Coburn Wins CU’s First NCAA Indoor Mile Crown
"This was something I really wanted and the Mile is not my specialty. I wanted to really conquer this distance and I think I made a step in the right direction."
By Linda Sprouse, Colorado Athletics
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Senior Emma Coburn claimed the University of Colorado's first NCAA indoor Mile crown on Saturday night; finishing the race with a blazing fast time of 4:29.91.
"We've had some great Milers at Colorado, male and female, so it's such an honor to be the first NCAA Champion amongst them," Coburn said. "I'm proud and really happy. It's been a great season and I'm happy the way the race went."
Coburn's time is the seventh fastest ever by an NCAA runner and is the third fastest ever at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship. She also owns the sixth fastest time in the event (4:29.86) which has her fifth on the all-time performers list. Coburn is just one of five NCAA women to finish the Mile in less than 4:30 and she joins Sally Kipeygo as the only other collegiate athlete to run a sub-4:30 Mile twice; both doing so in the same season.
"This feels great," Coburn said immediately following the race. "This was something I really wanted and the Mile is not my specialty. I wanted to really conquer this distance and I think I made a step in the right direction."
With the victory, Coburn earned her second indoor Mile All-American honor; she was eighth in 2011.
The race got off to a quick start and Coburn moved right to the front of the pack. Florida State's Amanda Winslow was right on her tail, but it was Coburn who would control the race all eight laps. Halfway through the race, the top six runners separated from the field. Coburn had a couple of strides on Winslow and two laps later the two started to put some distance between the other four in the chase pack.
With 300 meters remaining, Winslow moved on the outside and looked like she was getting ready to make her move; but Coburn saw Winslow and surged back ahead by a few meters and was able to sail to victory by running 32.43 in the final lap. Winslow finished second in 4:31.08. The two really left the field behind with the third place finisher, Agata Strausa (Florida), crossing the finish in 4:36.91.
"I knew that she (Amanda) was going to be there," Coburn said. "I figured that was going to be her tactic. If I was in her position, I would have done that too and I was prepared for her to do that. I could hear her coach cheer for her throughout the race and she was yelling, 'Not yet,' so I told myself that I would be ready when she was ready to make her move."
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