Women’s 800, 1500 and Steeple Prelim Recaps: The Big Favorites Move On To Set Up Some Great Finals

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by LetsRun.com
June 11, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. — Below we recap the women’s 800, 1500 and steeplechase prelims that were held today at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Women’s 800

The biggest names in the women’s 800 all moved on to Saturday’s final as the top 5 entrants based on seasonal best all moved on.

The biggest casualties were the #6, #7 and #8 seeds as Baylor’s Olicia Williams (2:02.26 sb), Oklahoma State’s Kaela Edwards (2:02.63 sb) and LSU’s Morgan Schuetz (2:03.12 sb) all didn’t make the final.

Heat 1

The two qualifiers out of this heat Hanna Green and Claudia Sanders both had things under control entering the homestretch and for good reason as they put up the two fastest times on the day. Virginia Tech’s Hanna Green led this one from start to finish.



111195Hanna GreenVirginia Tech2:03.35 Q27.84 [27.84]59.47 [31.64]1:32.03 [32.57]2:03.35 [31.33]
29027Claudia SaundersStanford2:03.38 Q28.34 [28.34]59.53 [31.20]1:32.05 [32.53]2:03.38 [31.33]
33864Alethia MarreroIndiana State2:04.01q28.24 [28.24]59.56 [31.32]1:32.18 [32.62]2:04.01 [31.83]
48973Olivia BakerStanford2:04.5528.02 [28.02]59.71 [31.69]1:32.38 [32.68]2:04.55 [32.17]
55118Morgan SchuetzLSU2:04.8229.03 [29.03]59.76 [30.74]1:32.12 [32.36]2:04.82 [32.71]
6896Rebekka SimkoArkansas2:05.1628.31 [28.31]59.96 [31.65]1:32.51 [32.55]2:05.16 [32.66]
711321Baylee MiresWashington2:05.3328.41 [28.41]1:00.02 [31.61]1:32.46 [32.45]2:05.33 [32.88]
82482Carina SchrempfEastern Kentucky2:06.4828.22 [28.22]59.79 [31.57]1:32.30 [32.52]2:06.48 [34.19]


Heat 2

This heat was incredibly tactical as the first lap was run in 67.99 for the leader. Yes 67.99.

At that point, BYU’s Shea Martinez made a big move to get things going. She had the least at 600 and was followed closely by Baylor’s Olicia Williams but over the final 100 they’d lost their qualifying spots to Oregon’s Reavyn Rogers and Florida’s Claudia Francis. Rogers, who experienced disappointment on this track in a big stage last year at World Juniors when she faltered near the finish and failed to make the finals at World Juniors, went from 4th to 1st to the delight of the crowd.


17724Raevyn RogersOregon2:06.94 Q30.56 [30.56]1:08.08 [37.52]1:38.93 [30.85]2:06.94 [28.02]
22606Claudia FrancisFlorida2:07.77 Q30.40 [30.40]1:07.99 [37.59]1:38.45 [30.47]2:07.77 [29.33]
31602Shea MartinezBYU2:08.4830.88 [30.88]1:08.43 [37.55]1:37.97 [29.54]2:08.48 [30.52]
41295Olicia WilliamsBaylor2:08.4930.79 [30.79]1:08.24 [37.45]1:38.22 [29.98]2:08.49 [30.27]
56788Kenyetta IyevbeleNorth Carolina St.2:09.1230.60 [30.60]1:08.23 [37.64]1:38.51 [30.28]2:09.12 [30.62]
67163Katie BorchersOhio State2:09.1730.65 [30.65]1:08.18 [37.54]1:38.56 [30.39]2:09.17 [30.61]
75997Brooke FeldmeierMississippi2:13.6530.81 [30.81]1:08.60 [37.80]1:41.03 [32.43]2:13.65 [32.63]
81591Kelsey Brown-GilbertBYU2:16.1730.97 [30.97]1:08.62 [37.65]1:41.66 [33.04]2:16.17 [34.52]


Heat 3

Noted front runner Natoya Goule, the 3-time NCAA champion and 2015 NCAA leader, had the lead at 200, 400 and 600 but tied up coming home (32.56 final 200) as Arkansas Chrishuna Williams, the NCAA #2 in 2015, got the win in 2:03.91. Goule nearly lost the final auto qualifying spot to Oklahoma State’s Savanna Camacho as they ran 2:04.41 and 2:04.43 and both advanced.

