May 13, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. — The final day of the 2012 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships brought Vanderbilt a school record and one of the best team scoring performances in recent history.
Vanderbilt’s Kristen Findley continued her surge onto the national scene with a fourth place finish in the 1,500 meters, breaking her own school record with a time of 4:16.57. Florida’s Genevive LaCase won the event with a time of 4:13.44.
Findley’s time not only earned Vanderbilt points, but also helped her meet the Olympic trials B-standard of 4:17.00.
“K-Fin ran a very confident race and put herself in a good position throughout the race,” Vanderbilt Head Coach Steve Keith said. “It was a relatively easy pace for the first 800 meters, but the race really picked up in the last 500 meters and Kristen responded well as the field started to stretch out.”
Smith placed sixth with a time of 16:52.69, while Orders made her SEC Outdoor debut with a time of 16:53.17 that was good for seventh. White placed tenth with a time of 17:01.57.
“Kristin Smith and Grace Orders ran solid efforts in the 5000, gaining valuable team points,” Keith said. “They worked really well together over the last few laps.”
Vanderbilt finished with 13.50 points, an incredibly solid effort for a team that fielded athletes in just five events (pole vault, high jump and steeplechase, in addition to the 1,500 and 5,000).
Keith couldn’t be happier with his team’s efforts as he continues to build the young Vanderbilt program.
“Team points were hard earned, as they always are at the SEC Championships,” Keith said. “We scored better than the last few years and I can see even more quality points coming next year as we develop and add in a new class of recruits.”
Next up for the Commodores is the NCAA East Regional, which will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., May 24-26. The NCAA Championships will then be held June 6-9 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.