DES MOINES, Iowa – Recent MIT graduate, Jacqui Wentz, took part in the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships over the weekend, as she was entered in the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase. The meet, which was held at Drake University, featured some of the top competitors in the country, including former Olympians, Division I athletes and World Champions. Wentz fared extremely well, qualifying for the event final and ultimately finishing 8th overall in the Steeplechase.
Wentz qualified with the fourth-fastest time in her preliminary heat on Thursday afternoon, ahead of runners from schools such as Kansas University, Georgetown and Princeton. Wentz then ran to an eighth-place result in Sunday’s final with a time of 10:12.46, just under five seconds behind the fifth-place finisher and reigning Division I national champion, Bridget Franek of Penn State.
Wentz, who recently captured the first individual national title in MIT women’s track & field history in this same event, is the first Tech athlete to compete at the USA Championship in head coach Halston Taylor’s 28-year tenure. She was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Second Team last week, after closing out her outstanding career, which included five All-America and seven All-Conference honors, as well as a number of Institute records.
“The level of competition at USATF Nationals was much higher than what I was used to, but it helped me realize I was capable of competing at this level,” Wentz remarked after the race. “Ultimately, I knew I had run times comparable to most the other girls in the steeplechase and this race was just like any other. I was pleased with my eighth place finish, especially when I think back and realize my track season started with me in a boot. Overall the experience was great, and I was proud to be able to represent MIT at USATF Nationals.”