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SANTA CLARA, California, June 22. NBAC’s Cierra Runge, a future California Golden Bear, capped off her breakthrough meet with a win in the women’s 800-meter freestyle at the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara.
Runge raced her way to a winning time of 8:26.71 to not only win, but also blast her lifetime best of 8:35.89 from the Charlotte stop of the Grand Prix. That performance also skyrocketed Runge up to 11th in the world rankings in the process.
Runge’s teammate Lotte Friis finished second in the finale with an 8:27.26, just off her eighth-ranked 8:26.16 from Charlotte, while Canada’s Brittany MacLean finished third in 8:29.51.
BlueFish’s Elizabeth Beisel, from a slower seeded heat, took fourth in 8:33.27 with NBAC’s Gillian Ryan snaring fifth in 8:38.53. Gators’ Andreina Pinto (8:38.65) and A&M’s Sarah Henry (8:40.28) took sixth and seventh.
Bulldogs’ Amder McDermott was the second top-nine placer from an earlier heat with an eighth-place 8:44.86, while Pleasanton’s Moriah Simonds wound up ninth in 8:47.44 of the timed final event.