Where Your Dreams Become Reality
LetsRun.com's Recap of Day 1 Distance Heats of 2008 Olympic Trials: 800 Defending Champ Alysia Johnson Out, Khadevis Robinson Sneaks By
Men's 800 - 1st Round
Sam Burley used his patented late kick very effectively as with 80 meters to go he was out of the top 4 automatic qualifying spots but ended up finishing second in 1:47.02. Iraq war veteran Golden Coachmen did not advance.
After the race, we caught up with Lomong who indicated he's going to show up for the semi-final and keep running the 800 at this meet until he runs 1:44. "If I don't hit that time (my coach and I established), I'll keep running the 800 (at this meet)..." At first, Lomong did not want to reveal the time, but with a little coaxing he revealed it was 1:44.
Khadevis Robinson left the media area before knowing he made the final, but he refused interview requests after his subpar run.
Heat 1 Preliminaries 1 Lopez Lomong Nike 1:46.93Q 2 Sam Burley Asics 1:47.02Q 3 Duane Solomon U S C 1:47.35Q 4 Jonathan Johnson Reebok 1:47.36Q 5 Brandon Shaw Oregon TC Elite 1:47.67q 6 Khadevis Robinson Nike 1:48.04q 1:48.032 7 Floyd Thompson Santa Monica T C 1:48.04q 1:48.037 8 Elliott Blount Oregon TC Elite 1:48.08q 9 Golden Coachman Mississippi State 1:48.59 10 Carlos Phillips Florida 1:49.84
Heat 2 Preliminaries 1 Nicholas Symmonds OTC/Nike 1:49.01Q 2 Ryan Brown Asics 1:49.20Q 3 Jebreh Harris Reebok 1:49.29Q 4 Matt Scherer OTC/Nike 1:49.38Q 5 Tyler Mulder unattached 1:49.47 6 Kevin Elliott Oregon TC Elite 1:49.49 7 Mark Wieczorek Team XO 1:49.72 8 Dustin Emrani Oregon TC Elite 1:49.79 9 Tetlo Emmen Asics Aggie 1:49.97 10 Abraham Mach Central Michigan 1:53.92
Wheating may have gotten the win but the man who defeated Wheating at NCAAs, Jacob Hernandez, looked great and controlled the heat for much of the race.
2005 world indoor champ David Krummenacker who has struggled for most of the year managed to advance. But for every success, the nature of track and field is there must be a failure. In this case, the heart-ache belongs to Kevin Hicks. When the now 23-year old went pro after running a ridiculous 1:44.93 as a 21-year old sophomore in college in 2005, he (and Nike) certainly were likely dreaming of Olympic glory in 2008. The 23-year old was viewed by many as America's great hope in the half-lap event.
Not getting out of the first round of the Trials likely wasn't in the game-plan. A distraught Hicks didn't really want to talk to after the race. When we asked what has gone wrong, Hicks told us, "Please don't ask me that. I don't have an answer for that. I don't think I made it (to the next round) so I don't see why I should talk to the media."
Heat 3 Preliminaries 1 Andrew Wheating Oregon 1:47.85Q 2 Christian Smith OTC/Nike 1:47.97Q 3 Jacob Hernandez Texas 1:48.01Q 4 David Krummenacker adidas 1:48.39Q 5 Kevin Hicks OTC/Nike 1:48.51 6 Neville Miller New York A C 1:48.52 7 Trent Riter unattached 1:49.13 8 James Hatch unattached 1:49.35 9 Jon Rankin Nike 1:49.63 10 Tim Harris Miami 1:49.65
Women's 800 - 1st Round: Alysia Johnson Out
The other major development was that while many expected a high schooler to make a bid for the 800 final, they pre-race attention was on the wrong girl as HS record holder Chanelle Price didn't advance but the precocious 16-year old Laura Roesler of North Dakota fit the bill and ended up being the darling of the media tent.
1 Hazel Clark Nike 2:03.65Q 2 Latavia Thomas L S U 2:03.90Q 3 Morgan Uceny Reebok 2:03.91Q 4 Laura Roesler Team NoDak 2:04.03Q 5 Brenda Martinez Cal-Riverside 2:04.11q 6 Heather Dorniden Minnesota 2:04.66q 7 Laura Hermanson North Dakota State 2:04.89q 8 Victoria Martinez unattached 2:05.65 9 Krishna Curry U C L A 2:05.91 10 Nichole Jones Baylor 2:07.18
Price encountered a decent amount of contact in the race (for some reason USATF didn't run 4 heats in the men's or women's races. As a result, they ran the races with a waterfall start instead of out of lanes. Hell in our minds, it would have been better to have a few athletes randomly share lines), but she didn't make any excuses after the race.
