Women’s Masters Mile
The female middle distance action got started with the Masters Mile. Eight women qualified for the event, but after three scratches the field was set at five. Sonja Friend-Uhl of the Atlanta Track Club was the fastest qualifier (4:49) and would run the race solo winning in 4:56. She was followed by Jennifer St. Jean (5:12) and Chris Gentile (5:25).
Women’s 800 meters
This race was anticipated to be a barn burner with Ajee Wilson leading the way. Wilson headed to the front immediately and held the position the entire race. With 150 meters to go she was well clear of the field making it a fight for second and the final World Team spot. Phoebe Wright, Laura Roesler, and McKayla Fricker fought down the final straight with Roesler crossing the line 0.07 second ahead of Wright.
Geena Gall was never a factor in the race. Afterwards she was upbeat. Gall said that she was surprised at the lack of pop in her legs. Although the race did not go out particularly fast, she lost contact with the lead pack early on. Gall will use the rest of the month to train and looks to open up her outdoor season in April, likely at the University of Oregon.
Women’s 1500 meters
The final middle distance event of the meet was the 1,500 meters. Shannon Rowbury elected not to contest the event. The field remained deep and included Brenda Martinex, Cory McGee, Heather Kampf, and Katie Mackey. For most of the race the competitors remained bunched together. In the last third of the race Martinez made her characteristic move and quickly left the field. Only McGee was able to go with Martinez, leaving Heather Kampf in a distant third.
Afterwards, Kampf, who is typically a force in the later stages of the race, stated that she had been feeling under the weather in the days leading up to the meet. Unfortunate timing, but she is looking forward to outdoor and the Olympic Team Trials in July.
Cory McGee was jubulent after the race and said that she was never so happy to be second. She credited her coach Mark Coogan with transforming her as an athlete. McGee focused on keeping her composure and not getting tangled up when a move happened.