2019 NCAA Women’s Distance Prelims: NCAA Champs Danae Rivers & Karisa Nelson Go Home; Allie O Impresses

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By LetsRun.com
June 6, 2019

AUSTIN, Tex. — The women’s distance finals at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are set. Getting your name on Saturday’s start list proved no small feat today, as NCAA champions Karisa Nelson of Samford and Danae Rivers of Penn State were sent packing in the 1500 and 800 meters, respectively.

The two defending champions in the fields, Jessica Hull of Oregon (1500) and Allie Ostrander of Boise State (steeplechase) both looked terrific in winning their heats. Ostrander, in particular, was outstanding, clocking 9:44.32, the fastest time ever in an NCAA semi, even though several women in her prelim really struggled with the heat.

Full analysis of who made it, who didn’t, and interviews with the top athletes below.

Women’s 800

The 800 can sometimes get hectic at championship meets, and that was certainly the case in heat 2 today as Penn State’s Danae Rivers, the NCAA indoor champion, was only fourth and failed to advance to Saturday’s final.

We highlighted Rivers’ tactics as a potential problem area in our NCAA preview, and it reared its head today. Rivers was in fourth and boxed in on the final turn, and though it looked as if she might have room to run once she hit the home straight, she again found herself boxed in with nowhere to go. At that point, she appeared to clip Middle Tennessee State’s Abike Egbeniyi, who was running ahead of her, but it was no use as Rivers would finish fourth in 2:04.56, well short of a time qualifier (Egbeniyi fell but was not advanced to the final).

Two women who did look good were NCAA indoor runner-up Nia Akins of Penn and Texas A&M senior Jazmine Fray, who was celebrating her 22nd birthday. Akins convincingly won heat 1 with a strong move on the back stretch, clocking a PR of 2:02.88, while Fray, the NCAA indoor record holder, negative-split a 2:03.08 to win heat 3.

How the top seeds fared

Jazmine Fray Texas A&M SR 2:02.27 Won heat 3 convincingly
Lauren Ellsworth BYU SO 2:02.49 4th in heat 3, eliminated
Kristie Schoffield Boise State SO 2:02.65 1st time qualifier (3rd in heat 1, 2:03:53)
Susan Ejore Oregon SR 2:02.66 Pac-12 runner-up was 2nd in heat 3 (Q)
Martha Bissah Norfolk State JR 2:03.13 1st person out of final after running 2:04.12
Sadi Henderson San Francisco SR 2:03.31 5th in heat 3, eliminated
Susan Aneno Connecticut SR 2:03.41 6th placer indoors was eliminated (3rd in heat 2).
Nia Akins Penn JR 2:03.44 Indoor runner-up PR’d to win heat #1 (2:02.88)
Danae Rivers Penn State JR 2:03.58 NCAA indoor champ was eliminated (4th in heat 2)


Heat 1

15Nia AKINSJRPenn2:02.88 Q1:00.07 [1:00.07]2:02.88 [1:02.81]
26Allie WILSONSRMonmouth2:03.12 Q1:00.25 [1:00.25]2:03.12 [1:02.88]
34Anna CAMPJRBYU2:03.651:00.05 [1:00.05]2:03.65 [1:03.60]
48Martha BISSAHJRNorfolk State2:04.1259.91 [59.91]2:04.12 [1:04.21]
52Samantha HUERTAJRCal St. Fullerton2:04.901:00.24 [1:00.24]2:04.90 [1:04.67]
69Kelsey HARRISJRIndiana2:08.481:00.46 [1:00.46]2:08.48 [1:08.02]
77Kayla JOHNSONSOMiami2:12.1759.83 [59.83]2:12.17 [1:12.34]

Heat 2

16Avi’ Tal WILSON-PERTEETESOUNLV2:03.44 Q1:00.14 [1:00.14]2:03.44 [1:03.31]
24Ersula FARROWSRLSU2:03.81 Q1:00.57 [1:00.57]2:03.81 [1:03.24]
37Susan ANENOSRConnecticut2:04.301:00.15 [1:00.15]2:04.30 [1:04.15]
45Danae RIVERSJRPenn State2:04.561:00.31 [1:00.31]2:04.56 [1:04.25]
58Gabrielle WILKINSONFRFlorida2:05.041:00.83 [1:00.83]2:05.04 [1:04.21]
62Rebecca CROFTSRCalifornia2:05.571:00.75 [1:00.75]2:05.57 [1:04.82]
79Alon LEWISSRMiss State2:12.081:00.73 [1:00.73]2:12.08 [1:11.36]
83Abike EGBENIYISRMid. Tenn. State2:41.621:00.46 [1:00.46]2:41.62 [1:41.17]

