Caitlin Collier pulled ahead in a tight race, running to early-round victory and advancing to the women's 800-meter semifinals at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tuesday in Tampere, Finland.

The recent Bolles graduate won a tightly bunched fourth heat in 2:11.30 to move on. Only three-quarters of a second separated the top seven runners.

Majtie Kolberg of Germany led after the first lap, at a relatively slow pace of 1:07.33, but Collier moved to the front on the final lap to win ahead of Great Britain's Isabelle Boffey, Poland's Milena Korbut and Kolberg.

Collier, the fastest runner this year among the runners competing in Finland, races in the semifinal stage Wednesday morning.

A top-two finish in her semifinal, or one of the two best times among runners not automatically qualifying, would earn a spot in Thursday's world final.

Collier, who will race in the third and last of the semifinals, drew what appears to be the easiest road to the final eight. Her semifinal draw avoided most of the other leading contenders: NCAA champion Sammy Watson of the United States, Kenya's Jackline Wambui and Ethiopians Diribe Welteji and Fireweyni Hailu.