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2008 LetsRun.com US Men's 800, 1,500 Rankings June 19, 2008
June 19, 2008
by: LetsRun.com

This is our fourth week of the LetsRun.com mid-distance rankings. Our previous two rankings can be found here (Week #3, Week #2, and Week #1)

The ranking are based on current form and are supposed to reflect how we think they'd end up if you lined them up and had them race right now - it's not a cumulative yearly ranking.

Our stats came from a combination of TrackandFieldNews.com US leaders lists, USATF.org's leaders, our own adjustments, and incredible individual stats at tilastopaja.org

Email us at letsrun@letsrun.com with any comments you have.. If anyone has some photos they'd like us to use, please email us.

Men's 1500: Steve Sherer Vault Into the Rankings

Changes this week: Alan Webb returned to action in the 800 with his 1:47.41 for 5th. An hour later he rabbited the 1500 in 2:53 for 1200. In that race Steve Sherer got the biggest win of his career as he defeated past World Champs team members Rob Myers (3:38.73) and Chris Lukezic (3:37.51). (For a letsrun indoor profile on Sherer click here). Sherer's rise outdoors has been quick. On May 24th, he ran 3:48 in Boston. Last weekend he ran 3:40 for the win in California and now this run.

In 2nd place, was another big surprise Andy McClary. McClary runs for the University of Arkansas and was fifth at USATFs last year, but did not even qualify for the NCAA meet. Obviously a bit inconsistent, but a huge talent.

  1 Sherer, Steve                Unattached             3:36.81  
  2 McClary, Andy                Unattached             3:36.91  
  3 lukezic, chris               Reebok                 3:37.51
  4 Myers, Rob                   Reebok                 3:38.73  

Leo Manzano continued his undefeated 2008 season (in the 1500 and mile) by winning NCAAs after controlling the whole race. Shane Stroup ran 3:40.51 to win the Monday American Miler Series Meet. Gabe Jennings won in Oregon in 3:41.12

Previous ranking appears in (). Big movers have arrows.

USA Men's 1,500 Meter Stats

2008 Top Times
Changes this week in bold
3:35.14 Bernard Lagat adidas 05/18

3:36.36 Lopez Lomong adidas 05/18
3:36.61 Jon Rankin adidas 05/18
3:36.81 Steve Sherer 6/14
3:36.91  Andy McClary 6/14
3:37.51 Chris Lukezic 6/14

Said Ahmed 6/6
3:38.11 Will Leer adidas 05/18

3:38.60 Andrew Wheating Oregon 05/09

3:38.73 Rob Myers 6/14
3:40.04 Matt Tegenkamp Cardinal 05/04
3:40.22 Andrew Bumbalough Princeton 04/1
3:40.25 Bobby Curtis Swarthmore 05/13
3:40.41 Jonathon Riley ASU 04/12

2007 USATF Finals
1 Alan Webb Nike 3:34.82
2 Leonel Manzano Texas 3:35.29
3 Bernard Lagat Nike 3:35.55
4 Christopher Lukezic Reebok 3:36.95
5 Andrew McClary unattached 3:39.81
6 Said Ahmed Nike 3:40.80
7 Russell Brown Stanford 3:41.80
8 John Jefferson Oregon TC 3:42.46
9 Garrett Heath Stanford 3:42.88
10 William Leer unattached 3:44.20
11 Rob Myers Reebok 3:45.59
12 Gabriel Jennings Saucony 3:47.54

2007 Top 10 Seasonal Bests (All under 3:38.00)
3:30.54 Alan Webb (Nike)
3:33.85 Bernard Lagat (Nike)
3:34.25 Matt Tegenkamp (Nike)
3:35.29 Leo Manazano (Texas)
3:35.72 Jon Rankin (Nike)
3:36.49 Rob Myers (Reebok)
3:36.95 Chris Lukezic (Reebok)
3:37.13 Adam Goucher (Nike)
3:37.27 Chris Solinsky (Wi)
3:37.56 Russell Brown (Stan)

#1 (1) Bernard Lagat - DOB: 12/12/1974 Personal Best: 3:26:34 2008 Best: 3:35:14 Last Race: 3:35:14 2007 Best: 3:33.85
Was there any doubt? The double world champion at 1,500 and 5k outdoors last year deserves to be #1. Obviously he only finished 3rd at USAs last year but the golds in Osaka more than made up for it and made everyone forget that Lagat was really struggling last July (after USAs, he got 7th in Paris and 3rd in Sheffield).

