Gemma Finch Opens National Championship Run Thursday

TROY, Ala. – Coming off a school-record performance at the NCAA East Preliminary, Troy’s Gemma Finch is set to compete in the national semifinals of the 800m at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship at Oregon’s Hayward Field on Thursday.
The three 800m semifinal races are slated to begin at 7:14 p.m. (CT) Thursday and fall during ESPN2’s live coverage. The top two finishers from each six-person semifinal plus the next three best times will qualify for Saturday’s championship race.
“Gemma is ready to race among the best in the country,” director of track & field Marc Davis said. “She’s had a great week of preparation and is ready to compete. When she got into the stadium on Monday for her workout, you could tell she was getting excited to compete in such a historical event and city for track and field. If she can put together a race like she did in Jacksonville, great things can happen.”
Finch punched her ticket to Eugene by breaking her own school record at the NCAA East Preliminary held in Jacksonville, Fla., two weeks ago. Finch’s time of 2:02.81 shaved nearly three seconds off the previous school record of 2:05.29, set by the senior earlier this year. She finished fifth in the first heat of the event, just .54 seconds shy of third place and an automatic qualifying spot, but she was rewarded as the 12th and final qualifier from the East via time.


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