Nikki Hiltz celebrates a win in the women s 1,500 meters on day three of the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene Saturday, July 8, 2023. | Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Nikki Hiltz won their first career USA Track and Field outdoor title, racing to gold in the women’s 1500-meter race in 4 minutes, 3.10 seconds.

The final 60 meters of the women’s 1500 meter finals at the USA Track and Field National Championship in Eugene, Ore. Saturday night was an exclamation point for Hiltz, believed to be the first nonbinary national champion in the sport. Hiltz is making a habit of winning this season.

Athing Mu — the reigning 800-meter Olympic champion — who began competing at the distance this season, finished second. Cory McGee was third and nipped the 1500-meter defending national champion, Sinclaire Johnson.

Hiltz started near the back but worked through the field, moving up to fourth at the bell lap.

With 200 meters to go, Hiltz was perched on Mu’s outside shoulder in third as McGee challenged from the inside. Johnson swung from the outside in the final turn and passed Hiltz with 100 meters to go.

The final stretch belonged to Hiltz. They found room between Johnson and Mu and powered into the lead and to their first career national championship.

A final drive propelled Hiltz past Athing Mu (center) and Cory McGee (right) to their first outdoor national title

“I couldn’t even tell you what was going through my mind in my head,” Hiltz said to NBC Sports following the race. “At that point it was just bodies. Just beat as many bodies as possible. It was just super fun and that is what I love about this sport.”

Hiltz, who came out as trans and nonbinary in 2021, also won their third USATF national championship of the season with the win Saturday. In February their finishing kick earned the USATF 1500-meter indoor championship. In May, they took to the streets of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, and surged past Johnson late to claim the USATF 1-mile Road Championship.

Earlier in the week, Hiltz watched girlfriend Emma Gee compete in the 3000-meter steeplechase.

Hiltz’s next target is the World Athletics Championship at Budapest, Hungary in August. It will be Hiltz’s second appearance in a world championship. They finished 12th in the 1500 meters at the 2019 World Championships.