Rachel Hickey punches ticket to Pan American U20 Championships with Team USA
Redbird student-athlete Rachel Hickey posted an impressive performance at the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships Sunday evening in Miramar, Florida, clocking in at 4:30.93 in the 1,500-meter race to finish in second place. With that time, the Peru, Illinois native has secured her spot on Team USATF and will compete at the Pan American U20 Championships in Costa Rica, July 18-21.
“Rachel came on this trip with a purpose and treated it like a business trip,” said Track & Field/Cross Country Assistant Coach Jon-Michael Brandt. “She raced composed and relaxed, you could tell that she trusted and believed in herself which lead to making Team USA. She hasn’t raced since indoor due to injury and to come out and run like that is a testament to her dedication, hard work, and fortitude.”
Sunday’s race was the first 1500-meter run of her collegiate-career after she mostly competed in the 800-meter and mile during the indoor season as a freshman. She ran a personal-best time of 4:52.37 in the mile at the Meyo Invitational in early February and later went on to earn points for ISU in both the mile and as part of the distance medley relay squad at the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship, as the Redbirds took home their second-straight indoor title.
“Making Team USA is a dream come true for me,” said Hickey. “I never could’ve expected this day to come, and that makes it so much sweeter. It just goes to show that if you work hard for something and show up believing in yourself, anything is possible.”
During the 2018 cross country season, Hickey competed in six races as a true freshman, including the MVC Championship and NCAA Midwest Regional. She ran her way to MVC All-Conference honors at the Valley Championship, finishing eighth with a personal-best 5K time of 17:37.30 and ran a solid race at the NCAA Midwest Regional, placing 69th overall with a personal-record 6K time of 21:46.60.
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