23 Jun 2012

Van Dalen runs into Games contention in San Diego

12:57 pm on 23 June 2012

The little-known New Zealand middle distance runner Lucy Van Dalen has run into Olympic contention after grabbing a qualifying time for the 1500 metres in San Diego.

Coming less than a week after Commonwealth double medallist Nikki Hamblin was forced out of Games contention through injury, the former Wanganui athlete came within a second of the New Zealand record with a time of four minutes 5.76 seconds.

The time ranks Van Dalen 28th in the world this year and is under the IAAF A qualifying standard, which is likely to result in her being nominated by Athletics New Zealand.

Based for the last four years at Stony Brook University in New York, the 23-year-old student had earlier this year won the US NCAA Indoor 1500 metres title and finished fourth two weeks ago at the NCAA outdoor championships.