(Photo by Doug Diekema)
BOSTON, Mass. - Calvin senior Katie Diekema advanced to the final in the mile run at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday afternoon.
Diekema (Kenmore, Wash./Inglemoor HS) clocked the fastest time of Friday's prelims, coming across the line in 5:01.65. Diekema's time topped the first of two heats and will leave her with the top seed for Saturday's championship final scheduled to begin at 3:05 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Center on the campus of Roxbury Community College.
Diekema ran with the leaders in her heat from the outset and shot into the lead with roughly five laps to go. Although challenged by the pack, Diekema held first place position the rest of the race.
"Katie ran a very gutsy race," said Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer. "She fought off some strong competition that kept nipping at her heels. Whenever she felt the heat, she put in a surge and kept her position. The mile can be a tricky race, particularly if you get boxed in and are forced to use extra energy. To Katie's credit, she ran a very smart tactical race and stayed out of trouble throughout. She is peaking at the right time and we are excited to see what she can do tomorrow."
Diekema will be one of 10 competitors in Saturday's championship final. A year ago, she competed in the prelims of the mile run but finished 11th in the prelims and dit not advance to the final day of competition.