Kiwi runner Maia Ramsden has continued her stellar form by defending her US college 1500 metres crown at Oregon

Ramsden, 22, bolted home down the final stretch to record a winning time of 4m 06.62s, crossing almost two seconds ahead of Aucklander Kimberley May to become the first woman in 20 years to win back-to-back titles in the event.

The US-born Wellingtonian attends Harvard University, where she became only the second Kiwi to win an NCAA outdoor title over 1500 metres last year.

Representing Providence College, May crossed in 4m 08.07s, just shy of the personal best she set at Lexington two weeks ago.

The result comes just three weeks after Ramsden smashed the NZ national 1500 metres record at a USATF Grand Prix meet at Los Angeles, clocking 4m 02.58s to eclipse the previous mark of 4m 04.82s set by Nikki Hamblin at Barcelona in 2011 and missing out on Paris Olympics qualification by just 0.8s.

"I came here feeling I had nothing to prove, but that was the same as last year," Ramsden told FloTrack. "I think, this year, I had more concrete expectations for what I was capable of.

"Last year, I knew NCAA Champs would be the last race of my season and I was ready to be done, but this year was about finding more patience, because I am hoping to be racing until the end of August.

"I had a great time. My family is here and my little sister is here watching me race for the first time since I was 16, so it's been cool."

Earlier this year, Ramsden won the national collegiate indoor mile crown with a time of 4m 25.13s, while finishing 10th in the world indoor 1500 metres.

She'll now continue to chase Paris Olympics qualification, with her next competition scheduled for June 16 at the Harry Jerome Classic at Vancouver, Canada.

2024-06-08T22:45:07Z dg43tfdfdgfd