By David Monti, Race Results Weekly
EUGENE, Oregon (25-Jun) — The racing was rough during both 1500m finals at the USA Outdoor Championships on the campus of the University of Oregon Saturday, where both the men’s and women’s races produced heart-pounding finishes.
In the women’s contest, Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas surged to the front right from the gun, running the first 400 meters in a swift 62.34, and building up a five-meter lead. But instead of settling her pace down, as one might expect in a national championships, she continued to press, passing 800 meters in 2:08.33, and widening her lead over key rivals Morgan Uceny, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury. Uceny wasn’t surprised by Wurth-Thomas’s tactics.
“Christin’s always so strong; I know that’s how she likes to race,” Uceny told reporters after the race.
“Knowing where Christin was ahead of me, when I heard the bell lap my legs felt good,” Uceny explained. “I knew if I just worked up slowly (I would catch her).”
Uceny got over the finish line first –a clear winner in 4:03.91– locking up her first-ever USA outdoor title. Behind her, Wurth-Thomas was trying to hold her form to the line and was tying up badly. About 10 meters from the finish, Simpson moved slightly outside to pass Wurth-Thomas, and made contact with the former Arkansas Razorback. Wurth-Thomas stumbled, taking a stutter-step, while Simpson continued forward to cross the finish line in 4:05.66, taking second.