Johnson advances to finals of 3000m steeplechase at NCAA Championships

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

uva track and fieldDerek Johnson advanced to the finals of the 3000-meter steeplechase on the first day of competition at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Johnson finished second in his heat with a time of 8:36.91 to receive an automatic berth into Friday’s 12-man finals.

Johnson (Leesburg, Va.) becomes the first Cavalier to advance to the finals in the event since Kyle King finished 12th at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

UVA’s other competitor on Wednesday was graduate student Sam Young (Lewes, Del.) who did not record a clearance in the pole vault. Young was participating at the NCAAs for the first time in his career. By virtue of advancing and competing, he earns honorable mention All-America status. Young is the first Virginia competitor to earn that distinction in the pole vault.

The Cavalier women begin their events at the meet on Thursday. The Cavaliers’ 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams will race in the semifinals to bookend UVA’s events. The 4×100 takes place at 6:32 p.m. ET while the 4×400 wraps up the night’s events at 9:48 p.m. ET.

Khyasia Caldwell and Jada Seaman will compete in the long jump finals starting at 8 p.m. ET while Maria Deaviz participates in the shot put finals that get underway at 8:40 p.m. ET. In other semifinal action, Michaela Meyer races in the 800 meters at 8:14 p.m. ET and she will be followed by Andrenette Knight in the 400-meter hurdles at 8:30 p.m.

The four-day competition runs through Saturday.