Gibson Qualifies for NCAA Championships in 100 and 200
June 3, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Senior Keenan Gibson can pack her bags for Sacramento and the NCAA National Championships after receiving an at-large entry into both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, Tuesday.
"This is very exciting," Head Coach Brenda Calhoun-Cash said. "I know for Keenan, it's especially exciting since this is her last year to participate in track. I'm just really happy for her, she is such a great kid and works hard on and off the track."
Gibson is the 25th-ranked qualifier in the 100 out of 31 participants. LSU's Muna Lee is the top seeded runner in the field, while USC's Natasha Mayers is second. Gibson and TCU's Monica Twum are the only Conference USA participants in the 100-meter dash, which opens its schedule, Wednesday, June 11th at 10:25 a.m. (PDT).
Gibson's hopes in the 100 almost came to a halt after breaking badly from the blocks in the finals of the 100 at the Mid-East Regional. She finished seventh in the final, but her preliminary time of 11.48, which tied a season-best, qualified her for the national championship meet.
Gibson will also compete on the second day of the national championships in the first round of the 200-meter dash. The 19th-seeded qualifier out of 29 qualifiers, Gibson's time of 23.36 in the regional puts her among some of the top collegiate sprinters in the country. TCU freshman Donita Harmon will be the one other C-USA sprinter in the 200 field at the meet. The first round of the 200-meter dash begins Thursday, June 12th, at 10:15 a.m. (PDT).
Qualifying in two events, Gibson becomes the first-ever Lady Tiger to qualify for the NCAA National Championships since the program was reinstated after a three-year hiatus in 1985. Memphis' Barbara Wine provisionally qualified for the indoor championships in 2000, but was not selected to the final list.
A native of Arima, Trinidad, Gibson set the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash (7.60) in 2001. Her season-best time of 11.48 seconds in the prelims of the Mid-East Regional in the 100 is eighth-hundredths shy of tying the school mark in that event, set by Wanda Hooker in 1978. Gibson already tied the school record in the 200 last weekend with a time of 23.36. She currently shares that record with Hooker after Hooker set the initial mark in 1979.
In addition to her outstanding achievements on the field, Gibson was also recently named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for having a GPA or 3.0 or more.