EUGENE, Ore. – Virginia graduate student Michaela Meyer and UVA graduate Henry Wynne came up just short in their efforts to make the USA Track & Field Olympic team during the final day of competition at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Meyer was fourth in the 800-meter finals while Wynne placed fifth in the 1500 meters. The top three finishers from those races automatically qualified for the Tokyo Games if they also met the Olympic Standard qualifying time.
Meyer, who won the NCAA title in the 800 meters at Oregon’s Hayward field, ran a personal best and school record time of 1:58.55. That smashed the ACC record (1:59.63) for the event. She became only the fifth woman in collegiate history, regardless of competition date, to go sub 1:59 in the 800.
“Wow, I didn’t even think about it like that! I’m just so honored and grateful to be in that group, and I just hope that inspires other young female athletes to run even faster and break all my records,” she said after her race. “I think it just gives me a great deal of confidence and grace. I think it shows me that I, like my peers, belong and there’s nothing to really be afraid of.”
Meyer’s time was good enough to meet the Olympic standard.
Meyer was in eighth place as the field came off the final turn and managed to pass three other runners over the final 100 meters but could not overtake third-place finisher Ajee´Wilson, who grabbed the final spot to Tokyo with a time of 1:58.39.
“I’m still processing,” Meyer said. “I trusted my coach Vin (Lananna) and he told me to execute the race plan, and it was kinda just get fast off the line and be in the mix and with 200 meters to go be in striking distance of the lead. I kinda just worked my way up, and with 200 meters I was in striking distance and didn’t wanna have any regrets. I went for it and ended up coming in fourth.”
Competing in a tightly-packed race, Wynne was forced to run outside for most of his 1500-meter event. He also had a strong finish to move up to fifth place with a time of 3:37.70. At Virginia, Wynne won the 2016 NCAA indoor mile and was the ACC’s 1500-meter champion that same year.
Both Meyer and Wynne’s races were delayed by five hours when organizers of the event moved back the start times due to record heat in Eugene on Sunday, with temperatures topping out at 111 degrees.