EUGENE, Oregon – Senior Megan Krumpoch will run for a national title on Friday night in the 800m after earning the final at-large berth in event’s semifinals Wednesday afternoon at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
In front of nearly 10,000 spectators at Oregon’s Historic Hayward Field on the first day of competition, Krumpoch overcame what appeared to be too much ground to make up after 400m only to use a huge kick in the last 200m to send her to Friday’s final at 8:25 p.m. EDT.
Her 2:04.96 was the second-best mark in the event, just shy of her own program record of 2:04.61 set two weeks ago at the East Regional in Jacksonville.
At the halfway point of the race, Krumpoch was seventh in the field of eight, boxed in at the back of the pack. She began to move up as the race hit 500m, making her move around two other runners.
With roughly 200m left in the race and the end of her college career possibly looming over her, Krumpoch used her experience on the national level this season to start cutting into the gap.
Coming down the final stretch just 100 meters from the finish line, Krumpoch made a move from fifth up to third, but became tangled in the legs of Alabama’s Yanique Malcolm, nearly forcing the Dartmouth senior to come to a stop. However, Krumpoch pushed to the outside and passed Malcolm, crossing the line fourth in her heat.
The Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, native had to wait through the next two heats to see if her time would hold up and earn one of the two at-large berths into Friday’s national championship heat. When the final standings were shown on the stadium’s video board immediately after the third heat, it was clear that Krumpoch was through, with a time that stood as the seventh best of the day.
No other Dartmouth woman has ever qualified for the 800m outdoor final prior to Krumpoch’s accomplishment on Wednesday.
By advancing to the finals, Krumpoch guaranteed that she will be a First Team All-American yet again, her third such honor of 2014 (Indoor 800m and DMR) and the fourth of her career (2012 Indoor DMR). Also, Krumpoch’s appearance in Friday’s race means that all five Big Green student-athletes who qualified for nationals will have the opportunity to win an NCAA title in Eugene this week.