1926Chrishuna WilliamsArkansas2:03.91 Q29.02 [29.02]1:00.44 [31.42]1:32.47 [32.04]2:03.91 [31.45]
22014Natoya GouleClemson2:04.41 Q28.41 [28.41]59.47 [31.07]1:31.86 [32.39]2:04.41 [32.56]
37487Savannah CamachoOklahoma State2:04.43q29.23 [29.23]1:00.19 [30.96]1:32.34 [32.15]2:04.43 [32.10]
47658Annie LeblancOregon2:04.5228.83 [28.83]1:00.28 [31.45]1:32.57 [32.29]2:04.52 [31.96]
55282Maya WilliamsonMemphis2:06.3528.78 [28.78]1:00.14 [31.36]1:32.45 [32.32]2:06.35 [33.91]
63173Sabrina SoutherlandGeorgetown2:07.4829.42 [29.42]1:01.13 [31.71]1:34.42 [33.29]2:07.48 [33.07]
78221Cecilia BarowskiPrinceton2:08.9429.69 [29.69]1:01.00 [31.32]1:33.56 [32.57]2:08.94 [35.39]
87495Kaela EdwardsOklahoma State2:09.7229.19 [29.19]1:00.56 [31.38]1:32.79 [32.24]2:09.72 [36.93]


Post-Race Interviews

Natoya Goule wasn’t happy with the way she ran, but says she’s in the best shape of her life but has been dealing with a hamstring issue.

Raevyn Rogers said she had to make up her mind in the last 100 whether she was content to just be at NCAAs or if she wanted to be in the final with a chance to win it.

Her big burst of speed indicates she wants to try to win it.


Chrishuna Williams is just focused on her own race

Williams drew indoor champ Natoya Goule in her race, but said she wasn’t focused on anyone else in her race and just wanted to run her own race. She was still feeling good at the end of the race and felt good enough to pass Goule in the end and win the heat.

Williams, who didn’t start running the 800 until this year, said her plan to the final is to go out and run 59 seconds for the first 400 and try to run between 2:00 and 2:01 (her PR is 2:01.61).

Hanna Green

Green led the whole way and said that her coach told her before the race to just keep running how she’s been running and that’s what she ended up doing, winning the heat and making it through to the final. Green has raced Natoya Goule a lot — she finished just behind her in a fast race at ACCs (Green ran 2:01.72 to Goule’s 2:01.32) — and said that her plan in the final is to get out a little faster than today and just try to stick on Goule as she knows Goule likes to get out hard.

Women’s 1500

Most of the favorites advanced to Saturday’s women’s 1500 final, but there were some major casualties. Rosie Clarke (#5 on NCAA list), who was fourth in the mile indoors, totally ran out of gas in heat 1 and finished eighth to miss out on the final. Other runners not to advance included Katrina Coogan of Georgetown (#7 NCAA), Lianne Farber of UNC (#8 NCAA) and three of Oregon’s four entrants (freshman Nikki Hiltz was the only one to make it, scraping through with the final time qualifier). That doesn’t totally cripple Oregon’s chances at a team title (they weren’t projected to get many points in the 1500) but they won’t be able to pick up many points unless Hiltz runs a huge race on Saturday.

Heat 1

Shelby Houlihan didn't mess around in her heat.

Shelby Houlihan didn’t mess around in her heat.

Defending champion Shelby Houlihan didn’t mess around in this one as she took the lead within the first 100 meters and held it throughout, staying out of trouble. The entire field was together with two laps to go (Houlihan ran 70.37 from 300 to 700) and by the bell (700 to 1100 in 70.03), only Kansas’ Hannah Richardson had been dropped. Houlihan still led at that point, though she was flanked on her outside by NCAA indoor mile 4th-placer Rosie Clarke of Iona and Linden Hall of Florida State, who was third last year. NCAA indoor 3k runner-up Elise Cranny of Stanford was on the outside of the pack, directly behind Hall.

