DAEGU, Korea - Christine Merrill, a former NCAA National Champion for the UC San Diego track and field team, represented Sri Lanka in the 400- meter hurdles at the 2011 IAAF World Championships on Monday.
Currently ranked 66th in the world and 33rd among entrants at the Worlds, Merrill finished sixth in her heat after clocking in at 57.05. Her preliminary time was just a few tenths shy of her personal best of 56.83, which is a Sri Lankan national record.
World leader Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica won the heat at 54.93, followed by the Ukraine's Anastasiya Rabchenyuk in second at 55.08. American Queen Harrison was third with a time of 55.11.
There were a total of five heats in the prelims, with the top four finishers of each heat and the four fastest times after that advancing to the finals. Merrill finished 27th out of a total of 38 competitors in the event, placing in front of several athletes who came in seeded in front of her.
An eight-time All-American during her career at UCSD, Merrill set school records in both the 400 hurdles (58.04) and 400-meter dash (54.76) as a senior in 2010. As a junior, she won the NCAA Division II title in the 400 hurdles after posting a first place time of 58.59 in San Angelo, Texas.
Merrill, whose mother Neloufa is from Sri Lanka, was one of two athletes to represent
the South Asian island nation at the World Championships.
For complete results from the IAAF World Championships, click here