FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – During the 800-meter semifinals at Nationals, Kelsey Brown and two others tripped and fell with 400 meters to go ending their chances of qualifying for the finals.
Because the top three girls in both heats automatically qualified, Brown and the others would have likely advanced to the next round being among the top runners in their heat. Immediately following the race, BYU head coach Patrick Shane filed a protest that took head officials more than 30 minutes to resolve.
After the officials’ deliberation and replaying of the race video, it was decided to be an incidental fall. No one runner was identified as having caused the fall.
“You never want to see your runners go down half way through the race,” Shane said of Brown’s fall. “There is no recovering in a race like the 800. Maybe in the 3,000 or in the 5,000, but not the 800. It’s unfortunate for Kelsey and the other girls, but the officials decision is final.”
Despite the fall, all three girls regained their footing and finished the race. Brown finished in seventh place in her heat, 15th overall, with a time of 2:18.55. She also received second-team All-America honors.
LSU’s Charlene Lipsey finished first overall with a time of 2:05.02.
Full results for the 800 semis can be found here.
With the conclusion on the indoor season, the women's track and field team opens up the outdoor season next weekend with the San Diego State Aztec Invitational.