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Perlaza Zapata Moves on to NCAA Men's 400 Final

March 8, 2019  Birmingham, Ala.  RSS
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Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (Photo by Vasha Hunt)

Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (Photo by Vasha Hunt)

Liberty senior Alejandro Perlaza Zapata successfully advanced to the national final of the men's 400-meter dash, thanks to his qualifying performance on Friday at the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Despite being seeded 15th of 16 competitors, Perlaza Zapata clocked a time of 46.76 seconds to place second in his semifinal race and sixth overall among the four heats. He will compete in one of two four-person finals on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern on ESPN3.

A native of Cali, Colombia, Perlaza Zapata is the first Flame to reach the men's 400 final at this meet since 2001, when Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer Mike Decker placed fifth. If he successfully completes Saturday's final, Perlaza Zapata will earn first team All-America honors and score team points for the Flames.