Back for More on Saturday

Several qualifiers in various events

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Vanderbilt track and field competed in six events Thursday with several qualifiers at the Robert C. Haugh Complex on the second day of the NCAA Track and Field East Preliminaries.

“Today was the start we were expecting and needed to have to start this championship meet,” said Althea Thomas, director of cross country and track and field. “All of our student-athletes did their best and displayed what they have done all year.

“Grace’s performance in the 1,500 ignited a flame for our team. Running the second best time of her life and getting an automatic qualification for the final was monumental for the team. Haley followed that up equaling her wind legal lifetime best in in the 100-meter to advance to the final. And for Taiya to have a lifetime best and advance to Saturday’s final as the top time, that kept the flame burning.”

The Commodores began the day with Grace Jensen in the 1,500 meters. The senior finished with a time of 4:14.56 to end up sixth overall and qualify for Saturday’s quarterfinal race.

Haley Bishop‘s 11.47 time in the 100-meter dash qualified her for the quarterfinal race Saturday. This time not only is Bishop’s personal best but also the school record which she previously set earlier this outdoor season. Bishop also competed in the 200-meter dash, posting a mark of 23.79.

Taiya Shelby left no doubt in her first round race in the 400 meters. She finished first overall with a personal-best time of 51.46 and established the second fastest all-time mark in the event while moving on to the quarterfinals.

McKenzie Yanek finished the 10,000 meters in 35:06.65, placing 18th overall in a field of 40 student-athletes.

The Dores concluded the night on a high note with Divine Oladipo in the shot put. Oladipo’s 17.64 meter performance positioned her fourth overall and cemented her spot in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in two weeks.

“Divine put an exclamation point on the day being the first to punch her ticket to Oregon with a well-executed throw,” said Thomas. “Today was a great day to be a Commodore and we have more to give on Saturday.”

Vanderbilt will return to the track at noon Saturday with Oladipo in the discus followed by the 4×100 meter relay at 4 p.m.