May 14, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt Commodores have had a successful two days thus far at the 2010 SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Vanderbilt senior Buky Bamigboye scored a school record 5,527 points en route to finishing fourth in the women’s heptathlon, securing herself a place at the NCAA Championships.
Bamigboye scored five team points with her finish, while surpassing four-time Commodore All-American Josie Hahn’s heptathlon record of 5,503, set in 2004. The Nashville native had season highs in the hurdles and the 800 meter run, and career bests in the shot put and high jump.
Bamigboye began Thursday with her strongest race in the 100 meter hurdles this season with a time of 14.08, placing sixth. She then moved to the high jump where she cleared a career high 5-08.75, tying her for second in that event.
Bamigboye was much improved in the shot put, throwing a career high 37-11.50, placing fourth. Bamigboye was hampered by cramping throughout her final event of the day on Thursday, the 200 meter dash, finishing 12th in that event with a time of 26.30. She would finish Thursday in fourth place on the leaderboard.
Bamigboye’s day on Friday was just as successful as the day before, as she began the day with a third place finish in the long jump, jumping 19-04.75. She then moved to the javelin, where she placed seventh with a 114-10 throw. In her final event, Bamigboye ran to a fourth place finish in the 800 with a time of 2:18.33, thus cementing her fourth place finish overall.
“We knew it was going to be a battle for Buky to get to the podium, but it was one we accepted with open arms,” Vanderbilt assistant coach Clark Humphreys noted. “She had a great two days and really let it all hang out. She elevates her level of play when things are on the line.”
“Pressure makes her come up with big performances. I’m excited for regionals and nationals coming soon,” Humphreys added.
Despite a devastating fall in the 100 meter hurdles on Thursday, Commodore senior Mallory Hitt recovered like a true veteran and turned out season highs in the high jump, shot put, and 200 meter dash.
Hitt tied her career high in the high jump clearing 5-04.25 on Thursday, placing eighth. She then moved to the shot put where she threw a season high 30-11.25. Finally Hitt finished the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.75.
“My heart broke for Mallory after her performance in the hurdles,” Humphreys said. “She high jumped very well and had a season high in the shot put. She has been the model of consistency for four years and it was a tough heptathlon for her.”
Hitt and Bamigboye have more scoring opportunities for the Commodores as both `Dores will compete on Saturday in the open high jump. Bamigboye also has the open long jump and 4×100 competitions ahead of her on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Commodore junior Rita Jorgensen qualified on Friday for the 800 meter final to take place on Sunday evening. Her time of 2:09.88 put her in point scoring contention in one of the nation’s toughest races.
“This was a good race for Rita,” Vanderbilt distances coach Steve Keith commented. “The heats pretty much followed the form chart and Rita was able to follow through.”
The Commodores have a busy day of competition ahead on Saturday, as the Black and Gold will compete in the open long jump preliminaries and final, pole vault final, 1,500 preliminaries, high jump final, 400 meter dash preliminaries, 100 meter dash preliminaries, and the 3,000 meter steeplechase final.