Jorgensen misses qualifying for NCAAs

May 29, 2010

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Vanderbilt’s Rita Jorgensen narrowly missed an opportunity on Saturday night to advance to the final rounds of the NCAA National Championships.

Jorgensen’s bid for nationals fell short in a tight 1,500 meter race, where the Memphis native finished 15th with a time of 4:24.64. The top 12 finishers qualified for the 1,500 meter semifinal in Eugene.

“What a great season for Rita! Every year we’re a little closer to qualifying,” Vanderbilt distances coach Steve Keith remarked. “Her heat went out slower than expected, especially in the second 400. Her last 800 went in about 2:15 (69-66) but (it) wasn’t enough.”

Keith further noted that “we have a little work to do but she knows that she is close. I think she came in ranked 23rd so this better performance is a tribute to her ability to race. And that’s what it is all about at this level: racing.”

This was Jorgensen’s third postseason appearance, as she was also a two-time regional qualifier in 2008 and 2009. Jorgensen improved on last year’s regional performance by nearly six seconds.

“(It’s) time to take a little break and then focus on some summer training in preparation for a great cross country season with all of her teammates,” Keith added.

The Vanderbilt track team will now turn to senior Buky Bamigboye to represent the Commodores at the NCAA National Championships in Eugene, as she qualified for the heptathlon at the SEC Championships. Check back with for more information.