Nachelle Mackie claims 800 meter National Championship

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

DES MOINES, Iowa – BYU’s Nachelle Mackie won her second National Championship trophy this year as she claimed the 800 meter title at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday. Mackie also won the 800 meter title at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

“It was such a great race,” Mackie said. “I’m really excited. At the beginning of the race I knew I had to go out fast because it was such a strong field. Once I got the lead I didn’t want to give it up. I had the lead with 200 meters left and just the thought of losing my last collegiate race gave me the extra motivation to finish strong.”

Mackie outpaced the competition with the top collegiate time of the season and the best of her career, 2:01.06. She was followed closely by Charlene Lipsey of LSU (2:01.40) and Chanelle Price of Tennessee (2:01.49).

“It was a wonderful race,” BYU coach Patrick Shane said. “It was a dominant performance. It’s nice to finish off a season with an indoor and outdoor national champion. I’m really pleased and happy for her.”

Mackie is only the second member of the BYU women’s track and field team to win indoor and outdoor national championships in the same event in the same year. The other was Themis Zambrzycki in the pentathlon in 1980. Tiffany Lott-Hogan won indoor and outdoor titles in 1997 but in different events — the indoor 55 meter hurdles title and the outdoor heptathlon title.

With the first-place finish Mackie gives BYU 10 points for the 2012 Championships. The Cougars are currently tied for 11th overall with nine events scored.

More from Mackie

On taking the lead: "I don't usually like to lead. I thought (Channelle) Price would lead. At the turn it started getting clumpy and I did not want to get trapped in lane two. When she let me take the lead I had to rethink my race. I had to think mentally because I expected to be behind."

On the final stretch: "All I know is my legs were tightening up, so I was hoping I didn't fall. I didn't know where they were, but when I saw the times I knew they had to be right on my tail."

Wednesday's results

NCAA Championship Results