Lowe Qualifies For NCAA Championship Final in 400m Hurdles
June 8, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa – Senior Richard Lowe broke his school record in the 400m hurdles, qualifying for Friday night’s national final and earning his first All-American nod.
Lowe finished second behind 2010 national runner-up Jeshua Anderson of Washington State (who was the top qualifier for the final), coming from back in pack to finish the second preliminary heat at 50.15 seconds, shaving two-tenths of a second off the previous school record of 50.37s, set at last month’s Conference USA Outdoor Championships.
“He came out slow but closed amazingly well,” said Memphis head coach Kevin Robinson. “Richard ran like a man today.”
With his qualification for Friday’s event, Lowe will be a first-team All-American in the hurdles, making him Memphis’ first track All-American since Terron Wright and Nick Brooks, both of whom competed in 1981.
Overall, Lowe qualified seventh for the final, which will be held Friday at 6:45 p.m. (CDT). In his second NCAA Championship appearance, Lowe seeks to become the first Tiger to become a national champion in a hurdles event since Wright in the now-defunct 60 yard hurdle event.
In Friday’s final, Lowe will compete against a number of athletes who return from the 2010 final. In addition to 2010 national runner-up Anderson, four other hurdlers (Stanford’s Amaechi Morton, Texas Tech’s Bryce Brown and Jamele Mason, and South Florida’s David Aristil) made it back to the national final in 2011. Lowe will also see a familiar face in the final in the form of Ole Miss hurdler Lee Moore, a Cordova, Tenn., native Lowe has faced already on four occasions.
Last season, Lowe placed 20th in the 400m hurdles at the national championships, bowing out in the semifinals.
“Last year, he may have been a little star-struck,” said Robinson. “This year, he’s not concerned with who’s around him or with anything other than running his race. He can run with anybody in the country.”