Jorgensen continues success at SEC Championships

May 16, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Junior Rita Jorgensen didn’t let a torrential downpour slow her down on Saturday afternoon, qualifying for her second final of the 2010 SEC Championships.

The Memphis native qualified for the 800 meter final on Friday with a time of 2:09.88, putting her in point scoring contention in one of the nation’s toughest races.

On Saturday, Jorgensen came up big once again, nabbing one of the four automatic qualifier spots for Sunday’s 1,500 meter final. Her time of 4:27.77 was good for third in her heat.

“Rita actually looked better today than she did yesterday,” Vanderbilt distances coach Steve Keith commented. “She was more in control and able to move if she needed. We should have a couple of very competitive finals in the 1500 and then the 800, so we’ll try and get some points in both events.

“The 1500 runs first so that will be a real focus for Rita,” Keith added. “There is only about 1:15 between the two races, so we’ll just have to see how quickly Rita can recover.”

Freshman Allie Scalf also had a top ten finish in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase, finishing tenth with a time of 11:04.87. This was only Scalf’s second time participating in the event.

“I love to see a freshman want to mix it up and score points,” Keith noted. “The Steeplechase is still a new event for Allie and coming up just short can be great incentive for next year.”

Because of the significant weather delay in Knoxville, events have been shifted around for the final day of the Championships. Along with Jorgensen’s 1,500 and 800 meter finals on Sunday, the Commodores will also compete in the 4×100 relay and the 5,000 meter final.

Sophomore Louise Hannallah looks to capitalize on her success at the SEC Indoors, where she scored the only points for the Commodores in the 3,000 meter run, in her 5,000 meter final. Hannallah has the seventh fastest time in the conference this season and will look to add to the ‘Dores’ point total.

The start lists for the final day of the 2010 SEC Championships can be found here.