Sunday, June 23, 2013

Women's USATF 1500m Championship

Race Recap from Kerri Gallagher

The whole USATF Championships was an unbelievable experience.  I was considerably more nervous for the first round than the second round, interestingly enough.  Coming into the USA Championships, I knew if I could make the final I would be very happy with myself and satisfied with the progress I made this year.  I think I was more nervous for the first round than the final! 

Characteristically, my heat went out slow.  We were pretty packed through the 800 mark. After that, the race really started moving.  I stayed in the back until about 600 meters to go.  I knew if I wasn't in position to move at the bell, it wasn't likely I was going make it to the final.  Through 1200 meters I was able to move up and I found myself in 5th coming into the last straightaway.  I thought my time alone could earn me a qualifying spot in the final, but I wasn't about to take any chances.  I put my head down, dug deep and picked off two women in the last 100m to grab the last automatic qualifying spot in my heat!

The final was a completely different race. Knowing that absolutely anything could happen, my plan was to just stay as relaxed as possible through the last 600 meters. It wasn't too hard to stay relaxed as the race went out in 84 seconds for the first lap and came through 800 meters in 2:40.  It honestly felt like we were jogging.  I knew it was going to be a heck of a last lap.  With 600 meters to go people started shuffling and I ended up in the back on the inside (not a good spot) and I heard Coach Centrowitz yelling at me to get to the outside NOW.  I knew he meant it.  

Just before the bell lap, I dropped back and swung VERY wide.  At that point, the real race started and I went with them.  It was all or nothing!  I passed a number of women on the back straight away and came into the final stretch in 5th.  It was incredible!  (Editor’s Note: Kerri closed her last lap 59 seconds)

I am so thankful to Pacers and New Balance for this opportunity and proud to be a Pacer!!  Looking forward to the next one!

Photos Courtesy of - Michael Scott Running Photos