June 7, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Lauren Wallace's time of 2 minutes, 2.91 seconds in the 800-meter final Friday at the NCAA Div. I Outdoor Track and Field Championships broke her own school record as the UC Davis senior capped her impressive career with All-America first-team honors at Historic Hayward Field.
Wallace, from Ukiah, Calif., finished eighth in the elite race which was won by LSU's Natoya Goule. Goule, who also captured the NCAA indoor championship in the 800 during the winter, won a very fast race in 2:00.06, beating hometown favorite Laura Roesler of Oregon (2:00.98) who was second.
"Entering the final, the approach was simply to compete with the knowledge that the pace was going to be honest with Goule up front," said head coach Drew Wartenburg. "Lauren is a little short on experience having to get out hard and chase and that was the only option today. To have run as fast as she did for eighth place is a huge credit to both her and the women's field, which was the fastest in recent years."
Goule led the race from the start, covering the first 200 meters in an estimated 28 seconds. She entered the bell lap at 57.93 and held the lead the rest of the way. Wallace, who qualified with the fifth-fastest time during Wednesday's prelims, had a fast pace as well but was unable to move up the pack. She nearly caught Cydney Ross of Duke who finished in seventh place in 2:02.48, just ahead of Wallace.
Wallace's clocking was well under her school record of 2:03.39 which she ran while capturing the Big West championship in May. Entering the season, Rose Criss held the program mark of 2:07.91 which she set during the 2001 NCAA Div. II Championships. However, after teammate Shanie Landen broke that record during an afternoon section at Arizona State's Sun Angel Classic in April, Wallace grabbed it for good later that evening while winning the event's premiere section (2:04.89). She lowered it again later with her win at the Big West Championships.
Wallace is the first member of the Aggie women's team to qualify for a laned race final at the national championships during the program's Div. I era. She also becomes its inaugural All-America first-team member for a running event. Wallace enjoyed a standout career for the Aggies. She is second on the Aggies' all-time 1,500 list (4:20.99) and ran anchor on UC Davis' 4x400 relay which set a school record (3:37.56) at the NCAA West Prelims.
"First-team All-America honors and sub-2:03 were both on Lauren's goal sheet coming into this season, and reaching those with some time to fine tune before USA Outdoors provides a great opportunity," Wartenburg said.
Wallace's race on Friday brings to a close the Aggies' stay at the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Katie Fry earned All-America second-team honors after finishing 14th in the steeplechase on Thursday while sophomore Ashley Marshall is an All-America honorable mention after earning a spot in the 100-meter field.
UC Davis will now set its sights on the USA Outdoor Championships, later this month at Des Moines, Iowa.
NCAA OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Eugene, Ore. (hosted by Univ. of Oregon)
Day 3 of 4
UC Davis women's results only
800 (final) - 1. Natoya Goule, LSU, 2:00.06... 8.>Lauren Wallace, 2:02.91.