UC Irvine’s Charles Jock will run his first race at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Track & Field Championships on Friday, Aug. 26, in Daegu, South Korea.
The two-time All-American will compete in the first round of the 800 meters at 8 p.m. (Pacific time) in the 66,000-seat Daegu Stadium. Semifinals are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2 a.m., and the final is set for Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 5 a.m. Korea is 16 hours ahead of California.
Jock is in the fourth heat of the first round, along with world-record-holder David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya. The top three runners in each heat plus those with the six next-fastest times will advance to the semifinals. Television coverage – live and delayed – will be provided by Universal Sports.
A graduate of Mission Bay High School in San Diego, Jock is entering his senior year at UCI. He earned a berth on the U.S. team for the world championships with his performance in the 800 meters at the USA Track & Field Championships on June 26. In the final at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Jock led for the first 700 meters and finished third with a school-record time of 1:44.67, breaking his own school mark of 1:44.75 set at the NCAA championships earlier in June.
Oregon TC Elite’s Nick Symmonds, a 2008 Olympian, won the race in 1:44.17, and Nike’s Khadevis Robinson was second with a time of 1:44.49. Jock, Symmonds and Robinson are the American 800-meter competitors in the IAAF championships.
Two-time Big West Conference Athlete of the Year, Jock was runner-up by four-hundredths of a second at the NCAA championships in Des Moines, Iowa, June 10. He currently ranks 19th in the world.
“My main goal for the world championships is to make the final,” Jock says. “In order to do that, I know I will need to bring my ‘A’ game for the semis. If I do make the final, then it’s all fun from there. I will enjoy the experience and do my best.”
At 21, he is the youngest of the U.S. trio. Symmonds is 27 and Robinson 35.
“I definitely hope to pick their brains a bit,” Jock says. “They have a lot of experience with championship racing and international competition, so I hope to learn a thing or two from spending time with them.”
The urban studies major has Olympic aspirations for 2012 – and beyond.
“An Olympic berth would be a real example of how hard work pays off,” Jock says, “and would definitely be encouraging for the 2016 and, possibly, the 2020 games as well.”
UCI head coach Vince O’Boyle and associate head coach Jeff Perkins will attend the meet in Daegu to support Jock.
“Charles has had an outstanding track season,” O’Boyle says. “To finish second in the NCAA championships and then, two weeks later, place third and earn a spot on the U.S. world team is a stellar accomplishment. I feel he is ready to represent the United States and run his first international races at the top level.”