Deacon finishes 18th in 1,500m at outdoor nationals

Natalie Deacon runs in the 1,500m at outdoor nationals.

La Crosse, Wis. -- Lynchburg College graduate student Natalie Deacon (West Chester, Pa.) raced to eighth in her heat of the women's 1,500-meter run Thursday afternoon in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the Veteran's Memorial Field Sports Complex at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Her time of 4:44.42 put Deacon 18th in the event, meaning she will not move on to Saturday's finals.

She finished short of her own program record in the event (4:29.88) and her season best in the race (4:32.69), which she set at the Raleigh Relays on March 30.

Running in the second of two preliminary heats, Deacon jumped out toward the front of the pack off the gun and helped set the pace through the first of four laps. She sat third midway through the race as the front two, Buffalo State's Veronica Kordrupel and Emory University's Gabrielle Stravach pulled away.

Deacon fell toward the middle of the pack on the third lap as the race began to stretch out and was unable to make up enough ground to reach the final. The top four finishers in each heat plus the next four times between the two races advance to Saturday. Two runners from each heat earned the at-large berths.

The race brings an end to Deacon's two-year track & field career, one of the most illustrious in Hornet history. She was an All-American in the event in 2017, earning seventh place at outdoor nationals a year ago. Deacon is also a two-time All-American in the indoor 1-mile run, all that coming after a stellar career with the Lynchburg women's soccer team for which she was an All-ODAC, Academic All-America performer and a starter on LC's 2014 national championship team. She helped Lynchburg win its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship in women's track & field since 2011 this season.

Deacon is one of two women in Lynchburg track & field history to earn three All-America honors and finishes the season ranked in the national top 25 in both the 800 and 1,500.