UAA junior Dani McCormick of Soldotna earned a spot in the 800-meter finals by winning her heat Friday at the NCAA Division II indoor track and field championships in Pittsburg, Kansas.
McCormick registered the fifth fastest time during preliminary heats, completing the race in 2 minutes, 10.29 seconds.
"Dani ran assertively and responded well when the race really picked up," UAA coach Michael Friess said in a release from the school.
McCormick advanced to Saturday's eight-woman finals, which guarantees her All-America honors for the second straight year in the 800. At the NCAA outdoor championships last year, she finished seventh in the 800 finals.
Two hours after her heat, McCormick was back on the track to join teammates Vanessa Aniteye, Yemi Knight and Tamara Perez for the women's distance medley relay. She ran the first leg for the Seawolves, who struggled to a ninth-place finish.
"The women's DMR was one thing after another," Friess said. "Dani got tripped up and rolled her ankle … Vanessa got the stick and promptly lost a shoe — definitely hard to sprint a 400 with one shoe. That placed Yemi behind and it didn't improve much after that."
Friess said he is hopeful that McCormick's ankle won't keep her out of the 800 finals Saturday.