EUGENE, Ore. – Competing at her second NCAA championships, UMBC sophomore Mercedes Jackson (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) finished 23rd overall in the 100m dash, Wednesday evening on the first day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
After becoming the fourth-ever Retriever to advance to the national meet when she competed at the indoor championships in March, Jackson earned a spot at the outdoor championships. With tonight's race, she equals head coach David Bobb's feat of advancing to both the indoor and outdoor meets in the same season.
On Wednesday evening, Jackson ran in heat two of three, finishing eighth with a time of 11.67. University of Central Florida's Octavious Freeman (10.99) and Oregon's English Gardner (10.993) earned the automatic bids to Friday's final round from heat two.
The top two runners from each heat, in addition to the next two fastest runners advanced to the final round. Freeman led all sprinters in the preliminary round.
Jackson continued her record-setting pace in her second season with the Black and Gold. As a sophomore, she broke her own school record in both the 100m and 200m events, in addition to setting a new 200m UMBC Stadium record (23.60) at the Big Dawg Invitational on Mar. 30. She went on to take both event crowns at the America East Championships en route to earning Most Outstanding Female Track Athlete accolades.
Earning a spot at the ECAC Championships at Princeton, the sophomore starlet took top honors in New Jersey with a school-record time of 11.51, and then outdid herself in the preliminary round at the NCAA East Regional (11.46). Then, despite not equaling her time, she earning the trip to Oregon by finishing third in her heat in the Regional finals.
UMBC will now wrap up the 2013 season as freshman Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany) competes in the javelin competition on Saturday afternoon, the final day of the NCAA Championships. The event is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT start.