LA Tech’s Heath advances to regional final

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Rodney Heath Jr. and Jamie Sancho represented LA Tech Track & Field at the NCAA East Regional track meet in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday night, with Heath Jr. advancing to Friday’s NCAA quarterfinal round.

“I am extremely proud of Rodney and Sancho,” said Director of Track & Field Brian Johnson. “They came out and represented the program well, and Rodney advanced and ran a personal best. I can’t wait until Friday and see how he competes in the regional final.”

Heath Jr. ran a 10.13 and finished second in his NCAA East Regional first-round heat to automatically qualify for a chance to head to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA Championships. Heath Jr.’s race is scheduled for Friday, May 26, at 5:35 p.m.

The sophomore put together an impressive back half of the race to come from behind and complete his second-place run, which marks the third-fastest time in LA Tech history. Heath Jr. continues to place his name in the Bulldog’s record books and now owns six of the top-ten times, including the four fastest.

Heath Jr. finished with the 13th overall fastest time Wednesday night out of the 48-member field. He is the first LA Tech athlete to reach the NCAA quarterfinal in the 100m since Jeremy Hicks in 2016.

Wednesday night’s first round cut the field in half, and Friday evening’s race is slated to cut the field again from 24 down to 12. The quarterfinal race will consist of three eight-member heats, with the top-three fastest times in each heat and the three remaining fastest times qualifying.

In the men’s 200m first round, Sancho posted a time of 21.03 to finish seventh in the eight-member heat. The Madrid, Spain, product completed his stellar freshman campaign as the No. 41 ranked 200m sprinter in the East Region.

He registered three times during 2023, breaking the 21-second mark, including a personal best of 20.64 at the Maroon and White Invite in Starkville, Miss. His 20.64 was just 0.02 seconds off the tenth-best time in LA Tech program history.