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Iriafen, Boyal Compete for Cal Poly in NCAA Triple Jump, 5,000m Prelims

Iriafen, Boyal Compete for Cal Poly in NCAA Triple Jump, 5,000m Prelims

SACRAMENTO — Cal Poly sophomore Abi Iriafen and senior Swarnjit Boyal represented Mustang Track & Field in the West Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday night, the third day of regionals at Hornet Stadium.

Competing alongside 47 peers who also qualified for the women's triple jump west of the Mississippi regional-dividing line, Iriafen finished 34th at her first NCAA meet (ninth in the second flight), with a mark of 41 feet and a quarter-inch.

After a foul on her first attempt, she landed the mark of 41' 0.25" on her second, and closed at 39' 10.75". A Political Science major from Rancho Cucamonga, Iriafen placed seventh among sophomores.

Wyoming junior Ja'la Henderson qualified No. 1 in the triple, at 44' 3.5", ahead of Iowa senior Jahisha Thomas at 44' 2". Kansas State sophomore Konstantina Romaiou claimed the first round's 12th spot in advancing to Oregon, at 43' 0.25".

First-round qualifiers from Sacramento State will be joined in Eugene by 12 from the East Regional in Tampa moving on to Hayward Field.

Iriafen won the conference championship on May 12 with a mark of 41 feet, 7.75. Her PR of 41' 8.5" on April 28 at UC Santa Barbara ranks No. 4 in school history.

Boyal came into the postseason recovering from a foot injury. After also competing in the 10,000 meters Thursday night, the senior returned for the 5,000-meter NCAA semifinals.

Overcoming his injury for the second time in three days, he completed the final event of his collegiate career, in 15 minutes, 7.72 seconds, taking 22nd place in Heat 2, good for 45th overall.

His season-best 5,000m time, 14:01.74, which finished 17th among collegians in the Elite Invitational section at the Mt. SAC Relays April 20, led the conference for the duration of the 2018 season. A Civil and Environmental Engineering major from Yuba City, Boyal graduates sixth in program history (14:01.48).

Stanford's Grant Fisher won with a performance of 13:47.22, while Oregon's Cooper Teare took the last qualifying spot in 13:52.19.

Boyal, selected as the conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year, became the Big West's first student-athlete since former Olympic Trials marathon qualifier Chris Frias in 2013 to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m titles the same year (and the conference's 10th to do so since 1970).