Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Thursday saw the first finals at the 2008 NCAA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa and they did not disappoint.
Iowa's hometown hero Lisa Koll of Iowa State dominated the women's 10,000m and got a standing ovation from the hometown fans, Shadrack Songok defended his 10,000m crown in an exciting race with Arkansas' Shawn Forrest, Brittney Reese jumped a world leader and nearly broke the meet record in the long jump, Ngonidzashe Makusha of Florida State (and Botswanna) soared in the long jump going 27'2.5", the fourth longest jump in the world this year, and Ashton Eaton of Oregon went over 8,000 points in the decathlon.
We recap the distance action below and present our 3 minute highlight video.
Women's 10,000m: Lisa Koll Rolls Before Hometown Fans
Koll has a great concept of pace as her splits were super consistent. Her first mile (1600) was 5:14 (16:21) pace, she hit the 5k right at 16:21 (the pack was 16:57) and she finished in 32:44 (she slowed a little the fifth mile).
The Iowa fans were super appreciative of Koll's dominant effort. They gave her a standing ovation at the bell, then again at the finish, and again at the awards ceremony. Koll finished nearly a minute up on everyone in the field.
Providence's Danette Doetzel, a former junior XC star for Canada (14th at World Junior XCs) was second and freshman Alexandra Gits (4th at Footlocker's in 2006) was 3rd, as everyone behind Koll was strung out by the end.
Koll who was NCAA runner-up in the 5000m really emerged as a national star with her 32:11.13 10k at Stanford on April 4th, an American collegiate record. She was swarmed by the local media afterwards as you can see in the video interview and here.
Up next in 2 weeks is the Olympic Trials where she said her goal is to make the team in the 10,000m (she'll have to run under 31:45.00 as well). She knows it's a long shot, but is hoping for the perfect race.
She was super pleased to get her first NCAA crown before the Drake crowd. Nothing is bigger than the Drake Relays for an Iowa high schooler and Koll never won at Drake as a high schooler. She said, "I wanted to run fast tonight because the weather was perfect. The crowd helped a lot. Being at Drake, at nationals, and having the crowd cheer as loud as they did was amazing. To finally have the chance and the opportunity was great. It was something really special."
======================================================================= Final Only. Two waterfall, one turn, start (18 - 9) American: 30:34.49 5/4/2008 Shalane Flanagan, Nike College Best: 32:19.97 4/30/2004 Alicia Craig, Stanford NCAA Meet: 32:28.57 6/1/1998 Sylvia Mosqueda, Cal State Los An Drake Stad.: 32:57.38 1988 Patti Murray, Nike Name Year School Finals Points ======================================================================= Finals 1 Lisa Koll SO Iowa State 32:44.95 10 2 Danette Doetzel JR Providence 33:44.23 8 3 Alexandra Gits FR Stanford 33:49.73 6 4 Marisa Ryan SR Boston University 33:54.38 5 5 Katrina Rundhaug SR Wisconsin 34:00.62 4 6 Meghan Armstrong SR Iowa 34:01.87 3 7 Morgan Haws JR Weber State 34:05.56 2 8 Racheal Marchand SR Iowa 34:05.87 1 9 Jolee vanLeuven JR Princeton 34:09.51 10 Grace Kemmey JR Iowa State 34:27.42 11 Clara Grandt SO West Virginia 34:41.04 12 Emily Harrison SR Virginia 34:48.19 13 Andrea Walkonen JR Boston University 34:54.32 14 Katie Read JR Virginia 35:15.47 15 Dana Hastie SR Stony Brook-SUNY 35:19.73 16 Natalie Sherbak JR Virginia Tech 35:26.87 17 Ali Kielty SO Arizona State 35:27.68 18 Christina DeRosa SR Massachusetts 35:33.33 19 Denise Bargiachi JR Arkansas 35:41.98 20 Becky Wade FR Rice 35:51.16 21 Marissa Daniels SR Rice 35:58.65 22 Taryn Gibson SR Louisville 38:45.60 -- Melissa Grelli JR Georgetown DNF -- Diane Nukuri SR Iowa DNF -- Kara Scanlin SR Virginia DNF -- Betty Rotich JR Alabama DNF -- Lara Crofford FR Nebraska DNF
Mens 10,000m: Songok Defends in Exciting Finish
Arkansas' James Strang (transfer from Colorado) and Shawn Forrest (an Aussie) took out the race hard at the beginning and opened up a big lead on the rest of the field during the first mile. Soon they slowed down (9:03 at 2 miles, we missed the 1600m split talking to Lisa Koll). A chase pack caught them and soon there was 9 and then 10 guys who would run together until the final mile. The pace slowed even more once everyone got together (70-72 second laps).
A 68 second lap from three laps to two laps to go, dropped the pack down to 6 people. NCAA indoor 5k champ and defending 10k champ Shadrack Songok then took over at the front and a 60.2 second lap narrowed it down to three, Songok, Forrest, and Eastern Kentucky's Jacob Korir at the bell.
