TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The quest for Olympic medals by Florida State athletes competing in London will continue Tuesday as Maurice Mitchell makes his debut in the 200-meter dash, Barbara Parker tackles the 5000-meter run and Seminole newcomer Anne Zagre attempts to move on to the finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
Monday was a relatively light day for the Olympians with Seminole ties, but not without its share of drama.
Belgian twins Kevin Borlee and Jonathan Borlee came up short in their quest for hardware in the extremely swift 400-meter dash finals. Despite impressive work through the qualifying and semifinal rounds, the Borlee twins were facing long odds as they had to tackle the field from lanes 9 and 2, respectively.
Kevin navigated the outside lane in impressive fashion, but his time of 44.81 was only good for fifth place. Jonathan, working the tight inside curves, was a fraction back in 44.83 to finish sixth.
Another Belgian athlete, 2012 Seminole signee Anne Zagre, actually kicked the day of action off in the opening heat of the 100-meter hurdles. Zagre, who will be a junior at FSU this coming semester, advanced to the semifinal rounds on time after finishing fourth in a solid time of 13.04.
Zagre will compete in today’s semifinal rounds, set for 2:31 p.m. (ET), where she drew lane 1 in the third and final heat. The top two finishers in each heat, plus the next two fastest finishers overall will advance to the evening finals.
Hannah England made her Olympic debut in the opening heat of the 1500m run count, qualifying for the semifinals with a fifth-place finish in 4:05.73. Her time would have been fast enough to win both the second and third heats on the day. Regardless, the middle distance star from Great Britain will return to action Wednesday in an attempt to match or better her 2011 IAAF World Championship runner-up finish.
The long-awaited Olympic debut of Mitchell will end bright and early as the USA Trials runner-up in the 200 will compete in the qualifying rounds. Mitchell has drawn lane nine for his third heat race, which is set to go off at 6:50 a.m. (ET) and can be seen live at www.nbcolympics.com. The two-time NCAA champion has run the fastest time of all the runners in his heat and should advance. The top three runners in each of the seven heats, plus the next three fastest times overall, will move on to Wednesday’s semifinals.
Parker has a rare chance to make up for the disappointment that befell her during Saturday’s qualifying round of the 3000-meter steeplechase, when she was spiked midway through the race and failed to qualify. The Great Britain standout is expected to toe the starting line in the first of two qualifying heats of the 5000-meter run, with the top five from each heat, plus the next five fastest moving on to the finals. Her race is set for 5:55 a.m.