So far in 2008, he's done pretty well for himself as he currently sits at #1 on the US list at both 5k (13:16.19)and 1,500 (3:35.14).

Lagat is a stud but he's far, far from a sure thing at the Olympics. Given the heat that is expected, we think he's probably a more sure thing for a medal at 5k than he is at 1,500. Given the fact that Bekele isn't going to double, if the Africans don't work together to push the pace in the 5k, it's likely to come down a kick which makes it easy pickings for Lagat.

#2 (2) Leonel Manzano - DOB: 9/12/1984 Personal Best: 3:35:29 2008 Best: 3:56:98 mile or 3:41.80 1,500 at altitude Last Race: 3:41:80 2007 Best: 3:35.29
The Longhorn made it through the collegiate season undefeated in the 1500/mile and capped it off with his dominant win at NCAAs. NCAA 800m champ Jacob Hernandez had this to say about Leo, "Actually Leo's on another level. " He raced 9 times at 1,500 or the mile and won 9 times - way more if you count the DMRs and 4 x miles he's run. He beat Lagat last year at USAs and has a really, really good chance of ending up on the Olympic team this year as he's got a great, great kick.

The only drawback for Manzano is the fastest race he's been in all year was the 3:56.98 he ran at Texas Relays. There's one thing to be said about dominating a bunch of 3:40 guys but trying to dominate a bunch of 3:36 guys is much harder.

#2 (2) Lopez Lomong - DOB: 1/1/1985 Personal Best: 3:36:36 2008 Best: 3:36:36 Last Race: 3:36:36 2007 Best: 3:37.07
We are big, big fans of the Lopez. Heading into last year, we thought he'd do some serious damage at 1,500 as he had shown himself fast enough to run 1:47.00 in the 800 and strong enough to get 4th at NCAAs in cross country. We figured a good 1,500 had to be in there somewhere and Lopez certainly didn't disappoint. He captured NCAAs in the 1,500 and ended up running 1:45.79 for 800.

After falling at adidas before the restart, he rebounded well with the biggest win of his pro career at Reebok. At Prefontaine, he beat Rankin once again.

#4 (4) Jon Rankin- DOB: 2/9/1982 Personal Best: 3:35.26. 2008 Best: 3:36.61 Last Race: 3:36.61 (6th adidas) 2007 Best: 3:35.72
Given the fact that he's run 3:35, Rankin is way more under the radar than he probably should be. It's probably because he hasn't proven himself to be a big-time championship runner yet. Rankin never made the finals of the NCAA 1,500 while in college (in 2005, he failed to make the NCAA final when he was one of the favorites). His only top 10 showing at USAs was when he was 6th in 2005.

But Rankin is running well so far this year and was only .25 behind Lomong at the adidas meet. But in that meet, Lomong was up front all along, Rankin moved up late. He finished behind Lomong yet again at adidas but ahead of Webb.

#5 (5) Alan Webb - DOB: 1/13/1983 Personal Best: 3:30.54 2008 Best: 3:30.54 Last Race: 3:55 Mile Best: 3:30.54
Webb had a phenomenal 2007. A win at USAs and win in the Paris Golden League. Add in the American record in the mile (3:46.91) that served as the world leader in the event plus a world leader in the 1,500 and a stunning 1:43.84 800 (world's #2 time) and you've got yourself a hell of a runner. On paper, Webb looks even better than Lagat as Lagat is 33 and Webb is in his prime at age 25.