Heat 3

15Jazmine FRAYSRTexas A&M2:03.08 Q1:01.62 [1:01.62]2:03.08 [1:01.47]
26Susan EJORESROregon2:03.43 Q1:01.73 [1:01.73]2:03.43 [1:01.70]
34Kristie SCHOFFIELDSOBoise State2:03.531:01.96 [1:01.96]2:03.53 [1:01.58]
47Lauren ELLSWORTHSOBYU2:04.521:02.05 [1:02.05]2:04.52 [1:02.47]
53Sadi HENDERSONSRSan Francisco2:04.561:01.58 [1:01.58]2:04.56 [1:02.98]
68Erinn STENMAN-FAHEYSRIowa State2:05.111:02.10 [1:02.10]2:05.11 [1:03.01]
79Amber TANNERJRGeorgia2:05.571:01.88 [1:01.88]2:05.57 [1:03.70]
82Aaliyah MILLERSOBaylor2:06.301:02.17 [1:02.17]2:06.30 [1:04.13]

Rivers ran herself into trouble and unlike indoors, could not escape it

Rivers was the NCAA champion indoors, but she did it the hard way as she needed a time qualifier to make the final and had to use a huge move to go from fourth to first on the home straight after being boxed in on the bell.

Once again, Rivers was in poor position with 200 to go tonight, and this time, she paid for it. Rivers is a big talent, but she needs to learn to race better if she is to become a factor at the professional level one day. That being said, it didn’t look like even if she was positioned well that she was gaining on them enough to get a top 2 spot anyways.

We did not get a chance to talk to Rivers after the race as she declined to speak in the mixed zone.

Penn’s Nia Akins looked terrific and is our favorite with Rivers gone

Akins was a few steps from a national title indoors, and with the woman who denied her eliminated, she is now the top returner. She ran like it as well, making a strong move and powering to a comfortable win. Considering how well she ran indoors and how good she looked today, she’s our pick for Saturday’s final.

We didn’t get to talk to Akins either as she did not come through the mixed zone after the race.

UNLV’s Avi’ Tal Wilson-Perteete makes her first NCAA final

Last year Wilson-Perteete, who turned heads by running 2:01.14 in the West regionals as a true freshman, was the first person out of the final as she was 9th in Eugene. Today, she made her first final.

Wilson-Perteete, who was only a 2:09 performer in HS, went to UNLV to run for Jebreh Harris, but he’s now gone to Illinois so this year she is running and thriving under a new coach, Angelina Ramos. When asked if her training was simlar to last year, she said it was different — a “180” is how she described it, calling it a bit more “lax” and tailored to the athlete.

Jazmine Fray keeps it real, hoping to finally get it right in an NCAA final

Fray broke the NCAA indoor record as a sophomore in 2017 and finished 4th at NCAAs that season. But in four subsequent trips to NCAAs, she hasn’t been able to improve on that finish, placing last in the last two NCAA 800 finals.

Fray knows that she has struggled to live up to her potential at times, and is realistic when it comes to dealing with those struggles.

“I think everybody goes through those phases where they have self doubts about themselves,” Fray said. “I’m human. I go through that same exact thing. Sometimes lining up on it, I get a little self-conscious, but then you just have to let those thoughts pass through, just take a deep breath, relax, and say, ‘You know what? I have this. I got this.’ And not only say it, but believe it.”

We also asked Fray about her former teammate Sammy Watson, the 2018 NCAA 800 champ who turned pro midway through the indoor season. Fray said that Watson isn’t “specifically” training with her anymore, though she’ll see her from time to time. We asked Fray whether Watson told her anything when she decided to go pro, and Fray mostly deflected the question, though she made clear that she is supportive of anything that makes Watson happy.

“She’s pro and she’s really happy with what she’s doing,” Fray said.

LSU’s Ersula Farrow talks after making her first NCAA final

Women’s 1500

With three NCAA champions in the field, it wasn’t going to be easy to make Saturday’s final, and indeed, one former NCAA champ will be watching from the stands as Samford’s Karisa Nelson only finished ninth in heat 1 and did not advance.

In our preview, we focused on two women, NCAA leader Sinclaire Johnson of Oklahoma State and reigning champion Jessica Hull of Oregon, and those two women looked the best of anyone today as each won her heat. Johnson took the lead of heat 1 at the bell and controlled the race from there, winning in 4:12.35. Meanwhile Hull sat on Jessica Harris of Notre Dame in heat 2 before pulling around late to win in 4:12.02, the fastest time of the day.

The third NCAA champ in the field, indoor mile champ Julia Rizk of Ohio State, also advanced, and got a PR to boot, running 4:13.70 to place third in heat 2 (previous pb: 4:15.88). Of the top eight seeds, #5 seed Alexis Fuller of Boise State was the only one not to advance as she placed last in heat 1.

How the top seeds fared

Sinclaire Johnson Oklahoma State JR 4:09.50 Won heat 1
Jessica Hull Oregon JR 4:09.90 Won heat 2
Taryn Rawlings Portland SR 4:10.20 2nd heat 1
Jessica Lawson Stanford SO 4:11.06 Time qualifier (6th heat 1)
Alexis Fuller Boise State SR 4:11.18 Eliminated, dead last heat 1
Ella Donaghu Stanford SO 4:11.70 Final auto qualifier heat 1 (5th)
Jessica Harris Notre Dame SR 4:12.64 Auto Q, 2nd heat 2
Jenny Celis Oklahoma State SR 4:12.92 Auto Q, 4th heat 1
Carina Viljoen Arkansas JR 4:13.27 5th placer indoors was eliminated (10th heat 2)


Heat 1

15Sinclaire JOHNSONJROklahoma State4:12.35 Q49.93 [49.93]1:58.56 [1:08.64]3:07.58 [1:09.02]4:12.35 [1:04.78]
210Taryn RAWLINGSSRPortland4:12.45 Q49.83 [49.83]1:58.49 [1:08.66]3:07.63 [1:09.15]4:12.45 [1:04.82]
39Dillon MCCLINTOCKJRMichigan State4:12.46 Q50.06 [50.06]1:58.81 [1:08.76]3:07.66 [1:08.85]4:12.46 [1:04.81]
46Jenny CELISSROklahoma State4:12.62 Q50.65 [50.65]1:59.09 [1:08.45]3:07.76 [1:08.67]4:12.62 [1:04.86]
512Ella DONAGHUSOStanford4:12.65 Q50.19 [50.19]1:58.84 [1:08.66]3:07.85 [1:09.01]4:12.65 [1:04.81]
63Jessica LAWSONSOStanford4:12.6950.40 [50.40]1:59.03 [1:08.64]3:07.93 [1:08.90]4:12.69 [1:04.77]
74Lotte BLACKSORhode Island4:13.0350.51 [50.51]1:59.07 [1:08.57]3:08.02 [1:08.95]4:13.03 [1:05.02]
811Rachel POCRATSKYSRVirginia Tech4:15.7249.59 [49.59]1:58.30 [1:08.72]3:07.43 [1:09.13]4:15.72 [1:08.30]
97Karisa NELSONSRSamford4:16.4749.69 [49.69]1:58.36 [1:08.67]3:07.45 [1:09.10]4:16.47 [1:09.02]
101Imogen BARRETTFRFlorida4:20.4650.32 [50.32]1:58.95 [1:08.63]3:08.40 [1:09.46]4:20.46 [1:12.07]
118Anna JUULSOHarvard4:23.5750.95 [50.95]2:00.03 [1:09.08]3:11.49 [1:11.47]4:23.57 [1:12.08]
122Alexis FULLERSRBoise State4:30.6250.03 [50.03]1:59.28 [1:09.25]3:10.36 [1:11.09]4:30.62 [1:20.26]

