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Brooks qualifies for 60-meter final at nationals

Ajai Brooks | Photo by Brett Dunbar
Ajai Brooks | Photo by Brett Dunbar

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Denison sophomore Ajai Brooks earned a spot in the finals of the 60 meter event at the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship meet.

In the 60-meter prelims, the sophomore sprinter finished third in her heat but posted the fifth-fastest time of the qualifying round after matching her school-record time of 7.69. Bridgewater junior Amber Celen turned in the fastest time of the prelims after crossing the line in 7.55. The last spot in the finals was determined by four thousands of a second. Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Emily Reichenberger edged out Emory sophomore Dani Bland to earn a spot in the finals. After not qualifying for nationals in the 60 last season, Brooks will be one of eight athletes looking to win the national title in 2017.

Roughly an hour after garnering a spot in the 60-meter dash finals, Brooks returned to the track in hopes of securing a place in the 200-meter final. With four of the five heats completed, the sophomore stepped up to the start line. Brooks turned in a time of 25.38 which was second-best in her heat. Once all the times were sorted, Brooks landed in 14th place.

Brooks will be competing in the finals of both the 60 on Saturday at Al B. Carius Track at 3:45 p.m. EST. Also competing on Saturday at North Central will be junior Hannah Hall. Hall will be one of 17 athletes taking part in the high jump at 2 p.m. EST.