It’s official. Plymouth native Morgan Uceny is the No. 1 women’s 1500-meter runner in the world.
So says Track & Field News magazine, which released it’s annual year-end rankings late Saturday, just before the New Year’s ball dropped in New York.
Track & Field News, known as the “Bible of the Sport,” has been compiling World and National rankings each year since 1947. A world-wide panel of experts votes on each event and the results are considered the “official” rankings of the running community.
Uceny clocked the world’s fastest time in the 1500-meter event during 2011, and also won the prestigious Diamond League, which is track & field’s version of the NASCAR circuit.
She was favored to win the World Championship in August, but she was tripped by another runner and fell during the championship race.
Uceny also finished sixth in the voting for U.S. Athlete of the Year. That award went to sprinter Carmelita Jeter.
Uceny is the only local athlete to crack the world rankings.
Uceny, a graduate of Plymouth High School, was the Indiana high school girls 800-meter state champion in 2002.
In the U.S. national rankings, Uceny is also No. 1 in the women’s 1500, as would be expected. She is ranked No. 7 in the national rankings for the 800-meter run.
And Uceny is not the only Michiana athlete in the national rankings.
Becky Breisch, of Edwardsburg, Mich., finishes the year ranked No. 6 nationally in the women’s discus.
Notre Dame graduate Molly Huddle, who won the U.S. women’s 5,000-meter championship in June and then was injured the rest of the season, is ranked No. 5 in both the women’5 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs.
Amy Yoder-Begley, who was born in Goshen but attended East Noble High School, is ranked No. 8 nationally in the women’s 10,000.
Notre Dame graduate Mary Saxer is ranked No. 5 nationally in the women’s pole vault.
Elkhart’s Mark Hollis, who frequently trains at Bethel College and Notre Dame, is ranked No. 3 in the men’s pole vault.