Villanova Senior Sheila Reid became the first women’s athlete to win both the 5,000 meter and 1,500 meter national championship in the same season. Reid captured the 5,000 title on Friday, June 10, then won the 1,500 on Saturday to win her fourth national championship this season, and her ninth All-America honor at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, IA.
“It wasn’t easy, but I was taking it one day at a time,” Reid said. “It was a long three days, but I had a race each day to distract myself. It was a lot of fun. I couldn’t think straight when I crossed the finish line. I gave the most embarrassing celebration ever. It hasn’t totally sunk in yet.”
Reid out-dueled rivals Jordan Hasay of Oregon in both races and Big East foe Emily Infeld of Georgetown in the 5,000. In the 5,000 meter race Reid broke away in the last 200 meters for the championship. At the 3,000 meter mark Reid came from the middle of the pack to be amongst the race leaders. With 3 laps remaining Reid was second to Hasay. The race would be decided in the last 400 meters.
“I was just sliding up on Jordan (Hasay) and kind of testing her to see what she had,” said Reid. “She wasn’t quite responding so I just decided to go for it. It was kind of dangerous and I had some apprehensions doing it because she has caught me on the curve before, but it worked out. I also had Emily (Infeld) on my shoulder which was a familiar feeling. I feel awesome now that it is over.”
Reid ran past Hasay, then held off a late charge by Infeld. The time for the Wildcat senior was 15:37.57. Infeld finished second, with Hasay fourth. Villanova teammate Bogdana Mimic ran a time of 15:55.09 for an 11th place finish. Leslie Kovach of Penn was 18th running the distance in 16:16.10.
The 1,500 meter race was on Saturday, June 11. The race was another battle with Hasay and Lucy Van Dalen of Stoneybrook that was again decided in the last 400 meters. On the bell lap Hasay moved in front. Reid made a move on the rail to take the lead winning with a time of 4:14.57, her second-fastest time of the season. Reid credited her win to good in-race decisions.
“It was a coincidence the inside opened up but I had enough pop to go outside if I needed to, so I think the inside opening up was just a coincidence,” Reid said. “The tactics of the race are all about patience. You have to stay calm and relaxed because when you are calm and relaxed you react to other people’s moves and make your own moves clear-mindedly. That’s what I try to do. I make sure my moves are for real, are decisive, and are the final move of the race.”
Reid concluded this season by winning the individual and team cross-country championship. She later decided to run the 5,000 in addition to the 1,500. It turned out that she hit a grand slam.
Written By: Glenn Papazian