NEW ORLEANS – The track and field season all comes down to this week. Seniors Rebekah Markel and Emmanuel Rotich will have a chance to put a huge exclamation point at the end of their phenomenal Tulane careers from June 5-7 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas. Rotich will be racing in the 3K steeplechase national semifinals on Wednesday at 7:02 p.m. If he finishes in the top five of his heat or finishes with one of the next two fastest times overall, Rotich will be one of the 12 athletes who advance to the national championship final on Friday at 7:54 p.m. Markel’s pole vault competition will be held in a single round on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tulane’s two seniors at the national championship have been preparing for this week all season.
Markel saved the best year of her college career for last as she broke the school record for the pole vault indoors and outdoors during the year. A participant at the NCAA Indoor Championship as one of the top 16 pole vaulters in the country, Markel won the conference championship indoors and set a new meet record in the process.
Outdoors, she followed that with another American Athletic Conference title and a facility record at Cessna Stadium in Wichita, Kansas, in early May. She then cruised through the NCAA East Regional in Jacksonville in late May, clearing the bar at 4.17 meters on her first attempt to tie for first and easily secure a trip to Austin. This will be her first time participating at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Rotich has been equally impressive this year, beginning with a league title in cross country at Audubon Park back in October. He attended the national championship meet in cross country as well before setting his sights on the outdoor track season. The league champion in the 3K steeplechase and the 5K, Rotich had his fastest steeplechase time of the year at the NCAA East Regional as he won his heat and booked a ticket to Texas. Rotich will be racing at the national championship meet for the third straight year.
Last year at the national meet, Rotich placed 13th in the first round, just missing out on a trip to the finals by one place. Rotich was named a Second Team All-American for his 13th-place finish.
Article courtesy of Tulane Sports Information Department.