Former Tar Heel Runner Makes It to Olympics’ 800-Meter Semifinals
Alice Schmidt ’04 advanced to Thursday’s semifinal round in the women’s 800-meter run at the London Olympics by finishing second in her heat.
Twenty-seven runners in six heats made it to the next round, including Americans Schmidt, Alysia Johnson Montano and Geena Gall.
Schmidt didn’t have to push as hard as some of the others, with only two heats having slower qualifying times than hers. She qualified with a time of 2:01.65, the 11th-fastest time overall.
Prior to the Olympics, Schmidt said she didn’t have a particular time goal. “I would always like a new personal best,” she said, but “each 800 race is different, and championship races are often strategic and not necessarily fast. I’m looking forward to walking off the track knowing that I did my best.”
To qualify, she didn’t need to beat her personal best of 1:58.61 but she might in order to make the finals.
In between races, she just wants to enjoy milling about the Olympic village. “I always have to remind myself to be extra polite because this might be the only experience that a foreign athlete has with an American, and I want be a good representation,” said Schmidt, who also played tennis at Carolina.
— Clifton Barnes ’82