ASU’s Houlihan wins NCAA title in 1,500

EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona State track and field’s junior Shelby Houlihan won the NCAA title in the 1,500 meters on Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Houlihan overcame a late press from Florida’s Cory McGee in the last 200 meters to win the race in 4:18.10. This marks the first national title of her Sun Devil career and the first-ever title in this event in program history.

"Shelby ran a very smart, mature race," women’s distance coach Ryan Cole said. "She kept herself out of trouble, and stayed poised throughout some jostling in the pack. She got out of it, did the right thing, and closed things down the rest of the race. I’m very pleased she was able to execute so well, because Shelby loves being a Sun Devil and representing the university. To be the first to win a title is something she’s very proud of. She’s setting an example for her teammates to follow and we’re all very happy for her."

"I’m really a little speechless," Houlihan said. "I knew I could win, it was just a matter of doing it. It really played into my strength that we ran such a slow race. I had to deal with a little pushing, but in the last 400 meters, I tucked in and laid it all out there. It’s really cool to get the first title in the 1,500, and I’m just so glad I could pull it off. It’s all still kind of hitting me, but I’m so excited."

Following four days of competition the ASU men finished in 13th overall, while the women’s team finished in a tie for 22nd.

The Sun Devils picked up All-America recognition in both it’s men’s relays, the 400-meters team of redshirt senior Ryan Milus, senior Will Henry, redshirt junior Devan Spann, and senior Daveon Collins taking seventh at 39.73. The 1,600-meters team of senior Keith Cleveland, Henry, Collins and Spann took fifth with a season best 3:04.11.

On the field, sophomore Josh Dixon placed 18th overall in the triple jump competition with a best of 15.59 meters (51-1.75), which earned him All-American Honorable Mention recognition.