Songok and Forrest would separate from Korir on the backstretch of the final lap and battle for the win down the straight. Songok veered into lane two to keep Forrest from passing him, so Forrest tried to come by him on the inside but in the end Songok just had too much left as he held off Forrest to defend his NCAA title (68, 60.2, 58.3 for the last 3 laps) (the final 200 is in the 3 minute highlight video)
This was Songok's last outdoor NCAA track race (he has XC and indoors left) and he called this win more satisfying than last year's as a result (interview below). He was hoping to qualify for the Kenyan Olympic Trials but does not believe he will get in based on the times he has run. Forrest knew he was fit coming in, and was pleased to finish 2nd at famed coach John McDonnell's final NCAA meet. Interviews below.
Finals 1 Shadrack Songok SR A&M-CC 28:46.69 10 2 Shawn Forrest JR Arkansas 28:47.08 8 3 Tyson David JR Alabama 28:49.76 6 4 Jacob Korir SR Eastern Kentucky 28:49.92 5 5 Seth Pilkington SR Weber State 28:51.81 4 6 Sean Quigley SR La Salle 29:03.27 3 7 Jeremy Johnson SR New Mexico 29:06.13 2 8 Japheth Ng'ojoy SR Texas-El Paso 29:07.08 1 9 James Strang JR Arkansas 29:10.73 10 Mat Ashton JR New Mexico 29:22.59 11 Mohamed Khadraoui JR Iona 29:28.79 12 Michael Kilburg SR Portland 29:29.10 13 Micheal Eaton FR Louisville 29:33.62 14 Andrew Ledwith JR Iona 29:44.49 15 Christian Wagner JR Wisconsin 29:47.04 16 Matt Clark SR Clemson 29:50.51 17 David Jankowski SR Oklahoma State 29:53.48 18 Chris Pannone JR Colorado 30:13.30 19 Diego Mercado FR Oregon 30:14.87 20 Soimo Kiplagat SR Louisville 30:18.75 21 Jake Schmitt SO Washington 30:44.12 22 John Moore SR Portland 30:49.48 23 Mike Krisch SO Georgetown 30:57.97 24 Landon Peacock FR Wisconsin 31:00.78 25 Daniel Mercado FR Oregon 31:05.10 -- Dan Nunn JR Georgetown DNF
The other distance races of the evening were the semifinals of the men's and women's 800 and 1500.
Women's 800: Alysia Johnson Out
Cal coach Tony Sandoval had the following statement, "Alysia's foot was sore, but she could have run today. It would have been sorer if she ran today, and then even more if she ran in the final. She would have had to take some time off to let her foot heal with the Olympic Trials just a couple weeks away. We had her foot checked out and she's fine. We just didn't want to risk anything with the trials right around the corner."
In heat 1, 2006 indoor champ Heather Dorniden (Minnesota's first NCAA indoor champ, and the girl famous for falling at Big 10s in the 600 and still making the final), led the field through 300 in 60.10. It was still tightly bunched heading into the final 100. Michigan's Geena Gall was the strongest the last 100, as she, Latavia Thomas of LSU and Dorniden got the 3 automatic qualifying spots.
In heat 2 without the missing Johnson, Penn's Jesse Carlin led at 400 (61.06) with Western Michigan's Becky Horne. Horne led coming onto the homestretch but Oregon's Zoe Buckman got the win as Horn and Anna Layman got the auto qualifying spots.
Heat 1 Semi-Finals 1 Geena Gall JR Michigan 2:04.02Q 2 Latavia Thomas SO LSU 2:04.17Q 3 Heather Dorniden JR Minnesota 2:04.32Q 4 Phoebe Wright SO Tennessee 2:04.38q 5 Temeka Kincy SR Texas 2:05.61 6 Christina Rodgers SO Arizona 2:06.01 7 Jessica Ortman JR Kentucky 2:06.54 8 Lavera Morris SR Kentucky 2:07.11 Heat 2 Semi-Finals 1 Zoe Buckman SO Oregon 2:03.64Q 2 Becky Horn SR Western Michigan 2:03.73Q 3 Anna Layman FR Washington State 2:04.03Q 4 Carlee Clark-Platt SR Brigham Young 2:04.10q 5 Jesse Carlin SR Pennsylvania 2:05.88 6 Dominique Jackson FR North Carolina 2:08.03 7 Pilar McShine SO Florida State 2:11.17 -- Alysia Johnson SR California DNS
Men's 800: Wheating and Hernandez Preview, Golden Coachmen Out
Heat 1 featured the 2 favorites for the final, the NCAA leader Jacob Hernandez, and the kid (man giant) wonder Andrew Wheating (Wheating did not run track until his senior year of high school). Hernandez and Wheating gave us an entertaining preview of Saturday's final.
