Willis finishes 16th at Nationals

Willis finishes 16th at Nationals

Related: Women's 400-meter dash results

TURLOCK, Calif. (GoThunderWolves.com - May 26, 2011) - CSU-Pueblo true freshman Shilay Willis (Fr., Aurora, Colo.) finished 16th out of 17 entrants in the finals of the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Division II Championships, held at Cal-State Stanislaus in Turlock, Calif. Thursday.

Willis, who entered the championships with the 14th-ranked 400-meter dash seed time in the nation of 55.09, turned in a time of 57.81.  Of the three heats in the event, she finished last in the second heat.

"It was good experience for her and we're proud of her," Pack head coach Chad Perry said.  "She ran well for the first 200 meters or so, but she hit a heck of a backwind on the back stretch."

Though her finish wasn't as high as she had hoped, Willis, who was the only freshman to qualify for nationals in the 400, gathered valuable experience and established herself as an athlete to watch next season and beyond.

"She was one of just 17 girls in the country to get here and it's a great accomplishment to get this far," Perry said.  "This is just the beginning of big things for her and our program."

With the completion of the 400-meter today, the ThunderWolves' trip to nationals is not yet complete.  Danita Wyatt (Jr., Aurora, Colo.), the sixth-ranked triple-jumper in the nation, will compete Friday at 5:15 p.m.  With a top-eight finish, Wyatt can become the ThunderWolves' first track All-American since 1993.