Emma Bates, the Elk River athlete running for Boise State, won the 5,000-meter race at the Mountain West Conference meet in Colorado Springs on May 12, and has qualified for the NCAA meet Wednesday through Saturday at Des Moines.
Bates, who was a sophomore in eligibility in cross country and indoor track, but still a freshman in outdoor track, was running the 5,000 outdoors for the first time. Her time was 17:08. The runner-up, Sarah Waldron of New Mexico, was eight seconds behind.
At the NCAA West Prelims in Austin, Texas, Bates placed 11th among 48 runners in the 5,000 with a school record time of 16:16.74 on May 26. The top 12 from both West and East advance to nationals.
In a furious battle for the fifth automatic qualifying spot between Bates and two other runners. she hit the tape in sixth, but was running in the faster of the two heats.
She also ran the 10,000 meters May 24, placing 15th among 48 runners with 34:48, in just the second time she’s run that distance.
NCAA’s will be held at Drake Stadium. Official results can be found at broncosports.com, flotrack.com or runnersspace.com.