DES MOINES, Iowa In Saturday's final day of the 2008 NCAA National Track and Field Championship, BYU senior Carlee Clark-Platt competed in her final collegiate race, finishing in seventh place in the 800-meter final and earning All-American honors.
Clark-Platt was the only local athlete competing Saturday. The rest of the BYU women's track team gathered in St. George, Utah, on Saturday to attend the funeral of freshman teammate Chelsi Petersen, who died in a car accident last Friday.
"I have been thinking about her throughout the day," Clark-Platt said.
"If I wasn't here, I would have been there (in St. George) with my teammates. I just wanted to go out there today and run in memory of Chelsi. I tried to do what I could to honor her."
Saturday marked the end of a long and distinguished collegiate career for Clark-Platt, who earned her first-ever outdoor All-America citation with her finish in the 800. With her collegiate career over, Clark-Platt will now turn her attention to the Olympic trials later this month in Eugene, Ore. Clark-Platt currently ranks among the top 25 800-meter runners in the country.
"I'm so glad it ended this way," Clark-Platt said. "So many college athletes never have the chance to make it to the national championships. This has been my goal, and I'm just so thankful it ended this way."
In Saturday's finals, Clark-Platt began in lane two and ran on the rail throughout the entire race. She was in fourth place on the inside after 400 meters, before the leaders made a move with around 300 meters remaining.
"With 300 meters to go, the pace picked up," Clark-Platt said. "I was ready to go with them, but my body wasn't as willing. When I knew I wasn't going to be able to stay with them, I just tried to maintain a strong finish and do my best."