Men’s 800 Prelims: Favorites Get Through To Set Up Mouth-Watering Final With Symmonds, Rutt, Andrews, Mulder, Wieczorek, Sowinski

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by LetsRun.com
February 22, 2014

Albuquerque, NM – The men’s 800 heats at the 2014 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships didn’t produce any major casualties although 2013 US #1 Michael Rutt really had to sweat it out and Nick Symmonds was pushed to the line by a former DIII star. In the end, six very accomplished 800 guys advanced – setting up a mouth-watering final. The US #3 for 2013 Brian Gagnon was the biggest casualty of the afternoon.

Editor’s Note: We’ll be adding more to this article later. Check out our YouTube channel for more interviews.

Heat 1 – The up and down season of Robby Andrews went back way up this afternoon as Andrews looked fantastic in taking the first heat over old rival Cas Loxsom.

The heat started with Loxsom out in the lead as expected and Andrews back in fourth. But Andrews wasn’t content to stay way back like he was last week at Millrose, when he ran a disappointing 2:20.57 for 1k. Instead, Andrews was much more aggressive as he moved up to second 300 meters into the race and then blew by Loxsom on the last lap. Andrews’ time of 1:48.12 was the best of the day.

Quick Thought: Andrews looked really good. As good as he looked today, he’s got a great shot at top 2 tomorrow. One big problem … Andrews’ season best is 1:47.07 – not 1:47.00, which is the IAAF qualifying time. It’s absurd to us that if Andrews is top two that he won’t get to go to Worlds. Andrews isn’t a frontrunner so it’s unlikely he gets under 1:47.00, as anyone with the time would be foolish to take it out fast. The IAAF should somehow based their qualification on country. The US is going to send two people no matter what – so let the US just send their top two. After the race, Andrews was happy with his run and said he “felt like his old self.” Talking about time in the final, he said, “I’d rather win tomorrow and not go to Poland than get the time today and get 4th tomorrow.”

PlaceAthleteTime200m400m600m>>
1Robby Andrews
adidas
1:48.12Q25.82

Rnk: 4
53.24
27.42
Rnk: 2 ↑ 2
1:20.48
27.24
Rnk: 2
2James Gilreath
Adidas Team Green
1:48.7225.77

Rnk: 3
53.47
27.71
Rnk: 3
1:20.74
27.27
Rnk: 3
3Casimir Loxsom
Brooks
1:49.0525.58

Rnk: 1
52.96
27.39
Rnk: 1
1:20.15
27.20
Rnk: 1
4Owen Dawson
Unattached
1:49.9226.04

Rnk: 5
53.93
27.89
Rnk: 5
1:21.71
27.78
Rnk: 5
5Tetlo Emmen
Unattached
1:49.9425.68

Rnk: 2
53.73
28.05
Rnk: 4 ↓ 2
1:21.32
27.60
Rnk: 4

Heat 2

Michael Rutt came into this heat as the 2013 US leader at 1:46.71 but he left sweating bullets as he finished third and there are just two-time qualifiers to the final. In the end, Rutt would get in on time as the final time qualifier. This heat certainly was stacked as in addition to Rutt it also featured 1:44 outdoor man Tyler Mulder, who was 5th at the 2012 Olympic Trials, and 1:45 man Mark Wieczorek.

The Oregon Track Club’s Mulder led this one for the first three laps. As the runners approached the bell, Michael Rutt made a move up from last to third. Mulder would get by Rutt but the person winning this heat was Wieczorek, who started the last lap in last.

PlaceAthleteTime200m400m600m>>
1Mark Wieczorek
Brooks
1:48.28Q25.76

Rnk: 2
53.26
27.51
Rnk: 5 ↓ 3
1:21.34
28.08
Rnk: 5
2Tyler Mulder
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
1:48.34q25.56

Rnk: 1
52.66
27.11
Rnk: 1
1:20.79
28.13
Rnk: 1
3Michael Rutt
New Jersey New York Track Club
1:48.44q26.12

Rnk: 5
52.97
26.85
Rnk: 3 ↑ 2
1:21.11
28.14
Rnk: 3
4Richard Jones
Unattached
1:50.0625.82

Rnk: 3
53.00
27.18
Rnk: 4 ↓ 1
1:21.24
28.24
Rnk: 4
5Harun Abda
Oregon TC Elite
1:50.2525.94

Rnk: 4
52.81
26.87
Rnk: 2 ↑ 2
1:21.04
28.23
Rnk: 2

Heat 3

Nick Symmonds had to fight for this one as the Syracuse Chargers’ Nick Guarino, a former DIII star for Fredonia State, nearly pulled off a shocking wire-to-wire victory. But Symmonds was able to get by him in the last 50. Brian Gagnon, who came in as one five Americans with the Worlds qualifier, didn’t advance.

Quick Thought #1: Big props to Guarino, who has a 1:47.13 PR, for coming to play today. On the NBCSN broadcast after the meet, Symmonds revealed he’s been battling a cold and was a little worried the altitude would make it worse. He’s happy to move on and now has 24 hours to get feeling better.

PlaceAthleteTime200m400m600m>>
1Nick Symmonds
Brooks
1:48.79Q25.86

Rnk: 3
53.84
27.98
Rnk: 3
1:21.56
27.72
Rnk: 3
2Nick Guarino
Syracuse Chargers Track Club,
1:48.9925.50

Rnk: 1
53.36
27.87
Rnk: 1
1:21.20
27.84
Rnk: 1
3Brian Gagnon
New Jersey New York Track Club
1:49.8825.67

Rnk: 2
53.53
27.86
Rnk: 2
1:21.31
27.79
Rnk: 2
4Jacob Waterman
Wright Distance Project
1:50.6126.10

Rnk: 4
54.11
28.01
Rnk: 4
1:22.12
28.02
Rnk: 4
5Grant Grosvenor Jr
Montana St.
1:51.1926.30

Rnk: 5
54.35
28.05
Rnk: 5
1:22.51
28.17
Rnk: 5

Heat 4

Erik Sowinski crushed everyone in this heat going wire to wire. He looked fantastic.

PlaceAthleteTime200m400m600m>>
1Erik Sowinski
Nike
1:48.32Q

51.48
26.26
Rnk: 1 ↑ 9998
1:18.84
27.36
Rnk: 1
2Mark Husted
Unattached
1:50.48

53.02
27.33
Rnk: 3 ↑ 9996
1:22.10
29.09
Rnk: 3
3Chris Bilbrew
Adidas Team Green
1:51.92

52.01
26.57
Rnk: 2 ↑ 9997
1:20.69
28.69
Rnk: 2
4Nicholas Thornton
Unattached
1:54.11

53.29
27.36
Rnk: 4 ↑ 9995
1:23.70
30.41
Rnk: 4
5Josh Guarino
Syracuse Chargers Track Club,
1:57.59

54.38
27.54
Rnk: 5 ↑ 9994
1:24.18
29.81
Rnk: 5

So six people are in the final tomorrow. Three have the Worlds qualifier – Michael Rutt, Nick Symmonds, Erik Sowinski – and three don’t – Robby Andrews, Mark Wieczorek, Tyler Mulder.

Tyler Mulder likes to take it out, so it’s possible the race goes sub-1:47.00.


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