June 8, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - In the finals of the 1500 meters at Hayward Field junior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) registered a 10th place finish at the NCAA Championships on Saturday afternoon to wrap up her first career appearance at the outdoor national meet. Lipari posted a time of 4:18.68 in Saturday's race.
Through the first half of the race Lipari was steady in the middle of the field of 12 runners. She was in eighth place after the first 300 meters as the race went out with a split of 1:09.1 for the first 400 meters. With 800 meters remaining Lipari was in 11th place but at that point was making a move to establish a position for herself near the inside rail.
Each of the 12 runners vying for the national title had a chance to win it with less than 500 meters remaining and Lipari was still in 11th place at the start of the bell lap. The leaders pulled away at the start of the final lap but Lipari closed strong over the final 250 meters before crossing the finish line in 4:18.68.
The outdoor season has been a phenomenal one for Lipari, who was the BIG EAST individual champion in the 1500 meters and was an automatic qualifier through each national round of the event. She came in third in her national semifinal meet on Thursday afternoon to reach Saturday's final.
Three of the four fastest times that Lipari has recorded in a Villanova uniform have come in her last three races in the 1500 meters. She crossed the finish line in 4:16.96 in the semifinals on Thursday and previously ran a time of 4:15.89 at the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago.
In addition to her individual efforts at the BIG EAST and national meets Lipari also anchored three Wildcats relays at the Penn Relays, including Championship of America victories in the distance medley relay and the 4x800 meter relay. Villanova set a collegiate record in the 4x800 meter relay and Lipari was named the women's Athlete of the Meet for the Relay Events.
Natalja Piliusina of Oklahoma State was the individual champion in the 1500 meters with a winning time of 4:13.25, edging out Cory McGee of Florida State (4:13.94) by less than three-quarters of a second to win the title. The rest of the top eight finishers who scored team points were Amanda Mergaert of Utah (4:14.30), Rebecca Tracy of Notre Dame (4:14.42), Amanda Eccleston of Michigan (4:14.56), Stephanie Brown of Arkansas (4:14.58), Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State (4:14.95) and Amanda Winslow of Florida State (4:16.00).
Linden Hall of Florida State (4:16.42) came in ninth ahead of Lipari, while Becca Friday (4:20.85) and Anne Kesselring (4:28.17) of Oregon came in 11th and 12th, respectively.