With 200 to go, Houlihan and Clarke still led, but there would be some shuffling of places in the homestretch. Houlihan powered away to the win (joined by Sara Sutherland of Colorado, who moved up very well over the final 150) but it was a major battle for the remaining three spots. Ultimately Hall and Wisconsin’s Molly Hanson took third and fourth, with Cranny moving up from several spots back to just nip UC Davis’ Raquel Lambdin for the final spot by .01. In the end, it was academic as Lambdin and seventh-placer Nikki Hiltz of Oregon made the final on time, but they had to sweat it out through heat 2.

The major casualty was Clarke, who died badly in the homestretch, going from second with 200 to go to eighth, missing out on the final by .20 of a second. Clarke’s 4:12.10 sb was fifth in the country.

Clarke was in tears in the mixed zone and politely declined to talk about her race.


1698Shelby HoulihanArizona State4:16.87 Q50.16 [50.16]2:00.53 [1:10.37]3:10.56 [1:10.04]4:16.87 [1:06.31]
221811Sara SutherlandColorado4:16.94 Q50.80 [50.80]2:00.87 [1:10.07]3:10.84 [1:09.98]4:16.94 [1:06.10]
32851Linden HallFlorida State4:17.41 Q50.87 [50.87]2:01.36 [1:10.50]3:10.68 [1:09.32]4:17.41 [1:06.73]
411785Molly HansonWisconsin4:17.41 Q50.70 [50.70]2:01.14 [1:10.44]3:11.00 [1:09.87]4:17.41 [1:06.42]
58987Elise CrannyStanford4:17.87 Q50.64 [50.64]2:01.24 [1:10.61]3:10.92 [1:09.68]4:17.87 [1:06.96]
610246Raquel LambdinUC Davis4:17.8850.58 [50.58]2:01.06 [1:10.48]3:11.16 [1:10.11]4:17.88 [1:06.72]
77639Nikki HiltzOregon4:18.2650.50 [50.50]2:01.00 [1:10.50]3:11.04 [1:10.04]4:18.26 [1:07.22]
839112Rosie ClarkeIona4:18.4650.40 [50.40]2:00.70 [1:10.30]3:10.61 [1:09.91]4:18.46 [1:07.86]
91733Ashley WindsorCal Poly4:19.7750.32 [50.32]2:00.90 [1:10.59]3:11.41 [1:10.52]4:19.77 [1:08.36]
107604Alli CashOregon4:21.2150.37 [50.37]2:00.75 [1:10.38]3:10.81 [1:10.07]4:21.21 [1:10.41]
1141910Hannah RichardsonKansas4:29.7550.64 [50.64]2:01.18 [1:10.55]3:12.98 [1:11.80]4:29.75 [1:16.77]
DNS5482Shannon OsikaMichigan

Quick Take #1: Shelby Houlihan is dreaming big.

Shelby Houlihan says her goal isn’t just NCAAs . She’s dreaming even bigger and wants to make Team USA for Worlds in the 1500. She thinks she’s capable of a big PR which is something she’d need to go to Worlds as the standard is 4:06.50.

Quick Take: Elise Cranny is trying to stay calm

Cranny was a bit worried toward the end of the race as she was only in 8th or 9th at the start of the home stretch but she said she’s learned to stay calm in situations like that because it’s hard to run fast while you’re panicking.

Cranny was the runner-up in the 3k indoors and with a 4:10 pb (and 4th-place finish at World Juniors), many expected her to contend for the win in the 1500 outdoors. Though this season hasn’t been bad — after all, she is on to the final — she was only 4th at Pac-12s and hasn’t come close to her pb (sb: 4:14). Cranny said she’s not quite sure why she hasn’t made progress outdoors but that she’s trying to figure it out. She added that her entire freshman year has been a big learning experience, she says she’s learned some valuable things by being in different racing situations.

