Midwestern State's Brissia Montalvo battled through a lingering foot injury to advance to Friday night's finals of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at the NCAA Division II Championships in Pueblo, Colorado.
"It was a gutsy race running on one foot," MSU coach Koby Styles said. "This a tough, tough, tough girl we have here. She came ranked 15th and wanted to make the finals and did."
Montalvo, who recorded a time of 11:20.32, is one of 12 runners competing in Friday's finals at the Neta and Eddie DeRose Thunderbowl, set for 8:15 p.m. It will be streamed live on NCAA.com (http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule).s
The top time in the preliminary belongs to Alaska-Anchorage's Susan Tanui at 10:44.67 while Grand Valley State's Betsy Graney won the other prelim with an 11:03.44.
"She ran a tough race with it being at altitude," Styles said. "It was tough on a lot of runners, but Brissia took advantage of running at altitude back home (El Paso). Her next goal is to be an All American."
Montalvo, who earned All-America honors in cross country last fall, would need to finish in the top eight of the finals.
The remainder of the championship qualifying field includes Adams State's Alicia Nelson (10:58.99), Augustana's Kyle Blakeslee (11:03.96), Northwest Missouri's Brittany Poole (11:04.80), U-Mary's Jennifer Agnew (11:10.60), Chico State's Amy Schnittger (11:08.11), Western State's Sarah Lyle (11:11.13), Abilene Christian's Chloe Susset (11:22.07), Minnesota State-Moorhead's Danielle Thompson (11:22.67) and East Stroudsburg's Corinne Fitzgerald (11:23.87).
"Brissia left it all out there in the prelims and now it will take another hard, gutsy effort to reach her goal," Styles said. "She just has to go out there and put herself in contention."