Lowe Advances to NCAA Championships
May 27, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior Richard Lowe advanced to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 400m hurdles and junior Robert Jackson earned a chance in the 110m hurdles following Day Two at the NCAA East Regional preliminary qualifying rounds, Friday.
Lowe advanced to Iowa after finishing third overall of the final 24 competitors out of the East Regional. His 50.62 mark won his heat by a mere four-tenths of a second.
"Richard is in such a good place mentally and physically right now," said head coach Kevin Robinson. "He's in complete control of his races and can be a first-team All-American."
Jackson finished sixth in the 110m hurdles, advancing to tomorrow's competition with a 14.15 mark. "Robert keeps improving," said Robinson. "Time-wise, it wasn't his best race, but he still won his heat. It's all about beating who you're matched up with at this point."
A third Tiger nearly advanced to the next round, with senior LaShundra Kershaw ending her career with a 200m dash mark of 24.17, finishing 25th and missing qualifying by five-thousandths of a second.
"Agonizing for LaShundra," said Robinson. "She was so close last year, and to have this happen in her senior season, it's just crushing. She ran a great race and just got tight at the end; there's nothing she could have done."
Another Tiger senior saw her career come to a close, with Tayanna Simpson ending her career in the 100m hurdles with a 14.21 mark. She finished 42nd.
In the shot put, senior Marina Vojinovic's Memphis career came to a close with a 13.48m (44' 2.75") toss; she finished 44th.
Sophomore Kirsten Berding ended her first career Regional appearance in a tie for 37th. She leapt 1.65m (5' 5")
Freshman Austin Crenshaw no-heighted in the pole vault, failing on three attempts to hit the mandatory 4.90m mark.
"Austin and a lot of our first-timers weren't sure of what to expect here," said Robinson. "While it may not have served them well here, the experience will be valuable down the road."
Senior Jerome Leslie rounded out the day and his career in the triple jump, finishing 25th with a 15.01m (49' 3") leap.
Robert Jackson will compete in the 110m hurdles, tomorrow, at 7:20 p.m. (ET). He will attempt to join Lowe in Des Moines, June 8-11, at the NCAA Championships.