NCAA Women’s 1500 — Hot Weather No Problem For Hot Milers

Despite the thermometer reading 98, Sinclaire Johnson was able to take down the meet record as she beat defending champ Jessica Hull. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

UNFAZED BY THE WEATHER, the women’s 1500 finalists eschewed cat-and-mouse racing tactics, drilled down to a challenging early pace, and authored a championship race that produced some truly sparkling times. BYU’s Whittni Orton rushed to the front and set a quick 67.0, 66.9 tone. With 2 laps remaining Notre Dame senior Jessica Harris went to the front and was followed closely by the packed finalists’ led by Jessica Hull of Oregon and Sinclaire Johnson of Oklahoma State. After a spirited circuit, Harris reached the bell in 3:02.99.

With 300 remaining, defending champion Hull spurted into the lead, a move that was quickly covered by Johnson. Pulling away, the duo flew down the backstretch and they were side-by-side coming onto the homestretch for the battle to the wire. As they raced to the line, one quick final surge gave Johnson just enough lead to allow her to hold off the Aussie star as they hit the finish. Johnson’s 30.7/62.68 close gave her a winning time of 4:05.98, while Hull crossed in 4:06.27. Harris was left far behind at 4:11.96. Johnson and Hull scored PRs as they moved to Nos. 2 & 4 on the all-time collegiate list, with Johnson taking down the meet record of 4:06.19 set by Hannah England of Florida State in ’08.

The ebullient Johnson, whose time met the World Champs Q-standard—but who will pass on Doha—was unrestrained in the mixed zone in describing her win over Hull: “I know she likes to sit a lot because I’ve watched her race before. I knew that if I was going to pass her, that was going to be the only time. So I really wanted to wait until the last possible moment. I knew I have a pretty strong kick, so when I passed her, I was like, ‘OK, this is it. I can’t let her come back.’ I just went for the home run. I knew I could [perform this way], but in the fashion I did it, I mean Jessica Hull is an awesome competitor. She hasn’t lost a race; she has two or three national titles to her name. To beat her and to run what I did today, honestly, I’m at a loss for words. I really can’t believe it.”

Hull, far from depressed at losing, was exhilarated with her time. “I knew it was going to be a fast pace. I wanted to run fast,” she explained. “I think it brings out the best in everyone. And when you bring out the best in everyone you get a race to the line like we had today. I wanted to take it with 300 to go and give it everything I had.”


NCAA WOMEN’S 1500 RESULTS

FINAL

(June 08)

1. *Sinclaire Johnson (OkSt) 4:05.98 PR (CL) (2, 2 C; 1, 1 NCAA) (MR)

(pace—67.3, 66.8 [2:14.1], 65.6 [3:19.7], 46.3) (finish—30.7, 62.68, 2:08.50, 3:15.46);

2. *Jessica Hull’ (Or) 4:06.27 PR (4, 4 C; 3, 3 NCAA)

(67.2, 66.6 [2:13.8], 65.7 [3:19.5], 46.8) (31.0, 63.15, 2:08.86, 3:15.82);

3. Jessica Harris (NDm) 4:11.96

(67.4, 66.3 [2:13.7], 65.8 [3:19.5], 52.5) (36.1, 68.97, 2:14.71, 3:21.26);

4. **Lotte Black (RI) 4:13.02 PR

(65.50, 2:14.43, 3:21.94);

5. *Dillon McClintock (MiSt) 4:13.57

(67.12, 2:15.57, 3:22.67);

6. **Ella Donaghu (Stan) 4:13.62

(66.37, 2:15.25, 3:22.34);

7. Jenny Celis (OkSt) 4:14.30

(66.94, 2:16.14, 3:23.58);

8. *Whittni Orton (BYU) 4:14.73

(67.0, 66.9 [2:13.9], 66.6 [3:20.5], 54.2)

(36.8, 70.97, 2:17.40, 3:24.44);

9. Taryn Rawlings (Port) 4:15.03

(67.85, 2:17.10, 3:24.31);

10. **Jessica Lawson (Stan) 4:16.04

(67.73, 2:17.56, 3:25.12);

11. Molly Sughroue (OkSt) 4:18.06;

12. Julia Rizk (OhSt) 4:19.31.

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 1–2)

SEMIS

(June 06)

I–1. Johnson 4:12.35; 2. Rawlings 4:12.45; 3. McClintock 4:12.46 PR; 4. Celis 4:12.62 PR; 5. Donaghu 4:12.65; 6. Lawson 4:12.69; 7. Black 4:13.03 PR; 8. Rachel Pocratsky (VaT) 4:15.72; 9. Karisa Nelson (Samf) 4:16.47; 10. ***Imogen Barrett’ (Fl) 4:20.46; 11. **Anna Juul (Harv) 4:23.57; 12. Alexis Fuller (Boise) 4:30.62.

II–1. Hull’ 4:12.02; 2. Harris 4:12.50; 3. Rizk 4:13.70 PR; 5. Orton 4:14.37; 6. Millie Paladino (Prov) 4:14.84; 7. *Sarah Edwards (VaT) 4:18.04; 8. Alexandra Lucki’ (Md) 4:19.45; 9. **Allie Schadler (Wa) 4:20.28; 10. *Carina Viljoen’ (Ar) 4:21.40; 11. *Paige Duca (BC) 4:22.28; 12. Dana Klein (USF) 4:25.79.◻︎

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