Sacramento, Calif. - The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field West Preliminary Round kicked off Thursday at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University. The East and West Preliminaries bring together the top 48 individuals in each event from each region. The top 12 individuals in each region qualify for an opportunity to compete at the NCAA Championships.
Seniors Maddi Vorgitch and Jack Polerecky took the track Thursday under the lights in the 10,000 meters against arguably the toughest fields in NCAA Preliminary Round history. Both the men’s and women’s fields included multiple National Champions and numerous All-Americans.
In the women’s 10,000 meters, Vorgitch placed 43rd with a time of 35:31.41.
“Being able to compete at the NCAA West Prelims was such a great experience and was definitely a great way to end my track career here at LMU,” Vorgitch said. “Being in the same race as some of the most elite distance athletes was a bit intimidating but it felt good to know that I earned my spot in the race and had trained to compete at this level as well.”
An astonishing 30 individuals ran under 34-minutes in a race that did not go as many championship-style races go which is slow at the beginning and becoming a kickers race at the end.
“The race went out a bit faster than I had expected but I just tried to stay in contact with people and work my way up to them,” Vorgitch expressed. “Although a PR would have been a nice way to end my season, I am nothing but pleased with how my season progressed.”
“Maddi worked unbelievably hard all year and ran career bests at every distance." Lions head coach Scott Guerrero said, "She PR’d in 4 of her last 5 regular season races and managed to qualify for Prelims in her last track season. I’d say that’s a pretty good way to cap off your outdoor eligibility.”
Vorgitch attributed her success this season was an increase in mileage from seasons past which helped her run career bests in the 3,000 meters (9:56.02), 5,000 meters (16:48.81) and 10,000 meters (34:41.52) this season.
“All of the coaches, my teammates, and my family played a huge role in supporting me and helping me reach my goals," she added. "The end of the season is always bittersweet but I’m excited to see what my last season as a Lion brings this upcoming fall.”
On the men’s side, Polerecky also finished 43rd with a time of 30:45.30.
"The race was an awesome opportunity to race against some of the best athletes in the sport,” Polerecky said. “It was an awesome experience just to be there, knowing that I had worked hard to get on that starting line.”
In the more traditional style of championship race, the pace was pedestrian for the first mile but then increasingly picked up over the remaining 5-plus miles.
“While the race itself didn't go as planned, due to some injury and sickness issues prior, that's the nature of the sport," he added. "Sometimes things don't go the way you would like, but that makes you appreciate the times when they do even more."
Polerecky improved on his School Record in the 10,000 meters by over 25 seconds to 29:18.14. He also improved his 5,000 meter time by nearly 13 seconds (14:03.12) from the previous year. He finishes as the 2nd fastest 5,000 meter runner and fastest 10,000 meter runner in LMU history. With those times, Polerecky qualified in both events but opted to just run the 10,000 meters.
Polerecky attributed more mileage, tougher workouts, and a focused on improving his eating and sleeping habits.
"This season, I tried to push myself harder than I had any other season,” Polerecky said. “It paid off with some big PRs in the 5K and 10K, which resulted in regional qualifying times for both. While the postseason didn't pan out as I had hoped, that just provides more motivation to train hard and smart as possible for my last cross country season."
“I really couldn’t be more proud of both Maddi and Jack and what they have accomplished this season,” Guerrero said. “I know both kids would have liked more but making it to the post-season is really an extraordinarily difficult thing to do and is a terrific accomplishment. The best part of it all, for me at least, is that they will both be back in the Fall for one last hurrah in cross country. GO LIONS!”
Track & Field - 6/22/2018
All-American Danielle Shanahan Turns Pro
Track & Field - 5/31/2018
LMU Names Oregon’s Craig Pintens as New Athletic...
Track & Field - 5/28/2018
This Week in LMU Athletics
Track & Field - 5/25/2018
Vorgitch And Polerecky Compete At NCAA Preliminary Round
Track & Field - 5/22/2018
Lions ‘On Track’ in Classroom
Track & Field - 5/21/2018
This Week in LMU Athletics