June 26, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Emma Bates added on to her historic season Thursday evening at the United States of America Track and Field (USATF) Outdoor Championships and placed sixth in the 10,000m with a time of 32:51.49. The race took place at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium and hosted the best track and field athletes in the country.
With the likes of professional runners such as Jordan Hasay, Kim Conley and Amy Hastings, Bates was up against one of the toughest fields she has faced all year. The race began at a comfortable pace and Bates found herself near the rail in the middle of the pack.
As the middle half of the race began to develop, the pack began to gradually disperse and Bates kept pace in fifth place. With ten laps to go, Hastings and Hasay both made a move to the front and ramped up the pace significantly. Bates endured the storm and settled into fourth place with eight laps to go.
She held the fourth-place position until the 20th lap when Conley, Hasay and Hastings pushed the pace to another level. The three professionals continued to put a significant gap between themselves and the rest of field in the final five laps, turning the race into a three-woman competition.
Conley went on to win the race with a time of 32:02.07, and Bates fell back two spots to finish in sixth place. Out of the 16 runners in the race, Bates and Duke's Juliet Bottorff (fourth place, 32:40.61) were the only two collegiate athletes to compete in the field stacked with experienced professionals.
Marisa Howard raced in the opening round of the 3,000m steeplechase and placed 15th with the second-fastest time of her career, 9:51.05. Unfortunately, Howard just missed out on a top-14 finish that would have qualified her for Saturday's final.
Howard ran in the second heat of the night and had to deal with a fast-paced race. The first heat saw five runners run times below 9:42.00, putting the pressure on the second heat runners to match or better those times in order to maintain hopes of qualifying.
The Pasco, Wash., native was one of seven collegiate runners to participate in the field of 26 competitors. Both Howard and Bates made their first-career appearances at the USATF Outdoor Championships Thursday evening.
Jordin Andrade will compete tomorrow in the quarterfinals of the 400m hurdles at 4:30 p.m. (PT).