LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Brandeis University graduate student Irie Gourde (Portland, Ore./York Academy, Toronto) has qualified for his second final at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Gourde, who already qualified for tomorrow's final in the 200-meter dash, ran in the better of his two events today, the 400-meter dash. Entering the meet as the fifth seed, Gourde ran in the second of three heats out of Lane Eight. He was quickly among the top two of the race, then jumped out to a large lead after the second turn. He ended up winning his heat with a time of 46.99 seconds, lowering his own school record by a whopping 0.47 seconds. Over the course of the season, he has now lowered Brandeis's previous all-time best by more than three-quarters of a second, besting the mark of 47.77 set by James Thomas '77 that had stood for more than 40 years.
Gourde will enter tomorrow's finals as the second seed, behind the winner of the first heat, Patrick Mikel of Loras, who ran 46.81 seconds and was the top seed entering the meet. Gourde will try for his second and third career All-America honors when he runs the 400-meter dash at 1:10 PM Central/2:10 PM Eastern and the 200 meters at 2:40/3:40. He could be the first Brandeis male to win multiple All-America honors at the same outdoor meet since Greg Steelman '91 won the discus and took third in the shotput in 1984. He'd be the first runner to achieve the feat since 1974, when Manny Rivera '74 and Harold Small '74 both won individual honors in the 880-yard run and as part of the mile relay.
Junior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hill, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) was scheduled to run in the women's 800-meter run at 5:15 Central/6:15 Eastern, but the meet was halted due to a lightning delay.