June 7, 2007
Sacramento, Calif. -
Rice senior Pablo Solares used a withering kick over the final 400 meters to finish third in his heat and qualify for the finals of the 1500 at the NCAA Track & Field Championships Thursday at Hornet Stadium. The senior from Richardson clocked 3:44.42 to grab one of the four automatic qualifying spots for Saturday's final.
Ricky Barnes of Cal-Irvine led the pack through 400 meters in 63.0 before yielding the lead to Max Smith of Providence. The field went through 800 in 2:03.1, and at the 1100 mark, pre-meet favorite Lopez Lomong of Northern Arizona took over with Solares in third behind him. Lomong led Garrett Heath of Stanford and Solares down the home straight and finished in 3:42.00. Heath was second in 3:44.30.
Senior shot putter Luke Stadel closed out his Rice career with a 19th-place finish in the qualifying round, hitting 17.46 meters/57-3.5 on his first attempt. It took a throw of 18.26/59-11 to advance.