Heat 2

As in the first heat, this one was won wire-to-wire as Mississippi State’s Rhianwedd Price controlled it from the front, taking the win comfortably in 4:16.01 to lead all qualifiers. Ten women were still in it at the bell when the kicking began. Price didn’t look terribly comfortable but looks can be deceiving — she opened a gap to string out the field and qualified easily. Her teammate Marta Freitas hung on behind her for second, with Villanova’s Stephanie Schappert crossing shortly thereafter. The real battle would be for the final two auto spots, which went to Michigan’s Brook Handler and Oklahoma State’s 2013 champ Natalja Piliusina, who had faded to fifth over the course of the final lap after running near the front. In the end, Piliusina had just enough to hold on for the final auto spot, with Villanova’s Angel Piccirillo the hard-luck sixth-placer, missing out on the final by .08 of a second.


158910Rhianwedd PriceMiss State4:16.01 Q54.67 [54.67]2:03.00 [1:08.34]3:10.25 [1:07.25]4:16.01 [1:05.77]
25843Marta FreitasMiss State4:17.01 Q55.34 [55.34]2:03.21 [1:07.88]3:11.02 [1:07.82]4:17.01 [1:05.99]
311062Stephanie SchappertVillanova4:17.31 Q54.89 [54.89]2:03.24 [1:08.35]3:10.57 [1:07.34]4:17.31 [1:06.74]
45467Brook HandlerMichigan4:18.63 Q55.54 [55.54]2:03.75 [1:08.21]3:10.95 [1:07.21]4:18.63 [1:07.69]
575111Natalja PiliusinaOklahoma State4:19.05 Q54.73 [54.73]2:03.09 [1:08.36]3:10.79 [1:07.71]4:19.05 [1:08.26]
611055Angel PiccirilloVillanova4:19.1355.31 [55.31]2:03.56 [1:08.26]3:11.22 [1:07.67]4:19.13 [1:07.91]
79319Blanca FernandezTemple4:19.6254.97 [54.97]2:03.37 [1:08.41]3:11.16 [1:07.80]4:19.62 [1:08.46]
83161Katrina CooganGeorgetown4:19.8355.17 [55.17]2:03.51 [1:08.34]3:11.20 [1:07.70]4:19.83 [1:08.64]
9112212Amanda SmithVirginia Tech4:20.5255.37 [55.37]2:03.98 [1:08.61]3:11.49 [1:07.52]4:20.52 [1:09.03]
107706Katie PoradaOregon4:26.4655.51 [55.51]2:03.66 [1:08.15]3:11.69 [1:08.04]4:26.46 [1:14.77]
116688Lianne FarberNorth Carolina4:29.4855.14 [55.14]2:03.86 [1:08.73]3:13.82 [1:09.97]4:29.48 [1:15.66]
127674Ashley MatonOregon4:33.3555.67 [55.67]2:04.26 [1:08.59]3:16.51 [1:12.25]4:33.35 [1:16.85]


Quick Take #1: NCAA leader Rhianwedd Price’s season is going better than expected.

Last year, Price didn’t even make to Eugene and a year later she’s the NCAA leader. Price admitted that she was surprised by that fact and credited the arrival of Mart Freitas as a training partner in the winter as a huge help. Next year, Price will have another training partner as her twin sister – a 4:22 runners – will be coming to Mississippi State.

When we asked Rhianwedd about her ungainly form, Rhianwedd says it stems from the fact she runs so much with her twin who struggles with asthma that she’s just adopted it as her own (it reminded us a bit of Paula Radcliffe as there definitely is some head bobbing).

Quick Take: OSU’s Natalja Piliusina feels she’s close to her 2013 form

Piliusina (pronounced pil-oosh-na) ran 4:09 in 2013 and won NCAAs but dealt with a variety of injuries — including two sacral stress fractures — that knocked her out for 19 months. She started running again this winter and said that since then, she’s built her fitness up to close to her 2013 form.

