NCAA 800m Preview - Wheating/Andrews Round III
June 3, 2010
Men's 800 Preview - We See The Andrews Streak Coming To An End
We're very excited to see Andrew Wheating attempt the 1,500/800 double at NCAAs in front of the home crowd with his team's title hopes on the line. His first event will be the 800m semifinals on Wednesday. It's important to note that unlike last year in Arkansas, this year the 1,500 and 800m finals are on different days. The 800 final is on Friday and the 1,500 on Saturday, meaning Wheating will only have 1 race per day (800 semi Wed, 1,500 semi Thu, 800 final Fri, 1,500 final Sat).
Of course, all the focus will be on Robby Andrews attempting to "out-Wheating" Wheating. Notorious for his last-second surges to nab things like NCAA championships and Olympic spots (or just narrowly miss them), Wheating has been one-upped by true freshman Andrews from the University of Virginia at both the NCAA Indoor Championships and the Penn Relays 4 x 800m Championship of America in 2010. In both of those defeats, Andrews has been more "fresh" than Wheating, but in this case Wheating shouldn't be too tired assuming his 1,500 semi goes smoothly.
Wheating has continued to get better in 2010. He ran 3:37 to win the West regional 1,500 and that went along with a 1:46 800m win. Andrews, doing his part in the rivalry, threw it in another gear in his East regional final, running the first open 1:46 of his career.
Are we ignoring the rest of the field? No, not totally. Bermuda's Aaron Evans is a nice story out of Georgia (read more about him here). There are a number of other freshmen and sophomore talents in the field, including Casimir Loxsom of Penn State, Elijah Greer of Oregon, Charles Jock of UC Irvine, Lance Roller of UVA and Sadiki White of LSU. Baylor senior Chris Gowell is the 2nd-best returner in the field.
Wednesday June 9
Friday June 11
LRC Men's 800 Predictions:
East 800m Qualifiers
West 800m Qualifiers
Women's 800 - Phoebe Wright Unstoppable
Tennessee workhorse Phoebe Wright earned the "unstoppable" tag after her Penn Relays performance. She and the Tennessee Vols won all three women's distance relays, including 2 amazing anchor legs from Wright. The final straw was the 4 x 8, where Wright got the baton even with LSU's Latavia Thomas and put the hammer down until Thomas just could not keep up. It was the 2nd time in the weekend that Wright brought the apathetic non-Jamaican fans to their feet in Franklin Field.
Unlike Wheating in the men's competition, Wright doesn't have to double for team points. Surely she and coach J.J. Clark looked at her racing schedule and decided one event was enough after a tough season of doubling and tripling. Wright is yet to break 2:00 but she PRed at the regional (2:00.87), where she won by over 2 seconds. We think she'll win with Thomas, Indiana's Molly Beckwith and BYU's Lacey Cramer in the hunt for big points. Teammates of Wright and Cramer may factor in the picture, including West Regional champ Nachelle Stewart of BYU and Kayann Thompson of LSU (2:03.58).
We should mention the added intrigue in this event of Oregon hoping to score team points towards the team championship. They sport two freshmen in Anne Kesselring and Becca Friday. Germany's Kesselring is definitely peaking at the right time as she PRed 2:04 at PAC-10s and won her heat at the West Regional with Friday right behind. We think her freshman tag isn't going to hurt her experience-wise as she turned 20 in December, so we're picking her for 4th on her home track.
The stage is set for an exciting NCAA Outdoor Championships weekend in Eugene, Oregon. We've worked together with our friends at TrackFocus.com to preview every event at the meet. In distance events, look for difficult double attempts from Andrew Wheating (800/1,500), Lisa Koll (10k/5k) and Sam Chelanga (10k/5k). In sprints, the men's 400 may be the fastest race in the world so far this year. In the team race, the Oregon men and women enter as slight underdogs to sprint powers Texas A&M and Florida, adding even more intrigue to the distance races. We'll see how much of a lift the Ducks get in front of home crowds at Hayward Field. The meet runs Wednesday-Saturday.
*NCAA Schedule, Info
*LetsRun.com's Emory Mort will be in Eugene covering the event, so check back for daily updates.
*TV: CBS College will air the championship live on Friday from 8-10 p.m. (EASTERN) and CBS will air it live on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. (EASTERN). NCAA.com will stream the rest of the championship online.
In case you're curious:
2009 NCAA Men's 800 Results
1 Andrew Wheating JR Oregon 1:46.21 10
2 Tevan Everett SR Texas 1:46.27 8
3 Tyler Mulder SR Northern Iowa 1:46.80 6
4 Chris Gowell JR Baylor 1:46.88 5
5 Richard Jones SO LSU 1:47.10 4
6 Sean Tully SR Villanova 1:47.25 3
7 Irek Sekretarski SR Southern California 1:47.78 2
8 Ryan Foster SO Penn State 1:47.81 1
9 Jason Collett SR Kansas State 1:48.26
2009 NCAA Results
1 Geena Gall SR Michigan 2:00.80 10
2 Laura Hermanson SR North Dakota State 2:01.37 8
3 LaTavia Thomas JR LSU 2:01.56 6
4 Lacey Cramer FR Brigham Young 2:03.19 5
5 Phoebe Wright JR Tennessee 2:03.57 4
6 Brittany Hall SO LSU 2:04.06 3
7 Dominique Jackson SO North Carolina 2:04.38 2
8 Heather Dorniden SR Minnesota 2:04.44 1
9 Pilar McShine JR Florida State 2:05.50