TOKYO — Glacier Peak High School graduate Amy-Eloise (Neale) Markovc’s Olympic experience came to an end early Friday morning, but she’s coming home with a personal-best time.
Markovc, competing for Great Britain in track and field, placed ninth in her heat of the women’s 5,000 meters and did not advance to Monday’s final.
Markovc, who was born in Great Britain before her family moved to Snohomish when she was 2, finished with a time of 15 minutes, 3.22 seconds. That bettered her previous personal best of 15:05.96, which she ran in May — and was the time that, after some controversy, earned her qualification to the Olympics. Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia won the heat in a time of 14:55.74.
The top five finishers in each heat automatically advanced to the final, with the five next-best times also advancing. Markovc’s heat, which was the second of two heats, was the slower one, so all five next-best times came from the first heat. The last qualifying time was 14:59.93. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands had the fastest qualifying time at 14:47.89.
Markovc ended up 20th out of 38 competitors. She was the best finisher among Great Britain’s three entrants — Markov finished second at the British Athletics Championships in June.
After the race Markovc posted on her Instagram Story: “Wanted more (as most athletes usually do) but can’t complain too much with a mini PB in a tactical race.”
Reaching the Olympics put a cherry on top of what’s been a breakout season for Markovc. The high school superstar at Glacier Peak from 2009-13 and 2016 Herald Woman of the Year in Sports also claimed the gold medal in the women’s 3,000 meters at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in March.