Nikki Hiltz receives congratulations following her third-place finish in the 1500 meters at the US Track and Field Championships. Photo credit: NBC Sports, via YouTube

Athletes with San Diego connections performed well at the U.S. Track and Field Championships. including  runner Nikki Hiltz.

Hiltz, who according to Runner’s World, trains in San Diego as part of the Mission Athletics Club, took third place in the 1,500 meters. She beat her personal best time by two seconds in finishing at 4:03.55, according to the report.

The top three finishers in each event, with some caveats, qualify for the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in the fall.

“Yesterday I made the world team and it is just hitting me now,” Hiltz tweeted Sunday. “Someone pinch me.”

Whitney Ashley had the top performance among former San Diego State University athletes competing at the meet, in Des Moines. She finished fourth in the discus.

Ashley’s throw measured 201 feet, 10 inches. Valarie Allman of the New York Athletic Club won the event.

The meet, which ended Sunday, featured five other former Aztecs.

Three former Aztecs competed in the pole vault, led by Kristen Brown, who tied for sixth with a vault of 14 feet, 11 inches.

Bonnie Draxler, the NCAA outdoor silver medalist, tied for 9th (14 feet, 5 1/4 inches), while Kortney Ross tied for 11th (NH).

Ashley Henderson placed 10th in the 200 meters (23.06) after making the semi-finals in the 100 meters. Allison Halverson placed 13th in the heptathlon with 5,796 points.

The final day of the competition saw Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad break the world record in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 52.20.

For full results, see USA Track and Field.

– Staff reports

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