May 27, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Vanderbilt junior Rita Jorgensen had a strong outing Thursday at the East Preliminary Round of the 2010 NCAA Championships on Thursday.
Jorgensen advanced to the quarterfinal in the 1,500 meter run, qualifying with her time of 4:24.33. The top five in each heat and the four next best times qualified for the quarterfinal, which will take place on Saturday, May 29th, at 6:45pm.
If Jorgensen advances from the quarterfinal, she will accompany fellow East Preliminary qualifier Buky Bamigboye (heptathlon) to Eugene, Ore. for the final rounds of the NCAA Championships.
"We set a plan of running near fifth place and then hoping for a good finish," Vanderbilt distances coach Steve Keith commented. "That worked well especially with how hot it was out there as some of the front runners came back to Rita in the last 150 meters."
"Saturday will be interesting and probably very fast. Our best chance is to follow a similar plan and try to time our finish as well as possible. We want to give Rita a chance with 200 meters to go," Keith added.
Bamigboye competed in the individual long jump on Thursday, attempting to qualify for another event at Nationals, having already advanced in the heptathlon with her fourth place finish at the SEC Championships.
Bamigboye jumped to a 29th place finish with a jump of 19-04.25. She will now focus on training for the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
"I think we're still a little tired from the conference meet," Vanderbilt assistant coach Clark Humphreys explained. "She was very consistent today, which is progress from where we started the season."
Humphreys added, "It's the perfect timing for her consistency, coming into Nationals in two weeks. We're really excited for Eugene and what Buky can do there."
Jorgensen will have tomorrow off to prepare for her race on Saturday evening. The live results and live webstream can be found here.