Story Courtesy of Western Michigan Media Relations
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Western Michigan women's track and field team will be represented in the finals for the first time since 1993 at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships. Local products Danielle Brown and Becky Horn qualified for the finals in the 400-meter hurdles and 800-meter run.
Horn, a senior and native of Battle Creek, Mich., ran a personal-best 2:03.73, just .08 seconds off the Western Michigan record to finish in second place in her heat. Her time was actually the second fastest time ran in the 800, with Zoe Buckman of Oregon edging her out by .09 seconds to win the heat. The 800-meter finals are slated to be run at 4:19 p.m. EST on Saturday afternoon and can be seen on the national broadcast by CBS from 4-6 p.m.
"Every time she runs this race at this level she shows more maturity," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "It is going to come down to positioning yourself for the past 200-meters and see who can make their move."
Brown, a junior from Kalamazoo, ran a time of 57.28 seconds to finish in fourth place in the 400-meter hurdles in her heat and had the seventh fastest time. Teammate Jennifer Sabra finished in 10th place despite running a personal best 58.18.
The finals of the 400-meter hurdles are scheduled to run at 9:55 p.m. EST and can be seen during CBS College Sports Network broadcast, beginning at 8 p.m.
"Danielle looks really really strong," said Lycan. "She had a technical problem at the begining of the race but did a great job recovering to finish where she did."
For advancing to the finals, both Horn and Brown are guaranteed to be USTFCCCA All-Americans. This will make Horn a three-time All-American, but it will be her first time receiving the honors for the outdoor season. Brown will receive her first All-American honors of her career. The two are the first outdoor All-Americans since 1998, when Jamie Strieter was named All-American in the javelin.
Horn, Brown, Sabra and Victoria Chatman tried to qualify for the 4x400-relay finals but fell short, finishing in a tie with Mississippi for ninth place. The Broncos ran a time of 3:33.66, with the eighth place UCLA Bruins running a time of 3:32.45. The Broncos actually had the eighth best time in the event, but Texas A&M ran a slower time, but won their heat, guaranteeing themselves a spot in the finals.
"This whole group just really came on at the right time of the year," added Lycan. "They are so competitive and always rise to the challenge. I am really proud about the way they came out competed."