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Day 2 Distance Recap at 2010 USATF Indoor Championships: Symmonds, Manzano, Pierce, and Uceny Win Titles

By Ben Fletcher for LetsRun.com
February 28, 2010
Albuquerque, NM

ALBUQUERQUE – The second and final day of the USATF Indoor National Championships provided the sold out Albuquerque crowd and ESPN TV audience with an exciting experience as they witnessed spectacular events from the 60m hurdles to the 1500m. 

Distance Action:

Women’s 800m – Pierce comfortably kicks down field to notch spot to Doha. 

Team USA Minnesota athlete Heather Dorniden took the lead from the gun and set an honest pace with splits of 28.97 (200m) and 59.91 (400m) respectively.  Anna (Willard) Pierce and Alysia Johnson worked their way up before Pierce took over at the bell.  Johnson chased Pierce down the backstretch but was unable to catch her, as Pierce pulled away around the final turn to win in 2:00.84 locking up the fastest time in the US this year.  Most impressive was the ease with which Pierce took control and smoothly ran away from the other runners.  After her undefeated 800m outdoor season in 2009, Pierce appears to be rounding into form for World Indoors after starting her pro season with a loss at Reebok Boston. After that race, Pierce said, "I think I need a few more weeks and by USAs I’ll be ready to go."

Finals
  1 Anna Pierce                  Nike                   2:00.84
  2 Alysia Johnson               Nike                   2:01.45
  3 Heather Dorniden             Team USA Minnesota     2:02.33
  4 Erin Donohue                 Nike                   2:03.78
  5 Angee Henry                  Team Neb Brooks        2:04.62
  6 Laura Januszewski            unattached             2:05.15
                    

Women’s 1500m – Uceny runs boldly but fails to qualify for Doha due to lack of qualifying time. 

For the second night in the row the longer women’s race proved to be very electrifying.  Morgan Uceny, who has been training with Anna Pierce in Mammoth Lakes, CA, took the lead early in the race and ran strongly from the start stringing out the pack behind her.  2008 Olympians, Erin Donohue and Shannon Rowbury, hung back, shifting places with former University of Tennessee star Sarah Bowman.  Uceny looked to have the race locked up at the bell but a fast charging Shannon Rowbury began to kick coming even with Uceny in the final meters, but it was not enough as Uceny won by a hair in 4:19.46 to Rowbury’s 4:19.48.  Uceny failed to hit the qualifying time for Doha and will thus be left off the team.  However, Rowbury and Donohue were the only two athletes to have the qualifying times coming into the meet, finishing in second and third respectively. 

Finals
  1 Morgan Uceny                 Reebok                 4:19.46
  2 Shannon Rowbury              Nike                   4:19.48
  3 Erin Donohue                 Nike                   4:21.86
  4 Sarah Bowman                 New Balance            4:22.28
  5 Treniere Moser               Nike                   4:22.81
  6 Liz Maloy                    NYAC                   4:22.90
  7 Maggie Infeld                NYAC                   4:24.70
  8 Molly Lehman                 NYAC                   4:25.76
  9 Mason Cathey                 Indiana Invaders       4:35.51
 10 Gabriele Anderson            unattached             4:36.28
 11 Annick Lamar                 unattached             4:37.43
 12 Laura Farley                 Team Ind Brooks        4:38.57
 13 Lesley Higgins               NYAC                   4:42.71
 14 Allison McCabe               Grtr Boston TC         4:46.39
 15 Ali Mann                     Nike Team Run LA       4:49.36
 -- Anna Pierce                  Nike                       DNS
 -- Sara Hall                    Asics                      DNS
                    

Men's 800m Symmonds Overcomes Huge Lead by Duane Solomon on Final Lap

With defending national champion Khadevis Robinson scratching from the final, a new champion was to be crowned in this 2010 edition of the four lapper.  Former USC All-American Duane Solomon made his intentions early by running straight to the front and knocking off a first lap of 24.9 and opening a large lead.  Solomon's front running strung out the field of five.  Coming across in a very respectable 52.6 through 400m (Albquerque is at altitude, Symmonds was in 2nd at 55.), Solomon still had a big 10m lead through 600m (120.79).  Had Symmonds left it too late? With 100m to go he was still more than 5 meters back but closing fast. He stormed past Solomon  to win in 1:48.10 and earn his second indoor championship. Symmonds will now try and improve on his 6th place at the 2008 World Indoors.

