NEW LONDON, Conn.--Connecticut College senior Bella Franz of Water Mill, N.Y. has qualified for the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in the 1500 meters.
Franz is breaking a program record with her seventh NCAA appearance combined between track and field and cross country. She previously finished 10th in the distance medley relay (she ran the leadoff leg) at the 2014 indoor championship, 10th in the 800 meters at the 2014 outdoor championship, 12th in the 800 meters at the 2016 indoor championship, ninth in the 1500 meters at the 2016 outdoor championship, 101st at the 2016 cross country championship and 16th in the one mile run at the 2017 indoor championship. Maura Danahy '02, a member of the Connecticut College Athletic Hall of Fame had been tied with Franz with six NCAA bids each.
Franz and Head Coach Ned Bishop are headed out to the Buckeye State to run at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Mount Union College is serving as the host institution.
Franz will the 1500 meter trials Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The 1500 meter finals will be run on Saturday at 12:25 p.m. There are 22 entrants in the event, broken down into two trial sections of 11 runners each. The top four finishers in each section automatically advance to the finals, plus the next four fastest between the two sections. There will be twelve runners in the final, and the top eight finishers will earn All-America honors.
At the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championship in Waverly, Iowa last May, Franz placed ninth in the 1500 with an impressive finish in 4:35.80, running just 1.09 seconds behind the eighth place finisher and cutoff that determined the field of All-Americans.
Live video feed of the meet will be found at ncaa.com.