LEXINGTON, Ky. - Redshirt freshman Logan Wetzel (Saline, Mich.) closed out his first official year of collegiate competition on Saturday night with a 10th place finish in his national quarterfinal heat of the 1500 meters. Wetzel recorded a time of 3:58.63 on the final night of the NCAA East Preliminary at the Kentucky Outdoor Track & Field Complex after advancing out of the first round heats two nights earlier.
In the first of two quarterfinal heats, Wetzel found himself in a tight pack of 12 runners that had little separation between them until the start of the bell lap. He was in seventh place according to the splits at 300 and meters and 700 meters, although the entire field headed into the final lap with a gap of just eight-tenths of a second between them. The top five finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advanced to the NCAA Championships next month.
The past five months have been rewarding ones for Wetzel, who returned in January from an injury that forced him to miss an entire year of competition. Since his return to the track, he has emerged as one of the top runners on the Wildcats distance unit. At the BIG EAST Championships two weeks ago, Wetzel won the conference title in the 1500 meters and also anchored Villanova to a BIG EAST crown in the 4x800 meter relay.
A personal best 1500 meters time of 3:45.11 at the Larry Ellis Invitational in April secured Wetzel’s spot at the NCAA East Preliminary this week. He placed fourth in his national first round heat on Thursday evening to advance into tonight’s quarterfinals.