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Kate Grace ’11 Concludes Competition at Olympic Trials

Kate Grace. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kate Grace. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Places 20th in 1,500-meter Run Semifinals

PORTLAND, Ore. - Yale's Kate Grace '11 finished 20th in the semifinals of the 1,500-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Friday afternoon at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field. Her time of 4:12.92 left her slightly more than two seconds away from one of the 12 spots in Sunday's finals. Grace's run at the Trials thus comes to an end, as earlier in the meet she placed 20th in the heats of the 800-meter run with a 2:04.28 -- missing out on the semifinals in that event by less than a second.

The top time in Friday's 1,500 semis, 4:08.90, belonged to former Cornell runner Morgan Uceny. Shannon Rowbury, who finished seventh in the event at the 2008 Olympics, ran a 4:09.96 to place sixth overall. The 12th and final qualifying spot went to Brenda Martinez (4:10.73).

In the 1,500-meter heats Thursday, Grace's time of 4:17.65 placed her seventh in her heat. The top six finishers in each of the three heats advanced to the semifinals automatically; then, the runners with the next six best times from all heats advanced. Grace was the 24th and final qualifier for the semis.

Grace capped her Yale career a year ago by earning the Nellie Pratt Elliot Award -- the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior female at Yale -- and being named Northeast Region Track Athlete of the Year. She earned her fourth All-American honor as well. She was a six-time Ivy League Heptagonal champion in the 800-meter run, winning the event both indoors and outdoors in each of her final three seasons. She was just the second runner in league history to win six 800-meter run titles.

Grace set several indoor records her senior season, including a school record and personal best of 4:39.52 in the mile. Her school record time in the 800, 2:03.41, came at the NCAA First Round meet last spring. She set another school record in winning the ECAC 1,500-meter race in 4:20.66 outdoors. And in addition to winning her third consecutive Ivy outdoor championship in the 800, she won the 1,500-meter race at Heps too.

Grace majored in environmental studies and was a member of Saybrook College at Yale. She is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and attended Marlborough High. She has kept up her training as a member of the New Jersey-New York Track Club.

The largest national championship track meet in the world, the U.S. Olympic Trials include more than 1,000 athletes competing for the right to represent Team USA at the Olympic games starting on July 27 in London.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity