Jan. 14, 2008
HOUSTON - Former Yale distance star Kate O'Neill won the US Half Marathon Championship on January 13th in Houston, Texas, her first ever national championship.
O'Neill took the lead in the women's race at five-kilometers and never looked back, maintaining a thirteen second lead over her competition for the duration of 13.1 mile race, completing the course in 1:11:57. For her victory, O'Neill will receive a prize purse of 12,000 dollars as well as fifteen points in the 2008 USARC (USA Running Circuit). The circuit features nine races for women (seven for men) with distances from 5,000-meters to full marathons, of which the US Half Marathon Championship was the first. At the end of the circuit, the runner who has attained the most points will receive a grand prix prize purse of 12,500 dollars.
During her time at Yale, O'Neill was one of the best distance runners in the country, and arguably the best to ever go through Yale. A six time All-American and ten-time Ivy League champion across various distances, O'Neill also holds five school records, was the recipient of the Nellie P. Elliot Award, an award given to a senior woman who's academic and athletic excellence best reflect the ideals of sportsmanship at Yale, and was selected as the NCAA Woman of the Year for Connecticut in 2003.
O'Neill is slated to compete in the US women's Olympic marathon trials in Boston on April 20th. Should she finish in the top three, O'Neill would guarantee herself a position on the 2008 Beijing Olympic team.
report by Ted Galligan '10, Yale Sports Publicity