NCAA 800: Freshman Robby Andrews Takes Down "Man Among Boys" Andrew Wheating

By Employee #1
March 13, 2010

Rarely does a race live up to its hype like tonight's men's 800m finals at NCAA indoors.

Race co-favorites Andrew Wheating and Robby Andrews roared up from their back-of-the-pack positions to run side-by-side down the final straight. A team title on the line for the Olympian Wheating, an undefeated season on the line for prep phenom Andrews, the younger East-coaster took the win by 0.01, surviving a desperate dive from Wheating. It all happened so fast. Last night, Wheating was a man among boys. So what does that make Andrews?

The race was great. The pace was fast. Wheating and Andrews went straight to the back. Andrews stayed there the whole time, running unobstructed in lane 1. Wheating chose to keep himself closer to the pace and ran almost the whole race in lane 2. Wheating surely was tired from 2 races yesterday, including a thrilling DMR anchor win over Arkansas anchor Dorian Ulrey.

Andrews sure was not tired at all.

Late in the race, Wheating was inching his way up (no, we were not paying attention to anyone else because we knew they were just pawns in the game) and then all of a sudden Andrews was on his shoulder with 100m to go ... and with gears to spare! Andrews pulled even, pulled ahead, got reeled in, went wide and beat the tall guy to the line.

We were amazed that the race played out exactly how we hoped it would. It felt like there was a cosmic force ensuring that the NCAA 800 was going to come down to a huge kick between these two guys. All weekend we've been debating amongst ourselves: Andrews or Wheating? One of us (I, Employee #1, won't specify which genius gets credit) picked Andrews as the winner in the preview. The others (for the sake of the others, I'll conceal their twin identities) abused their power protested, saying, "The preview is good, but there's no way we're picking Andrews in the 800." So the pick was changed but all weekend we've been talking about it - in our minds the individual race of the meet. It got even better when Wheating and Andrews won their respective semifinals on Friday.

Well ... it is crazy that Andrews won. But Andrews might not think so. After all, he has not lost a track race as a collegian.

Wheating, on the other hand, will graduate Oregon with Olympic rings tatooed on his back but a grand total of zero individual indoor NCAA championships. Hard to believe but true.

On The Boards: Official Letsrun.com apology to Robby Andrews and Employee #1

LRC NCAA Coverage: LRC Men's Day 2 Recap: Deja Vu For Wheating, Andrews And Emanuel
*LRC Women's Day 2: Favorites & Big Names Shine As Bizzarri And Koll Battle In Epic 3k, Oregon Women Roll
*LRC In Depth: Men's 800: Virginia Frosh Robby Andrews Upsets Andrew Wheating And Remains Undefeated
*LRC Day 2: Ashton Eaton Sets World Record In Heptathlon
*LRC Men's Day 1 Recap: Wheating Beats Ulrey In DMR Duel
*LRC Women's Day 1 Recap - Tennessee DMR Heroics Steal Show

Results

Finals                                                                          
  1 Robby Andrews             FR Virginia               1:48.39   10            
  2 Andrew Wheating           SR Oregon                 1:48.40    8            
  3 Ryan Foster               JR Penn State             1:48.79    6            
  4 Richard Jones             JR LSU                    1:48.92    5            
  5 Zach Mellon               FR Wisconsin              1:49.08    4            
  6 Jamaal James              SR LSU                    1:49.21    3            
  7 Jack Howard               SR Notre Dame             1:49.48    2            
  8 Owen Dawson               JR Penn State             1:49.59    1        

 

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