Heat 2

17Jessica HULLJROregon4:12.02 Q50.15 [50.15]2:03.00 [1:12.85]3:07.75 [1:04.75]4:12.02 [1:04.28]
24Jessica HARRISSRNotre Dame4:12.50 Q50.55 [50.55]2:02.89 [1:12.34]3:07.52 [1:04.63]4:12.50 [1:04.98]
32Julia RIZKSROhio State4:13.70 Q50.17 [50.17]2:03.11 [1:12.94]3:09.15 [1:06.05]4:13.70 [1:04.56]
48Molly SUGHROUESROklahoma State4:14.06 Q50.94 [50.94]2:03.56 [1:12.62]3:08.82 [1:05.26]4:14.06 [1:05.25]
510Whittni ORTONJRBYU4:14.37 Q50.29 [50.29]2:02.84 [1:12.55]3:08.04 [1:05.21]4:14.37 [1:06.33]
61Millie PALADINOSRProvidence4:14.8450.38 [50.38]2:03.30 [1:12.93]3:09.62 [1:06.33]4:14.84 [1:05.22]
79Sarah EDWARDSJRVirginia Tech4:18.0450.65 [50.65]2:03.21 [1:12.56]3:09.47 [1:06.27]4:18.04 [1:08.58]
811Alexandra LUCKISRMaryland4:19.4550.71 [50.71]2:03.62 [1:12.92]3:11.01 [1:07.39]4:19.45 [1:08.45]
96Allie SCHADLERSOWashington4:20.2850.59 [50.59]2:03.37 [1:12.78]3:09.75 [1:06.38]4:20.28 [1:10.54]
1012Carina VILJOENJRArkansas4:21.4050.45 [50.45]2:03.19 [1:12.74]3:09.00 [1:05.82]4:21.40 [1:12.40]
115Paige DUCAJRBoston College4:22.2850.86 [50.86]2:03.47 [1:12.61]3:09.88 [1:06.42]4:22.28 [1:12.40]
123Dana KLEINSRSan Francisco4:25.7950.07 [50.07]2:03.08 [1:13.01]3:09.38 [1:06.30]4:25.79 [1:16.42]

Quick Take: Sinclaire Johnson sounded like someone ready to win her first NCAA title on Saturday

We spoke to several women in the mixed zone, and while some were reticent to hype up their chances given the stacked field, Johnson came across as extremely confident and totally unsurprised by her success this season, which has led to an NCAA-leading pb of 4:09.50. As fast as that is, Johnson believes she is capable of more. When we asked her if she thought she could run even faster, Johnson didn’t hesitate.

“Oh yeah,” she said.

She isn’t the only one who is confident. Earlier this week, her coach Dave Smith told us she was the probably the best prepared athlete he’s ever had. That’s a high praise from a man who coached Natalja Piliusina and Kaela Edwards to national titles in the NCAA 1500/mile.

Quick Take: Jessica Harris looked smooth today, but has her work cut out for her in the final

Harris led heat 2 until Hull pulled around her late, and unfortunately for Harris, it’s hard not to envision a similar situation playing out in Saturday’s final. Harris is someone who likes to run from the front, but if she’s going to do that in the final, she will need a huge PR as it may take 4:07 or 4:08 to drop women like Johnson and Hull.

Indeed, when we asked Harris if she thought she could win the final, she paused initially, clearly lacking the confidence of Johnson.

“I don’t know,” Harris said. “I don’t know yet. I feel like I could, I’m strong enough and I’ve been racing well enough. Maybe Saturday’s the day it all comes together. I hope it is.”

We commend Harris for her honesty — winning against this field will be really tough, but based on today’s run, Harris looks like she has a good chance to improve on her previous best NCAA finish of 8th (2018 indoor mile).

Quick Take: Julia Rizk PRs, admits that she still doubts herself even after winning NCAA indoors

It’s not often that you see a national champion set a PR in an NCAA prelim, but that’s what Rizk did today, running 4:13.70 to shave over two seconds off her PR.

You might think that Rizk would be full of confidence having won NCAA indoors. That’s not necessarily the case all the time, but Rizk said that while it can still be hard to think of herself as a national champion, she makes sure she flushes any doubts she may have an hour before she races.

