Barowski Wins Heat to Advance to NCAA Final
EUGENE, Ore. (6/9/16) - Senior Cecilia Barowski will be racing for the NCAA title in the women's 800! In a stacked heat 3, Barowski stunned a pro-Oregon crowd with a victory in 2:03.50 to nudge the defending national champion Raevyn Rogers of Oregon, 2:03.50 to 2:03.55. In third place was Olivia Baker of Stanford who is the NCAA leader in the 800 this season, one hundredth of a second behind.
Barowski moved into second place at the bell but down the back stretch lost her placement and slid into third. She posted the fastest 600 meter split time at 31.78 to move back into the front and it was a photo finish as she overpowered the defending champion.
With the top two from each heat advancing, Barowski herself was only concerned about placement and not time to reach the finals.
She ended with the third fastest time of the 24 semifinalists with splits of 27.72, 32.97, 31.78 and 31.04. Barowski will see Rogers and Baker, who advanced on time, again in the final along with Shea Collinsworth (BYU), Morgan Shuetz (LSU), Claudia Saunders (Stanford), Anima Banks (Duke) and Baylee Mires (Washington).
"I want to be racing the top contenders," Barowski laughed. "Bring it on."
The final will be on Saturday at 4:47 p.m. PT and will be aired live on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Barowski was sixth at the indoor championships and was 19th a year ago here in Eugene.
Also advancing to the finals on Saturday is Princeton alum Jasmine Blocker '15, who is finishing her eligibility at Tulane. She was second in her heat of the 400 to automatically qualify at 52.89. Blocker had a great kick down the final stretch to take one of the coveted positions and reaches the finals for the first time of her collegiate career. The final will be at 4:32 p.m. PT on Saturday.