Lotte Black became the first URI track athlete in the history of the school to achieve 1st Team-All American, this past week in Austin, Texas. This feat took place at the NCAA National Track Championships, which ran for four days at Mike Myers Stadium, at the University of Texas.
She now joins the exclusive URI All-American club with Field Athletes Jasmine Jennings (Hammer 2009), and Crystal Bourque (Hammer 2011).
Black did this in dramatic fashion, advancing to the 1500 Meter Final as the last qualifier in 12th position in the semi-finals. In the final heat she surged from 10th position with 400 meters left, and using a final burst of speed, moved into 4th place at the finish line. For this effort, she broke her two-day old URI school record by 1/100 of a second, with a blistering time of 4:13.02.
For those familiar with track and field, this is a huge feat. The 1500-meter race is one of the most brutal and grueling of all events. While considered a distance race, in reality, it is a much too long sprint. Making things even tougher was the 115-degree air temperature on the track during the race.
Considering that Lotte was injured all last season, and for this year’s cross-country season, it made the finish even more satisfying.
“I usually can run through pain,” said Lotte, “but once it got really bad, the coach had me get an MRI. They found several stress fractures in my foot. I was on crutches and a boot for several months.”
Lotte, who has always enjoyed running on the street rather than in the woods, feels that she got the injuries from running on uneven street surfaces.
URI Women’s Track and Cross-Country Coach Laurie Feit-Melnick could not be prouder of her star runner’s performances this season.
“Lotte set five new school records this year, and two new Atlantic 10 Conference records. The A10 Conference named her the A10 Track Performer of both the Indoor and Outdoor meets. Despite those foot injuries, Lotte ran a 2:04.69 in the 800 and a 4:13.02 in the 1500 this spring.”
Black is returning to Graduate School in the Fall, as a senior with Kinesiology as her major. She finished up this semester with a 3.94 GPA. Lotte plans to train in South Country this summer, and is also working at the Wakefield Running Store part-time.
“I worked at a Cross Fit gym last summer in my hometown in Pennsylvania, but since I am staying in the area this year, I am hoping to run the Blessing of the Fleet race. I heard that it is a great race.”
Narragansett’s Fred Bartlett, who coaches both area swimming and triathlete teams, thinks that Lotte can be an elite triathlete, once she graduates. She is also a very good swimmer and likes to ride the spin bike. But for now, Lotte will continue to chase new school records, and break them.