1 Alice Schmidt adidas 2:03.58Q 2 Katie Waits Reebok 2:03.73Q 3 Maggie Vessey unattached 2:04.00Q 4 Nikeya Green Reebok 2:04.87Q 5 Becky Horn Western Michigan 2:05.10q 6 Chanelle Price United Stars 2:05.93 7 Carlee Clark-Platt unattached 2:05.99 8 Sherron Rhetta South Bay/Nike 2:07.29 9 Christina Rodgers unattached 2:07.82 -- Sasha Spencer Nike DNF
Overall Analysis: Hazel Clark and Kameisha Bennett looked very strong in leading wire-to-wire while Alice Schmidt and Katie Waits raced with real purpose on Friday as well. Look for a pair of fast races on Saturday as there will be no easy spots in this final. With Alysia Johnson's stunning departure, there is an extra Olympic spot to battle for.
800 Women's Interviews
If one looked at just the results of this heat, they'd see that all of the big names like Bernard Lagat, Jonathon Riley, Adam Goucher, Matt Tegenkamp advanced as expected and they'd miss really what happened. After an opening mile of 4:28.8, the pace slowed down greatly as 3200 was hit in 9:12.9. Zap Fitness's Tom Morgan, who had led the first mile, went again to the lead with a mile to go and really threw down. He opened up a 20-meter lead pretty quickly as from 3600 to 4800 he ran three straight 62s. Unfortunately, the studs behind him swallowed him up with just over 200 to go and it was agonizing to see him lose the final auto qualifying spot in the last 10 meters as Josh Rohatinsky who has no intention of running the 10k final passed him near the line.
The good news is Morgan's time got him into the final as a time qualifier. Additionally, we learned today that if you don't declare for the final, you're auto spot will be given to someone else - at least that's what Galen Rupp told us after he qualified in heat 2 (see below).
The other thing to note in this heat is that it appears that Brent Vaughn, who pushed Lagat earlier in the year at Stanford and ran 13:18, is cooked as he only ran 14:06.90 and barely made the final. Of course, in 2000, another former Colorado Buffalo Adam Goucher was the final time qualifier and he went out and won the final. Don't expect history to repeat itself.
Heat 1 Preliminaries 1 Matt Tegenkamp Nike 13:54.62Q 2 Jonathon Riley Nike 13:54.69Q 3 Bernard Lagat Nike 13:54.93Q 4 Stephen Pifer Colorado 13:55.10Q 5 Adam Goucher Nike 13:56.25Q 6 Josh Rohatinsky Nike 13:56.94Q 7 Thomas Morgan ZAP Fitness 13:57.28q 8 Matthew Gabrielson Reebok 14:00.92q 9 Ryan Vail unattached 14:05.26q 10 Brent Vaughn Nike 14:06.90q 11 Hassan Mead unattached 14:07.44 12 Andrew Carlson T USA Minn/N Bal 14:13.78
But on the plus side, the hometown crowd certainly liked seeing a yellow Oregon duck jersey finish first. Plus Rupp is young and we're sure it was clear that the move to the front really helped energize him for the 10k final (afterwards, Rupp said there is a chance he'll run the 5k final). We'll let the celebration police and his fellow competitors decide if the extension of the right index finger up in a #1 position was a bit much for a prelim win, as was the two handed exultation past the finish line (Solinsky said he "chuckled" when he saw Rupp's celebration) .
Zap Fitness's Kyle King got the final qualifying his spot. He gave it his all to do so and ended up in a wheelchair after collapsing on the track.
NCAA 5k champ Curtis indicate he switched from his original plan of running the 1500m here, because he realized his chance of making the Olympics is much greater in the 5k than the 1500.
Heat 2 Preliminaries 1 Galen Rupp unattached 13:59.14Q 2 Chris Solinsky Nike 13:59.65Q 3 Robert Curtis Reebok 14:00.00Q 4 Bolota Asmerom Oregon TC Elite 14:00.48Q 5 Ian Dobson adidas 14:01.42Q 6 Kyle King ZAP Fitness 14:04.82Q 7 Ryan Bak Oregon TC Elite 14:07.42 8 Anthony Gallo Run Flagstaff Mz 14:12.54 9 James Strang Arkansas 14:12.68 10 Ryan Kirkpatrick Reebok 14:29.66 11 Rod Koborsi Reebok 14:30.41 -- Patrick Tarpy Reebok DNF
*Day 1 LetsRun Photos