Buffy Rabbitt of UC Irvine will compete in a women's 1,500-meter heat today at the USA-Mobil track and field championships at San Jose City College.
Rabbitt, a sophomore, ran a personal best of 4 minutes 16.83 seconds at the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference finals at UC Irvine last month to meet the national championship qualifying standard of 4:17.01.
The leading competition in today's trials includes El Toro's Ruth Wysocki, a 1984 Olympian; Suzy Favor, the 1986 NCAA cross-country champion from the University of Wisconsin, and Regina Jacobs of the Los Angeles Track Club.
The top four finishers from each of three heats will advance to Saturday's final.
"This will be Buffy's biggest race ever," said Vince O'Boyle, Anteater coach. "She's so competitive, she could surprise people. But we want her to get in and run more so for the experience for Olympic trials next year."
Irvine's other top middle-distance runner, Jill Harrington, scratched from today's 1,500-meter trials. Harrington, a senior, has a stress fracture in her left shin and will remain out of competition for six weeks.