Aarik Wilson of Indiana University and Fallon wasted little time as he rebounded from a heart breaking finish one day before in the men's triple jump qualifying at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento.
Wilson easily met the automatic qualifying standard and advanced to the event's final when he jumped 55-1 on his second attempt during the prelims at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium. He needed to meet the qualifying standard of 54-1 3/4 in order to advance.
The men's triple jump final scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today, which marks the final day of the NCAA meet.
Wilson was seeded No. 3 coming into the triple jump competition behind Rodrigo Mendes of BYU and Allen Simms of USC. Mendes, a senior from Brazil, is undefeated in the triple jump outdoors this season and advanced with a wind-aided 57-6 1/2 effort on his first attempt of the day. Simms, the 2003 NCAA indoor triple jump champion, qualified second at 55-7 and Wilson qualified third.
Wilson experienced a heart breaker when he settled for third-place in a dramatic long jump final on Thursday. In a competition that saw the lead go back-and-forth, Wilson took the lead in the third round at 25-6, only to drop into second-place moments later after Iowa State's Oliver Koenig went 25-7 1/4. Wilson came back to regain the lead with a 25-11 1/2 mark in the fifth round and was still out front with just three jumpers remaining.
Then Fabrice Lapierre, a Texas A&M junior from Australia, emerged as the spoiler. Lapierre, who failed to even make the finals at the Big 12 Conference Championships last month and only placed third at the Midwest Regionals, produced a jump of 26-9 that improved his previous season best by nearly one foot and was 1 1/2 feet better than he had done in any of his five previous attempts. Next up, Wilson scratched on his final attempt, and then Koenig ended the competition with a 26-3 jump that vaulted him into second-place.