College track and field: Stratioti misses 800 finals
EUGENE, Ore. - North Dakota State junior Paige Stratioti of Duluth remembers watching the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships from her couch last season.
EUGENE, Ore. – North Dakota State junior Paige Stratioti of Duluth remembers watching the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships from her couch last season.
“I said ‘I never want to do that again,' ” Stratioti said.
This year, she had a much better vantage point on the track. Stratioti finished seventh in her women’s 800 meters preliminary heat Wednesday at historic Hayward Field. She crossed the finish line in 2 minutes, 6.62 seconds, which was the 19th-best time in the semifinals, before 9,165 fans.
“Warming up I tried to stay relaxed and do what I always do,” said Stratioti, from Duluth. “When I stepped on the track, it kind of hit me. … It’s awesome. I have never been in an atmosphere like this so it’s pretty incredible.”
Stratioti ran the fourth-best time of her career to garner honorable mention All-American status. She was ranked No. 24 entering the meet, outperforming her ranking.
“I am proud of her year, she made big strides,” said NDSU head women’s track coach Ryun Godfrey. “To be here at this meet is a great accomplishment. Hopefully, next year we can take that next step and make the finals. This is a great experience, something she will use as fuel going into next year. Next time you go, you know what to expect.”
Stratioti was within striking distance of the lead in preliminary with around 200 meters remaining in the race. However, she was unable to find a clear lane around the other runners to make a move around the final bend. Stratioti was unable to keep pace with the leaders down the final straightaway.
“I felt like I had a run at it and I kind of had to slow down,” Stratioti said of being in position with around 200 meters to go in the race. “I just finished as hard as I could.”
Stratioti lost her stride a couple times during the race; once at a little more than 200 meters into her heat, and once again during the second lap.
“I wish it would have gone better, but that’s what happens in races,” Stratioti said. “I got clipped up a little bit and it’s hard to get your momentum going again, but I tried my best.”
Stratioti is scheduled to compete again at 8:40 p.m. (CST) today in the 1,600-meter relay semifinals. Seniors Antoinette Goodman and Ashley Tingelstad and freshman Morgan Milbrath join Stratioti on that NDSU relay team.
Goodman is also set to run in the semifinal round of the 200 meters at 6:15 (CST) p.m. today. NDSU senior Deborah John is also scheduled to compete in the 100 hurdles semifinals at 7:20 (CST) p.m. today.
“At least I made it here and got to run on this track,” Stratioti said soon after she finished her race Wednesday. “It was a great experience.”