EUGENE, Ore. — Riley Masters of Bangor advanced to the finals of the 1,500 meters Thursday during the preliminaries for the event at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.
The senior, representing the University of Oklahoma, won his heat in 3 minutes, 42.84 seconds. That places the former Bangor High School and University of Maine standout in Saturday’s finals.
Another Maine athlete made her NCAA nationals debut Thursday. Jesse Labreck of Oakland, who competes for UMaine, completed the first four events in the heptathlon.
Labreck finished the day in 15th place among 24 competitors with 3,322 points. That leaves her 343 points out of the lead and 146 points shy of a top-eight finish that would earn her All-America status.
In the 1,500, Masters claimed the second heat by 0.16 seconds over Andrew Bayer of Indiana. His effort was the ninth-fastest of the event as seven runners — including OU teammate Patrick Casey — finished within 0.72 seconds of each other in the first heat.
It was Masters’ fourth fastest time of the outdoor season in six races, which included a 3:38.79 on April 28 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational.
Masters will go after a national title in Saturday’s final, which is scheduled for 5:31 p.m.
Labreck ran her second-fastest heptathlon 100-meter hurdles of the season in 13.83 seconds and finished 14th. She also was 14th in the high jump at 5 feet, 8 3/4 inches, which was second this season only to her personal record 5-11 3/4 at the ECAC/IC4A championships.
Labreck was 20th of 24 competitors in the shot put (33-5 3/4) and the 200 meters (25.29).
On Friday, she tackles the long jump, the javelin and the 800 meters in her quest to achieve All-America status. Labreck’s events begin at 3:30 p.m.