Katie Mackey Makes 1,500m Finals
June 29, 2012
U.S. TRACK & FIELD OLYMPIC TRIALS
» Mackey Post-Race Interview
EUGENE, Ore. - Four years apart in age, two of the best women's distance runners in Washington history both took to the Hayward Field track today, one in each semifinal heat of the 1,500-meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Current sophomore and NCAA Champion Katie Flood ran a PR in the first semi but just missed the final, while 2010 grad Katie (Follett) Mackey powered her way into her second straight U.S. final.
Mackey, an eight-time All-American and the UW school record-holder at 1,500-meters took to the front of the second semifinal and led most of the race. Mackey won her second Pac-10 1,500-meter title at Hayward in 2009, and made the semifinals of the 2008 Olympic Trials also at Hayward. With 200-meters to go, she gave up the lead but did not fade, pushing hard to finish third in her heat in a time of 4:10.54 and get an auto spot in the final.
"I just wanted to do whatever it took," said Mackey to Flotrack.org. "I just wanted to be in the final and give myself a shot. One of the things about being in the lead is it's nice because you can stay out of trouble. You're not having to worry so much about the pushing and shoving, but you have to be ready for when the women behind you will make a move. If you're ready for it then you just have to respond."
Flood saw her sensational sophomore season come to a close today, but not before running one more personal-best. The six-time All-American was relegated to the back of the pack from the start of the race, and several times looked for room to move up but the pack remained tightly bunched and the honest pace made it tough. When the leaders moved on the last lap, Flood closed well but was out of contention, finishing eighth in the 12-woman field in a time of 4:11.38.
Still, that time is a new career-best for Flood, as she finished 14th overall, just two spots away from the final. She was also the top finishing collegiate in the semifinal round.
"It wasn't ideal, obviously, but it was a good season and I can't complain too much," said Flood to Flotrack. "(The Trials) have been so much fun. It's been unlike anything I've ever done before. I haven't really been able to take everything in but I'll be here another three days."
Mackey will now race for one of the coveted top-three spots in the final on Sunday at 4:23 p.m. She'll also need to hit the Olympic "A" standard of 4:06.00 as her season-best is 4:06.67. Mackey is the final athlete with UW ties to compete at this year's Trials.