UPDATE: Carlos Jamieson finished 11th in the NCAA East Regionals 1,500 meters, and Octavia Rinehardt finished 34th in the 5,000 meters. Neither advanced to the NCAA Championship meet.
Carlos Jamieson and Octavia Rinehardt are at opposite stages of their collegiate athletic life cycles. Yet this weekend, their missions will be the same.
Each is representing AU at the NCAA track and field regionals in Greensboro, N.C. While Jamieson hopes to extend his highly successful career by qualifying for nationals in the 1,500 meters, Rinehardt’s attempt to make it to the NCAA Championships in the 5,000 meters marks the culmination of a rookie season that has shown much promise for the future.
Jamieson, who graduated earlier this month with a degree in justice, and Rinehardt, a rising sophomore, are bookends of the AU track program.
“I’m not messing with Carlos,” said Coach Matt Centrowitz. “I’m sure he can come in in the top five. If you can’t do that, you’re not going to do much at nationals anyway. Octavia’s performance has been fantastic. She has come on second semester. She learned patience and how to compete.”
Jamieson earned his spot in the regionals by posting a qualifying time at the Bucknell Outdoor Games in early April. This will be his second trip to the meet. Last year he qualified for nationals in the 5,000 meters, but after a disappointing showing in the NCAAs, he changed his focus to the 1,500 this season.
“Last year I developed the strength, and this year we’ve been working more on training on speed,” he said.
Jamieson credits much of his success to Centrowitz. He has shaved more than 10 seconds—an eternity in the 1,500—off his time from his freshman year. This season, his last, he’ll be disappointed with anything less than a national championship. His personal best is 3:42.43, fast, but will it be fast enough? Jamieson knows he’ll have to top that if he wants to beat Georgetown’s Liam Boylan-Pett, whom he considers the favorite.
“I’m pretty excited, and already playing the race out in my mind,” he said last week before his daily training session. “I’m picturing what I have to do to maximize my performance.”
Rinehardt enters the meet with a slightly different outlook. As a freshman, she knows her best days likely are in front of her, yet she does not want to squander what clearly is a huge opportunity. She earned her spot in the regionals by winning the Patriot League 1,500 meter title.
“Right now I’m taking it one step at a time,” the aspiring international relations major said. “I want to run my best, and I want it to be a learning experience.”
Count Centrowitz as an Octavia believer.
“Winning the Patriot League championship, especially in a distance event, is a great mental boost for her,” he said. “Winning is the first step, running fast comes next.”
A bit of wisdom his senior knows well, and his star freshman is learning quickly.