SEATTLE, Wash. (from SFU Clan) – Simon Fraser University senior Oliver Jorgensen launched himself into the national conversation with a huge personal best in the 3,000 metres, and several other Clan athletes also delivered peak performances at the University of Washington Invitational on Saturday at Dempsey Indoor.
Jorgensen, the senior who has battled through multiple injuries and many layoffs, led the way for the Clan as personal bests fell all over the track and many athletes put themselves in the rankings for nationals on Saturday in the second indoor meet of the season.
Jorgensen’s time of 8:11.36 is the 9th fastest in NCAA Division II this season, was almost 10 seconds faster than his personal best and will place him right on the edge of qualifying for nationals. It is the fastest 3,000 metres in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history. Jorgensen was 22nd overall Saturday at Dempsey Indoor, and 5 seconds short of the automatic qualifying time for nationals. Just two runners have made the automatic qualifying mark of 8:06.36 at this stage of the season.
“After huge layoffs with multiple injuries it is so great to see him returning to the best form of his career,” said Clan head coach Brit Townsend. In the distance medley relay on Friday, Jorgensen was also at his best, cutting 5 seconds off his mile time to help the team get the provisional mark.
After a strong run in the distance medley the night before, Rowan Doherty came back today with a 5 second personal best in the mile, running 4:09.50 in heat 2 to place 31st. Doherty sits 18th nationally, with Western Oregon’s David Ribich, clocking 3:58.88 to finish third overall at UW on Saturday, the only student-athlete to make the automatic qualifying standard for nationals to date.
“Both Oliver and Rowan have a great chance of making nationals this year,” said Townsend.
Competing for the first time this season, Vladislav Tsygankov ran the 400m leg of the distance medley on Friday, and then came back Saturday to clock his third best indoor time with a third-place finish overall amongst NCAA Division I competitors in the 400. Tsygankov was edged in heat 8 by Washington’s Ryan Coroson 47.29 to 48.42. Tsygankov, who sits 19th nationally, needs to run a time of 47.42 for the automatic invite to nationals. His PB in the event is 47.94 set last year.
On the women’s side, freshman Renate Bluschke of Black Creek, B.C., ran her fastest time indoors or outdoors by finishing 22nd in 57.41 in the 400m.
Reta Dobie cut another six seconds off her personal best of two weeks ago, running 9:47.15 in heat 3 of the 3000m to place 24th overall. Dobie is getting closer to a chance at her first-ever national championships in her fifth year. She ranks fourth nationally while teammate Julia Howley remains the top-ranked runner nationally after her blistering race two weeks ago at Dempsey Indoor.
Howley ran a personal best in the mile as well on Saturday with a time of 4:50.46 to finish 16th, which gives her the provisional standard and places her fifth in the rankings, although she will run the 3,000 at nationals. Miriam Bassett also ran a strong mile on Saturday, running 4:55.83 to place 27th. Bassett ranks 14th in NCAA DII, and with another few seconds off her time in an upcoming race, will likely qualify for nationals as well.
Alana Mussatto ran her best time ever indoors in the 800m. She was clocked in 2:11.19 to place 13th. That time ranks 10th nationally and will give her a good chance of qualifying for the 800 at nationals. Teammate Addie Townsend, who is redshirting this indoor season, ran unattached and placed 8th overall.
“There were many exciting performances throughout the meet and I am looking for our athletes to build on these performances as we prepare for the GNAC Championships in February.”
On Friday, the SFU women’s distance medley relay team ran the fastest time this season in NCAA Division II and the team was 1.42 seconds away from booking its ticket to indoor nationals. The Clan women were clocked in 11:36.85. That time just missed the NCAA national automatic qualifying standard of 11:35.43. The foursome of Paige Nock, Renate Bluschke, Alana Mussatto and Julia Howley ran the 9th fastest DMR in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history.