May 28, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt distance standout Rita Jorgensen will look to qualify for the NCAA Track and Field Championships this weekend at the Mideast Regional Championships in Louisville, Ky. Jorgensen will be competing in the 1500 meter run for the second consecutive season. Louisville, the 2009 BIG EAST Champions is hosting its first NCAA Regional meet Friday and Saturday at Cardinal Park.
"Rita is feeling great and is very excited to compete in Friday's prelims," distance coach Steve Keith said. "Our first objective is to make the finals."
"When running in the 1500 it is key to have good focus and keep a positive frame of mind. Prelims are hard to predict so Rita will have to be very aware of the race around her and react quickly in the second half of the race," said Keith.
The Memphis, Tenn., native enters the regionals as the No. 8 seed in the 1500 open. Jorgensen will compete in the first of two preliminary heats at 2 p.m. ET Friday. In order to advance to Saturday’s final, Jorgensen will need to finish in the top-four of her prelim heat or have one of the four fastest remaining times. The top-five finishers of Saturday’s 1500 final will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Jorgensen set regional qualifying marks in both the 800 and 1500 this season, marking the second straight year she has accomplished that feat. However, the VU sophomore will only compete in the 1500 this weekend in Louisville.
Jorgensen’s best time in the 1500 came at the War Eagle Invitational where she clocked a career best 4:24.32. Jorgensen’s 4:24.32 was over three seconds faster than NCAA regional mark of 4:27.80 and is the third fastest 1500 time recorded by a Commodore in school history.
In just two years at Vanderbilt, Jorgensen ranks among the best 800 and 1500 competitor in school history. Only former VU All-American Stacey Carpenter has ran faster marks than Jorgensen in the last decade.
Live results of the 2009 Mideast Regional will be available via uoflsports.com or by clicking here.
A recap and results of Friday’s 1500-meter race will be posted on vucommodores.com following the conclusion of competition.