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LetsRun.com's 2009 NCAA Day 3 Distance Recap: Rupp Completes The Perfect Season
5,000s And Steeple Recaps

June 12, 2009

Men's 5,000m - Galen Completes The Rupp-tet With His 6th NCAA Title

Much like the women's race, it certainly wasn't a surprise that the men's 5k started tactically, as the conditions were less than Stanfordesque (74 degrees and 86% humidity).

Rupp On His Way To Perfection

Someone stepped on Galen Rupp's shoe in the opening lap and he stopped to get it back on properly after asking Alberto Salazar what to do. Iona's Ryan Sheridan smartly tried to take advantage of Rupp's mishap but before the lap was even over, Rupp was back with the pack and Sheridan and the pack started to crawl once again.

Despite the momentary surge, the first 1,600 was covered in just 4:40 (as there were two laps in 73 in there). At halfway, the 73s and 74s were continuing and the clock read 7:27. Just past halfway, Stanford freshman Chris Derrick decided to make things somewhat honest as he started running 70s. After three 70s, the clock read 10:02.7 for the leaders with 1,600 to go. Rupp was 10:04 as he was near the back.

The entire field was still in contact and even after a 64.28, all 16 men will still there together. With three laps to go, Galen Rupp was in next-to-last. The pace had started to pick up and he was in the back. Was there something wrong? Just when we started to think that maybe he didn't look quite right, Rupp moved wide and accelerated towards the front.

Within the span of 120 meters (from 1,120 out to 1k out), Rupp passed 11 runners and put himself into 4th. Are you serious? Was it really that easy? Yes, it was.

That 400 was covered in 62.44 and five guys were starting to separate themselves from everyone else. From 600 to 400 out, it became clear that this was a two-man race - Galen Rupp and NAU's David McNeill. McNeill put up a good fight. He was glued to Rupp with 300 to go but just around the 200 meter to go mark, Rupp proved that in his senior season he is simply unbeatable at the collegiate level as he pulled away and ended his perfect senior season with his 7th NCAA title thanks to his 14:04.12 clocking.

Rupp Post Race Interview (6:43)

Last night in the 10k, we thought that Rupp, a man who until this year had never broken 4:00 in the mile, might have been able to close sub-4:00 for his final 1,600 had he really been pushed and tonight he left no doubt that he could have done that as we quickly figured his final 1,600 was 4:01 if not faster (the leader was 4:01.4, so Rupp might have been 4:00 and he let up at the line).

Actually, scratch the conjecture. Flash Results have the official splits up and Rupp's final 1,600 was 4:00.08. His final 800 1:54.30. His final 1k was 2:25. UNBELIEVABLE.

RUPP, YOU ARE THE MAN. Seriously, why should we try to be all smart and spend hours trying to act like we are some Sports Illustrated writer who can describe Rupp's magnificence this week appropriately. We aren't good enough writers to do that.

We simply urge you to watch the final 3 minutes of the race. And for the record, Galen, we apologize for thinking you were tired or maybe out of it with three laps to go. We actually think that us thinking you were human adds to your greatness. It reminds us a bit of watching the 10k at the 1996 Olympics when Gebrselassie, after waging an epic battle with Tergat, just glanced over his shoulder in the final 50 to make sure no one was coming. That slight glance over his shoulder showed us that Geb was at least human and seemingly possibly beatable.

Final 3 Minutes Of The Men's 5k

Rupp, you showed no vulnerability this week at all. We as humans showed our own as we were just shocked to see someone falling so far back with 1,200 to go. You were so good you fooled us.

Our only question is: Could you have tripled?

And to all the LetsRun.com haters, let the scorecard officially read: Alberto Salazar and Rupp 1 - Doubters 0. Rupp received so much attention before this year, we feel like this season perhaps is not getting the credit it deserves. Rupp is a totally different runner this year. Last year, he could not break 4 minutes in the mile, now he is closing in 4 minutes. Not since Bob Kennedy have we heard any serious discussions about an American-born male runner medalling at 5k or 10k, and that is the discussion we heard today (although his coach Alberto Salazar still has his feet grounded. He told Flotrack, "He (Galen) knows he's probably going to get his ass kicked pretty hard in the next couple of months."). The transformation of Galen Rupp this year has been incredible and we hope you all appreciate it.

Rupp afterwards said he appreciated the slower pace (interview on right): "I came in expecting it to be fast, because guys knew I would be tired, just like the 10K last night. It was a pleasant surprise that it wasn’t too fast."

