Sept. 4, 2011
DAEGU, South Korea - Former Cal star Alysia Montano placed fourth in the 800 meters at the World Championships Saturday in a season-best 1:57.48, giving the Golden Bears their highest finish in a dozen years at the biennial track & field meet.
Mariya Savinova of Russia won the race in a world-leading time of 1:55.87, followed by Caster Semenya of South Africa in 1:56.35. Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei just edged out Montano for the bronze by a mere 0.06 seconds with a time of 1:57.42.
Complete results of the event, including a view of the photo finish, can be found here.
The last former Cal athlete to earn a higher finish at the meet was Chris Huffins, who took third in the decathlon in 1999. Montano's fourth-place showing was the best ever by a U.S. woman in the 800 at the World Championships.
Montano, the 2007 NCAA champion and a three-time U.S. champion, was competing in her second World Championships, with markedly better results. During her first appearance in 2007, she did not advance out of the qualifying heats. In 2010, Montano earned a bronze medal at the world indoor meet in the 800.
Montano's PR in the 800 is 1:57.34, a mark that was the fastest in the world in 2010.