Phoebe Wright has the No. 5 800m time in the world this season.
July 7, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
EUGENE, Ore. -- Former University of Tennessee standout Phoebe Wright dipped below the two-minute mark in the 800 meters for the first time and placed fourth against an international field Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic.
Wright, who recently wrapped up her Lady Vol career, uncorked a career-best time of one minute, 58.22 seconds to place fourth in front of more than 12,000 fans at Hayward Field, where she won an NCAA Championship in the 800 a couple of weeks ago. Her previous best mark had been a 2:00.40 readout last July, and she came narrowly close to sub-two status again on June 27 this season at the USA Championships (2:00.47).
The top American finisher in the field, Wright placed behind Mariya Savinova of Russia (1:57.56), Nancy Langat of Kenya (1:57.75) and Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya (1:57.84) and just ahead of Alysia Johnson (1:58.84), the 2010 U.S. champion.
Wright's mark is a Lady Vol record, supplanting the old standard of 2:00.24 that was set by Jasmin Jones in 1990 at the NCAA Championship meet. Her 1:58.22 effort ranks first among American women this season and is fifth fastest in the world thus far in 2010.
The performance also is being considered by a Track & Field News magazine committee for an out of season collegiate record. TFN only considers marks set until the NCAA Championship meet for collegiate records, but it denotes times that eclipse those outside the confines of the college season. The current "o-o-s" record holder, whose readout Wright bettered, is Brigita Langerholc of USC, who ran 1:58.51 on Sept. 25, 2000 in Sydney, Australia. The official collegiate record is 1:59.11, set by Wisconsin's Suzy Favor at the 1990 NCAA Championships.