Regarding today’s race, Piliusina said she felt a bit flat and that qualifying wasn’t quite as easy as she hoped it would be. Still, she was pleased to get the ‘Q’ and is now onto the final.

Women’s Steeplechase

The women’s steeple prelims were drama-free as all the favorites made it through. Defending champ Leah O’Connor went wire-to-wire to win her heat, while a pack of five women, led by ND State’s Erin Teschuk cruised it in together to grab the auto spots in heat 2. The highest seeds that failed to advance were NCAA #9 Tori Gerlach of Penn State and #11 Elizabeth Bird of Princeton (NCAA #5 Ingeborg Loevnes of Oklahoma State and NCAA #8 Jessica Kamilos of Arkansas were DNSes).

Heat 1

Michigan State’s Leah O’Connor, the pre-race favorite, did the smart thing and went to the front early to get clean run-ups at the barriers and stay out of trouble. She looked relaxed the entire way and won the heat with ease. Rider’s Emily Ritter stuck on O’Connor throughout for second. The final three auto spots were decided before the bell as Laura Rose Donegan (New Hampshire) Maddie Van Beek (North Dakota State) and Victoria Voronko (Eastern Michigan) had separated and cruised in together. Heather Demorest’s 10:04.43 was enough to get her into the final on time.

Heat 2

The only drama in this race was whether it would go fast enough to produce a time qualifier (it did; UNH’s Elinor Purrier got in at 10:10.74. Otherwise, it was relatively simple as the top five women broke away from the rest of the field halfway through and ran unchallenged for the remainder of the race.

Results – Heat by heat results with individual lap splits here.


PlaceNameAffiliationTimeHeat (Pl)
1Erin TeschukJRNorth Dakota State9:53.93Q2 (1)
2Courtney FrerichsJRUMKC9:54.07Q2 (2)
3Colleen QuigleyJRFlorida State9:54.12Q2 (3)
4Marisa HowardSRBoise State9:54.25Q2 (4)
5Rachel JohnsonSRBaylor9:54.52Q2 (5)
6Leah O’ConnorSRMichigan State9:55.58Q1 (1)
7Emily RitterSRRider9:55.89Q1 (2)
8Laura Rose DoneganSONew Hampshire9:58.95Q1 (3)
9Maddie Van BeekSRNorth Dakota State9:58.97Q1 (4)
10Victoria VoronkoSREastern Michigan9:59.09Q1 (5)
11Heather DemorestSRMontana State10:04.43q1 (6)
12Elinor PurrierSONew Hampshire10:10.74q2 (6)
13Madelin TalbertJRLipscomb10:14.252 (7)
14Tori GerlachJRPenn State10:14.791 (7)
15Erin ClarkFRColorado10:15.831 (8)
16Cornelia GriescheJRMiss State10:19.362 (8)
17Katelyn GreenleafJRAlabama10:21.852 (9)
18Sofie GalleinJREastern Michigan10:27.051 (9)
19Alycia ButterworthSRIdaho10:28.942 (10)
20Shannon KlenkeSRArkansas10:30.511 (10)
21Shelby MillsSOGonzaga10:39.232 (11)
22Elizabeth BirdSOPrinceton10:51.922 (12)
Jessica KamilosJRArkansasDNS1,
Ingeborg LoevnesJROklahoma StateDNS1,

Post-Race interviews:

Leah O’Connor said she is a process oriented runner, not an outcome oriented runner . As a result, she can’t control what people others do in the final or if she clips a hurdle. She wants to win Saturday and make the final for USAs but her focus isn’t external. She also discussed sitting down with her coach and picking the steeple over the 1500 for NCAAs.


NCAA steeple leader Courtney Frerichs says she wants a pb and sub-8:30 in the final. She welcomes bad conditions as they are the same for everyone:

Colleen Quigley talks about how even thought Karen Harvey is gone, she was extremely organized and left her workouts all the way through NCAAs.

Be a fan and discuss the meet on our world famous messageboard: Official 2015 NCAA Outdoor T&F Live Discussion Thread.