Yale senior Kate Grace is no longer running to be an All-American. Been there, done that.
“Now [reaching the NCAA Final] is a goal, but it’s not the end goal,” Grace told Natalie Villa of the Yale Sports Publicity Office. “You don’t get this far and dream about second! I want to win.”
The repeat All-American is better positioned to reach that lofty aspiration, as she has qualified for Friday’s national final with another strong run, this time clocking the second-best time in the national semifinals at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday. She dipped below 2:04 for the second straight race, running 2:03.48 to automatically advance.
Princeton junior All-American Donn Cabral also sailed into the national finals in the steeplechase, running second in his heat with a time of 8:44.56. After finishing second in the finals a year ago, he will get his shot at the crown on Friday as well.
Others competing in Des Moines on Wednesday included Cornell junior decathlete Nick Huber, Brown senior javelin thrower Craig Kinsley, Princeton junior pole vault David Slovenski, Harvard senior middle distance runner Brian Hill, Princeton sophomore middle distance runner Russell Dinkins and Cornell senior steeplechaser Adrien Dannemiller.
Huber racked up 3,903 points on day one and sits in 15th place overall. His best performance came in the 400-meter dash, where he was timed in 48.68, good for 876 points. Kinsley and Slovenski each finished 12th nationally. For Kinsley, the defending NCAA Champion, it was a disappointment as his best toss (70.03, 229-9) did not qualify for the final round of additional throws. Slovenski, a true big-time performer, had a fantastic day, clearing 5.25 meters (17-2 3/4).
Dinkins and Hill did not advance to the national final in the 800-meter run, yet Dinkins’ mark of 1:48.26 was the best time posted by an Ivy League runner this year. Cornell’s Dannemiller did not make the final round of the steeple.
Here are Thursday’s competitors:
Thursday, June 9
3 pm • Men’s decathlon — Nick Huber (Cornell)
3 pm • Men’s hammer throw national final — Craig Pearce (Princeton)
7:30 pm • Women’s steeplechase semifinal — Ashley Higginson (Princeton)
8:20 pm • Men’s 4x400m relay semifinal — Princeton (Hopkins, Dinkins, Eddy, Hollimon)
8:50 pm • Men’s 10,000m national final — Nate Edelman (Cornell)