Shannon Rowbury Completes The Double; Alysia Montaño Is Officially Back; Both Stars Take Home Titles

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by LetsRun.com, with some info taken from Race Results Weekly
March 1, 2015

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BostonShannon Rowbury left it late, but she pulled away from teammate Jordan Hasay coming off the final turn to secure her second U.S. title of the weekend, becoming only the fifth woman to pull off the mile/2-mile (or 1,500/3k) double at USA Indoors. Rowbury won a fairly tactical 2-mile race in 9:43.94 (just ahead of Hasay in 9:44.69) as Brie Felnagle continued her strong start to 2015 with a third-place finish in 9:47.73 (Felnagle made the World XC team last month).

The race started slowly as Sydney Fitzpatrick led the field through 1218 meters in 3:52.66 (10:14 pace). New Balance’s Liz Costello took the lead just before the mile (1,618m in 5:10.27) and picked the pace up a bit, but there was still a group of six women in contention with three laps to go. Hasay and Rowbury took off at that point and with 200 to go, they had over three seconds on the field. Rowbury waited a long time to move on the final lap, but when she finally blew by Hasay, she left no doubt, using a 30.60 final lap (almost a second faster than Hasay) to win by several meters (all of which she put on Hasay in the home stretch).

Results, interviews, quick takes below with the 600m recap as well.

Rowbury Completes the Double

Rowbury Completes The Double

2-Mile Results:

PlaceNameAffiliationTime
1Shannon RowburyNike / Nike Or P09:43.94
2Jordan HasayNike / Nike Or P09:44.69
3Brie Felnagleadidas09:47.73
4Nicole TullyHoka N Y A C09:49.70
5Amanda MergaertBrooks09:49.71
6Liz CostelloNew Balance09:52.30
7Hannah DavidsonStotan Racin09:56.08
8Kristen FindleyAdidas/Rogue09:56.32
9Sarah BoyleUnattached09:56.77
10Katie MatthewsBoston A A09:56.85
11Nicol TraynorN J N Y TC10:00.17
12Frances KoonsUnattached10:09.32
13Esther ErbNew York AC10:09.34
14Marielle HallNike10:14.46
15Joanna MurphyNew Balance Bost10:18.54
16Sydney FitzpatrickNew Balance Bost10:26.55
17Samantha HamiltonUnattached10:53.52

Quick Take #1: A cold couldn’t stop Shannon Rowbury.

No American woman has been able to stop Rowbury in 2015, so why would a cold be any different? Rowbury said she’s been feeling under the weather since last week and that she felt flat on her warmup but said “I’ve just gotta go be tough out there.” She was tough, and her fifth national title (counting indoors and outdoors) was her reward.

Rowbury thought running the mile last night was good as it got her legs going and decided to double back because there’s not always a lot of chances to race so she wanted to seize the moment.

After an indoor season that included a 4:22.66 mile on a flat track, a win at the Wanamaker Mile and two national championships, Rowbury still believes she has a lot to accomplish outdoors. She mentioned that she’d like to lower her 800 PR (2:00.47) and that she’s got work to do in the 5,000 as well. Expect to see Rowbury in a variety of distances this year – though based on her 2014 outdoor season and the state of the women’s 5,000 (the Kenyans and the Ethiopians are far ahead of the rest of the world right now), it makes the most sense for her to focus on the 1,500 at Worlds.

 

Quick Take #2: Jordan Hasay remains pleased with how her speed is developing and said that “second for me today was going to be winning.”

Hasay said that she tried her best to be confident in the race even with the talented Rowbury stalking her for the second half of the race. Hasay has had some rough races in her career – like any athlete – but said she’s always been able to bounce back from them (her making Team USA at 10,000 in 2013 after failing to make NCAAs in the same event is a prominent example that comes to mind). So after her fourth-place finish in the mile yesterday, she said her mindset was to bounce back like she would when doubling at NCAAs. Deep down, Hasay knows that Rowbury is faster, but she was happy that she made her work for it today.

Was Hasay a bit miffed after this one?

Was Hasay A Bit Miffed After This One?

Rowbury said after the race that she was supposed to go to the lead with 600 to go, but didn’t, which left Hasay waiting for her teammate, uncertain of when Rowbury was going to move. Hasay had hoped to be the one keying off Rowbury during the late stages of the race but it didn’t quite work out that way.

The fact that Rowbury didn’t lead has the message board in a frenzy: MB: Hasay was pissed at Rowbury.

Quick Take #3: Third placer Brie Felnagle says XC has been her #1 focus this winter.

600: Fall Disrupts Montaño-Wilson Showdown
In the 600, Alysia Montaño was the surprise winner of the national crown, the first indoor title of her career. Only six months after giving birth to her baby girl Linnea, Montaño toed the line here in what was her third race since becoming a mother last August.

From the gun, Montaño and pre-race favorite Ajee’ Wilson took their routine positions up front, hitting the 200 meters within a step of one another. It was 50 meters later that the race would change dramatically, with Wilson falling to the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center’s blue track with her hopes of a national crown dashed.

Ajee Wilson Went Down Hard

Ajee Wilson Went Down Hard

Kendra Chambers was running behind Wilson and felt like she was being squeezed from behind so she tried to move up and outside and she clipped Wilson’s heels. Wilson, Chambers, and Bethany Praska came crashing down to the track surface together, all the while Montaño increased her lead out front.

“It’s part of the game,” said a visibly dejected Wilson. She had only been tripped once prior in her career, back when she was 9 years old. “I was ready to run, ready to compete. Stuff happens, things happen. You just got to get up, brush it off and keep going.”

Results, quick takes and analysis appear below.

600 Results

PlaceNameAffiliationTime
1Alysia MontanoAsics / N Y A C01:26.59
2Phoebe WrightNike01:28.00
3Megan MalasarteBrooks01:28.98
4Kendra ChambersUnattached01:30.80
5Bethany PraskaUnattached01:32.24
6Ajee’ Wilsonadidas01:39.39

Quick Take #1: “I was hoping that it would be Ajee and I going at it … it was really disappointing to hear the crash” – Alysia Montaño

Ajee Wilson Starts to Fall

Ajee Wilson Starts to Fall

The fall that derailed Wilson didn’t change Montaño’s strategy – she was always going to try to attack from the front, with the hopes of running a fast time – but said she was disappointed when she realized Wilson went down. Montaño hasn’t faced Wilson – who took over her crown as queen of the 800 during Montaño’s pregnancy – since August 29, 2013 (Montaño beat Wilson over 800 meters in the Zürich Diamond League meet) and was looking forward to another showdown today, hoping that Wilson would push her to a faster time. Instead, she had to do it solo.

This would have been a different race with Wilson in it, and Montaño knows that, but she was still very happy to mark her return to real competition with a victory just six-and-a-half months after giving birth.

Quick Take #2: Ajee Wilson didn’t have much to say after the fall.

Ajee Wilson's Head on the Track. She Moved the Rail She Hit it So Hard

Ajee Wilson’s Head On The Track. She Moved The Rail She Hit It So Hard

After the race, Wilson said that this was her first fall in a race since she was around nine years old. She accepted that, while unfortunate, there’s nothing she can do about the outcome and didn’t seem as if she wanted to dwell on it. Wilson didn’t appear to be mad at Chambers, though it didn’t seem like Wilson knew who tripped her, saying only that she got clipped from behind. She wasn’t too upset on missing out on a showdown with Montaño as she knows the two will race a lot this outdoor season.

Quick Take #3: Chambers said her takedown of Wilson from behind was just part of indoor racing.

Chambers said she felt squeezed from behind and didn’t have enough room to stride out so she tried to move outside and got Wilson by mistake.

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