“People are like, ‘Oh, you’re the national champ, you can run with all those girls,’” Rizk said. “That’s what everyone’s saying, but in your own head, it’s different. I live with myself day to day and I’m like, I eat this, this, this, and this. I ate a cookie here, are the competitors eating chocolate chip cookies and stuff like that? You almost doubt yourself sometimes. But I try to take all those out of my head an hour before I race, 30 minutes afterwards, because I need to focus for 45 minutes and tell myself I’m the best competitor out there, because that’s the only way I’m going to win.”

Quick Take: Jessica Hull feels like she’s fitter than last year

When we talked to Hull off-camera, she said that she feels like she is both “fitter and stronger” than she was last year when she won the 1500 in front of the home fans in Eugene. She said she finds prelims to be more nerve-wracking than the final. Wearing a necklace with the number 7 on it, we asked her what it means and she said it was a gift from her dad, who coached her to seven Australian titles. On the back of it, it says he believes in her.

But this week, she doesn’t have to just rely on the necklace for good luck as her mom, dad, and two grandparents are here to watch her run.

Samford’s Karisa Nelson’s NCAA career comes to an end, but she’s looking forward to a pro career

One person who didn’t make the final was Samford’s Karisa Nelson, the 2017 NCAA mile champ and 2019 NCAA indoor mile runner-up. Outdoors, Nelson didn’t open up until the conference meet at the end of April as she revealed today she was struggling with a variety of health issues including rhabdomyolysis, which often is the result of overtraining, but which she stressed repeatedly was not the result of overtraining in her case.

“God no (this isn’t the way I wanted to go out) but it is what it is. It’s the way I’m going and I’m just going to come back next time I race next week. It’s been a really rough season. I’d say my mileage the last month has only been 30 or 35 [due] to health issues,” said Nelson. “I think training hard through the mono kind of caught up and I started catching other stuff as well.”

“It’s been a rollercoaster season. NCAAs may be over but the track season certainly isn’t so I won’t let me get this down,” added Nelson. “Indoors, I did great but outdoors got a little rocky but we’re going to come back strong.”

Nelson said she’s looking forward to the start of her pro career and said she didn’t try to think much about where she’ll end up. One thing that we’ll be following closely is how she does once she gets some consistency in her coaching. During her career at Samford, Nelson had four different coaches.

Michigan State’s Dillon McClintock only raced once all outdoors before conference but easily advanced to the final

McClintock, who had foot surgery in the fall, hasn’t had a smooth outdoor season as her foot problems have flared up again, but she’s looking forward to the final, which she hopes is honest.

Women’s Steeple

The women’s steeple semifinals went very much according to form as 7 of the 8 fastest entrants on the year made the final, with the lone casualty being #7 seed Rachel King of South Dakota State.

Coming into today’s semis, two-time champ Allie Ostrander of Boise State entered as the heavy favorite in the eyes of the LetsRun nation (more than 95% of the entrants in our prediction contest picked her even though New Mexico’s Adva Cohen has a pb 9 seconds faster than Ostrander) and that’s certainly still true after the semis as Ostrander put up the fastest preliminary time in NCAA history, 9:44.32, to win heat #2.

How the top seeds fared

Allie Ostrander Boise State JR 9:40.05 Fastest semi in NCAA history
Erica Birk BYU JR 9:42.54 Auto Q (3rd in heat 1)
Adva Cohen New Mexico SO 9:44.41 Auto Q (4th in heat 1)
Val Constien Colorado SR 9:44.51 5th placer last year got auto Q (4th heat 2)
Charlotte Prouse New Mexico JR 9:47.43 Runner-up last year was 3rd in heat 2 (Q)
Devin Clark Arkansas JR 9:48.35 SEC champ was 5th in heat 2 (Q)
Rachel King South Dakota St. SR 9:50.15 11th in heat 1, eliminated
Brianna Ilarda Providence SR 9:50.42 Big East champ nabbed last time qualifier


