BUFFALO, NY - The 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships get underway on Wednesday and two members of the University at Buffalo Track and Field team will be in action. Senior thrower Rob Golabek and junior sprinter Asia Henry head to Drake University in Des Moines, IA with All-American aspirations on their mind.
Henry will be competing in the 800 meters, just UB's second track athlete to reach Nationals, joining Allison Laske, who ran the 800 meters back in 2004. Henry finished second in her heat and fourth overall among the 27 quarterfinalists in the 800-meters at the East Region Preliminary Round two weeks ago. She turned in a finish of 2:04.99, using a strong finishing kick to move into the second slot as the top three finishers in each heat automatically advance to Nationals. Henry's time was less than two-tenths of a second off the UB record set by Laske in 2004 (2:04.81).
Henry will run in the National Semifinals on Wednesday at 6:30 pm central time, hoping to make it to Friday's National Final. She will race in the first of three heats with the top two from each heat and the next two highest finishers reaching the final. Henry's mark of 2:04.99 is the second best in her heat and she is one of just six in the competition to run a sub-2:05 in the 800 meter race.
Combining the indoor and outdoor seasons, Golabek heads to his fourth consecutive National Championship, having already been named an All-American three times in the shot put. Golabek, who won the Mid-American Conference Championship back in May, turned in a top throw of 63-2.75 (19.27m) on his fifth of six attempts and finished fifth in the competition. Golabek set the school record in the shot put earlier this year with a top throw of 63-3.50 (19.29m).
Golabek will have a lot of time to work out and support Henry in her races as the men's shot put does not get underway until the final day of competition on Saturday at 10am central time. Golabek is in the second of two flights, each consisting of 12 throwers. It is a strong field, with 14 student-athletes having throw more than 19.00m, including Golabek. The top three in the competition are Hayden Baillio of Texas, Stephen Saenz of Auburn and Penn State's Joe Kovacs, who have each thrown over 19.90m.
Full coverage including live results and live video can be found at the Championship Central Page.