Hillary Holt heads to USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - Two-time defending NAIA Outdoor 1,500-meter National Champion Hillary Holt is set to run on the biggest stage of her career, as The College of Idaho junior will compete Thursday at the United States Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Holt will compete tomorrow against 16 other athletes in the second of two heats, with the top-five finishers in each heat, along with the next two top times, advancing to Saturday's finals. The top-three finishers in the final will comprise the U.S. National Team in the 1,500-meters at next month's World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

It marks the second time that Coyote athletes have competed at Outdoor Nationals - but the first time in the elite division. Both Holt and Austin Basterrechea competed in the 2011 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Five other collegiate runners - Stephanie Brown (Arkansas), Amanda Mergaert (Utah), Kristen Findley (Vanderbilt), Rachel Schneider (Georgetown), and Rebecca Tracy (Notre Dame) are in Holt's heat. Holt has the seventh-fastest time among qualifiers in her heat (4:11.62), as Nike's Shannon Rowbury has the top time at 4:03.15.

The 1,500-meter semifinals will be run Thursday at 4:40 p.m. (CDT) and can be watched online at If Holt qualifies for Saturday's final, it will be part of NBC's live coverage (locally on KTVB) of the USATF National Championships at 4:45 p.m. (CDT).