Heat 1

PlLnAthleteAffiliationTimeLap 1Lap 2Lap 3Lap 4Lap 5Lap 6Lap 73000m 
15Hannah STEELMANSOWofford9:49.51 Q4.73 [4.73]1:28.81 [1:24.09]2:52.41 [1:23.60]4:16.24 [1:23.84]5:41.37 [1:25.13]7:05.46 [1:24.10]8:28.16 [1:22.71]9:49.51 [1:21.35]
21Alissa NIGGEMANNSOWisconsin9:51.60 Q5.36 [5.36]1:29.50 [1:24.15]2:53.58 [1:24.08]4:17.30 [1:23.72]5:42.10 [1:24.80]7:07.28 [1:25.19]8:31.28 [1:24.00]9:51.60 [1:20.32]
38Erica BIRKJRBYU9:52.43 Q4.77 [4.77]1:28.57 [1:23.81]2:52.74 [1:24.18]4:16.40 [1:23.66]5:41.73 [1:25.33]7:06.00 [1:24.27]8:30.51 [1:24.52]9:52.43 [1:21.93]
410Adva COHENSONew Mexico9:53.72 Q4.84 [4.84]1:28.39 [1:23.56]2:52.64 [1:24.25]4:16.53 [1:23.90]5:41.84 [1:25.32]7:06.14 [1:24.30]8:30.38 [1:24.24]9:53.72 [1:23.35]
52Nell CROSBYSRNC State9:58.09 Q4.87 [4.87]1:28.87 [1:24.00]2:52.88 [1:24.02]4:16.94 [1:24.06]5:42.04 [1:25.11]7:06.55 [1:24.51]8:31.26 [1:24.71]9:58.09 [1:26.83]
66Brianna ILARDASRProvidence10:00.394.95 [4.95]1:28.19 [1:23.24]2:52.51 [1:24.32]4:16.69 [1:24.19]5:42.26 [1:25.58]7:06.89 [1:24.63]8:31.62 [1:24.74]10:00.39 [1:28.77]
79Emily HAMLINSRWashington10:11.424.77 [4.77]1:28.56 [1:23.80]2:52.97 [1:24.41]4:16.87 [1:23.90]5:43.16 [1:26.30]7:12.67 [1:29.52]8:44.51 [1:31.84]10:11.42 [1:26.92]
83Lisa VOGELGESANGSOOle Miss10:15.295.29 [5.29]1:29.40 [1:24.11]2:53.96 [1:24.56]4:18.49 [1:24.54]5:46.02 [1:27.54]7:16.27 [1:30.25]8:47.65 [1:31.38]10:15.29 [1:27.65]
94Karrigan SMITHJRMichigan State10:16.175.12 [5.12]1:29.27 [1:24.15]2:53.47 [1:24.21]4:17.93 [1:24.46]5:44.36 [1:26.44]7:13.54 [1:29.18]8:45.73 [1:32.19]10:16.17 [1:30.45]
1012Cierra SIMMONSSRUtah State10:23.904.87 [4.87]1:29.02 [1:24.16]2:53.33 [1:24.31]4:17.43 [1:24.10]5:43.92 [1:26.50]7:11.91 [1:27.99]8:49.12 [1:37.22]10:23.90 [1:34.78]
117Rachel KINGSRSouth Dakota State10:29.774.90 [4.90]1:29.05 [1:24.16]2:53.60 [1:24.55]4:19.84 [1:26.24]5:49.83 [1:29.99]7:23.70 [1:33.87]8:58.67 [1:34.97]10:29.77 [1:31.10]
1211Emily BORCHERSJRDayton11:08.394.85 [4.85]1:33.40 [1:28.55]3:01.70 [1:28.31]4:32.94 [1:31.25]6:07.46 [1:34.52]7:45.45 [1:38.00]9:25.86 [1:40.41]11:08.39 [1:42.54]

