Amanda Mergaert had the third-fastest time among collegiate runners
June 20, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa – Utah's Amanda Mergaert qualified for the finals of the 1500 meters this afternoon at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and now has a chance of earning a spot on the national team for the World Championships in August.
“I’m a little in shock at this whole experience,” Mergaert said. “My goal was to make it to the finals and so I can’t even explain how happy I am to have made it to Saturday. Now I’ll rest up and see if I can do even better, hopefully get a PR, in the finals.”
Running in the faster of the two heats against the best in the nation, Mergaert placed eighth with a time of 4:15.54. She advanced to the finals by six one-hundredths of a second and had the third-fastest time of any collegiate runner.
“It’s a special deal for her to do so well in her first US Championship meet,” head coach Kyle Kepler said. “She ran a great race and did enough to advance to the finals. It’s just her second nature to survive and advance in these types of races. She gave another great effort today and I am excited for her.”
Mergaert will race in the finals on Saturday at 3:45 MT. They will be shown live on Universal Sports. Provided they’ve met the relevant qualifying standard, the first three finishers will represent the U.S. at the World Championships in Moscow.
A few weeks ago, Mergaert became only the second Ute to earn All-American honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track as she finished third in the 1500 meter final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Mergaert eclipsed her best time of the season by running 4:14.30 and becoming the seventh Utah outdoor track and field All-American.
Mergaert was one of five NCAA student-athletes this season to finish in the top 15 during the cross country championships and also earn All-American honors in both indoor and outdoor track. She also became the first All-American for Utah in the 1500m since 1982 (Carla Pittelkow).