Dan Huling Runs 8:13.29 To Move Up To #5 All-Time In US

Uceny Now #10 On 1,500 US List

By LetsRun.com
July 8, 2010

Below is a recap of the men's steeple from Lausanne, where American Dan Huling set a new personal best to move up to #5 all-time in the US. We also recap the women's 1,500, where American Morgan Uceny cracked the US all-time top 10 as well with a fine showing. For a full recap of the entire meet including these events, please click here.

Men's Steeple: Kipruto Runs World Leader As Huling Moves Up To #5 All-Time In US
After running 8:18 in each of this last three steeplechases, Brimin Kipruto returned to the form that saw him win the Olympic title in 2008, as he won in a world-leading 8:01.62 today. Also running quite well in the race was American Dan Huling, who ran a PR of 8:13.29 to nab fifth, in a time that moves him up to #5 all-time in the US (Huling's previous PR was #7 on the US list at 8:14.69).

The race was honest from the gun and the pacemaking was spot on for a sub-8:00 showing, as the rabbit hit the first km in 2:39.44. When the 2km mark was passed in by 5:20.73, it was clear that a fast finishing time was bound to happen as the pace was still fast and two guys were still in contention for the win and would have to race. Leading at this point was 21-year-old Uganda national record holder Benjamin Kiplagat, but he was being challenged by Kipruto. The pace lagged a bit as the two got ready to kick. At the bell, Kipruto had the lead and he never relinquished it as he closed in roughly 62 to get the win. Kiplagat held up very well over the final km and lap as he finished in 8:03.81 - a massive new PR as his previous national record was just 8:12.98.

2004 Olympic bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech, who dominated the steeple in New York in May, managed to hold onto third in 8:11.65 as American Dan Huling did a good job of running his own race and not slowing down too much once he found himself in no man's land after the 1st kilometer.

LetsRun.com caught up with Huling in his hotel room at 1 a.m after the race. Huling was clearly pleased to have PRed in his first European effort of the season, although by no means was he jumping off the walls, as he first described the race as being "okay" before summarizing his effort as follows: "I thought sub-815 would be a great first race over (in Europe), so I was pretty pleased."

The reason why Huling at first described the race as being just "okay" is because he felt like he left a faster time out on the track. "I was kind of disappointed with how the last two laps went. With a lap to go, I kind of thought I could run 809 or 810 or 811," said Huling, who admitted he wasn't entirely sure of his intermediate splits as he had no one in the stands taking them for him (volunteers anyone?) as his coach Robert Gary is in the US (Huling did joke that there was a chip embedded his bib so someone must know his splits).

Huling may have not closed as fast as he would have liked because the start of the race was incredibly fast.

"I felt pretty good and I went out a lot harder than I ever have. I think it was 420-22 at the mile. I know I was 241 at the k (and 526 at 2k as best I can tell. And I'd never gone out faster than 2:45 before. I was redlining that first 1k." (Editor's note: LetsRun.com would have Huling at 2:42 at the 1k)

Huling told LRC that he has two more steeples planned for this summer. The first will take place in Paris next Friday and then he'll race again in Zürich in August after the European Championships.

LRC asked Huling the obvious question - if Dan Lincoln's 8:08.82 is his top goal for the year - and Huling was having none of it.

"No," said Huling before the phone line went dead silent for five seconds. "I don't want to talk about American records."

So talk of the American record is a no-no for Huling, much like talk of a no-hitter is a no-no for a pitcher with one going on late in a game. In our minds, we think the analogy is apt, as he's got a very good chance of breaking it later this summer.

We did ask Huling if the weather was too hot and humid for a fast time, as web sites reported the weather in Lausanne at 9pm to be 81 degrees with 45% humidity and 78 degrees with 50% humidity at 10pm. Huling's race took place at 9:50 pm and conditions like that are far from ideal. Huling, however, said he felt as if the weather was ideal.

"I want to say it was perfect out - seventy-ish and no wind. We are 1,200 feet above the lake. You couldn't have asked for better weather."

On The Boards: Dan Huling 8:13 PB!

