EUGENE, Ore. — The long drought for the Tulane men’s track and field program at the NCAA championships came to an end Wednesday at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Long jumper Devon Breaux, a Donaldsonville native who doubles as a wide receiver for the Green Wave football team, became the first male athlete to represent the school at nationals in 14 years.
Breaux earned his spot in the national semifinals when he finished 11th at the NCAA East preliminary rounds on May 28 with a leap of 24 feet, 9¾ inches. He has a personal best of 24-11, which he set in April at the LSU Alumni Gold meet, and later won the American Athletic Conference title.
Breaux, however, didn’t make the final Wednesday night, placing 19th with a leap of 24-5.
“For Devon to make it here is just a great accomplishment for him and our program, and I am really excited for him,” Tulane track and field director Eric Peterson said before the meet.
The last Tulane men to make it to nationals back in 2001 were Nathan Junius (javelin), Solomon Kandie (3,000 steeplechase) and Noel Comrie (triple jump).
Stanford’s Dylan Duvio, a John Curtis Christian School graduate, took third place in the pole vault on Wednesday with a clearance of 18-0½.
Duvio, a sophomore, rebounded from a fifth-place finish at the Pac-12 championships in mid-May to finish strong at the national meet and earn All-American honors.
In doing so, the Kenner native came up just short of his personal record of 18-1¾ which he set May 2 at the Longhorn Invitational.
Akron’s Shawn Barber won the title Wednesday with a leap of 18-4½.
Southeastern Louisiana’s duo of Alex Young and Jonathan Kinchen failed to reach the final of the hammer throw Wednesday, finishing 10th and 14th in the semifinals.
Young threw 218-2, but finished one spot out of reaching the finals as only the top nine placers in the semifinals advanced. Kinchen had a best of 212-6.
UL-Lafayette also failed to advance to the 4x100-meter relay final when the Ragin’ Cajuns couldn’t make the last exchange and did not finish after running a time of 39.89 seconds at the NCAA preliminary rounds.
Also, Louisiana Tech’s Jarrett Samuels didn’t make the finals in the long jump with a best of 24-5½ for 18th place.
Russell Hornsby, the twin brother of LSU basketball player Keith Hornsby, ran the third leg for Oregon’s 4x400-meter relay team in the semifinals late Wednesday night. But the Ducks didn’t advance to the final.
Hornsby, who normally runs the 800 meters, helped UO earn a spot at nationals when they ran seventh at the NCAA West preliminary rounds with a time of 3 minutes, 05.14 seconds.