The problem is Webb's 2008 season started terribly. A 16th place showing in the US 8k championships and then a DNF in the Carlsbad 5k. The knock on Webb in the past has been that he doesn't know how to peak properly when it counts and that he doesn't know how to not overtrain. The early season results certainly don't assuage those fears.

His 3:55 opener at Pre didn't answer any questions and neither did his 1:47 800. Webb has all the talent in the world and is one of only 3 guys in a US distance event who could win a gold medal, but if you don't make the team you can't win gold.

#6 (8) Andrew Wheating - DOB: 11/21/1987 PB: 3:38:60 (2008), 2008 Best: 3:38:60, 2007 Best: 3:45:17.
His undefeated 2008 streak came to an end at NCAAs (by .01) but 1:45.32 showed he's really fast so we're moving him up. He has unbelievable closing speed and we see him doing really well in a 3:36 race.

#7 (NR) Steve Sherer  DOB 5/5/1981 PB: 3:36.81 (2008) 2008 Best: 3:36.81 2007 Best 3:41.05
Setting a pr and beating Lukezic, Myers and McClary definitely gets you ranked.

#8 (9) Chris Lukezic: DOB: 4/24/1984 ,PB: 3:33.28 (2006), 2008 Best: 3:37.51, Last Race: 3:37.41, 2007 Best: 3:36.95.
Lukezic has been chasing the Olympic "A" standard 3:36.60 and coming up short. But he's been consistent in the 3:37 range. Now he'll just have to trust his racing instincts at the Olympic Trials.

#9 (NR) Andy McClary DOB: 10/31/1985 ,PB: 3:33.28 (2006), 2008 Best: 3:36.91, Last Race: 3:36.91, 2007 Best: 3:39.81.
McClary was fifth at USATFs last year and he did beat Lukezic this past weekend but he's been too inconsistent to rank ahead of him.

#10 (7) Said Ahmed: DOB: 12/10/1982 PB: 3:35.94 (2006), 2008 Best: 3:38.26, 2007 Best: 3:39.00
has been training Kenya since February. He opened with a 3:38.26 win at an African Grand Prix meeting (category II) in Sudan on May 26th. He beat Abdala Abdulgadir (who usually does the peacemaking for Abubaker Kaki) (3:38.59) and Yahya Osman (18 years) who improved to 3:39.25.

#11) (NR) Rob Myers  -DOB: 8/5/1980 PB: 3:34:89 (2005), 2008 Best: 3:38.73 Last Race: 3:38.73  2007 Best: 3:36.49.
Myers appears to be finding his form at the right time but the 1500 this year is very deep and there is no room for error.

Out: Matt Tegenkamp, Gabe Jennings.

Men's 800: Super Impressive Men's NCAA Meet
The Big 2 (Khadevis Robinson and Nick Symmonds) had better watch their backs as there are some young college guys in their rearview mirror.

Action this week: Jacob Hernandez ran 1:45.31 to edge Andrew Wheating (1:45.32) and Duane Solomon (1:45.71) at NCAAs. A great, great race.

Alan Webb ran 1:47.41 for 5th at the Indiana Miler Series event. Webb is the big loser this week in the rankings (dropping out) and Solomon is the big gainer.

Previous rankings appear in (). Big movers have arrows.

USA 800 Meter Stats
Note: Our stats came from a combination of TrackandFieldNews.com US leaders lists, our own adjustments, and incredible individual stats at tilastopaja

2008 Top 10 Seasonal Bests
changes this week in bold
1:44.55 Khadevis Robinson 5/31
1:45.01 Nick Symmonds (Oregon Track Club)
1:45.31 Jacob Hernandez 6/14

1:45.32 Andrew Wheating 6/14

1:45.56 Jebreh Haris 6/11
1:45.58 Sam Burley 6/11
1:45.71 Duane Solomon 6/14

1:46.11 Matt Scherer
1:46.27 James Hatch (unattached)
1:46.55 Kevin Hicks
1:46.58 Jeremy Mims (unattached) Oregon
1:46.70 Carlos Phillips Florida 5/31
1:46.75 Felix Kitur VMI 5/31
1:47.01 Jon Rankin 6/11
1:47.12 Tim Harris (Miami)
1:47.16 Elliott Blount (OTC)
1:47.16 Brandon Shaw (OTC)
1:47.18 Ryan Brown (Asics) Mt SAC

2007 Top 10 Seasonal Bests
1:43.84 Alan Webb (Nike)
1:44.27 Khadevis Robinson (Nike)
1:44.54 Nick Symmonds (OTC) Eugene GP
1:44.69 Jonathan Johnson (Reebok)
1:45.69 Duane Solomon (USC)
1:45.92 Jebreh Harris (Reebok)
1:46.11 Floyd Thompson (SMTC)
1:46.20 Brandon Shaw (OTC)
1:46.22 Elliott Blount (OTC)
1:46.62 Trent Riter (unattached)

2007 USATF Finals
1 Khadevis Robinson Nike 1:44.37
2 Nicholas Symmonds Oregon TC 1:45.17
3 Duane Solomon U S C 1:45.69
4 Jonathan Johnson Reebok 1:45.79
5 Lopez Lomong Northern Arizona 1:45.79
6 Floyd Thompson Santa Monica T C 1:46.11
7 Golden Coachman unattached 1:47.18
8 Trent Riter unattached 1:48.00

#1 (1) Khadevis Robinson - DOB: 7/19/1976 Personal Best: 1:43.68 (2006) 2008 Best: 1:44.55 2007 Best: 1:44.27
The US Champ from 2007 outdoors also won the 2008 indoor title. He's got a good rivalry going with Nick Symmonds but in our minds the choice between #1 and #2 was an easy one. In 2007, Robinson twice ran faster than Symmonds personal best (1:44.54) and he put four times that were better than Symmonds second fastest best time.

That was before they raced. At Reebok, Robinson looked good as
he was a very close 2nd (.02) to Kamel defeating Gary Reed and Nick Willis in the process. At Prefontaine, he was 3rd in a US Leading 1:44.55 - the exact same time he ran at Reebok.

#2 (2) Nick Symmonds - DOB: 12/30/1983 Personal Best: 1:44:54 (2007) 2008 Best: 1:46.14 2007 Best: 1:44.54
The USATF runnerup indoors in 2008 and outdoors in 2007, Symmonds is a clear #2 in the US 800.

Symmonds gave the fans in Oregon a thrill as he made a big move towards the lead at Prefontaine between 500 and 600 meters in, but it proved to be too much too soon as he ended up 4th in 1:45.01. If Symmonds wants to learn how to make the next level, he needs to watch a replay of the race and realize the move was way too big and way too soon. He needs to watch how patient Yego was and how it's better ideally to be positioned a little closer to the front. Symmonds run from the back style is the perfect way to go for a bronze (like Rich Kenah at worlds in 2001) but a real hard way to win .

#3 (3) Jacob Hernandez 9/8/1985 Personal Best: 1:45.68 2008 Best: 1:45.31 2007 Best: 1:48.10
2008 is the year Jacob Hernandez lived up to his promise. A 1:48.48 guy in high school he had not prd since his freshman year (1:47.97) but now he's a 1:45.31 guy and the NCAA champ.

#4 (5) Andrew Wheating - DOB: 11/21/1987 PB: 1:46.83 (2008), 2008 Best: 1:46.83, 2007 Best: 1:50.17
If we'd started our ranking early in the year, this guy would have been nowhere the top 10.

But he's the real deal. And his 1:45.32 for 2nd at NCAAs may have been the first race he lost outdoors but it showed he's plenty fast.

