For the second straight season, Illinois’ Olivia Howell qualified for nationals in the women’s 1,500-meter race. And for the second straight season, Howell advanced to the finals.
!@oliviahowell117 with a great final push to get herself into qualifying position and finishes fourth overall with a time of 4:13.76 to advance to the women’s 1500m final on Saturday! #ILLINI x #NCAATF pic.twitter.com/ulE7UEWhoZ— Illinois Track & XC (@IlliniTrackXC) June 10, 2022
After a fourth-place run Thursday, Howell topped that qualifying time by more than a second, completing Saturday’s race in a season-best 4:12.22, good for a ninth-place finish and Second-Team All-America honors. Sintayehu Vissa of Ole Miss claimed the national championship with a time of 4:09.42 — in fact, only 0.64 seconds separated first from fourth place.
It was a repeat performance of sorts for Howell. The sophomore also earned Second-Team All-American honors last season after placing tenth in the 1500m at the 2021 outdoor championships, finishing that race in a time of 4:15.56.
It was a terrific showing for the Fighting Illini in Eugene this week, with Howell’s teammate Jon Davis finishing sixth in the Men’s 1500m final.
It’s already been an impressive Illini career for Howell. In 2021 she was recognized as the Dike Eddleman Female Athlete of the Year. She has won two straight Big Ten 1500m titles and set the program record in the event in 2021 (4:09.71).
Congrats to Olivia, and we anticipate many more accolades to come!