Afterwards, Symmonds said, "We all wanted to work together a little bit. I was supposed to take over the lead with 150 to go but it was too fast. I just found a way to work with him. I said last night I don't anyone is going to run under 1:48 on this track and I think we might have just done that."

Editor's note: The men's 800m final was one of the more exciting races and was the first race on the TV broadcast. You can watch it here on ESPN360 (everyone with Verizon, AT&T, on a college campus or a military base for sure can watch it).

Finals
  1 Nick Symmonds                Nike/OTC Elite         1:48.10
  2 Duane Solomon                Saucony                1:48.41
  3 Tyler Mulder                 Nike/OTC Elite         1:48.53
  4 Brian Gagnon                 unattached             1:49.66
  5 Mark Wieczorek               Oregon TC Elite        1:49.73
 -- Khadevis Robinson            Nike                       DNS
                    

Men’s 1500m – Leo the Lion Roars to the Win. 

Like the men’s 3000m, the 1500m final proved to be one of apprehension as the runners ran timidly in the opening 1k.  2008 Olympian Leo Manzano made his intentions clear by going to the pole position early.  Running splits of 62 through 400m and slowing to a pedestrian 2:10.7 at 800m, Manzano led a pack of bunched runners.  With 500m to go, as the pace picked up, the race became a shoving match with the runners tripping over each other to defend their positions.  David Torrence, of the newly formed Bay Area Track Club and Nike, pulled even with Manzano with a lap and half to go, but Manzano, sensing the challenge would not relinquish the lead.  Reaching the bell in 3:22, Manzano held steady while OTC Elite Will Leer showed great strength by kicking down Manzano in the final fifty meters, but Manzano proved to be too strong as he powered away to the win in 3:49.16.  The race was reminiscent of Manzano’s 2008 NCAA title when he ran wire to wire win to secure the win.  After the race, Manzano did his best bride’s impression by tossing his spike into the raucous Albuquerque crowd.  Speaking with OTC Elite and former Stanford star Russell Brown after the race, it was apparent that it was indeed a physical race.  Brown, like many of the other milers, was blooded from being spiked.  On his fifth place finish, Brown admitted to not running as smartly as he would have liked and that the jostling in the race led him to loose much valued energy, especially once the race got going.  “In races like these where there is a small margin of error, the shoving takes a lot out of you,” commented a exhausted Brown.  Although training in Albuquerque for the past six weeks, Brown noted that the altitude was surely felt in the race. 

Overall, the second day of action put a strong ending to championships in New Mexico.  Albuquerque will look to add to the grandeur when the Duke City again hosts the championships in 2011.

Finals
  1 Leo Manzano                  Nike                   3:49.16
  2 Will Leer                    OTC/Nike               3:49.31
  3 David Torrence               Nike                   3:50.08
  4 Garrett Heath                Saucony                3:50.11
  5 Russell Brown                OTC/Nike               3:50.56
  6 John Jefferson               Oregon TC Elite        3:52.03
  7 Jordan Horn                  McMillan Elite         3:52.93
  8 Andrew Jesien                Ragged Mtn R           3:53.16
  9 Alex McClary                 unattached             3:55.39
 10 Andy McClary                 unattached             3:55.81
 -- Galen Rupp                   Nike/OTC Elite             DNS
            

More USATF Coverage: Race Results Weekly Recap of Day 1 With Quotes
*LRC Day 1 Distance Recap: Lagat Over Rupp, Metivier Baillie Over Rowbury
*USATF Recap of Day 1: Amber Campbell 3rd Best Weight Throw Ever, Jesse Williams Goes 7'8" in High Jump
*USATF Day 2 Recap: Christian Cantwell Dominates Shot, Carmelita Jeter, Ivory Williams Win Sprints, Terrence Trammell Wins Hurdles, Batman Wins 400, Allyson Felix 3rd in 400
*Day 2 Distance Recap: Lagat over Rupp, Metivier Baillie over Rowbury
*Results here   *There are some limited day 2 distance photos here.

Video: You can watch the meet's TV broadcast on demand on ESPN360 (everyone with Verizon, AT&T, on a college campus or a military base for sure can watch it).

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