Sprinting along

Change in focus helps Mesa's Rowe lower time in 100 dash

Colorado Mesa’s Whitney Rowe has been focusing on improving her quickness out of the blocks and it has paid off in her sophomore season. Rowe ran an 11.94-second time in the 100 meters in April, which qualified her for the prestigious Mt. Sac Relays this weekend in Walnut, Calif.

She used to focus on a time.

Now, Colorado Mesa sophomore Whitney Rowe is focused on her technique and it’s already paid off.

The sprinter for the CMU women’s track team qualified for the prestigious Mt. Sac Relays this weekend in Walnut, Calif.

“It is definitely the highest performance meet I’ve ever ran,” Rowe said.

She will race in the women’s open 100-meter dash Friday afternoon.

More than 9,000 track & field Olympic hopefuls compete in the Mt. Sac Relays each year.

Rowe posted a time of 11.94 seconds in the 100 meters April 6
in the Dan Kirby Tailwind Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. to qualify for the Mt. Sac Relays.

“She came in as a freshman with lots of goals and aspirations,” CMU coach Katrice Thomas said. “She didn’t necessarily hit them right away because she was putting so much pressure on herself, like it was something she had to do. I think this year, she’s gone at it much better.

“She hated me when I put her in the 400-meter dash. She said, ‘I’m going to run the heck out of it.’ “

She ended up running a 59.17 in her first 400 three weeks ago at Utah Valley University’s meet.

“I changed my thought process,” Rowe said. “I was used to going into a meet with a certain time in my head. Now, my focus is on the blocks and technique.”

As a result, she had one of her best collegiate meets in Albuquerque.

“My oldest brother was there,” Rowe said. “It was the first time I saw him since Thanksgiving and I hadn’t seen him in more than year before that, so the pressure was on. I wanted to show him I’m a great sprinter.

“I wasn’t expecting a certain time, but I wanted to hit a (national) provisional and break the 12-second mark.”

Rowe’s time ranks her 16th in NCAA Division II. If she remains in the top 20, Rowe will qualify for the NCAA Division II national championships May 24-26 in Pueblo.

Rowe is from Burnaby, B.C., near Vancouver. She graduated in 2010, but couldn’t enroll in college right away because she didn’t have an accredited math class in high school.

After taking the required math course at a local community college, she could attend a U.S. college.

“I was looking at Division II schools and had a few in mind,” Rowe said. “I sent out videos and Katrice replied in a day or so. We scheduled a recruiting trip and I loved it.

“Mesa had the most beautiful campus I visited and it was the only one with a performance lab. I could tell Katrice believed in me. She is the first woman coach I’ve ever had.”

Having the Monfort Family Human Performance Lab was a big draw.

“The performance lab is great,” Rowe said. “The camera showed my form and has helped my running. Some of my friends at Division I schools don’t have a performance lab.”

Rowe is ranked in the top five in the RMAC in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump.

“We’re lucky,” Thomas said. “I’m glad she’s here, obviously.”

Rowe already has CMU’s 100 and 200 outdoor records along with the 100, 200 and 300 indoor records.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the best of it yet,” Thomas said. “She has a better mindset, but she can apply it better. In the next year, she has hopes of making the Canadian Olympic team. That’s her long-term goal. She definitely has the talent to get that done.”


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