Middle-distance ace has become a world-beater this summer.
Interview by: Duncan Larkin
American middle-distance runner Morgan Uceny’s race results from two years ago look nothing like the numbers she’s posted this season. In 2009, Uceny managed a sixth-place showing in the 800 meters at the USA Outdoor Championships. Later that summer, she ran a handful of races on the European track circuit, and posted season’s best times of 2:00.06 and 4:09.95 for the 800 meters and 1,500 meters, respectively.
What a difference two years has made.
Uceny, a member of the Mammoth Track Club who is coached by Terrence Mahon, has been lighting the track on fire this summer. She isn’t just beating other Americans (she won the 1,500m at the USA Outdoor Championships); she’s beating the rest of the world, too. In the weeks following her come-from-behind victory in Eugene at the end of June, Uceny has impressive victories at the Athletissima (Lausanne) and Aviva Grand Prix (Birmingham) Diamond League meets in the 1,500 meters. And then, on July 19 in Lignano, Italy, Uceny showed her versatility as a middle-distance specialist, winning the 800m with a career best 1:58.37.
All told, out of 12 appearances on the track in 2011, the 26-year-old Cornell University graduate has been victorious four times (including heats) and found herself on the podium 10 times.
What is the secret of her success? We caught up with Uceny from her European training base in Lucca, Italy, where she is preparing for next month’s World Championships, to find out the answer to this question.