Taxter posted the fourth-fastest time in tonight's prelims to qualify for the 1500m final on Saturday (PHOTO BY Leo Garcia)
Readville, Massachusetts, senior All-American finishes fourth in heat
KINGSVILLE, Texas (May 23, 2019) – Stonehill College senior All-American Lucas Taxter opened the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Texas A&M University-Kingsville, at Javelina Stadium by qualifying for Saturday's finals on day one tonight.
Taxter finished fourth in the second of the two 1500-meter qualifying heats to lock down an automatic spot in Saturday night's final in 3:55:45. He will run in the final on Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. (EDT). Taxter finished in the middle of an eight-man pack that was separated by less than a second in what proved to be the fastest of the two qualifying heats tonight. Queens (N.C.) University senior finished first in 3:55.16, while Concordia University-St. Paul junior Benjamin Allen was eighth in the section in 3:56.12 and was the fourth of the four at-large qualifiers for the final.
Taxter came across the finish line after the first 300-meters in third place in 47.44-seconds, before sitting fourth after the first full lap with a 1:52.10 split after 700-meters. He moved up to second at the 1100-meter mark in 2:56.84 and grabbed the lead early in the final lap, before settling in at fourth to claim the final automatic spot in the final. His time ranks fourth out of 19 entries in the event overall, with the first four automatic qualifying sports from the first section all coming in at over 4:02.
Taxter will be aiming to complete just the second single-season All-America triple crown in program history on Saturday, to join Stonehill Athletic Hall of Famer Keith Gill, '09, by earning All-America honors for cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field in the same academic year. Taxter is a four-time All-American overall in his career, seeking his first honor for outdoor track & field on Saturday night.
Senior All-American Stephen Vercollone and junior Madison Ward will take the stage on day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships tomorrow. Ward will compete in the women's high jump final starting at 6:05 p.m. (EDT), while Vercollone will run the third of three 800-meter run prelims that start at 7:20 p.m. (EDT).
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