Behind Rupp (14:04.18), NAU's David McNeill was a well-deserved second (as he pushed Rupp more than we thought he would) in 14:05.79. In third, American junior record holder Chris Derrick ended his sensational freshman season with another All-American performance. Five times the youngster was All-American this year. Unbelievable.

Rupp interview above, McNeill and Derrick below.

David McNeill on His Valient Effort (2:18)

Chris Derrick after His Incredible Frosh Year (2:51)

Event 7  Men 5000 Meter Run
 2 Heats.  Advance top 6 from each heat plus next best 4 times.              
 One waterfall line.                                                         
    American:   12:ဵ8.21  8/14/1996   Bob Kennedy, Nike                      
College Best:   13:08.4h  5/13/1978   Henry Rono, Washington State           
   NCAA Meet:   13:20.63  6/2/1979    Sydney Maree, Villanova                
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points      
  1 Galen Rupp                SR Oregon                14:04.12   10         
  2 David McNeill             JR Northern Arizona      14:05.79    8         
  3 Chris Derrick             FR Stanford              14:07.34    6         
  4 Brandon Bethke            JR Arizona State         14:08.00    5         
  5 Elliott Heath             SO Stanford              14:08.56    4         
  6 Hassan Mead               SO Minnesota             14:09.87    3         
  7 Tyson David               JR Alabama               14:10.75    2         
  8 Shadrack Biwott           SR Oregon                14:11.45    1         
  9 Ryan Vail                 SR Oklahoma State        14:11.78              
 10 Michael Maag              SR Princeton             14:14.67              
 11 Mark Steeds               SR Georgia State         14:20.23              
 12 Alfred Kipchumba          SO Portland              14:21.37              
 13 Ryan Sheridan             FR Iona                  14:21.60              
 14 Jean-Pierre Weerts        JR Auburn                14:22.98              
 15 Emmanuel Bor              JR Alabama               14:23.13              
 16 Matt Leeder               FR Florida State         14:23.19        

Appreciating Barringer's Greatness

Women's Steeplechase

After her 3:59.90 performance last week, expectations were very high for Jenny Barringer in the women's steeple. We figured she has to be in American record shape. The question is would she go after it.

The first 200 was an emphatic yes, as she covered the 200+ meters to the finish line in 36.72 seconds (which is well under record pace as that's probably 32-33 200 pace and the American record of 9:22.26 is basically 74.5 per lap on an inside pit). That is very, very fast - so fast that she had 6 seconds on the bottom three in the race just 200 plus meters into the race.

Barringer's first 400 was covered in roughly 69 and her first full lap from the finish line including the water jump was 75.45. After her quick start, 75 flats would give her 9:21-point. She banged out two more 75s (75.78 and 75.47). With 4 laps to go, she looked a little bit tired and her next two laps were 76s (76.65 and 76.73). At this point, we were thinking the record was out the question as the clock was basically 6:57 flat. She'd have to close in 2:25 when she'd been running 76s.

But then Barringer showed a little bit more life and she covered the penultimate lap in 75.80, giving her roughly 8:12.80 with a lap to go. A 69 would give her the record and since she'd run 3:59 last week, we thought, "Maybe she can do it." But her next 200 was 37.70 and the record was officially out of reach. In the end, Barringer covered her final lap in 72.57 to finish in 9:25.54 - a seasonal best and a new NCAA championship record. Pretty impressive considering the conditions during her race - no wind and 77 degrees and 72% humidity.

Behind Barringer, it was basically a two-person race between Olympic Trials 4th placer Nicole Bush of Michigan St. and Bridget Franek of Penn State as the two dared to run behind Barringer for a lap or two. Washington's Mel Lawrence was in 4th sort of running in no man's land for much of the race but with her eyes on both Bush and Franek.

Jenny Barringer (1:35)

Just before 1k to go, Bush passed Franek to move into second before Franek passed her back a lap later. However, over the final 400, Franek would struggle and fade as Mel Lawrence moved up big time. Bush's runner-up status was never seriously questioned but Lawrence's strong final lap ended up getting her within half a second of Bush. Bush was 2nd in 9:40.49 to Lawrence's 9:40.98 to Franek's 9:48.57.

After the race, we caught up with Barringer, who was very happy to be the champion but admitted the pressure is different now than it used to be.

"I know when I step out on the track, people don't just want me to win; they really want me to set a record or something and that pressure is mounting," said Barringer. "I had something in mind that I wanted to do. I wanted to run 9:25 because I know I can do that. I knew I would feel pretty good at 9:25 splits. I'm kind of surprised that's exactly what I ran. I'm really happy with how it all turned out today."

