The Kodiak native and current University of Oregon star punched his ticket to Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds.
Dunbar, running in his first year for the Ducks, finished third in his heat of the 5,000 meters to advance to the national semifinals.
Dunbar led at the bell lap before Hassan Mead of Minnesota took the lead and finished in 14 minutes, 16.06 seconds.
Dunbar, a sophomore, was at 14:17.81.
Dunbar is one of 31 Oregon entries at the NCAA Championships that begin June 6. Two other Ducks advanced in the 5,000.
“What great performances for the men and women of Oregon,” associate athletic director Vin Lananna said on Oregon’s website. “It’s hard to imagine things going much better for us this weekend.
“I’m very excited about the big group of Ducks we have for the NCAA Championship. Now it’s time to get home, regroup and get ready to go.”
• Cory Pena concluded his outdoor track and field career at Concordia University (Ore.) over Memorial Day weekend.
Pena finished 17th in the 800 meters at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Marion, Ind.
The Kodiak High School graduate ran a 1:54.52 in the prelims and a 1:55.73 in the semifinals. He did not advance to the finals.
Teammate Jason Brown did, and he topped Pena’s school record with a 1:50.57 to finish fourth.
• Katie Strong capped a strong freshman season at Everett Community College (Wash.) at the NWAACC Track and Field Championships May 21-22 in Spokane, Wash.
Strong, a Port Lions graduate, placed third in the 5,000 in 18:44.44. She was the top Everett finisher.
She also ran a leg of the seventh-place 1,600 relay.