May 24, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior Ana Ruzevic earned her third straight trip to the NCAA National meet with an eighth place showing in the javelin and a pair of her Green Wave classmates saw their careers on the track come to an end.
"We are finishing the day with some mixed emotions," said Tulane head coach Eric Peterson, "with our three senior finishing up competition for the day. Kasey (Rodgers) and Zandria (DeBowles) both competed today in their final events and Ana (Ruzevic) had another successful regional competition. I am proud of each one of them and what they have meant to our program."
Zandria Debowles was the first Tulane student-athlete to compete at the NCAA East Regional when she took to the lanes in the 400-meter hurdles and finished eighth in the opening heat. The senior posted her seventh fastest time of the season as the covered the distance in 61.83 and now owns seven of the top ten times this season in the event. It was the second consecutive season that DeBowles advanced to the NCAA East Regional as an individual and the senior will leave her mark on the event with the third fastest time in school history (58.82).
In the 100 meter, Kasey Rodgers was making her first appearance as an individual at the east regional and finished up her career with an 11.96 showing in the event. The senior seventh in the final heat of the event and was 39th out of 48 competitors in the field. The Elk Grove, Calif. native finishes her career ranked among the school's all-time leaders in the indoor 60 meter (2nd, 7.35) and 200 meter (2nd, 23.78) along with the outdoor 100 (4th, 11.49) and 200 meter (7th, 23.95).
"I know that Kasey and Zandria both gave their best efforts today," said Peterson, "but came up a bit shot from having the opportunity to advance to the finals. I know that this experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives. They are going to benefit a lot form the things they learned while at Tulane, both on the field and in the classroom, and a part of our program."
The Split, Croatia native joins sprinter Gloria Asumnu and distance standout Hanne Lyngstad - who each advanced four times - as the only three Green Wave student-athletes to advance to the NCAA Championships thre or more times in their respective careers. Ruzevic was a First Team All-American last season when she finished fourth overall at the 2011 national meet.
"I am thrilled for Ana," Peterson said. "This was her third successful NCAA East Regional Championship and she has earned the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Championships for the third time. (Our coaching staff) is now focused on helping her prepare so that she can have a successful trip to the NCAA National Meet."
Estefany Cruz will close out the Green Wave stay at the NCAA East Regional Meet on Saturday, May 26 when the freshman takes to the runway in the triple jump. Cruz enters as the 18th ranked jumper in the region and will look to make her move into the top 12 and move on to Drake.
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