"9:23 is the world leading time right now but there is a world record under 9 minutes. The sky's the limit and I'm going for all of it," added Barringer. "This isn't the race where I have to go and shake the world up, so it was a little more relaxed and I felt really good."

We also spoke with Colorado coach Mark Wetmore, who told us minus a twisted ankle or any other unforeseen circumstances that Barringer will run the steeple at USAs in two weeks.

Event 26  Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase
 2 Heats.  Advance top 5 from each heat plus next best 4 times.                 
    American:   9:22.26  8/17/2008   Jenny Barringer, Colorado                  
College Best:   9:26.20  5/30/2009   Jenny Barringer, Colorado                  
   NCAA Meet:   9:29.20  6/13/2008   Jenny Barringer, Colorado                  
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points         
  1 Jennifer Barringer        SR Colorado               9:25.54   10            
  2 Nicole Bush               SR Michigan State         9:40.49    8            
  3 Mel Lawrence              FR Washington             9:40.98    6            
  4 Bridget Franek            JR Penn State             9:48.57    5            
  5 Lennie Waite              SR Rice                  10:01.40    4            
  6 Erin Bedell               JR Baylor                10:01.72    3            
  7 Sarah Pease               SO Indiana               10:11.77    2            
  8 Zsofia Erdelyi            SO Southern California   10:12.31    1            
  9 Stephanie Garcia          JR Virginia              10:14.35                 
 10 Patricia Loughlin         SR Duke                  10:15.56                 
 11 Emma Coburn               FR Colorado              10:22.58                 
 12 Claire Michel             SO Oregon                10:29.16                 
 13 Danielle Bradley          JR Baylor                10:34.16                 
 -- Silje Fjortoft            SO Southern Methodist         DNF                            

Men's Steeplechase - Unlikely Dominating Victory For BYU's Kyle Perry

The men, following a stirring performance by Jenny Barringer, came through with a great race of their own. Louisville's Corey Thorne stepped on the gas right from the beginning, getting out in 63 for the first 400m and 2:47 for the first 1,000m, or approximately 8:21 pace.

Perry And Morse

Behind him was a pack consisting of almost the whole field. 1,200m in, Texas' race favorite Jake Morse, 4th in last year's Olympic Trials, moved to the front with Thorne as the pace slowed dramatically. The second 1,000m would be covered in 2:55 before the fireworks began.

BYU's Kyle Perry clearly was not fazed by the speedy early pace as he passed Morse and Arkansas' SEC-meet 3-eventer Scott MacPherson. Perry, once on the front, hammered the pace back down, running two 66-second laps, with Morse and MacPherson hanging on. With 800 to go, MacPherson made a move past Morse, prompting Morse to respond, but neither could make up ground on Perry.

Perry, the lanky 25-year-old who had not run under 8:40 in his life prior to Wednesday's preliminary round, ran 8:29.24 easing up in the final 100m for an amazing victory over the heavily favored Morse and the rest of the field.

Perry admitted afterwards he was surprised to go under 8:30.

Not only did Perry defeat Morse and MacPherson, but their efforts to keep up with the BYU runner's late race surges left them out of gas. Morse was passed for second and third in the final meters and MacPherson did well to hang on for 5th after really going for it in front of the home crowd. Iowa State's Hillary Bor came through for second while Butler's Stephen Lisgo surprised in third.

As the men's team title continues to surge back and forth, Oregon's Chris Winter was passed at the line by 2 people to fade back to 9th, losing at least a point for the Ducks. Winter earned our respect afterwards by telling the Register Guard "I’m a little devastated right now, I lost two points for the team in those last five meters. I didn’t know those guys were there, and that was my fault"

Earlier in the night the A&M 4 x 100m squad was DQed after coming in as the #1-ranked team in the event, and the meet will come down to the wire.

LRC's Men's Splits
70.3 (~2:47 at the 1,000)
69.0 *Kyle Perry takes the lead
66.2 (~2:55 for the second 1,000)
64.8 (~2:47 for the last 1,000) *Perry all the way, easing up in the last 100m