#5 (11) Duane Solomon - DOB: 12/28/1984 Personal Best: 1:45:69 (07) 2008 Best: 1:45.71 2007 Best: 1:45.69
The USC senior finished an impressive 3rd at USAs last year by running a pr of 1:45.69. After getting crushed by Wheating at regionals and Pac 10s, Solomon improved noticeably running 1:45.71 for 3rd and NCAAs and finishing closer to Wheating than he has all year. Rounding into form at the right time. He's the big mover this week.

#6 (6) Jebreh Harris - DOB: 9/22/1978 Personal Best: 1:45:56 (08) 2008 Best: 1:45.56 2007 Best: 1:45.92
Harris has run well in the past at nationals (2006 for 3rd) and is running well heading into nationals this year as he ran 1:45.56 at the American Miler Series meet in Indiana on June 11th. The last two years he ran 1:45.92 and 1:45.91 so his 1:45.66 was a pr. If he PRs again this year at USAs, he has a shot of ending up in Beijing.

#7 (8) Matt Scherer- DOB: 11/21/1983 Personal Best: 1:46.11 (08) 2008 Best: 1:46.11 2007 Best: 1:47.89
Scherer is an interesting prospect. He's a 45.19 400m runner but in America that means you think about moving up to the 800 which he did in earnest last year. He ran 1:47.89 last year. This year outdoors he had run 1:49, 1:49 and then 1:51, but in his last race then busted out with a 1:46.61 pb win. He followed that up with another PR by running 1:46.11 at Prefontaine.

#8 (7) Sam Burley - DOB: 2/13/1981 Personal Best: 1:45:39 (02) 2008 Best: 1:46.97 2007 Best: 1:47.42 Last race 1:47.00
After running his first sub 1:47 (1:45.68) since 2006 on June 11th, Burley ran 1:47.00 on Saturday night for 3rd in the Alan Webb 800 at the Indiana Miler Series meet.

 For all of the college runners who assume they'll just run faster and faster as they get older, take note: Burley's PR came when he ran 1:45.39 to be the runner-up win NCAAs six years ago. But he does well in rounds (NCAA victory). He drops 1 spot this week.

#9 (9) James Hatch - DOB: 9/271982 Personal Best: 1:46.27 (08) 2008 Best: 1:46.27 2007 Best: 1:50.50 The NCAA indoor runner-up from 2005 certainly wouldn't have been on anyone's radar heading into this year as his seasonal best was 1:50.50 last year. But he's at a new level this year. 5th indoors at USAs, Hatch has opened up outdoors with a lifetime best and US leader. Talk about a great time to open in a PR - how about the Olympic year. Not sure why he hasn't raced since early May.

#10 (10) Jonathan Johnson - DOB: 3/5/1982 Personal Best: 1:44:69 (07) 2008 Best: 1:46.90 2007 Best: 1:44.69
When Johnson won USAs and NCAAs in the same year in 2004, it seemed like the sky was the limit. A humbling 6th at NCAAs the next year (while we hate seeing people go pro early, that right there is an example of why many of them do), brought expectations down a lot.

Thus people may not have noticed but Johnson actually set his PR in Europe (1:44.69) last year. Earlier in the year, he finished 4th at USAs. We guess it makes more sense that not nearly as many people are noticing because 4th in USAs 3 years after winning it, isn't likely to create a lot of publicity.

Johnson ran poorly in his last outing, finishing 7th at Reebok in 1:47.29

Unranked (6) Alan Webb - DOB: 1/13/1983 Personal Best: 1:43.84 (07) 2008 Best: 1:47.41 2007 Best: 1:43.84
1:43.84 last year and now he's out of the rankings. With 1 more race under his belt we wouldn't be surprised to see him running 1:45 again but his focus is on the 1500.
Dropped Out Kevin Hicks, Christian Smith

Dropping Out:

We're sure we made a few errors as this is our first attempt at this. Comments, suggestions? Email us at letsrun@letsrun.com

We rushed to put this up and didn't include photos. If anyone has some photos they'd like us to use, please email us.

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