Olympic track and field events especially significant to UH's Infeld family
2012 Summer Olympic track and field events begin on Aug. 3, and University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld has a particular interest in watching them: two of her daughters competed in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June.
At the trials, which were held in Eugene, Oregon, Emily Infeld, 22, placed eighth in the 5,000-meter final in a personal-best time of 15:28.60. Maggie Infeld, 26, placed ninth in the 800-meter semi-final, and seventh in the 1,500 meter final. She also ran a personal-best time of 4:08.31 in the 1,500 meter event. Neither, however, placed high enough to qualify for the Olympic team.
"I had a great time at the trials,” said Emily Infeld. “It was fun to be able to compete against athletes I have read about growing up. I felt honored to be there. It was such an exciting event and the United States is extremely competitive in all the track events, so I knew I was competing against women who had a great chance to medal at the Olympics.
“I was definitely nervous, but tried to just look at the meet as a learning experience, as I was a lot younger than many of the women competing. I wanted to give it my all but also was just trying to have fun, and race and enjoy the entire experience!"
Emily Infeld began running in the third grade at Gesu School and later went on to run for Beaumont School. She was CYO City Champion in the 800-meter run while at Gesu. In high school, she set many records. She was a two-time state cross country champion, a four-time state champion in the 800-meter run, a two-time state champion in the 1,600-meter run, the national champion in the mile, and set the state record for the fastest 1,600-meter time.
Both sisters now live in Washington, D.C. and run for Georgetown University. Emily Infeld, who graduated in May with a B.S. in operations information management, has been the NCAA Champion in the 3,000-meter run, a member of the national championship cross country team and an 11-time All American in track and cross country. She has one year of NCAA eligibility left, and will begin graduate school in the fall. . She will enter graduate school at Georgetown in August and will pursue a degree in Sports Information Management.
Maggie Infeld, also an alumna of Gesu and Beaumont, graduated from Georgetown with a B.S. in psychology in 2008. She received an M.S. degree in physiology from Georgetown in 2009 and is now a third-year medical student at Georgetown Medical School.
Mayor Susan Infeld, who has run several marathons herself, said, “I’m really happy that Emily and Maggie were able to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. They competed against the top American runners and set new personal-best times in their races. Although they did not qualify for the team, they enjoyed having the opportunity. They have wonderful memories of their trials experience, and will carry those memories with them through life.”
She added, “Our family has been watching the Olympics and cheering for all the American athletes. We are looking forward to the beginning of the track and field events and will be cheering on all of the athletes, particularly those we have followed over the years as we have attended NCAA meets and USA national championship events to watch Maggie and Emily compete. This year we are familiar with many of the track athletes, including several foreign athletes who we have watched excel at the collegiate level.”
Christina Sanders is a senior at Cleveland State University and a FutureHeights intern.