Women’s Mile: Craziness On The Last Lap As Emily Lipari Comes Through With A Huge Kick To Win

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By LetsRun.com
March 15, 2014

Albuquerque, NM – Villanova senior Emily Lipari used her big kick to come from way behind to win the 2014 NCAA indoor mile over Arkansas’ Stephanie Brown, Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan and Florida’s Cory McGee as Michigan State’s Leah O’Connor went from 1st to 7th on the final straight.

This one had a crazy final lap. At the bell, Michigan State’s O’Connor and Florida’s McGee were clear of the field with McGee right on the heels of O’Connor. It looked to be a two person race with a 7/10ths of a second gap to 3rd – Arkansas’ Stephanie Brown who led a chase contingent of five runners.

Women's Mile Results
1 Emily Lipari              SR Villanova 
2 Stephanie Brown           SR Arkansas   
3 Shelby Houlihan           JR Arizona St. 
4 Cory McGee                SR Florida   
5 Carly Hamilton            JR Georgia   
6 Colleen Quigley           JR Florida State   
7 Leah O'Connor             JR Michigan State
8 Monica Adler              JR Boston U.
9 Allison Peare             SR Kentucky 
10 Elizabeth Whelan          SO North Carolina         4:56.71

O’Connor continued to lead to the final  final curve with McGee running right up on her looking poised to pounce with a gap to the chasers. With 100m to go, the chasers were closing fast. Coming off the final turn it was a mad dash to the finish. O’Connor still manged to lead , but was running out of steam. McGee went wide of O’Connor  to attempt to pass, but now it was no longer a two person race. Stephanie Brown of Arkansas had come up quickest from the chase pack and was on the outside of McGee.

It was going to be a crazy final 50m.

There was one more contender flying off the final bend – Villanova’s Emily Lipari. Known for her “monster kick” and she was unleashing it. Going wide in lane 3, she passed the fading O’Connor. Then she passed McGee. All that was left between Lipari and the NCAA title was Stephanie Brown. Lipari went by Brown and had a split second to celebrate before the tape. She was the NCAA champion in 4:38.82. Brown was second in 4:39.12, Shelby Houlihan moved up to third, McGee was fourth, and Leah O’Connor faded all the way back to 7th.

The Final Straight (Check back for our photo gallery  on Sunday)

The Final Straight (Click here for our photo gallery)

Quick Take #1: What A Kick By Lipari In our preview, we said Lipari is known for her “monster kick” and she showed that today coming from no where the final 50 to win the title. Last year at Penn Relays, Lipari had a ferocious kick the final 50m to beat Oregon’s Laura Roesler in the 4 x 800 to break the collegiate record (photo here), yes the same Roesler who dominated the 800m today. Last year at Penn, Roesler’s PR was 2:01.7 and Lipari’s 2:06.7, but it was Lipari kicking by Roesler. Lipari showed that same finishing speed today.

We’ll have more post-race reaction on onsite but Lipari told ESPN after the race that Gina Procaccio told her to always trust her kick: “My coach has told me, ‘No matter what pace you are running, That kick will always be there. You just have to test it out,'” said Lipari, who said her plan was to stay “out of trouble” and put herself in “Position with 600 meters to go” but she “kind of lost contact for a bit” before the kick for home.

“Their heads were wobbling, my head was wobbling and I thought I might as well die trying – that will at least put me top three.”

It was a crazy final lap.

QT #2 Did McGee Wait Too Long? The results definitely don’t show it but with 200m to go this looked like a two person race. With 110 meters to go it looked like a two person race, actually it looked like Cory McGee’s race. The Florida star who made the US team for the World Championships last year was right on the heels of O’Connor. McGee appeared to run right up on O’Connor on the backstretch and instead of going by, she waited and let O’Connor lead into the final bend. Did that hesitation let the chasers get back in it?

QT #3: No, McGee didn’t wait too long. She was totally out of steam. We’ll answer our own question. When you look at the splits, what you see is the both McGee and O’Connor who had broken the field heading into the final 200 both simply ran out of steam. McGee’s next to last 200 was 32.57. Her last 200 was 33.94. O’Connor’s last 400 was broken up 32.78 – 35.21. McGee and O’Connor were the equivalent of two boxers waging an epic dual that ended with them both landing haymakers that knocked each other out.

