May 24, 2012
For immediate release

Quiett and Sees play beat the clock hoping to earn a ticket to Eugene

For Mary Cate Quiett and Jonathan Sees, the race against the clock continues for three more weeks. Can they punch their tickets to Eugene?

The two Sacramento Running Association athletes have spent the 2012 season chasing qualifying times for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, set for June 21-July 1 at the University of Oregon’s storied Hayward Field.

Quiett, a 23-year-old former DePaul University standout who lives in Davis, ran a personal-best 2 minutes 4.91 seconds in the 800 meters indoors earlier this season at the Husky Classic in Seattle.

That’s better than the U.S. Olympic Trials ‘B’ qualifying standard of 2:05.90 but still short of the Trials ‘A’ qualifying mark of 2:01.30. An ‘A’ qualifier gains automatic entry into the Trials; those with provisional ‘B’ qualifying marks have to hope there aren’t enough ‘A’ qualifiers to fill the field.

Sees, a 24-year-old former UC Davis runner who lives in Sacramento, has run 3:45.91 for 1,500 meters. The Trials ‘A’ standard is 3:39:00; the ‘B’ qualifier is 3:43:00.

The deadline to attain qualifying times is June 17.

For Quiett and Sees, every race now is about beating the clock, not other runners.

“It’s a little intense,” said Sees, who plans to run in the Jim Bush Track & Field Championships at UCLA on June 2 and the Portland Track Festival on June 9.

“I’m extremely confident I can get the ‘B’ standard. As far as the ‘A’ standard, I don’t think it will be easy, but given the right race, it could happen.

“It’s just being prepared. I’m excited. I’m rounding into peak shape.”

Quiett appears to be peaking at the right time. She’s steadily lowered her PR over the last five months to move within striking distance of a ticket to the Trials.

Since moving to Davis last December, she’s lowered her PR from 2:05.92 to 2:05.2 to 2:04.91.

“Just from where I’ve come in the last season, Trials or no Trials, if I could run 2:03, I’d be thrilled,” said Quiett, who plans to race in the American Mile High Performance meet in Indianapolis on June 6 and then in the Bermuda National Championships on June 16.

Chasing a Trials qualifier includes figuring out which meets provide the best opportunity to run a fast time.

“It’s fun,” Quiett said. “Trying to figure out the whole running world and what meet to run at has been a challenge.

“It’s been exciting and it’s been a very good learning experience. I love getting to know the other runners.”

Quiett gained some valuable experience at a meet earlier this week in Tempe, Ariz. When a rabbit ran an ultra-fast opening lap, she held back, but perhaps too much.

“It was a 57-second opening lap,” she said. I thought, ‘I’m not running 57.’ It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

“I let the pack get out a little too far ahead of me. It was another learning experience.”

Quiett and Sees hope to join Sacramento Running Association teammate Kim Conley in Eugene. Conley, a former UC Davis runner, has attained the ‘A’ standard in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters but plans to race only in the 5,000.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the California International Marathon, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Dec. 2. More than 3,000 runners have already registered for the race.

Other SRA events include the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon, The Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run and the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.