UH's Kaufman wins high jump at NCAA West Regional
Hawai‘i's Amber Kaufman won the high jump today at the NCAA Division I Track & Field West Regional at the University of Oregon in Eugene, qualifying for her second consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Rainbow Wahine also got a third-place finish in the javelin throw from Annett Wichmann to finish tied for 11th with 19 points, their highest finish in the West Regional. Wichmann also automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Kaufman, a junior from San Jose, Calif., cleared 6 feet, 1.5 inches (1.87 meters) to become the first Rainbow Wahine to win an event at the West Regional. She also tied the West Regional high jump record set by Cal Poly's Sharon Day in 2007.
Elizabeth Patterson of Arizona was second with a 6-0.5 (1.84). UH's Emily Sheppard, a senior from Vancouver, British Columbia, tied for fifth with a 5-8.5 (1.74), but was third in a jump off for the automatic NCAA berth. Wichmann finished tied for 10th with a 5-07 (1.70).
Wichmann, of Jena, Germany, placed third in the javelin with a throw of 163-1 (49.70m), which she threw on her second to last attempt. She already qualified for her fourth consecutive NCAA Championships in the heptathlon but his is her first time she also qualified in an individual event. Oregon’s Rachel Yurkovich won the javelin with a 188-8 (57.50).
The top five finishers in each individual event automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship June 10 to 13 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The top-12 finishers are eligible for NCAA selection from an at-large pool based on a descending order list.
Kaufman's victory (10 points) and Sheppard's fifth-place finish (3 points) in the high jump and Wichmann's third (6 points) in the javelin gave UH its 19 points. Arizona State was leading the meet with a few events remaining.
UH’s highest finish at the West Regional was 17th when it accumulated 10 team points in 2007. Former discus thrower Novelle Murray had the highest individual finish, second in the discus in 2007.
On May 16, Kaufman soared 6 feet, 4 inches to shatter her school record in the high jump in the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Logan, Utah.
Kaufman’s jump of 6-4 is ranked second nationally while Sheppard jump of 5-11.25 is No. 13.
Last year, Kaufman finished fifth in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.