NCAA TRACK AND FIELD: Piccirillo advances to finals at nationals
EUGENE, Ore. — Angel Piccirillo just barely sneaked into the finals.
Technically, Piccirillo finished outside the top 12, but she is one of the 12 runners moving on to Saturday’s finals in the 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of Oregon.
A sophomore at Villanova, Piccirillo posted a time of 4 minutes, 21.47 seconds to finish fifth in her heat of the national semifinals of the 1,500 on Thursday and qualify for the finals even though she had the 13th-fastest time in the semifinals.
The top five from each of the two semifinal heats automatically qualify for the finals, along with the next two fastest times.
Piccirillo took fifth in the first heat to punch her ticket to the finals. In the second heat, the top eight finishers ran a better time than Piccirillo, giving her the 13th-fastest time.
But only the top seven from the second heat advanced to the finals — five automatically and two based on time. That left one runner, Washington junior Katie Flood, who didn’t advance despite posting a faster time than Piccirillo.
Flood finished eighth in the second heat in 4:20.43, missing the finals by one place.
In Piccirillo’s heat, the top seven runners finished within 0.84 seconds of each other in a tightly bunched end to the race.
She finished less than a half-second behind teammate Emily Lipari, who won the heat in 4:21.14.
Piccirillo edged out Stanford freshman Rebecca Mehra by 0.16 seconds to take fifth in the heat.
Piccirillo will run in the finals Saturday at 5:29 p.m.