Austin, Tex. - Day Two of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Texas would be greeted with further weather complications, lightning strikes near the area delaying festivities for a good 90 plus minutes, pushing back the scheduled events that would take place. Nonetheless, the championship meet would shoulder on once the area was deemed sufficiently safe enough for competitors and spectators alike to return outdoors.
Senior Hope Bender would kickstart her first of three days competing at the championships in the long jump late Thursday night by finishing 24th overall with a mark of 5.73m (18' 9.75"). Taking that in her first of three attempts on the long jump runway, she would improve no further after but would receive NCAA Honorable Mention for her participation in the championships, a considerable consolation prize for the heptathlete competing in her non-main event.
"Hope was happy to be an NCAA finalist in the long jump," remarked Interim Head Track and Field coach Gray Horn. "If you would have told her two years ago that she would make it that far, it would have shocked her. She had a big foul on her last jump and looked better than the results will show. Tomorrow, the real adventure begins [in the heptathlon.]"
Fellow senior Tyler Nelson was slated to compete on Thursday as well after finishing up the first day of the men's decathlon the day prior, but a right hamstring strain along with a compensation injury in his left heel would deny him the opportunity to compete any further at the championships.
"Tyler Nelson was a soldier this week," Horn continued. "Unfortunately, some long lasting injuries kept him from starting the second day of the decathlon. I'm very proud of not only the season he had, but the person that he is. He will be successful in anything that he wishes to pursue."
Stay tuned for the day three recap. Check back on UCSBGauchos.com and on the team's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live results as the championships continue.