USF indoor track and field team members Bente General and Dayana Octavien travel to the University of Florida today to participate in a last-chance qualification meet.
The competition provides the athletes a final opportunity to improve their scores and earn a trip to the NCAA championship meet next weekend in Arkansas.
Bulls coach Greg Thiel said the Florida meet gives General and Octavien the best opportunity to improve their times.
“This is where the most bodies are going to be and the best talent,” he said. “That’s where we need to be.”
Thiel said normally the top 16 to 21 athletes in each event are given an invitation to the national meet. General enters today’s meet 39th in the 800-meter run. She will need to shave off roughly 2.5 seconds from her season best time of 2 minutes, 9.26 seconds to qualify. Thiel said it will be difficult for General.
“It’s always tough when you’re going somewhere and chasing a time,” he said. “It’s like chasing a ghost. (But) Bente has got a really strong chance.”
For Octavien to qualify in her event, the weight throw, she will need to have a throw of 19.5 meters. She currently stands at 59th with a long throw of 18.25 meters. She will have six throws today to attempt to gain a spot at the national meet.
“I wouldn’t take them (to the meet) if I didn’t think they had a really good shot,” he said.
While Octavien and General will need impressive showings to earn their invitations, one USF athlete appears to have her spot at the national meet secure. Tara Quinn holds a position of 14th in the 5000 meters.
“When they make it it’s a really big accomplishment,” he said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
- Contact Rob Brannon at firstname.lastname@example.org