Will Leer Wins Men’s Mile To Complete A Heart-Warming Double at 2013 USA Indoor Track and Field Meet

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By LetsRun.com
March 3, 2012

With his cancer stricken dad watching in the stands, Will Leer got his second victory of the weekend as he just found enough to win the mile after blowing away the field in yesterday’s 3000.

Leer closed in 27.74 to win in 3:58.79 as he just past Craig Miller (2:58.9) meters before the finish moving from 4th at the bell to first. Cory Leslie ended up third in 3:59.88.

It certainly was an emotional win for the Leer family as television cameras showed his mother bursting into tears after the win.

Leer had to work for this one as former Williams runner Macklin Chaffee (a 3:58 miler) made this race an honest one as arguably the two biggest names in the field – Leer and Matt Centrowitz (who had run the 800 less than an hour before) – were doubling back from previous races. After an opening 409 meters of 62.86, Chafee slammed the gas pedal down really hard and ran his second 400 in 57.79.

picture of Will Leer

Will Leer wins 2013 USA Indoor Mile
*More 2013 USA Photos

The big acceleration took Chaffee through 809 in 2:00.60 and at this point Leer was more than two seconds back in sixth (2:02.66). Centrowitz, who often in US races runs up front, had started the race in the back and once the pace accelerated he never responded. He was seemingly content to just complete it as a workout as he went through 809 in 2:03.51 en route to a 4:08.62 finish.

The big acceleration actually ended up proving too much for Chaffee himself to handle as he’d end up a DNF after fading to ninth at the bell – but not too much for Leer. Throughout the race, Leer stayed just close enough to give himself a chance to win. It really was a spectacle to watch as each lap we kept wondering, “Is he too far back to win this?” but he got closer and closer each lap and just stayed close enough to give himself to a shot at victory.

With 4 laps to go he was in sixth (2.06 seconds back), with 3 laps to go he was still in sixth but only 1.40 seconds back, with two laps to go he was fifth (1.16 seconds back) and with a lap to go he was fourth (0.59 seconds back).

Heading into the final turn, Leslie still led with Miller second and Leer third, but Miller took the turn at the top of the homestretch.

About five meters before the finish line, after some contact with Miller, who really wanted this victory for himself and had pushed Leer way wide (Leer finished in the outside of lane 3), Leer had the lead and eventual victory.

“I had a feeling those guys were going to do something like that – take it out hard – because Centro and I both have good finishes and we are both coming back from a race,” said Leer to Ato Boldon after the race.

“I definitely wasn’t as fresh as I wanted to be. I’m really happy to come away with the win. It’s icing on the cake. I gave everything I had in the last 75/100 meters,” added Leer who then gave thanks to Nike for their “renewed faith” (aka Re-upping after an Olympic year).

“I can’t say enough about my family. My mom, my dad, my mother. They are there for me every step of the way.  My dad wakes me up every day with a cup of coffee.”

LetsRun.com’s Quick Take #1: Certainly a heart-warming victory. Let’s hope Leer makes a US outdoor team before his career is done.

Quick Take #2: When passed at the end, Miller was desperate for victory and just stuck out his right hand almost as if he was going to just grab Leer and prevent him from passing. Thankfully, the contact didn’t impede Leer much at all.

Men’s 1 Mile Run (Final) Heat 1 Splits

 

 Place Athlete Name 209m 409m 609m 809m 1009m 1209m 1409m Mile
 1 Will Leer
Nike
31.87
(6) 31.87
1:03.34
(5) 31.47
1:33.33
(6) 30.00
2:02.66
(6) 29.33
2:32.11
(6) 29.46
3:01.76
(5) 29.66
3:31.06
(4) 29.30
3:58.79
(1) 27.74
 2 Craig Miller
New Balance
31.75
(5) 31.75
1:03.34
(6) 31.60
1:33.05
(5) 29.71
2:01.95
(5) 28.90
2:31.07
(3) 29.13
3:01.02
(3) 29.95
3:30.69
(2) 29.68
3:58.90
(2) 28.21
 3 Cory Leslie
Unattached
31.70
(4) 31.70
1:03.12
(4) 31.43
1:32.78
(4) 29.67
2:01.73
(4) 28.95
2:30.91
(2) 29.18
3:00.81
(2) 29.91
3:30.48
(1) 29.67
3:59.88
(3) 29.40
 4 Jeff See
Saucony
31.58
(3) 31.58
1:03.10
(3) 31.53
1:32.61
(3) 29.51
2:01.54
(2) 28.93
2:30.71
(1) 29.18
3:00.60
(1) 29.90
3:31.02
(3) 30.43
4:02.73
(4) 31.71
 5 Ryan McNiff
Adidas Team Green Running
31.48
(1) 31.48
1:02.92
(2) 31.45
1:31.68
(2) 28.76
2:01.59
(3) 29.91
2:31.33
(5) 29.75
3:01.25
(4) 29.93
3:31.52
(5) 30.27
4:05.24
(5) 33.73
 6 Matthew Elliott
Brooks
31.91
(7) 31.91
1:03.59
(7) 31.69
1:33.58
(7) 30.00
2:03.28
(7) 29.70
2:33.70
(8) 30.43
3:05.39
(8) 31.69
3:36.95
(7) 31.57
4:07.02
(6) 30.08
 7 Tommy Schmitz
Unattached
32.05
(8) 32.05
1:03.92
(9) 31.88
1:34.19
(9) 30.28
2:04.22
(9) 30.03
2:34.84
(9) 30.63
3:06.22
(9) 31.39
3:37.88
(8) 31.66
4:08.27
(7) 30.40
 8 Matthew Centrowitz
Nike
32.28
(10) 32.28
1:04.15
(10) 31.88
1:34.11
(8) 29.96
2:03.51
(8) 29.40
2:33.30
(7) 29.79
3:03.40
(6) 30.11
3:35.45
(6) 32.05
4:08.62
(8) 33.17
 9 Mack McLain
Boulder Running Company/adidas
32.10
(9) 32.10
1:03.84
(8) 31.75
1:34.43
(10) 30.59
2:05.66
(10) 31.24
2:38.49
(10) 32.84
3:11.19
(10) 32.70
3:42.73
(10) 31.55
4:13.77
(9) 31.04
 DNF Macklin Chaffee
Unattached
31.55
(2) 31.55
1:02.86
(1) 31.31
1:31.41
(1) 28.55
2:00.60
(1) 29.20
2:31.10
(4) 30.51
3:03.65
(7) 32.56
3:42.13
(9) 38.48

 

More: For a recap of all of the day 2 mid-d and distance events, please see this:

2013 USA Indoor Track and Field Meet – Day 2 Mid-d and Distance Recap – Teen Phenoms Mary Cain & Ajee Wilson Win As Does Eric Sowinski and Will Leer
*Full results here.

 

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