EUGENE, Ore. -- Arkansas Razorback women's track and field alumni Amy Yoder Begley and Christin Wurth-Thomas had great races on day one of the USA Outdoor Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field on Thursday.
Wurth-Thomas won her prelim heat of the 1,500 meters. She did so in a time of 4:11.84 to automatically advance to Saturday's event finals.
"I started to get boxed in and bumped a little bit today so as soon as that happened I decided to just go for it and pull out ahead," Wurth-Thomas said. "It's really not about your time today, it's all about moving on and qualifying for the next round."
Yoder Begley punched her ticket to the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. She won the 10,000 meters in a time of 31:22.69. Her time is a new Hayward Field record as she won her first USA outdoor title.
"My husband gave me a new mantra this year, 'Just do it, don't think,'" Yoder Begley said. "This year there are no limits out there. Shalane (Flanagan) and I wanted to put on a show so we traded laps for the first 5K. It really made the race go faster. With 150 meters to go I kept repeating the mantra to myself and reminded myself that I have closed this fast before. Last year was more pressure filled but this year was more fun. This year was the icing on the cake and I just went with no limits."
Sophomore Catherine White also competed in the 10,000 meters. She finished 18th and was the top collegiate finisher. She clocked a time of 33:42.55.
Sophomore Shelise Williams ran the first round of the 400 meters. She finished 17th overall with a time of 53.47. She was the first runner left out of the semifinals.
Dacia Perkins started but did not finish the prelims of the 1,500 meters.
Live results can be found at FlashResults.com. The USA Championships will be televised on the following dates: June 26, live on ESPN from 7-9 p.m.; June 27: live/tape on ESPN from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; June 28: live on NBC from 3-5 p.m. (all times Central).
For a complete schedule of events, start lists, results and more information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com or USATF.org.