March 10, 2012
NAMPA, Idaho - Junior Deborah Maier took second in the women's 3000 meters on the final day of the NCAA Championships Saturday, giving her a pair of runner-up finishes at the national meet. As a result, Maier, who also placed second in the 5000 meters Friday, becomes the first Golden Bear to score in two individual events in 22 years.
In Saturday's race, the field remained bunched for the majority of the contest as the leaders kept a steady pace. Maier remained back in the pack until she moved up to fourth about midway through. Once she started her kick at the start of the final lap, Maier took over the lead and remained in front at the top of the home stretch. However, Georgetown's Emily Infield used her speed around the outside and caught Maier with just over 20 meters to go.
Infield finished first in 9:15.44, with Maier right behind at 9:15.74. Iowa State's Betsy Saina, who edged Maier in the 5000 meters, was third in 9:16.16. Jordan Hasay, the defending champion from Oregon, was fourth in 9:16.42, while Katie Flood of Washington, who had the best time in the country heading into the race, took ninth.
"What a phenomenal effort," director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. "To turn it around after yesterday, Deborah went for it with 200 meters to go and beat some terrific people, like Hasay and Flood. This certainly puts a stamp of greatness for her future. I have to take my hat off to her. She put the disappointment of not winning Friday behind her and went for the win."
In addition to Maier, senior Chelsea Reilly was also in the 3000. She ran among the top five for the first 1500 meters, but was not able to keep up and finished 16th in 9:42.25. Reilly, who set a school record of 9:00.86 in the 3000 in early February, had lost some training time after falling ill last week and also struggled to recover from her anchor leg in Friday's distance medley relay, Sandoval said.
With the 16 points tallied by Maier - eight for each of her runner-up results - Cal placed 15th in the final team standings, the Bears' best showing since they were also 15th in 2007.
Sheila Hudson was the last Cal athlete to score in two events, capturing both the long jump and triple jump titles at 1990 NCAA indoor and outdoor meets. Before Maier's results this weekend, no Bear had scored in two running events at the same NCAA indoor championship.
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships