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LetsRun.com's Recap of Final Day of 2008 Olympic Track & Field Trials:
Lagat Completes Double as Those Who Were Having The Best 2008 Season's Get Top 3 in Men's and Women's 1,500

by: LetsRun.com
July 7, 2008
*LRC Sunday Photos

Women's 1,500: Rowbury Dominates
As the runner's lined up for the start of the women's 1,500, it was clear that those without the A standard were in big-time trouble. The win was stiff -13 mph with gusts up to 22 mph (according to weather.com) - and blowing directly into their faces at the start.

3-time defending US champion Treniere Clement had the lead at 400 but the time only read 68.17 - no way would she want to take it out in 65 as she was one of just four in the race with the A.  It was clear, something had to be done quickly if there was any chance people could hit the A standard.  At 500 meters, Lindsey Gallo decided she'd better get the pace going and Gallo took the field through 800 in 2:15.73. At 800, the top five were Gallo, Christin Wurth, Shannon Rowbury and Amy Mortimer.  High schooler Jordan Hasay was the only runner not in contact with the pack as she trailed the field by a few meters.

Women's 1500 Pack

Since the runners passed the 700 mark at 1:59-2:00, it seemed clear that the A standard was not a possibility for those chasing the standard. No way the runners without the standard would close in 2:06. But over the final 800, Shannon Rowbury would prove what we thought coming into this race - she's at a totally different level than everyone else in the US at the 1,500.  On the far turn, 950 meters into the competition, she moved to the lead and never looked back. She powered home in 61 over the final 400 and 2:06 over the final 800 to capture the title in absolutely dominating fashion.

As Rowbury went to the lead, it totally shook up the field and the cream of the crop became apparent as the two runners in the field behind Rowbury, Christin Wurth and Erin Donohue (who had the A and have been running well in 2008) broke clear of the pack and gave chase. At this point, those two may not have known it but they were just running for pride as their Olympic spots were secure as Treniere Clement faded, eventually finishing last. In the end, Erin Donohue ended up 2nd in 4:08.20 to Wurth's 4:08.48 as the 3 runners who have been having the best seasons justifiably made the team.

Over the final 400, the one real question besides who would finish 2nd, Donohue or Wurth, was whether Morgan Uceny could somehow catch up and finish in the top 3 - even though it was clear she wasn't going to get the A standard.  The answer was no as Wurth and Donohue had a gear left in the last 100 meters. Uceny ended up a clear 4th in 4:10.85, ending a fine 2008 Trials for the former Cornell star. Uceny was 5th in the women's 800 final earlier in the Trials. Today's run may signal that her future lies in the 1,500 as it was only the 10th 1,500 meters of her life (including the 3 rounds here).


Former Kansas State star, Amy Mortimer, who has been chasing the A standard all spring (this was her 8th 1,500 of the year) and has run 4:07 three times, ended up a deserving 5th. After the race, we caught up with Mortimer who said she had no intention of trying to get the A standard in this race. "We decided before that I wasn't going to try to push the pace to go for the A as that's a good way to get hung out to dry," said Mortimer.

"I'm going to Europe in a couple of days. I want to get the A standard for next year definitely. I'm hoping to run under 4:05 this summer. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. I just have to get in a good race," added Mortimer.  "It's sort of a relief (to have the Trials over). This whole season has been all about trying to run 4:06 and every time I've run 4:07 it's been depressing and I've had to recover from that."

The one runner who seemingly tried to push the pace towards the A standard of 4:07.00 ,Lindsey Gallo, ended up 6th.  6th through 10th were separated by only 1.4 seconds. Gallo was a bit mystified after the race as to why no one else tried to help push the pace. "The most frustrating thing to me was that there were 8 girls that need the A standard - well seven and a half if you count Jordan (Hasay) - as she's so little - and everyone was content to sit on me," cracked the former NJ high school star.

"From my perspective, it doesn't do anybody any good to get top three and not have the standard so I put myself sort of out on the line. There's no reason 8 of us working together couldn't have done it. I mean what do you have to lose - $500 bucks or whatever it is if you move up one place at USAs. For me, it was go to the Olympics or get fourth to 8th place or whatever. To me getting third and not having standard sucks as much as getting 6th and having the standard."

1 Shannon Rowbury Nike 4:05.48
2 Erin Donohue Nike 4:08.20
3 Christin Wurth Nike 4:08.48
4 Morgan Uceny Reebok 4:10.85
5 Amy Mortimer Reebok 4:14.98
6 Lindsey Gallo Reebok 4:15.96
7 Tiffany McWilliams adidas 4:16.28
8 Sarah Bowman Tennessee 4:16.54
9 Sara Hall Asics 4:16.79
10 Jordan Hasay unattached 4:17.36
11 Jenelle Deatherage Reebok 4:22.45
12 Treniere Clement Nike 4:24.62

Shannon Rowbury (1:16)

Erin Donohue

Jordan Hasay (2:16)

Shannon Rowbury, Christin Wurth, Erin Donohue (6:37)

Morgan Uceny 4th in 1500, 6th in 800

Lindsey Gallo

Amy Mortimer

Sara Hall

Men's 1,500: Lagat Cruises, Webb Out

The final track event of the 2008 Olympic Track & Field Trials was certainly one of the most anticipated.  We had been waiting for this race all week and really since last year. Ever since Lopez Lomong and Leonel Manzano's thrilling duel at NCAAs last year and Manzano's 2nd place finish at USAs, it was clear that something had to give. One of the big four - Lomong, Manzano, Webb and Lagat - would be left of the Beijing team. 

Much like the women's 1,500, it seemed given the windy conditions that the A standard of 3:36.60 was out of the question before the race had started.  When 300 meters was passed in close to 47 seconds, it was clear that only those with the Olympic A standard - the Big 4 plus Rob Myers and Jon Rankin - were racing for an Olympic spot.

As 300 was reached in 47, 2000 US Olympic Trials champion Gabe Jennings took over the lead and took the field through 400 in 61.42. He was followed by Lagat, and Manzano while Webb was 2nd to last. At 700 (1:45.94 ht), Jennings still led and was followed by Lagat, Manzano, and Said Ahmed while Alan Webb had moved up to 5th or 6th as he moved up from last to be in position with 800 to go.  The pace remained modest at 800 (2:00.70). A lap later (1200 in 2:59.68) and little had changed as the field was completely bunched and everyone was still in contention. Let the racing begin!!!

450 to go

(The only thing that happened from 800 to 1200 really was a completely bush league move to front by Said Ahmed who with 450 meters to go literally used both hands to push a stunned Bernard Lagat to the side. How Ahmed wasn't DQ'd is a stunner for us.)

The last 300 was fantastic as everyone jostled for position going down the backstretch. The beauty of it was all of the big-time players were in the mix.

With about 220 to go, Bernard Lagat moved into the lead - a lead he would never relinquish. Webb was in 5th or 6th still but wide and in a decent spot. Lopez Lomong was behind Webb but came around on the way outside just before 200 as the big players made their dash for home.  In the midle of the turn, the top three consisted of Lagat, Manzano and Lomong and the trio would ultimately pull clear and convincingly punch their tickets to Beijing.  Lagat won comfortably by more than a half-second (.53) in 3:40.37 while Manzano held off Lomong (3:40.90 to 3:41.00).

Alan Webb went into the final turn probably in 5th or 6th and he was unable to gain ground on the leaders in the final 100. It wasn't like Webb faded as he pulled clear of the pack, it's just that the top three pulled clear at a faster rate.  There really was never any point in the final 200 when one would think Webb was going to end up in the top three.  In the end, Webb was passed near the line by Oregon Track Club's William Leer who managed to squeeze between Webb and Jon Rankin for fourth as Leer ran 3:41.54 to Webb's 3:41.62 to Rankin's 3:41.75.

After the race, Webb brushed off the media in the mixed zone. Undoubtedly, the American record holder in the mile had to be devastated by his failure to make his 2nd Olympic team. We're sure people will debate Webb's tactics for the next four years on the message boards but in our minds for people to act like today's race was a collusal failure by Webb on either a tactical of psychological front would be wrong.

The fact of the matter is Webb entered this race as the 5th best US 1,500 runner of 2008 and he finished 5th. Lagat, Lomong, and Rankin had all run faster than Webb this at the 1,500 or mile equivalent and Manzano had clearly been having the better season. In the end, like the women, the three men who had been having the best season's so far in 2008 made the team.

100 to go

After the race, we caught up with non-qualifiers Ranking, Lukezic and Will Leer.  Their videos appear below. Rankin, who seemed to us earlier to sort of just to be happy in the final after running poorly in the 800 first round, had a totally different attitude after today's 6th place finish. Rankin felt like he should have come in the top 3.

"I wasn't tying up when I finished," said Rankin who despite what he said was passed by Leer near the line. "I was just was in a tough position - boxed in most of the time. I couldn't really get out until it was too late and when I did (the top 3) had already gotten away. So I blew it. I should have been on the team today. I really felt like I was one of the top 3 guys today.

"The toughest part about not making the team today is that it's there. I missed an opportunity and I might not get this chance again. It's quite disappointing." said the former Pac 10 champ.

Lukezic seemed pleased to have the Trials and the problem of not having the A standard behind him. He's looking forward to going to Europe and getting a new PR as he thinks he's in great shape despite today's 10th place showing.

Will Leer gave a great interview. We've spliced two interviews together. At the beginning of the clip (which actually was the 2nd interview we did with him), he talks about his great mustache and how it works well for him both on and off the track.

1 Bernard Lagat Nike 3:40.37
2 Leonel Manzano Nike 3:40.90
3 Lopez Lomong Nike 3:41.00
4 William Leer Oregon TC Elite 3:41.54
5 Alan Webb Nike 3:41.62
6 Jon Rankin Nike 3:41.75
7 Said Ahmed Nike 3:42.20
8 Andrew McClary Arkansas 3:42.40
9 Rob Myers Reebok 3:42.62
10 Christopher Lukezic Reebok 3:43.26
11 Steve Sherer unattached 3:43.41
12 Gabriel Jennings Saucony 3:47.9

Bernard Lagat, Leo Manzano and Lopez Lomong 20 Minutes

Bernard Lagat on The American Dream and Webb

Lopez Lomong

Leo Manzano on His Dad Coming to America Getting Amnesty and Alan Webb

Gabe Jennings Says He Won't Quit After This Race And Will Have to Medal in London

Will Leer

Chris Lukezic

Jon Rankin

Men's 110 Hurdles: David Oliver is the Man
The stunning thing about the 110 final was how the pressure seemingly got to many of the competitors. In the prelims, 4 guys ran 13.09 or better with a 5th at 13.15. In the final, despite a big tail-wind, third place ended up being 13.25 as Anwar Moore bit the dust and fell after the last hurdle - costing himself a spot on the Olympic team.

1 David Oliver Nike 12.95 3.5
2 Terrence Trammell Mizuno 13.00 3.5
3 David Payne Nike 13.25 3.5
4 Aries Merritt Reebok 13.27 3.5
5 Antwon Hicks adidas 13.33 3.5
6 Andrew Brunson Florida State 13.43 3.5
7 Ty Akins Auburn 13.82 3.5
8 Anwar Moore Nike 16.64 3.5
1 David Oliver Nike 12.89Q 3.2
2 Terrence Trammell Mizuno 13.08Q 2.0
3 David Payne Nike 13.06Q 3.2
4 Antwon Hicks adidas 13.09Q 2.0
5 Anwar Moore Nike 13.15Q 2.0
6 Aries Merritt Reebok 13.24Q 3.2
7 Ty Akins Auburn 13.26Q 3.2
8 Andrew Brunson Florida State 13.33Q 2.0

Women's 100 Hurdles: Lolo Jones Flies
Despite an illegal wind, Lolo Jones ran one of the fastest 100 hurldes in histoy under any conditions as she won the final in 12.29. The American record is 12.33. Damu Cherry, who once served a two-year doping suspension, was 2nd while defending Olympic champ Joanna Hayes was left off the team.

*More on Cherry's Doping Past Here
1 Lolo Jones Asics 12.29 3.8
2 Damu Cherry Nike 12.58 3.8
3 Dawn Harper unattached 12.62 3.8 12.612
4 Nichole Denby adidas 12.62 3.8 12.619
5 Candice Davis unattached 12.66 3.8
6 Virginia Powell Nike 12.74 3.8
7 Joanna Hayes Nike 12.96 3.8
-- Kellie Wells Nike DNS 3.8

Dix Closing Fast

Men's 200: Walter Dix The Most Underpaid Man in the Sport
The man who probably made the most bank at the Trials is likely Walter Dix.  Heading into the Trials, we were hearing reports as to how the shoe companies were low-balling Dix as they weren't sure that he was the same man as the one who ran a 19.69 last year at Florida State. Supposedly, they wanted to see what direction he was headed.

Even after making the 100 meter team earlier in the week, Dix didn't sign as most people thought he would.  In hind-sight, that was a very smart move - particularly now that Tyson Gay is out. Dix's price tag continued to rise as somehow he won the 200 today.  With 5 meters to go, it looked like defending Olympic champ Shawn Crawford had an insurmountable lead but somehow the hard-charging Dix caught him at the tape. Wallace Spearmon was the biggest benefactor of his former Arkansas teammate's misfortune as he ended up 3rd (a spot Gay would have had for sure).

Nonetheless Crawford had a great meet and picked the perfect time to run well as he hadn't broken 20 seconds since winning the Olympic gold in Athens with a time of 19.79.

1 Walter Dix Florida State 19.86S 1.7 19.852
2 Shawn Crawford Nike 19.86S 1.7 19.857
3 Wallace Spearmon Nike 19.90 1.7
4 Rodney Martin Nike 19.99 1.7
5 Charles Clark Florida State 20.53 1.7
6 Rubin Williams Tennessee 20.61 1.7
7 Bernard Williams adidas 20.63 1.7
-- Xavier Carter Nike DNS 1.7
Women's 200: Allyson Felix Wins, Hooker Dives
The women's 200 ended up being a great race. First of all, adidas poster child Allyson Felix picked up an impressive victory in 21.82. But the battle for third is what had our attention  as Marshevet Hooker ended up diving across the finish line.  We'd never seen that in a sprint before. It probably wasn't intentional but her quest to lean for the tape, she ended up tripping and diving across the line at the perfect time.
1 Allyson Felix adidas 21.82 5.6
2 Muna Lee Nike 21.99 5.6
3 Marshevet Hooker adidas 22.20 5.6
4 Lauryn Williams Nike 22.21 5.6
5 Bianca Knight adidas 22.25 5.6
6 Carmelita Jeter Nike 22.35 5.6
7 Shalonda Solomon Reebok 22.36 5.6
-- Torri Edwards Nike DNS 5.6

Men's Triple Jump: 6th Round Heroics Changes Team
The triple jump was very exciting as both the winner (Aarik Wilson) and runner-up (Kenta Bell) went from being off the Beijing team to on it on their final jumps. Wilson and Bell that our favorite motto about the field events is true, "You can't coach clutch."

That phrase is courtesy of 2008 NCAA triple jump champion, Muhammid Halim, who said it last year in 2007. Halim ended up 9th today.

Wilson and Bell's heroics came at the expense of Walter Davis, a medallist at the last two world championships, as he ended up in 4th - 1 centimeter off of 3rd. David got a good jump off in the 6th round but just came up short.
1 Aarik Wilson Nike 17.43mS 2.0 57-02.25
16.92m(3.4) 15.63m(3.0) 17.06m(2.3) 16.99m(1.7) 17.13m(2.6) 17.43m(2.0)
2 Kenta Bell Mizuno 17.23m 4.5 56-06.50
17.23m(4.5) 17.02m(3.1) 16.96m(3.1) 16.95m(2.6) FOUL 16.63m(0.9)
3 Rafeeq Curry Shore A C 17.21m 1.0 56-05.75
16.26m(2.9) 16.80m(2.5) 17.15m(1.6) 16.92m(3.0) 17.03m(3.9) 17.21m(1.0)
4 Walter Davis Nike 17.20m 3.9 56-05.25
17.02m(1.5) 16.91m(3.4) 17.20m(3.9) 17.12m(1.2) FOUL 17.11m(1.9)
5 Brandon Roulhac Shore A C 17.16m 2.1 56-03.75
16.41m(2.4) FOUL 16.97m(2.6) 17.16m(2.1) FOUL 16.86m(2.4)
6 Allen Simms unattached 17.05m 2.5 55-11.25
16.07m(2.1) 17.05m(2.5) 16.98m(4.1) 16.91m(2.5) 16.84m(3.8) 16.62m(2.6)
7 Lawrence Willis unattached 16.62m 2.5 54-06.50
16.57m(1.8) FOUL 16.62m(2.5) 16.00m(4.4) FOUL FOUL
8 James Lemons unattached 16.27m 3.1 53-04.50
15.95m(3.3) 16.27m(3.1) FOUL 15.56m(6.1) 16.04m(2.8) 15.92m(3.2)
9 Kyle Jenkins Indiana 16.20m 2.1 53-01.75
FOUL FOUL 16.20m(2.1)
10 Muhammad Halim Cornell 16.07m 3.2 52-08.75
15.99m(2.5) 16.07m(3.2) 15.15m(3.2)
11 Alonzo Moore HPC Elite 16.03m 2.9 52-07.25
16.03m(2.9) 15.93m(2.9) 15.77m(0.7)
12 James Jenkins HPC Elite 15.65m 2.5 51-04.25
15.60m(0.8) FOUL 15.65m(2.5)

Women's Pole Vault: AR For Jenn S.

Jenn Stuczynski
provided plenty of drama as she almost no-heighted (clearing on her 3rd attempt) but then more than made up for it by setting a new American record.
1 Jennifer Stuczynski adidas 4.92mA 16-01.75
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55 4.60 4.65 4.76 4.92 5.02
2 April Steiner Bennett adidas 4.60m 15-01.00
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55 4.60 4.65
3 Erica Bartolina unattached 4.55m 14-11.00
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55 4.60
4 Jillian Schwartz Nike 4.50m 14-09.00
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55
5 Tracy O'Hara unattached 4.50m 14-09.00
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55
6 Becky Holliday unattached 4.50m 14-09.00
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50 4.55
7 Mary Vincent Asics 4.40m 14-05.25
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50
7 Chelsea Johnson Nike 4.40m 14-05.25
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50
7 Stacy Dragila Nike 4.40m 14-05.25
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50
10 Lacy Janson Nike 4.40m 14-05.25
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45 4.50
10 Melinda Owen Idaho 4.40m 14-05.25
4.20 4.30 4.40 4.45
-- Erin Asay unattached NH
4.20 4.30
Men's Javelin
The winner of the men's javelin won't be going to Beijing as he doesn't have the A. Such a shame the winner, Bobby Smith, can't go. For the matter, neither can former NCAA champ at Penn Brian Chaput who was 3rd.

The only guys with the A are 2nd placer Mike Hazle as well as 5th placer Leigh Smith. It looks like they will go to Athens along with Breaux Greer who didn't even make the final.  No one is 100% sure if Greer will go but he is the only other one with the A.

Even Track & Field News isn't sure if Greer is going.
*2008 US Olympic Track & Field Team according to TFN
1 Bobby Smith Monmouth Track Club 76.06m 249-06
74.33m 73.49m 72.30m 72.17m 76.06m 75.31m
2 Mike Hazle Nike 75.76m 248-07
72.80m FOUL 75.76m 72.89m 75.44m FOUL
3 Brian Chaput Javelin USA 75.63m 248-01
75.63m FOUL 72.70m 73.76m FOUL FOUL
4 Christopher Hill unattached 74.51m 244-05
74.51m 64.91m FOUL 68.14m FOUL FOUL
5 Leigh Smith unattached 74.24m 243-07
74.24m 71.64m FOUL FOUL FOUL 73.34m
6 Barry Krammes Shore A C 73.82m 242-02
72.78m 73.82m FOUL FOUL 71.23m 70.30m
7 Sean Furey unattached 73.50m 241-02
FOUL 69.53m 73.50m 71.32m FOUL 70.38m
8 John Hetzendorf unattached 70.33m 230-09
70.33m 69.00m FOUL 68.97m FOUL 67.96m
9 Corey White unattached 68.92m 226-01
62.66m 68.92m 67.45m
10 Aris Borjas VS Athletics 68.78m 225-08
FOUL 68.78m FOUL
11 Daniel Brown unattached 66.75m 219-00
FOUL 66.75m FOUL
12 Jon Jeffreys unattached 64.01m 210-00
FOUL 64.01m FOUL

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