Those who paid attention to the Heps Championships in the mid-2000s know that Cornell graduate Morgan Uceny simply dominated the 800-meter field, often winning without any pressure.
Now she has begun to dominate the national scene, winning the 1,500-meter run at the USA Nationals in Eugene, Ore., by nearly two seconds. Now representing adidas, Uceny finished in 4:03.91 ahead of runnerup Jennifer Simpson of New Balance (4:05.66). Uceny and Simpson will be joined at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, by Shannon Rowbury, who edged Christin Wurth by 0.01 seconds for third.
Wurth took out a quick pace with the field as many as three seconds behind late into the race, but Uceny blazed the final 400 meters in 1:02.33, easily the quickest lap in the entire race.
“Christin is always so strong, that’s how she likes to run her races,” said Uceny, who won her first national title. “When I heard that bell on the last lap, my legs felt good and I knew I could reel her in.”
“It feels great, it’s something I have wanted for so long. I hadn’t felt good for awhile but it is worth it for all of the training I have done to be here.”
Cornell assistant coach Artie Smith reports that Uceny now heads across the Atlantic to compete on the European racing circuit as the first Cornellian to qualify for the IAAF World Championships since Hall of Famer Stephanie Best, who made the U.S. team in the 1500 in 1999.
Two junior competitors had fine showings on Saturday as incoming Princetonian Eddie Owens was second in the steeplechase in 9:04.79, about five seconds behind winner Maximilian Darrah of Georgetown, and Dartmouth rookie Joseph Woiwode took eighth in the 800-meter run in 1:52.45.