There’s no world championship race for Morgan Uceny. At least, not this year.
Plymouth’s native Olympian finished eighth in the women’s 1,500-meter run Saturday at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
The race determined the three runners who will represent the United States at the IAAF World Championship meet in Moscow this August.
Former national champ Treniere Moser won the event in a pedestrian 4:28.62. A high school junior from New York, Mary Cain, finished second.
An unbelievably slow pace turned into a wild 12-runner sprint down the homestretch. The field almost jogged the first two laps in a tight bunch. Uceny ran on the outside at mid-pack.
With a lap to go, she was all the way in the back. Though she passed a few runners on the final turn, Uceny never challenged for a top three spot.
Her final time was 4:31.32. In contrast, Uceny’s winning time at last year’s Olympic Trials was 4:04.59.
The two-time defending national champion, Uceny has struggled since falling with a lap to go in the gold medal race at the London Olympics last year. She looked tired in her preliminary race on Thursday, and never held the lead in Saturday’s finale.
Nevertheless, prior to the championship race, Uceny posted a message on her Facebook page stating, “US Champs 1500m final today...good vibes will not be turned away! Woot.”
Uceny was the 2002 Indiana high school state champ in the 800-meter run while running for Plymouth.