Hernandez led the field through the first 400 (52.69) as Wheating hung back. Hernandez led into and down the homestretch as Wheating unleashed his famous kick. Wheating passed Hernandez before the line, but this was just the semis. The real fireworks are on Saturday.
In heat 2, Duane Solomon led the field at 400 (52.39) and would lead at the finish as well. The crowd loved Northern Iowa's Tyler Mulder who got the 2nd automatic qualifying spot as Austin Abbot had a good finish for the final auto spot.
Golden Coachman who was fourth at NCAAs last year and 7th at USATFs and is an Iraq war vet did not make the final. Coachman came back from Iraq and had to lose 40 lbs to get into racing shape. (For more on him, click here) We still need to do a profile on him like we said last year.
Heat 1 Semi-Finals 1 Andrew Wheating SO Oregon 1:47.15Q 2 Jacob Hernandez JR Texas 1:47.18Q 3 Elias Koech SR Texas-El Paso 1:47.60Q 1:47.597 4 Elkana Kosgei SR LSU 1:47.88q 5 Yarrick Kincaid SR Tennessee 1:48.05q 6 Felix Kitur FR Virginia Military 1:48.22 7 Nectaly Barbosa FR Arizona State 1:48.27 8 Golden Coachman SR Mississippi State 1:48.58 Heat 2 Semi-Finals 1 Duane Solomon SR Southern California 1:47.60Q 1:47.599 2 Tyler Mulder JR Northern Iowa 1:48.45Q 3 Austin Abbott SR Washington 1:48.54Q 4 Carlos Phillips SO Florida 1:48.58 5 Aggrey Chirchir SO Texas-El Paso 1:48.78 6 Tim Harris SR Miami 1:48.85 7 Adam Currie SR Notre Dame 1:49.40 8 Jamaal James SO LSU 1:49.43
Women's 1500 Semis: Brie Felnagle is Back
North Carolina's Megan Kaltenbach, a total high school sensation, had to be helped off the track as she appeared to be injured, in what we think was her last college race.
Semi #2 featured Sally Kipyego attempting to do the 5k, 1500 double this year (after doing the 5k, 10k double last year), NCAA indoor 3k champ Susan Kuijken, and Kujiken's teammate, NCAA indoor mile champ Hannah England.
William & Mary's Emily Anderson led through 400 (69.1) and 800 (2:22) but the group was tight. There was a fall at 1150 meters and 2 went down (we believe Elizabeth Maloy of Georgetown and Natalie Picchetti of Georgia). The main players avoided the fall.
Indoor champ England looked great down the stretch and got the win as Kipyego moved up. Kujiken appeared to be struggling just a bit as she only got the last automatic spot. Oklahoma's Jessica Eldrige must have been tangled up in the fall (but did not go down) but she petitioned and was put in the final.
Men's 1500: AJ Nation
In heat 2, Laef Barnes of UCLA led the first lap (59.1) and at 800 (200.4) as AJ Acosta was close. 10 guys were still in it at 1200 and it came down to the kick. Georgetown's Andrew Bumbalough got the win, Wisconsin frosh Evan Jager was 2nd, his teammate Jack Bolas 3rd, (joining teammate Craig Miller from heat 1 in the final). AJ Acosta
Heat 1 Preliminaries 1 Leonel Manzano SR Texas 3:41.70Q 2 Garrett Heath JR Stanford 3:42.21Q 3 Craig Miller SO Wisconsin 3:42.47Q 3:42.462 4 Dorian Ulrey SO Northern Iowa 3:43.10Q 5 Kurt Benninger SR Notre Dame 3:43.86q 3:43.856 6 John Richardson SR Kentucky 3:44.27 7 Lee Emanuel JR New Mexico 3:44.58 8 John Kosgei SO LSU 3:46.05 9 Russell Brown SR Stanford 3:46.48 10 Matthew Elliott SR Winthrop 3:52.68 11 Matt Debole SR Georgetown 3:54.25 q-advanced to final 12 John Mickowski SR Army 4:03.68 13 Darren Brown SR Texas 4:08.32 q-advanced to final Heat 2 Preliminaries 1 Andrew Bumbalough JR Georgetown 3:42.28Q 2 Evan Jager FR Wisconsin 3:42.41Q 3 Jack Bolas SO Wisconsin 3:42.43Q 4 David Torrence SR California 3:42.47Q 3:42.461 5 Jeff See JR Ohio State 3:42.51q 6 Mark Davidson FR Tulsa 3:43.32q 7 Andrew Jesien JR Virginia 3:43.66q 8 Andrew Acosta SO Oregon 3:43.86 3:43.859 9 Kyle Miller JR Texas 3:43.88 10 Peter VanderWesthuizen SR Nebraska 3:45.53 11 Laef Barnes JR UCLA 3:48.58 12 Mark Matusak SO California 3:51.58 13 Michael Kerrigan SR Villanova 3:53.54
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