Shannon Rowbury can breathe a little easier now.
Competing in her first collegiate competition since the Penn Relays April 29, the junior cruised to a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:24.43 at the 2005 East Regional Championship held Friday and Saturday in Randall’s Island, N.Y. By finishing in the top five, Rowbury earned a trip to the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career.
“I think for me it was something that I knew I was capable of,” said Rowbury, who is ranked second in the nation in the 1,500. “It was one of those things where it was a relief to get it over with because had I not qualified, then it would have been a huge disappointment.”
Rowbury was not alone in her success, as four other Blue Devils also earned the chance to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 8-11 in Sacramento, Calif.
Junior Liz Wort qualified Saturday for her first trip to the championship, finishing the 3000-meter steeplechase in fourth place with a time of 10:16.66.
Laura Stanley and Debra Vento received at-large bids in the 10,000-meter and high jump, respectively, after strong showings at the Eastern Regionals. Paige Miller, who had already received an automatic bid earlier this season after meeting the NCAA qualifying time, will compete in the 10,000 alongside Stanley.
Rowbury is excited to have so many of her teammates joining her next week.
“Having a big group there makes such a big difference,” Rowbury said. “I’m definitely someone who drives off of having teammates around and the energy of other people.”
Head coach Norm Ogilvie was pleased with the weekend results as well, though he had also previously expected senior Meaghan Leon to qualify in the 1,500.
“We though Meaghan had a shot to qualify—certainly if she had run a time as fast as she had earlier in the year she would have made it,” Ogilvie said. “We went five-for-six, however, which is excellent in that situation.”
Also disappointing was Nick Schneider’s failure to qualify in the 5,000-meter run. Needing to finish in the top ten in order to earn a bid, the senior completed the race in 12th place with a time of 14:14.
“Nick ran a fairly good race.” Ogilvie said, “He just came up a little short.”
Entering the championships, Ogilvie has high expectations for his team, especially Rowbury, whom he feels has the experience and poise to win a title in the 1,500.
“She’s a two time All-American in track,” Ogilvie said. “She’s definitely one of the top runners in the country, and she knows that.”
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