Quiett Fearless at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Albuquerque, N.M. - Professional athletes, NCAA Champions, and USA National Champions got set in the starting blocks for the opening rounds of the 800m at the 2010 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Unique among them was lone collegian Mary Cate Quiett representing DePaul University. While some may consider this to be the biggest race of her career, the junior out of Mishawaka, Ind. was just living another day in the life of a Blue Demon student-athlete.
"Nothing fazes her," commented assistant coach Andrew Craycraft, who accompanied Quiett on the trip to lend his middle distance coaching expertise, after the race, "She approached the race today the same way she always does, calm and collected. The poise she showed today running against the nation's premier athletes speaks volumes on her maturity as a student-athlete."
Quiett ran in the third of three heats. The winner of each heat, plus the next two fastest runners advanced to tomorrow's final.
The junior came out of the blocks with determination, keeping pace with favored winner Alysia Johnson through the first 600m. Johnson was a four-time All American during her college career at Cal, and won a pair of 800m NCAA titles in 2007.
The rest of the field never let Johnson and Quiett out of their sites though, closing in on the leaders with 150m left in the race.
Despite the high elevation in Albuquerque, Quiett managed to preserve enough energy to set aside the fatigue and make a late surge in the final strides. She crossed the finish line as the clock read 2:08.93. While it is not the junior's best time of the year, it is her fourth NCAA provisional qualifying time of the season.
Quiett finished fourth in her heat, and 10th overall. She will not advance to tomorrow's final.
"It's disappointing that she won't race in the final, but we are all still incredibly pleased with how she ran today," continued Craycraft, "She jumped out ahead with the lead pack, but did not let the other runners dictate how she ran her race. Yes, she competed against the most talented group of athletes she's faced all year, but she did not let that intimate her."
The junior, who has provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championship, will get one final opportunity to better her season-best time next weekend March 5-6 at the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind.