Where Your Dreams Become Reality
LetsRun.com's 2009 Final Day Men's Distance Coverage
Men's 1,500 - Lomong Over Manzano
Manzano did all the early leading in the race held in sunny but windy conditions. The pace was slow early (46.0 and 62.8 (2:03.88)), but surprisingly not everyone was bunched right on his shoulder. Rather, the other runners in the field were for the most part running single file, almost as if most of them knew they were overmatched by Manzano and by Lomong, who was near Manzano the entire race.
Pifer Opens Up The Race
Manzano, Lomong and Will Leer would pass Pifer with 200m to go. Lomong and Manzano were well in front heading onto the final straight, with Lomong in the lead.The former NCAA rivals and 2008 Olympians sprinted down the homestretch side-by-side. Lomong had the slight lead heading into the homestretch and he was just a able to maintain it and get the win over Manzano (3:41.68 to Manzano's 3:41.82), thanks to a 26-second last 200 and 53.13 last 400.
Arkansas Razorback Dorian Ulrey blitzed the last lap as well in a super-quick 53.53 to finish a clear third. His last lap was nearly as fast as that of Lomong and Manzano, but he had trailed them by a second at the bell.
Last year's fourth-placer at the Trials, Will Leer, passed Pifer with 200m to go to move into third, but Ulrey came flying by on the turn to get third and then Pifer somehow battled back and re-passed Leer 5 meters before the line to finish fourth as both were 2.5 seconds behind of the winner.
Pifer's nip of Leer just before the line was potentially significant, as third-placer Ulrey doesn't have the Olympic B standard of 3:39.20, so it's possible the 4th-placer might go to Berlin.
Leer In Tears, Ulrey Very Happy
We talked to a pleased Dorian Ulrey (interview on the right) after the race. Many thought Ulrey, runner-up at NCAAs last year, would be the class of the NCAA ranks this year. After opening with a 3:57.6 mile in January, Ulrey never got faster. Only third at NCAA indoors and fourth outdoors, Ulrey finally got the the breakthrough many had expected for him all year on Sunday.
Ulrey said his performance at NCAA outdoors actually gave him confidence as, although he only finished foruth, he set a 2-second personal best and it came after he slept only an hour the night before the race due to a stomach bug.
We asked Ulrey how he was able to turn his season around after struggling at the end of the indoor season and early during the outdoor season. Ulrey said his struggles all were mental. He said indoors his confidence took a beating after Galen Rupp blew his doors off at the DMR at NCAAs. Ulrey said he figured something must be wrong if a 5k/10k guy could beat him with such ease. But after a while, after some strong performances at Penn and SECs, he realized nothing was wrong. Ulrey's confidence is now fully restored and he'll likely be on the Berlin team with Rupp if he can get over to Europe and run a 3:39.20.
Webb Seen Doing Strides Saturday Evening
1 Lopez Lomong Nike 3:41.68
Nick Symmonds And Khadevis Robinson Put On A Show
Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson (KD) have dominated the US 800m ranks the last few years while developing an amazing rivalry and they put on a great show once again at Hayward field on Sunday afternoon. In years past, it has been KD in the lead with Nick Symmonds coming from behind. But on Sunday, just as was the case at USA indoors, it was Symmonds in the lead, with KD charging. Symmonds somehow was able to hold him off as he had just enough in the tank to get the win in 1:45.86 to KD's 1:45.97.
It's been well documented how when the two race, they almost always finish within a quarter of a second of each other, so the tight finish certainly wasn't a surprise.
Ryan Brown: "I never thought I'd be here."
The former prep star, 21 year-old Karjuan Williams, who emerged this year on the pro ranks with a 1:46.06 - a two-second PR - did the early leading. He led at the bell (51.50). Customary frontrunner Tevan Everett tried a new tactic and was just off the lead on Williams' heels. Williams continued to lead on the backstretch and Symmonds, who was fifth at the bell, moved up to challenge for the lead on the backstretch. Williams still led at 600, but Symmonds was right next to him. Coming off the final turn (aka the Bowerman curve), Symmonds catapulted into the lead and those who had watched Symmonds just dominate the last 100 at the Pre Classic probably thought the race was all over.
Not so fast. Khadevis Robinson was right on Symmonds' shoulder in hot pursuit. Symmonds had the lead but Robinson charged hard to nearly pull even with Symmonds halfway down homestretch. Just whe it seemed KD had the momentum, Symmonds dug deep and was able to hold off Robinson for the .11 margin of victory.
Race Video and results below.
Men's 800m Race