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LoStracco ends record-breaking season with championship appearance

Bradley’s Tiana LoStracco runs during an indoor meet. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

After a season of consistently breaking her own records, Bradley track and field junior Tiana LoStracco will get the chance to compete against some of the best in the nation next week. 

“I am feeling a healthy amount of nerves,” LoStracco said. “But overall I’m extremely excited for this opportunity to compete at the national level.”

After crossing the finish line at the west preliminaries with a time of 4:10.80, LoStracco qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 1500m and broke her own PR and the Missouri Valley Conference record by just over five seconds.

Two days later, she broke it again. 

LoStracco might have finished short of a top ten finish in the West Regionals but she was still able to beat her previous time with a 4:10.69. With NCAA championship qualification on the line, both of her times were good enough to punch her ticket to the championships in Austin, Texas. 

After shifting her focus from the 800-meter she ran her first season to the 1,500-meter that she currently competes in, the switch from middle-distance to long-distance is never simple. 

“My endurance has been an area of improvement for me this year which has allowed me to transition to racing the 1,500-m, compared to previous years where I focused more on the 800-m,” LoStracco said. 

The shift seemed to pay dividends for the Guelph, Ontario native, as she broke the school record in early February at the Meyo Invitational with a time of 4:39.00. She broke the record once again at the Drake Relays and later at the west preliminaries. 

This wasn’t LoStracco’s first time in the qualification stage, as she had previously participated last year in the same competition. 

“At the start of the season I sat down with coach [Darren] Gauson and we established some goals that I have been motivated to work towards,” LoStracco said. “I am highly motivated by my great teammates and we always work hard together and encourage each other in practices and races as well.” 

With the NCAA outdoor track and field championships taking place next week, the MVC will be well represented by 12 different athletes from six schools, making up the largest MVC-qualified group since 2017. LoStracco will run at Mike A. Myers Stadium on June 8. 

“When I finished the race at the [NCAA] West Regionals and I realized that I had qualified for the Championships I was ecstatic,” LoStracco said. “I am so grateful to God for this blessing and excited for this opportunity to compete against some of the best runners in the nation.”

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