NEW YORK – Columbia junior Sharay Hale ran in the finals of the 400m dash at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, and finished seventh overall, her performance hindered by a fall on the track.

Hale ran in the first heat of the finals, and was held up when Clemson’s Marlena Welsh got tripped up by Arkansas’ Shelise Williams. Welsh fell into Hale’s lane, and the junior was forced to hurdle over Welsh to finish the race. Despite the obstacle, Hale ran 54.22, a time good for seventh place in the nation.

It was the first national championship final for Hale, who will resume action when the 2011 outdoor track & field season begins in April.