America’s Newest Star Was Our Star First (UPDATED)


UPDATE: Morgan Uceny didn’t win the 1,500-meter run at the Diamond League’s stop in Monaco today, but she did run faster than ever before (4:01.51) as she finished third behind two-time world champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain and Moroccan Ibtissam Lakhouad. Uceny was the top American in the strong field, more than two seconds ahead of Jenny Barringer-Simpson and five seconds ahead of Shannon Rowbury and Shalane Flanagan. The field at large was amazing, featuring eight of the top 10 runners in the world. Uceny continues to lead in terms of Diamond League points (with 11), but Jamal has pulled closer, now just two points behind. The Diamond League has stops remaining in Stockholm, London, Zurich and Brussels.

NBC Universal is featuring the women’s 1,500-meter race at the Diamond League meet in Monaco today for little reason other than Cornell graduate Morgan Uceny. Here’s what the website says:

Morgan Uceny, the surprise Diamond League leader after victories in Lausanne and Birmingham, will once again take on world champion Maryam Jamal and two-time world indoor medalist Gelete Burka. Monaco will be the second Diamond League meeting for Hind Dehiba, who took third in Lausanne after a Swiss court ordered the meeting to issue her an invitation, saying that the refusal of top athletics meetings to invite athletes who have served drug bans is a restraint of trade.

Unmentioned in the race are some big American names like steeple-converter Jenny Barringer Simpson, rabbit-like Christin Wurth-Thomas, Shannon Rowbury and distance star Shalane Flanagan. The whole field is below (updated with results) and you can watch the meet live today for $2.99 at UniversalSports.com.

Here’s something to consider about Uceny, who also won the U.S. Nationals and is heading to Worlds — this is a relatively new event for her. She was a stone-cold 800-meter star in college, running the 1,500m just three times, according to the folks at LetsRun.com (and they would know!). She won ECACs (in 4:17.18) in 2007 and then took fourth at USA Nationals in just her seventh stab at the event!

LetsRun has done the math and today’s meet in Monaco will be just the 30th 1,500m event of her career. And she is unquestionably the big draw these days.

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