School — Cornell (2007)
Country — USA
Hometown — Plymouth, Ind.
Event — 1500m (NBC Preview)
Event First Round — Mon., August 6, 6:45 am Eastern
Event Semifinals — Wed., August 8, 2:45 pm Eastern
Event Finals — Fri., August 10, 3:55 pm Eastern
Even before becoming an Olympian, Morgan Uceny was in contention of being one of the most dominant female middle distance runners in Ivy League history. The native Hoosier ran to six 800m and five relay (four 4x4s and a 4×8) conference titles, helping the Big Red win six straight indoor-outdoor conference titles. She also earned four All-American honors (2005 & 2006). All of that in three years as she did not run varsity as a freshman.
When she turned pro, she initially stuck with the 800m while training in Michigan but failed make much progress. Not until 2009 — when Uceny moved to California to began training with former Olympian and Ivy Leaguer Anna (Willard) Pierce and Coach Terrence Mahon — did she begin to see improvement in her times. Uceny did a few 1500m races in 2010 as some off-800 training (including winning the 2010 national title in the indoor 1500m) when she noticed that her 1500m times were more competitive than her 800m.
In 2011, she began racing the 1500m full time and won the 2011 USA National Championship in the 1500m. Her dominance in the Diamond League circuit led her to be the favorite for the gold medal at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Unfortunately, she was tripped up in the finals and finished 10th. She did not let that be the determining race of her season as she claimed the final Diamond League race in Brussels (effectively winning the DL 1500m circuit title) with a new personal best and 2011 top time of 4:00.06. In 2012, Uceny defended her outdoor national title at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Indianapolis Star: Uceny Poised To Medal After Years of Struggling
Running Times Magazine: The Rise and Fall of Morgan Uceny
Sports Illustrated: At Peace, Morgan Uceny Bids For A World Medal
Runner’s World Magazine: The Rising Stars: Simpson & Uceny
Los Angeles Times: U.S. Runners Trains In The Mountains With Podium Climb In Mind