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Friday, May 24, 2019

Howard’s Ike Advances to the NCAA East Quarterfinals

Third-year hurdler moves on; sophomore sprinter comes up short
(Photo Credit – Rob Knox)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 23, 2019) – Howard University junior Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) inched one step closer to Austin after surviving and advancing to the NCAA East 400-meter hurdles Quarterfinals with a 58.81 mark. As a result, the Maryland product finished with one of the fastest non-automatic qualifying times.

“Oluchi [Ike] went out and did exactly what she set out to do [and] qualified for the next round,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “She had a few shaky hurdles in the race, but she has put herself in a great position to make it to the [NCAA] semifinals in Austin [Texas].”

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Ike moved on to Friday’s quarterfinals set for 7 p.m. at Hodges Stadium, hosted by the University of North Florida. For her to reach Austin, she must finish in the top 12 with either an automatic bid or top 3 non-automatic qualifying time.

Other notable Bison in action included second-year sprinter Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana) falling just short of the quarterfinals by one-hundredth of a second.

“My heartbreaks for Ozioma [Scott],” Director Oliver stated. “Missing out on the [NCAA] quarterfinals by one-hundredth of a second is a hard pill to swallow. I've been there as a student-athlete and it haunts you a bit [and] leaves you wondering what more could I have done to get that fraction of a second.”

Despite the tough setback, Scott’s season is not over as she will represent HU in Saturday’s 4x400 relays.

“She is a sophomore,” Director Oliver added. “She will definitely be back next year. She will have that extra fire for her 4x4 leg on Saturday night.”

Ike, Scott, junior Sydney Benson (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) and sophomore Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) race Saturday (May 25) at 9:25 p.m.

“Both [Ike and Scott] ran their second fastest times of their careers,” Director Oliver concluded. “This was their first time competing on this stage. In Ike's case, she survived and advanced, [and] unfortunately for Scott, it just wasn't enough."

After Ike’s quarterfinals race, Gbai will compete individually in the NCAA East 200-meter dash First Round. Friday night’s event starts 7:30 p.m.

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