June 7, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - NCAA Champion and 10-time All-American Emily Infeld (University Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) ran the second-fastest time in today's semifinal heat of the 1,500-meter run to advance to Saturday's final at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Today was the second of the four-day championships held on the campus of Drake University.
Infeld competed in the first of two heats with the top five from each heat and the next two best times advancing automatically to the finals on Saturday. Through her first 300 meters, Infeld stayed in the mix toward the back, not moving toward the front until she had logged 400 meters. She tucked in the top five and running a smart trace, stayed on the inside along the rail through the bell. As the field moved toward the final stretch, Infeld moved into the lead just narrowly getting edged out by Stony Brook's Lucy Van Dalen at the end. Infeld clocked 4:11.73 to automatically qualify for the final on Saturday set for 12:28 p.m. ET.
Also competing in the women's 1,500 semifinals was All-American Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas), competing in the second heat. Schneider was in a tough field and didn't see the right opening to make a move on the outside until the bell signaled the final lap. As she came off the first turn she made a move on the outside, establishing a spot on the rail through the back straight. With 200 meters to go, the entire field really turned in an all-out sprint with Schneider recording a time of 4:16.15 to finish ninth in her heat.
It is a career best for Schneider and a true testament to the success the event has had in the last six years. At the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships former Hoya and four-time All-American Elizabeth Maloy took seventh overall in the 1,500-meter finals, running 4:18.93. Today, that time would have been the 20th-fastest time in the semifinal heats.
In the women's 4x400-meter semifinals, the Hoyas led off with Tenille Stoudenmire (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) as they started the race in lane seven. With London Finley (Los Angeles, Calif./St. Mary's Academy) taking over the carry for the second leg, a 52.6 unofficial split from the senior put the Hoyas in sixth place after the second exchange. All-American Chelsea Cox (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) handed off in seventh with All-American Amanda Kimbers (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) taking over the anchor leg. She was able to catch one team on the back stretch but the field had stretched a bit too thin for her to catch anyone else. The Hoyas finished sixth in their heat with a time of 3:36.86, not enough to advance to Saturday's final.
The Hoyas continue the competition through Saturday. Finley will compete tomorrow in the finals of the women's 400-meter hurdles scheduled for 6:45 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the championships will be available via ESPN3.com on Friday with live coverage on ESPNU available on Saturday, June 9.