Event 6  Men 3000 Meter Steeplechase
 2 Heats.  Advance top 5 from each heat plus next best 4 times.              
    American:   8:08.82  7/14/2006   Daniel Lincoln                          
College Best:   8:05.4h  5/13/1978   Henry Rono, Washington State            
   NCAA Meet:   8:12.39  6/1/1978    Henry Rono, Washington State            
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points      
  1 Kyle Perry                SR Brigham Young          8:29.24   10         
  2 Hillary Bor               SO Iowa State             8:35.12    8         
  3 Stephen Lisgo             JR Butler                 8:35.49    6         
  4 Jake Morse                SR Texas                  8:38.25    5         
  5 Scott MacPherson          SR Arkansas               8:38.87    4         
  6 Josh Karanja              SR Eastern Michigan       8:40.16    3         
  7 Cory Thorne               SR Louisville             8:45.86    2         
  8 Kyle Heath                SR Syracuse               8:45.95    1         
  9 Chris Winter              SR Oregon                 8:46.06              
 10 Richard Nelson            JR Brigham Young          8:50.08              
 11 Ricardo Estremera         SR Albany                 8:51.50              
 12 Donald Cowart             SR Virginia Military      8:54.93              
 13 Gilbert Limo              SO Texas Tech             9:00.28              
 14 Ryan Gasper               JR Wisconsin              9:26.64       

Women's 5,000m Final - Bizzari Takes A Tactical Race Over Blood


In collegiate women's running, tactical races are fairly rare. However, considering there was no overwhelming favorite in the women's 5k and that the race started under less-than-ideal conditions as it was fairly warm (74 degrees) and muggy (86% humidity) with zero wind, it shouldn't have taken anyone by surprise that the women's 5k started tactically.

The first 1k was covered in 3:28.20 and the first 1,600 in 5:32-3 (well over 17-minute pace). The 2nd kilometer really wasn't any faster (3:27) as the field was still together. At 2,500, they were at 8:37. That's 17:14 pace. At 2,600, the pace started to pick up a bit thanks to Michigan State's Lisa Senakiewich, who led the next lap in 74.54 (the previous few laps were over 80).

The next lap was 74.18 and just like that, after an 800 in sub-2:30, the field was splintered, as with a mile to go (11:26.36), it was Senakiewich in the lead, with last year's runner-up Angela Bizzarri of Illinois in 2nd and Oregon's Nicole Blood in third. Those three had 2-3 meters on 4th and 5th.

After another sub-2:30 800, thanks to a 75.00 lap and a 74.77, it was down to two - Bizzarri and Blood - with 800 to go. After a 71.94, Blood was still hanging on but over the last 400, there was no doubt who was the class of this field, as Bizarri had a lot left in the tank and closed with a 69.77 to win in 16:17.94.

Blood, on the other hand, really struggled over the final 400 and for a while we thought she might blow her gigantic hold on 2nd (she was probably 30 meters up heading into the lap). But she held on for 2nd and the crucial 8 team points for the Ducks (16:26.58), as fast-closing Frances Koons, who had seemed to struggle a few laps earlier, dug deep and came in 3rd (16:28.36). Senakiewich was 4th in 16:28.88.

Bizarri ran the first half in 8:37 and the 2nd half in 7:40 thanks to her last 1,600 of 4:51.48. Pretty good 2nd half if you compare it to anyone but Jenny Barringer.

Event 27  Women 5000 Meter Run
 2 Heats.  Advance top 6 from each heat plus next best 4 times.                 
 One waterfall line.                                                            
    American:   14:44.80  4/14/2007   Shalane Flanagan, Nike                    
College Best:   15:07.56  7/4/1985    Cathy Easker, Wisconsin                   
   NCAA Meet:   15:15.08  6/13/2008   Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech                 
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points         
  1 Angela Bizzarri           JR Illinois              16:17.94   10            
  2 Nicole Blood              JR Oregon                16:26.58    8            
  3 Frances Koons             SR Villanova             16:28.36    6            
  4 Lisa Senakiewich         SR Michigan State        16:28.88    5            
  5 Janet Jesang              JR Western Kentucky      16:32.59    4            
  6 Alex Becker               JR Tulsa                 16:34.63    3            
  7 Betsy Saina               FR Iowa State            16:40.87    2            
  8 Amanda Marino             SO Villanova             16:41.57    1            
  9 Emily Anderson            JR William & Mary        16:42.13                 
 10 Kellyn Johnson            SR Wichita State         16:45.34                 
 11 Denise Bargiachi          SR Arkansas              16:49.40                 
 12 Katie Follett             JR Washington            16:56.72                 
 13 Irine Lagat               SR Arizona               16:59.06                 
 14 Anna Nosenko              SO Wake Forest           16:59.96                  
 -- Marie-Louise Asselin      SO West Virginia              DNF                 
 -- Gwen Jorgensen            SR Wisconsin                  DNF            

*Oregonian Men's Recap
*Eugene Register Guard Recap Chris Winter: "I’m a little devastated right now, I lost two points for the team in those last five meters. I didn’t know those guys were there, and that was my fault."
*Oregonian Women's Recap
*Alberto Salazar Interview

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