May 31, 2014
• Results | Results | Hanson Interview
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-- In her first year at Wisconsin, Molly Hanson has had a season to remember, helping the Badgers advance to NCAA cross country championships and scoring on the track in both the Big Ten indoor and outdoor championships.
Hanson continued her success on Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round by finishing second in her heat of the 1500 meters to advance to the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships next month.
“Molly ran a picture-perfect race today,” UW head coach Jim Stintzi said. “She put herself right where she needed to be and responded well to the competition.”
“Molly ran a very great, tactical race,” UW director of track and field and cross country Mick Byrne said. “She ran with confidence and poise, and put herself in position to strike when the race heated up in the last lap.”
Hanson started the race near the front of the pack and never let up, remaining in the top five heading into the bell lap.
The Dodgeville, Wisconsin, native surged to second with 200 meters to go and finished in 4 minutes, 19.40 seconds, less than a second behind heat winner Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State. Hanson’s time was the fifth-best of the competition overall but was still four seconds off her personal-best time of 4:15.60, which she ran at the Big Ten meet earlier this month.
“The gun went off and there was a solid group of us that stuck together through most of the race until 300 meters to go,” Hanson said. "Once the pace picked up, I knew that was my chance to punch a ticket to Eugene and I went.
“I can’t believe I made it. Last year (at Marquette) I didn’t even make it to regionals. I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates that have helped me get to this point, and I’m excited for NCAAs.”
It marks the first time UW has had a runner advance to the NCAA championships in the 1500 meters since Ann Detmer represented the Badgers in the event in 2008.
Also competing for UW on Saturday was junior Angela Boushea, who finished 30th in the hammer throw with a toss of 178 feet, 8 inches.
Hanson will join UW freshman Georgia Ellenwood, a qualifier in the heptathlon, at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 11-14 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.