Courtesy of Cornell Athletc Communications
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Former Cornell track and field great Morgan Uceny '07 won her first career outdoor U.S.A. 1,500 meter title on Saturday at the USATF Championships in Eugene, Ore. She earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea from August 27 to September 4.
Uceny looked terrific in winning the title against arguably the deepest and most competitive field in the women's middle distance and distance events at these USATF Championships. Lining up against 2008 Olympians Jenny Simpson, Christin Wurth-Thomas, Anna Pierce (formerly of Brown) and Shannon Rowbury (the 2009 world championships bronze medalist), as well as World Championship team vetern Treniere Moser and college star Jordan Hasay of Oregon, Uceny settled into second after Wurth-Thomas set a blistering opening pace for the first 400 meters.
Uceny crossed through 400 in 63.0 and was already 10 meters back, and then she split 800 in 2:10.8 and was 30 meters down on the hard-charging Wurth-Thomas.
With 400 to go, Wurth-Thomas still had a sizeable lead. Uceny led the chase pack that included Simpson, Rowbury and Pierce. Morgan split 1200 in 3:17.2 and then began to pull away from the rest of the chase pack. She ran her last 400 in 62.33 (her final 300 was 46.5) and inexorably closed the gap on Wurth-Thomas throughout the final lap, ultimately rolling past her with 80 meters to go to win by nearly two seconds, crossing the line in 4:03.91.
Uceny now heads to Europe to compete on the racing circuit there. She became the first Cornellian to qualify to represent the United States for the IAAF World Championships since Hall of Famer Stephanie Best '91, who made the U.S. team, also in the 1500, in 1999.