3000 Metres Steeplechase - Men                                
                                                            Pts
    1 Kipruto , Brimin Kiprop          KEN    8:01.62          4        
    2 Kiplagat , Benjamin              UGA    8:03.81          2        
    3 Koech , Paul Kipsiele            KEN    8:11.65          1        
    4 Huling , Daniel                  USA    8:13.29                   
    5 Mateelong , Richard Kipkemboi    KEN    8:16.84                   
    6 Langat , Patrick Kipkirui        KEN    8:17.36                   
    7 Gary , Roba                      ETH    8:18.35                   
    8 Mullera , Ángel                  ESP    8:42.17                   
      Ramolefi , Ruben                 RSA        DNF                   
      Shaheen , Saif Saaeed            QAT        DNF                   
      Lagat , Haron                    KEN        DNF                   
      Keskisalo , Jukka                FIN        DNS                   
      Kipyego , Michael                KEN        DNS     
Splits: 1k - 2:39.44 (rabbit), 2k - 5:20.63 (Kiplagat)
 

Women's 1,500: Burka Holds Off Olympic Champ And Unkown Moroccan In Great Race As Uceny Cracks US Top 10
Coming into the race, we fully expected 2008 Olympic champ Nancy Langat to put on a show and get under 4:00 for the first time in her career. Langat had already won the previous metric miles in Doha and New York and came into the race after running a career best 1:57.75 for second at Pre last Saturday. In Lausanne, Langat ran as if she fully expected to win, as she was the only runner right on the heels of the rabbit, who took the field through in 64.41 and 2:07.37. In the early going, America's Christin Wurth was right behind Langat in 3rd, but Wurth didn't stay there long as she faded significantly on the second lap and finished only 8th, albeit in a seasonal best 4:03.44, a far cry from the sub-4 form she displayed last year.

Going into the bell, six or seven women were still in contention, but once the racing began over the final 300 (1,200 was reached in 3:12.44), it was clear one of three women was going to win. Coming off the final turn, Langat was being followed closely by 2008 world indoor champ Geleta Burka of Ethiopia as well as unknown Moroccan Ibtissam Lakhouad. Lakhouad had finished last in the Olympic final in 2008 but only came into the race with a 4:03 PR.

Both Lakhouad and Burka passed Langat and it was clear that one of them would win. It looked as if Lakhouad would get the win, and if the concept of a basically unknown soon-to-be 30-year-old Moroccan winning a major race with a big PR makes you queasy because it makes you wonder they are on some sort of PED, well then it was time to get nervous. As a result, we're sure there were sighs of relief exhaled by many fans when Burka refused to give up and passed Lakhouad just before the line to get a hard fought victory in 3:59.28 to Lakhoaud's 3:59.35.

The race indeed was a "great race" as the television commentators on the international feed pointed out. It was great because not only was it fast (the top 8 finishers all set personal or seasonal bests) but it also featured a hard-fought battle between three great competitors. The fast times and close finish was the result of very even pacemaking (see more on that in the men's 1,500).

Coming in fourth was Britain's Lisa Dobriskey, the World Championships silver medallist from last year, who ran a seasonal best of 4:01.83. Cornell grad Morgan Uceny was the top American in 4th with a near 2 second PR of 4:02.40, a time that moves her into the top 10 all-time in the US at #10.

More: On The Boards: *BURKA 3:59.28 .... UCENY 4:02.40 (PR)

1500 Metres - Women                                           
                                                            Pts
    1 Burka , Gelete                   ETH    3:59.28          4        
    2 Lakhouad , Btissam               MAR    3:59.35          2        
    3 Langat , Nancy Jebet             KEN    4:00.13          1        
    4 Dobriskey , Lisa                 GBR    4:01.83                   
    5 Uceny , Morgan                   USA    4:02.40                   
    6 Belete , Mimi                    BRN    4:02.64                   
    7 Kibiwot , Viola Jelagat          KEN    4:03.39                   
    8 Wurth-Thomas , Christin          USA    4:03.44                   
    9 Kuijken , Susan                  NED    4:07.09                   
   10 Mĺkestad Bovim , Ingvill         NOR    4:07.41                   
   11 Bowman , Sarah                   USA    4:09.80                   
   12 Stellingwerff , Hilary           CAN    4:11.68                   
      Ejdys , Sylwia                   POL        DNF                   
      Sum , Eunice                     KEN        DNF   
Splits: 400m - 64.41 (rabbit), 800 - 2:07.37 (r), 1200 - 3:12.44 (Langat) 

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