Amanda Mergaert ran a season-best time to advance to the finals on Saturday
June 6, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Utah Track and Field's Amanda Mergaert qualified for the finals of the 1500 meters this evening at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus
Mergaert ran her best time of the season, 4:14.89, and placed fifth in her semifinal heat. She now advances to the finals of the event on Saturday at 3:20 MT
"I thought she ran a very comfortable race," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "I think she thought the race would run a little faster but the front runners didn't hammer the pace. I thought she ran a savvy, intelligent 1500 and now it is on to the finals."
The senior All-American in both cross country and track is making her third appearance at the NCAA Championships. In her previous two trips, she had failed to reach the finals, but not this year.
"The goal was to get a top-five finish," Mergaert said. "I was counting the whole way so I knew I did not need to push harder than I did at the end. I knew I had three to four steps on the girl behind me in sixth."
Last weekend in Austin at the NCAA Preliminaries, Mergaert ran the fastest time in the trials, winning her heat in 4:19.08. She advanced to the quarterfinals and finished nine-hundredths of a second off her best time of the season placing fourth in her heat and seventh overall with a time of 4:15.19.