UMass Women’s Track & Field Alumna Heather MacLean Qualifies For Olympics In 1,500m
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts women's track and field alumna Heather MacLean '17, '19G is Tokyo bound after finishing third in the 1,500 meter run at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field on Monday evening. The Peabody, Mass., native is the first Olympian in the history of women's track & field at UMass.
MacLean rose through the field throughout the race, in eighth following the first 400 meters and moving up two spots from fifth to third on the bell lap while clocking a personal best of 4 minutes, 2.09 seconds.
In Saturday's semifinal she finished just .24 seconds out of the 12th and final qualifying spot, but following a protest, it was ruled that there was incidental contact to no fault of her own and the USATF sent her on to the final as the 13th participant. In Friday's opening round, MacLean ran 4 minutes, 11.85 seconds for the seventh-fastest time and second in her heat.
MacLean capped her collegiate career in 2018 by collecting her third All-America accolade after reaching the NCAA semifinals outdoors in the 800m run. An NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 finalist, she won two gold medals and set a meet record, earning Most Outstanding Track Performer honors at the 2018 A-10 Outdoor Championships. In her final season of cross country eligibility in 2017, MacLean became the first UMass women's cross country All-American after finishing 26th at the NCAA Championships and also won her second straight Atlantic 10 individual cross country title in addition to earning an individual title the 2017 New England Championships.
In addition to being a three-time All-American (mile 2016, cross country 2017, outdoor 800m 2018), MacLean was also a four-time NCAA Outdoor East Preliminary qualifier in her career, which spanned five seasons with the Minutewomen. She was an eight-time New England champion and 10-time Atlantic 10 champion on the track.