A Simple, Common-Sense Solution To The Potential 1,500 Controversy At The 2014 USA Indoor Track And Field Championships

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Brooks Beasts’ Riley Masters Belongs In Fast Heat

by LetsRun.com
February 21, 2014

Much is currently being made of the fact that USATF has set up the 1,500 finals at this weekend’s USA Indoor Track and Field championships to be a two section final. A few thoughts.

1) The article by Jon Gugala is incorrect. The slow heat is not an exhibition. The meet is going to be run as a timed final.

2) We have an easy solution. Use common sense.

Much of the “controversy” has arisen from the fact that the IAAF’s World Indoor qualifying process allows you to use times from last year to qualify for World Indoors (You can see a list of the Americans with the World standard here). USATF only allows times from this season to qualify for USAs but grants anyone with a Worlds Qualifier an automatic entry. To us, that’s not controversial.

i) We have no problem with the “auto entries” – we think the studs like David Torrence, Galen Rupp, etc. should be placed in the fast heats even if they haven’t run the qualifying time so far this year. That’s where they should be.

ii) That being said, USATF needs to be consistent. On the men’s side, they’ve put most of the men with the auto times in the fast heat, but not all. In the women’s ,1500, they’ve done the opposite. Shannon Rowbury is in the slow heat.

iii) Here is how it should work on the men’s side – it’s very simple – put all of the Worlds qualifiers in the fast heat, everyone else in the slow heat.

The current men’s heats make no sense. Here’s how USATF has it set up. What looks odd to you? Note, a runner in bold means they have the World Indoors qualifier.

1,500 (Worlds Qualifier is 3:58.00 indoors or 3:34 outdoors)
NameAffiliation2014 MarkComment
Slow Heat
Travis BurkstrandTeam USA Minnesota4:00.15
Josh McAlary4:00.83
Donald CabralNike / (NY/NJ)4:01.17
Robert Sandlin JrBellarmine4:01.20
Jack BolasNew Balance3:59.35
Jacob EdwardsColumbus Running Company3:59.47
Riley MastersBrooks3:58.35Ran 3:56 last year, which means he’s Auto. Should be in fast heat based on this year’s time and last.
Fast Heat
Garrett HeathBrooks3:38.89 
William LeerNike3:52.47 
Leonel Manzano 3:56.73 
Craig MillerNew Balance3:57.69 
Pat Casey 3:58.063:56 last year means he’s Auto
Lopez LomongNike3:58.523:51 last year indoors means he’s Auto
Ryan HillNike3:59.003:54 last year indoors mean’s he’s Auto
Galen RuppNikeNT3:50 for mile last year means he’s an Auto for miles
David TorrenceNikeNT3:33 in September means he’s an auto for Worlds.
Duncan Phillips3:58.01
Taylor GillandNew Balance3:58.77
Daniel QuigleyOregon TC Elite3:59.59

Riley Mastes belongs in the fast heat no matter how you look at it.

What is obvious there?

It makes no sense – based on last year’s time or this year’s time – why Riley Masters is in the slow heat. Zero. He’s got the Worlds qualifier and he’s run faster than many of the guys in the fast heat this year (Note: Masters’ times this year and Quigley’s are both on oversized tracks which we don’t think are supposed to count but you could just move Masters to NT).

The simple solution is to put all of the guys with the “Worlds Qualifier” in the fast heat. Everyone else in the slow heat.

At altitude, the guys without the time aren’t going to get it anyway. Thus, you have 10 guys in the fast heat. With 1-2 scratches after the 3,000, you like end up with 8 or 9 – a perfect amount. The slow heat also ends up with 9.

iv) On the women’s side, put Shannon Rowbury in the fast heat.

Women 1,500m (4:14/4:31.00 indoors/4:03.50 outdoors)
NameAffiliationMark
Slow heat  
Melissa AgnewTwin Cities Track Club4:38.05
Rebecca FridayAdidas/RogueAC4:38.24
Laura ThweattBoulder Track Club4:38.26
Clerc SimpsonBrooks4:41.72
Lindsey DrakeBowerman Athletic Club4:42.32
Dana Mecke4:42.79
Brigitte ManiaConnecticut4:43.68
Shannon RowburyNike4:43.714:01.28 last year outdoors
Carmen GravesRoanoke Valley Elite4:45.98
Fast Heat
Sarah BrownNew Balance4:11.27
Gabriele GrunewaldBrooks / Team USA Minnesota4:12.76
Mary CainNike4:24.11
Amanda WinslowOiselle / New Jersey New York Track Club4:26.28
Jordan HasayNike4:28.37
Treniere MoserNike4:28.86
Heather KampfAsics / Team USA Minnesota4:30.14
Morgan Ucenyadidas4:30.57
Stephanie CharnigoNew Jersey New York Track Club4:33.87
Katherine MackeyBrooks4:34.99
Sara VaughnBrooks4:35.07
Rebecca Tracy4:35.36
Amanda MergaertOiselle4:35.90

You are welcome.

More: Potential disaster at 2014 USA Indoors? Straight 1500 final and there are 22 women, 18 men already in each race