SEATTLE - Former Husky Katie (Follett) Mackey ran for Team USA for the first time this weekend in the Bahamas, helping set an American Record in the 4x1500-meter relay and earning a silver medal. Mackey and the U.S. squad was taking part in the inaugural IAAF World Relays Championships, the only outdoor world championship meet on the calendar in 2014.
Hosted in the Bahamas in the city of Nassau, at Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, the World Relays Championships offer a new wrinkle to international track & field, which typically rewards national prowess only in the sprints, with the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays in the World Championships and Olympic Games. Those races were held this weekend as well, but longer relay distances of 4x800-meters and 4x1500-meters brings in a new group of athletes to the mix.
Mackey was on the second leg of the 4x1500, taking the baton from Heather Kampf. She ran into a runner from the Australian team during the handoff and took a spill, but got back up and got back into the race. Kate Grace and Brenda Martinez ran the final two legs as the U.S. took second behind Kenya in 16:55.33, more than 12 seconds faster than the old American Record. The Kenyans established a new World Record for the event in 16:33.58.
“Bahamians sure know how to throw a world class meet and turn it into a party!" said Mackey. "Flames, dancers & cheering helped us bring home the AR despite an imperfect race. It was an honor to represent the long-standing tradition of excellence in USA track and field by wearing the American flag on my jersey for the first time!”