BYU runner Nachelle Mackie is a national champion for the second time this year after taking first place in the 800 meter dash at nationals. Mackie now joins the short list of BYU female runners to win an indoor and outdoor national championship in the same event.
Mackie, a redshirt junior mid-distance runner from Spanish Fork, ended her career at BYU with the best collegiate time of the season in the 800 meter dash at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Fellow runner Miles Batty also added to BYU’s point total with a close second place in the 1500 meter run.
With the 2012 Summer Olympics looming, the performances of both Mackie and Batty could be recognized as a spark plug for the Olympic trials which take place in Eugene, Ore., from June 21 through July 1.
“It was such a great race,” Mackie said in a press release. “I’m really excited. At the beginning of the race I knew I had to go out fast because it was such a strong field. Once I got the lead I didn’t want to give it up. I had the lead with 200 meters left and just the thought of losing my last collegiate race gave me the extra motivation to finish strong.”
Mackie also took home an indoor track national championship trophy in March with an 800-meter time of 2:03.30. In 2012, she finished first in every 800 meter race she ran except the University of Washington Invitational where she placed second behind a professional runner.
“It was a dominant performance,” BYU coach Patrick Shane said in a press release. “It’s nice to finish off a season with an indoor and outdoor national champion. I’m really pleased and happy for her.”
Earlier in the season, Mackie broke the BYU record for the 800 meter dash with a time of 2:03.56, a record she later broke again. Her time of 2:01.06 at nationals is now the BYU record.
Batty, a senior long-distance runner from Sandy, also ran his last race as a Cougar at nationals coming in second place in the 1,500 meter run.
“It was an incredible race,” BYU coach Mark Robison said in a press release. “It couldn’t have been much better. What an amazing young man, one of the best we’ve ever had.”
After taking the lead on the last turn of the last lap, Batty began sprinting for the finish line but was ousted at the last moment by Andrew Bayer of Indiana. Bayer finished with a time of 3:43.82 followed closely by Batty’s 3:43.83.
Batty finished the season with four individual championships as well as several awards for his performance on and off the track.
Batty plans to compete at the track and field Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., at the end of the month.