PITTSBURG, Kan. – Alaska Anchorage junior Danielle McCormick used a surge in the final homestretch of the women’s 800-meter final to claim the first national individual title in program history at the NCAA Div. II Indoor Track and Field Championships, Saturday at the Robert W. Plaster Center.
McCormick etched her name in the UAA record book with a winning time of 2 minutes, 7.79 seconds. She joins Micah Chelimo as the only Seawolf to win an indoor individual title (2013, 5K; 2014, 3K). David Registe (2008, long jump), Chelimo (2012, 5K), Cody Parker (2013, javelin), and Cody Thomas (2016, decathlon) all earned outdoor national titles.
McCormick, from Soldotna, sat poised comfortably in second position at the break for the majority of the race. She used a strong sprint with 60 meters to go to take the lead and held off Grand Valley State’s Rachael Walters. Walters finished runner-up in 2:08.13.
"Dani's plan was to be at or near the lead and capable of responding when the pace quickened," head coach Michael Friess said. "Certainly she did just that. When you place yourself in proper position, you give yourself a chance."
The title came a day after McCormick’s win in Friday’s preliminary heat and after running the opening leg of the women’s distance medley relay that finished ninth.
She won the 800 meters at the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships (Feb. 17) and UW Open (Feb. 11) earlier this season. McCormick also becomes a two-time All-American, following a seventh-place finish at the 2017 outdoor national meet. She holds program-best marks in the event for indoors (2:07.13) and outdoors (2:07.60).
McCormick secured 10 points for the women’s squad to earn a tie for 17th-place nationally.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay did not finish.
The Seawolves won’t have long to rest. They will begin their outdoor slate at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational, Mar. 16-17.
"I'm very happy for Dani," Friess said. "We now have to move on to more adventures in outdoor!"