Emily Richards finishes 8th in heat, 32nd overall in 800-Meter Dash at US Olympic Trials
EUGENE, Ore. — Ohio Northern alumnus Emily Richards ran her third fastest time in the past three years on Thursday, finishing eighth in her heat and 32nd out of 42 overall in the first round of the US Olympic Trials Women’s 800-Meter Run at the University of Oregon’s Haywood Stadium.
Richards ran a 2:03.88 in her first ever US Olympic Trials competition – which is her second-fastest time this season and her third-fastest time since 2018.
The top two finishers in each of the five heats plus the next six best times advanced to the semifinals, which took an amazingly fast time of 2:01.42.
This marks the fourth consecutive season that Richards has competed at the US Championships meet. Her time would have advanced her into the semifinals in each of her first three trips to the championships.
“It was a great experience to compete at the Olympic Trials,” Richards said. “I felt good running and was right in there through 600 meters. But I didn’t have enough left to finish the final 200 the way I wanted to. I got a late start in training due to some injuries and this was a really talented field, which both worked against me a bit.”
“Emily has progressed so much in the past four months – this was a remarkable achievement,” Richards’ professional coach and ONU head coach Jason Maus said. “To go from where she was when we began training to run a 2:03.88 in the Olympic Trials is impressive. I am so proud of her. It’s too bad she didn’t have a little more in the tank for the final 200 tonight, but she was right in there and gave a very strong performance. The field was really fast. She is heading in the right direction.”
Richards qualified for the Olympic Trials with a 2:02.10 at the Stumptown Twilight Meet on June 3 in Portland, Ore.
Her time of 2:03.88 was nearly two seconds faster than her 2:05.83 time in the 2019 US Championships and would have advanced her into the semifinals in ’19.
She was eighth at the US Championships in 2017, her best showing at a US Championships meet. She ran a 2:03.61 to qualify for the semifinals with plenty of room to spare, then ran a 2:01.95 in the semis and a 2:01.71 in the finals.
Richards also finished 12th at the US Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2018 running for Hoka One One. She finished the first round in 2:03.35 and the second round with a 2:02.78.
In 2019, she was 23rd at the USATF National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, running a 2:05.83 in the first round.
Richards was a 9-time NCAA Division III national champion and a 13-time All-American during her four seasons at ONU.
She won the 800-meter dash five title five times and the 1500-meter dash four times. She was also an All-American in the 800 the 1500 and the 3,000-meter run in track and field and was an All-American in cross country, finishing ninth at the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.