PITTSBURG, Kan. – Alaska Anchorage junior Danielle McCormick earned a spot in Saturday’s 800-meter final at the Div. II Indoor Track and Field Championships after winning her preliminary heat, Friday at the Robert W. Plaster Center.
McCormick, of Soldotna fame, won her heat in 2 minutes, 10.29 seconds, leading from start to finish. She will enter Saturday’s final as the fifth of eight seeds and looks to finish as a two-time All-American in the event, after earning seventh at the 2017 outdoor national meet.
UAA was represented by an impressive four athletes in the event. Only Stanislaus State had multiple athletes with two. Senior Tamara Perez (2:11.90, 14th), junior Yemi Knight (2:13.15, 16th) and freshman Ruth Cvancara (2:13.76, 19th) rounded out the 20 finishers.
"Dani ran assertively and responded well when the race really picked up," head coach Michael Friess said. "I thought the others could have run better, but national meets sometime don't run the way you think."
McCormick returned two hours later to lead off in the 1200-meter leg of the women’s distance medley relay. The DMR finished in ninth place with a time of 11:55.60. Sophomore Vanessa Aniteye (400m), Knight (800m), and Perez (1600m) completed the relay.
"The women's DMR was one thing after another," Friess said. "Dani got tripped up ... Vanessa got the stick and promptly lost a shoe -- definitely hard to sprint a 400 with one shoe. That placed Yemi behind and it didn't improve much after that."
The women’s 800-meter final is scheduled for 3:35 pm AST Saturday. The men's 4x400-meter relay of junior Nicholas Taylor, senior Darrion Gray, juniors Daniel Remington and senior Liam Lindsay will conclude at 4:45 pm.