QT #4: Bold Run by Leah O’Connor Leah O’Connor went from first to seventh in the final straight. Sometimes the brave aren’t rewarded, but O’Connor was 200m from being a surprise NCAA champion. Champions first believe they can win the race and O’Connor ran like a champion today but just ran out of steam. When that happens at altitude, the end result can be even worse than it would be at sea level.

QT# 5: LRC 2014 NCAA Women’s Indoor Mile Interviews: Emily Lipari, Stephanie Brown, Shelby Houlihan, Cory McGee, Leah O’Connor

Lipari Wins the Mile (Kirby Lee Photo/Image of Sport, click for photo gallery)

Lipari Wins the Mile (Kirby Lee Photo/Image of Sport, click for photo gallery)

Lap-by-lap results below. Video interviews are here.

The Bell

The Bell

Event 21  Women 1 Mile Run
=======================================================================
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points
=======================================================================
Finals
  1 Emily Lipari              SR Villanova              4:38.82   10
       35.625 (35.625)       1:12.434 (36.810)       1:47.073 (34.640)
     2:22.741 (35.668)       2:58.573 (35.833)       3:33.513 (34.940)
     4:06.865 (33.352)       4:38.816 (31.951)
  2 Stephanie Brown           SR Arkansas               4:39.12    8
       35.046 (35.046)       1:11.891 (36.845)       1:46.858 (34.968)
     2:22.594 (35.736)       2:58.109 (35.515)       3:33.318 (35.210)
     4:06.350 (33.032)       4:39.117 (32.767)
  3 Shelby Houlihan           JR Arizona St.            4:39.52    6
       35.348 (35.348)       1:12.359 (37.011)       1:47.131 (34.772)
     2:22.817 (35.686)       2:58.425 (35.609)       3:33.607 (35.182)
     4:07.496 (33.890)       4:39.518 (32.022)
  4 Cory McGee                SR Florida                4:39.61    5
       35.070 (35.070)       1:11.677 (36.607)       1:46.649 (34.973)
     2:22.396 (35.747)       2:57.953 (35.557)       3:33.107 (35.155)
     4:05.672 (32.565)       4:39.604 (33.933)
  5 Carly Hamilton            JR Georgia                4:40.18    4
       35.507 (35.507)       1:11.975 (36.469)       1:46.831 (34.856)
     2:22.583 (35.752)       2:58.198 (35.616)       3:33.228 (35.030)
     4:06.964 (33.736)       4:40.172 (33.208)
  6 Colleen Quigley           JR Florida State          4:40.39    3
       35.113 (35.113)       1:11.573 (36.460)       1:46.563 (34.990)
     2:22.203 (35.641)       2:57.898 (35.695)       3:32.938 (35.040)
     4:06.572 (33.634)       4:40.388 (33.816)
  7 Leah O'Connor             JR Michigan State         4:40.86    2
       35.259 (35.259)       1:11.708 (36.449)       1:46.719 (35.012)
     2:22.278 (35.559)       2:57.802 (35.525)       3:32.865 (35.064)
     4:05.644 (32.780)       4:40.853 (35.209)
  8 Monica Adler              JR Boston U.              4:40.87    1
       35.796 (35.796)       1:12.854 (37.059)       1:47.761 (34.907)
     2:23.083 (35.323)       2:58.889 (35.806)       3:33.814 (34.925)
     4:07.216 (33.402)       4:40.868 (33.653)
  9 Allison Peare             SR Kentucky               4:47.33
       35.545 (35.545)       1:12.604 (37.060)       1:47.518 (34.914)
     2:23.178 (35.661)       2:59.123 (35.945)       3:34.498 (35.375)
     4:10.019 (35.522)       4:47.321 (37.302)
 10 Elizabeth Whelan          SO North Carolina         4:56.71
       35.484 (35.484)       1:12.225 (36.741)       1:47.308 (35.083)
     2:22.492 (35.185)       2:59.197 (36.705)       3:34.746 (35.550)
     4:15.003 (40.258)       4:56.708 (41.705)
Lipari Wins the Mile (Kirby Lee Photo/Image of Sport, click for photo gallery)

Lipari Wins the Mile (Kirby Lee Photo/Image of Sport, click for photo gallery)