Published Friday, March 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm / Updated at 11:19 pm
track and field
Huskers start fast at NCAA indoor championships

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Nebraska track and field team produced three top-10 finishes Friday on the first day of the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas.

Junior Patrick Raedler’s fifth place finish in the men’s long jump was the best performance of the day for the Huskers. His longest leap came during the final round when he completed a 25-7 jump. It was the Big Ten champion’s finest showing at an NCAA Championship.

Janis Leitis also finished in the top-10 of the long jump, placing ninth. He posted a leap of 25-4 in the third round of jumps. The Latvian Olympian is the Big Ten’s indoor triple jump champion. Marquis Dendy of Florida took the event with a jump of 27-2.

Another men’s competitor, Oladapo Akinmoladun, failed to qualify for the 60-meter hurdles finals but recorded a time of 7.84 seconds in the semifinals. The freshman out of Grandview, Mo., has a personal best of 7.74 seconds in the event. Heading into the finals on Sunday, Florida’s Eddie Lovett has the top qualifying time (7.53).

In the women’s long jump, Mara Griva successfully cemeted herself in to the top-10 with a leap of 19-11. The jump was good enough for tenth. Griva — who is also from Latvia — was a Big Ten champion in the event two weeks ago. Former Big 12 Conference foe Kansas provided the women’s winner in the long jump. Andrea Geubelle won gold with a mark of 21-6.

Nebraska will return to the Randal Tyson Track Center Saturday for the final day of the NCAA Championships. James White will start the Huskers’ day off in the high jump. He has the fifth best seed mark heading into competition. Leitis and Griva will return to competition in the triple jump and the 1,600 men’s relay team will close out the event at 8:20 p.m. Leitis is expected to contend for gold in his event.

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