Florida Tech’s Rachel Tobin Sets Program Record, Advances To Championship Final
By Florida Tech // May 23, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – On Friday, the second day of the 2015 NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Allendale, Michigan, two Panthers lined up for a chance to qualify for the final round in their respective event.
Not only were Rachel Tobin and Alexis Santiago trying to earn a spot in the final, but also to extend their impressive seasons one more race.
A native of Palm Bay, Florida, Tobin kicked off the day for the Panthers in the preliminary round of her strongest event, the 200 meter dash. The freshman took her position in the second heat of the competition, lane three.
Matching up against six competitors with more years under their belts, Tobin put on a show, blazing down the track for a second place finish in the heat and a berth in the championship final on Saturday.
She also made history with her run, becoming the first Panther in program history to clinch a spot in the 200 meter final.
Tobin’s run of 24.03 was the sixth best time in the first round of the competition. Yanique Ellington of Lincoln (Mo.) registered a 23.63 in her race to claim the top performance in the dash.
Shortly after Tobin clinched a spot in the final, her teammate was getting ready to take her position in 100 meter hurdles prelim. Santiago, a Naples, Florida product, was slotted in the third heat, lane six.
The freshman finished fourth overall in the heat with a run of 14.14, good for 10th best overall in the first round of the event.
Unfortunately Santiago missed the cut for the 100 meter hurdles final by one spot, finishing just .02 slower than the next best competitor. Ladonna Richards of Lincoln (Mo.) took the top seed in the first round with her run of 13.40.
“Rachel ran great today in the 200 meter dash,” said head coach Pete Mazzone.
“She was very poised and qualified for a spot in the final tomorrow. Alexis ran great too, but just missed the final by one spot. We are all looking forward to tomorrow’s final. Nothing seems to faze Rachel. She is very even keel and shows a great deal of confidence. She is going to do great in the final.”
The final of the 200 meter dash is set to begin at 4:40 p.m. ET at the Grand Valley State University Track & Field Complex.
Live video will be available starting at 2 p.m. ET.
Links to the live video and live results can be found at FloridaTechSports.com