A pair of Oregon athletes, Zoe Buckman and Nick Symmonds, will continue on to semifinal competition at the IAAF World Championships after winning their heats Sunday.
Buckman, running for Australia, completed the women’s 1,500 meters in 4:06.99 to win her heat of the preliminary event. She beat out the United States’ Jessica Simpson by less than a full second, with Simpson running a 4:07.16 time. Buckman’s was the third-highest time of the day and qualifies her to compete in Tuesday’s semifinal, though she said she’s ready to compete for Thursday’s final.
“I think I’m in a real striking position,” she said to The Oregonian.
She will be joined by Mary Cain of the U.S., who is being trained by former Duck distance runner Alberto Salazar.
Symmonds, who competes with Oregon Track Club Elite, says his strategy was to jump out — not wanting to have to fight for a spot late. He and the other two Americans competing in the men’s 800 all qualified, with Symmonds’ 1:46.90 being the slowest of the bunch. He won his heat though and will run Tuesday as well.