After running the third fastest time in the 800-meter semifinals on Thursday, Courtney Clayton will now compete for the 800-meter run crown on Saturday at 6:44 p.m. (CT).
Clayton ran a time of 2:04.24 in the 800-meter run, which was the third-fastest time recorded in all three heats, with all of the top-three times coming in the third heat. She utilized a similar strategy in the race as she did in the NCAA Regionals, where she sat back in the first 400 meters before picking up the pace to finish strong on the back half of the race and earn qualification to the finals.
The 800-meter field includes each of the three medaling athletes from a season ago in the events, with Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers, Stanford’s Olivia Baker and BYU’s Shea Collinsworth all finishing first, second and third, respectively, at last year’s race. Below is the full field of competitors for tonight’s 800-meter run final, alongside their qualifying times from Thursday’s semis:
|Hanna Green||Virginia Tech||2:03.72|
|Kaylee Dodd||Oklahoma State||2:04.35|
|Rianna Goins||UC Davis||2:06.76|
Here is what Vanderbilt sprints/mid-distance coach Donnie Young said about Courtney’s performance on Thursday: “Courtney had a fantastic race! She executed the race perfectly. I wanted her to come through around mid 59-60 at the 400-meter mark and she did, and by doing so, she was right where she needed to be. She was in last place at the time but there was still 50 percent of the race left. We talked about not losing separation from the front pack and she continued to slowly work her way up. She waited for the right moment and she dropped the hammer with 100 meters to go and really brought it home. We’re both excited to advance to the finals, but we’re not finished yet. We still have one more race to go!”