Wilson, 4x400 relay team qualify for finals on first day of NCAAs

Jessica Wilson finished the 1,500-meter trials with the second-fastest time in the 22-athlete field, a personal best 4:31.32, at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships on May 25, 2017. (D3Photography.com)

GENEVA, Ohio -- On the first day of the NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Bates junior Jessica Wilson ran the second-fastest trial time in the 1,500 meters, while the Bobcat 4x400 relay team also qualified for Saturday's finals.

Wilson (Cumberland, Maine) ran a personal-record time of 4:31.32 in the second of two heats in the 1,500, only 1.28 seconds shy of Kallie Nixon's team record time. Wilson is the eighth seed in the event, based on her previous best time of 4:31.47. The top 12 women in trials, including Wilson, will run in the finals on Saturday at 12:25pm. Wilson will finish her career later that afternoon at 3pm in the 5,000-meter run.

Bates' 4x400 relay team of senior Allison Hill (Brunswick, Maine), first-year Paige Rabb (Stamford, Conn.), sophomore Ayden Eickhoff (Corvallis, Mont.) and senior Claire Markonic (Millerton, N.Y.), earned the eighth of nine spots in Saturday's final in its preliminary heat. 

The program's first-ever relay team to race at an NCAA Outdoor Championship finished the race in 3:50.31, only 0.15 seconds shy of the team-record time they established earlier this season. The Bobcats outraced ninth-place University of Chicago (3:50.90) and were 1.85 seconds behind Wartburg in their heat. The 4x400 relay finals take place Saturday at 3:50pm.

Prior to the 4x400 relay trials, Hill placed 12th out of 22 in the 200-meter dash trials, with her time of 25.21 seconds, the second-fastest of her career. Hill was seeded 21st in the event, based on her team-record time of 24.76 seconds. 

Hill will compete in the trials of the 100-meter hurdles, where she is the second seed, on Friday at 2:15pm. At 3:45 Friday, Eickhoff will compete in the 800-meter run trials.

Bates' remaining NCAA schedule (All times Eastern):

Friday, May 26
2:15PM -- Women's 100 Hurdles Prelims (Allison Hill)
3:45PM -- Women's 800 Meters Prelims (Ayden Eickhoff)
4:00PM -- Men's 800 Meters Prelims (Patrick Griffin)

Saturday, May 27
12:25PM -- Women's 1,500 Finals (Wilson)
12:50PM -- Women's 100 Hurdles Finals (Hill)
1:30PM -- Men's Hammer Throw (Fakorede)
1:30PM -- Women's Triple Jump (Ceesay)
1:50PM -- Women's 800 Finals (Eickhoff)
2:00PM -- Men's 800 Finals (Griffin)
3:00PM -- Women's 5,000 Finals (Wilson)
3:50PM -- Women's 4x400 Relay Finals (Hill, Paige Rabb, Eickhoff, Claire Markonic)