1 bid to Oregon, clearing 17' 2.75". Nilsen's teammate Jake David secured the final trip, placing 12th with a height of 16' 10.75".

An Agribusiness major from Sanger, Beekman will graduate as a back-to-back all-conference honoree. He took second place at the Big West Championships on May 12, clearing a career-best 17 feet.

In addition to Boyal, who also qualified in the 5,000-meter semifinals (scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Saturday), Brooke Tjerrild and Abi Iriafen will also compete at Sacramento State, where FloTrack is broadcasting online.

Tjerrild will start the women's pole vault first round at 4:30 p.m. Friday, and Iriafen begins the triple jump at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.