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Alexander 6th in 800-meter final; Duncan also All-American

Izzy Alexander '09 became Bates' first All-American woman in the 800 meters, indoor or outdoor. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)

ADA, Ohio -- Bates College junior Izzy Alexander finished sixth Saturday in the women's 800-meter run finals at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, earning the second All-America honors of her career.

Alexander (Harvard, Mass.) ran a time of 2:16.46 in Saturday's final, sixth best in the eight-woman field. Jessica Scott of Wisconsin-Platteville won the race in 2:11.84. In Friday's preliminary heats, Alexander broke her own Bates record by timing in at 2:13.87, shaving 0.82 seconds off of the mark she set 13 days earlier at Open New Englands. Alexander's time in prelims was the third best in the field of 11.

Alexander also won All-America honors a year ago as part of Bates' distance medley relay team. At outdoor nationals last May she finished ninth in the 400-meter hurdles.

"Izzy is amazing. She works extremely hard and she really deserves this," said Bates head coach Jennifer "Jay" Hartshorn. Hartshorn noted that Alexander finished sixth despite her No. 12 seeding in the event, like at outdoor nationals last May when she finished ninth despite her 18th seeding. "She's a competitor," said Hartshorn.

On Friday, the first day of the meet, Bates sophomore Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan (Topsham, Maine) won the first All-America honors of her career, finishing eighth in the 20-pound weight throw.

Duncan posted her top throw of 53 feet, 11 inches on her first throw of the preliminary rounds Friday at Ohio Northern University. She fouled on her remaining five throws on the day, so it was a good thing that her first one was the sixth-best performance in prelims, qualifying Duncan for the finals, where the 53'11.00" held up as eighth best on the day, and the best for a sophomore. The top eight finishers in each event earn All-America status.

Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '08 became Bates' second All-American in the women's weight throw. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)

University of St. Thomas senior Carol Comp won the national title with a top throw of 56'10.25", well under Duncan's top throw this season of 57'07.00".

"For Vantiel to make finals in her first trip to nationals is a big deal," said Hartshorn, pointing out that newly minted men's NCAA champion Noah Gauthier '08 didn't on his first trip. "It tends to be the seniors who dominate at nationals, so Vantiel did a great job competing today."

Duncan becomes the 13th Bates woman to achieve All-America status in indoor track and field and the second to win the award in the weight throw, along with Keelin Godsey '06. Hers is the 18th All-America award won by a Bates woman at indoor nationals.

Alexander and Duncan combined to score four team points for Bates, placing the Bobcats in a five-way tie for 46th place out of 67 scoring teams at the meet.

Women's 800 Meters Results

Women's Weight Throw Results

Final Team Scores