Track: Squad aims for final shot at qualifying

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    Select members of the TCU track team will leave today to compete in three last-chance meets this weekend as a final attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships next weekend.Head coach Darryl Anderson said only the top 16 in the NCAA will be eligible to compete at the championships next week. He also said the meets this weekend at LSU, Iowa State and Notre Dame will give runners a final shot at improving or ensuring their rankings.

    “You’re going because you want to either get in the top 16 or stay in the top 16,” Anderson said.

    He said athletes will go to the meets with the strongest competition in their events.

    Sprinter Virgil Hodge will be competing at LSU because she is currently tied for 17th in the women’s 60-meter dash with LSU sophomore Brooklynn Morris at a time of 7.33 seconds.

    I’m ready,” said Hodge, who is also ranked No. 10 in the women’s 200-meter dash. “I’m confident I’ll run against time and get back in the top 16.”

    Sprinter Lewis Banda, who will be competing at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, this weekend, said he also feels confident about this weekend as long as he remains healthy.

    “The weather changes,” Banda said. “It’s hot, and then I go to a cold city, and I get sick.”

    Banda is currently ranked No. 7 in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 46.53 seconds. He is also a member of TCU’s No. 11 400-meter relay team with a time of 3 minutes and 8.14 seconds.

    Banda said this weekend will give him an opportunity to run with faster competition.

    “So far I’ve only raced once with really fast people,” Banda said. “This will give me a clue how other people are running.