Heat 2

PlLnAthleteAffiliationTimeLap 1Lap 2Lap 3Lap 4Lap 5Lap 6Lap 73000m 
17Allie OSTRANDERJRBoise State9:44.32 Q4.69 [4.69]1:28.18 [1:23.49]2:51.97 [1:23.80]4:14.90 [1:22.93]5:38.09 [1:23.19]7:01.94 [1:23.85]8:24.34 [1:22.40]9:44.32 [1:19.99]
22Gabrielle JENNINGSJRFurman9:47.84 Q4.86 [4.86]1:28.50 [1:23.65]2:52.54 [1:24.04]4:15.39 [1:22.86]5:38.81 [1:23.42]7:03.16 [1:24.36]8:26.90 [1:23.74]9:47.84 [1:20.94]
38Charlotte PROUSEJRNew Mexico9:52.00 Q4.56 [4.56]1:28.14 [1:23.58]2:52.15 [1:24.02]4:15.08 [1:22.93]5:38.32 [1:23.24]7:02.50 [1:24.18]8:26.78 [1:24.29]9:52.00 [1:25.22]
44Val CONSTIENSRColorado9:52.04 Q4.65 [4.65]1:28.34 [1:23.69]2:52.40 [1:24.07]4:15.17 [1:22.77]5:38.40 [1:23.23]7:02.80 [1:24.41]8:27.04 [1:24.25]9:52.04 [1:25.00]
51Devin CLARKJRArkansas9:54.93 Q4.58 [4.58]1:28.08 [1:23.51]2:52.75 [1:24.68]4:15.28 [1:22.54]5:38.65 [1:23.37]7:03.41 [1:24.76]8:29.19 [1:25.79]9:54.93 [1:25.74]
611Rebekah TOPHAMJRWichita State9:57.065.51 [5.51]1:30.09 [1:24.58]2:55.06 [1:24.97]4:20.63 [1:25.58]5:47.70 [1:27.07]7:14.98 [1:27.28]8:39.83 [1:24.85]9:57.06 [1:17.24]
76Joyce KIMELISOAuburn10:04.714.57 [4.57]1:27.90 [1:23.33]2:51.92 [1:24.02]4:14.85 [1:22.94]5:38.15 [1:23.30]7:03.99 [1:25.85]8:35.41 [1:31.42]10:04.71 [1:29.30]
812Kristlin GEARSOFurman10:15.074.53 [4.53]1:27.94 [1:23.42]2:52.62 [1:24.68]4:17.33 [1:24.72]5:44.92 [1:27.60]7:15.92 [1:31.00]8:48.50 [1:32.59]10:15.07 [1:26.57]
95Briar BRUMLEYSRCornell10:21.034.88 [4.88]1:28.58 [1:23.71]2:53.04 [1:24.46]4:16.72 [1:23.68]5:44.66 [1:27.94]7:16.13 [1:31.48]8:50.03 [1:33.91]10:21.03 [1:31.00]
109Anna MCDONALDSRTexas10:22.875.18 [5.18]1:28.90 [1:23.73]2:53.56 [1:24.66]4:19.38 [1:25.83]5:49.47 [1:30.10]7:20.00 [1:30.53]8:52.59 [1:32.60]10:22.87 [1:30.28]
1110Jessica SCHERIFFSRIona10:43.794.79 [4.79]1:29.12 [1:24.33]2:56.62 [1:27.51]4:27.26 [1:30.65]6:00.34 [1:33.09]7:35.84 [1:35.51]9:11.49 [1:35.65]10:43.79 [1:32.31]
123Mackenzie ANDREWSSRAkron10:46.234.61 [4.61]1:28.26 [1:23.65]2:52.83 [1:24.57]4:18.01 [1:25.19]5:48.89 [1:30.88]7:26.17 [1:37.28]9:10.07 [1:43.91]10:46.23 [1:36.17]

Ostrander looked terrific and has to be the favorite based on today

Coming into today, we viewed Ostrander and Cohen as close to even, and while we don’t want to completely overreact to the prelims, our view has changed. Ostrander cruised to a fast time — faster than Cohen has run all year — to win her heat, while was only fourth in her heat, over four seconds off the win. Ostrander is the clear favorite now.

Yes, the top five make it automatically, so Cohen was in no real danger of missing out. And yes, she said that she wasn’t worried since she knew that was the case. But the ease with which Ostrander ran makes us think she’s got a lot more left for the final. We don’t know if that’s the case for Cohen.

Cohen also admitted that she’s got one eye on the meets coming up after NCAAs. She told us she has a long season ahead of her as she plans to represent her native Israel at Worlds in the fall. Though she did ultimately say she felt she was in similar shape to when she ran 9:29 at Euros last year, it didn’t sound convincing.

Interview with BYU’s Eric Birk-Jarvis

Cornell’s Briar Brumley talks after the end of her NCAA career