NCAA Day 2 Recap - Chelanga Finally Wins First NCAA Track Title

June 10, 2010

Photo: As Chelanga makes his move, Puskedra decides to go with him.

Men's 10,000m - Puskedra's Kamikaze Move Doesn't Pay Off As Chelanga Has No Peer

With Oregon's men's team title hopes on the rocks, Luke Puskedra made the decision to surge with huge pre-race favorite Sam Chelanga when the Kenyan Liberty junior bolted from the pack just after 2k. After a frustrating 2010 track season, Puskedra excited the crowd with his gutsy move and built up a 80m lead over the peloton before starting to fade in the second half of the race.

Chelanga, running consecutive 4:31 1,600 splits to break away, eventually didn't have to look back to see his nearest competition, he just looked across the track as he had a near 200m lead on 2nd place during the last few miles. As far as he was ahead of the pack, Chelanga's 27:08 from Stanford a few weeks ago would have lapped his 28:37 performance from tonight. He won so easily it was anti-climactic and easy to take his talent for granted. It was very cool, damp and windy (most spectators were shivering) and Chelanga effortlessly clocked 4:31, 4:31, 4:33, 4:35 and 4:34 to close out his first ever NCAA track title.

An interesting chase pack formed with 2 freshmen (Joe Bosshard of Colorado and Mohammed Ahmed of Wisconsin), Kiel Uhl of Iowa State and pack leaders Jake Riley of Stanford, Alfred Kipchumba of Portland and John Kosgei of Oklahoma State. In the end, Kosgei threw down a 60 second final quarter to nab 2nd with Riley just in front of Ahmed in 28:57.44 (breaking his own Canadian junior record). Puskedra, who looked like he was hurting with 7k still to go, hung in there for 14th in 29:27 (30 seconds behind the peloton).

After the race, Chelanga was very happy to achieve what he called his "big goal." Most people assumed that he would win. But for him, all the focus was on the 10k and his first-ever NCAA track title, he wasn't taking it for granted as much as the crowd and most fans were. As he said, "Sometimes it just feels like, 'Oh it's Sam Chelanga, he came and ran ... oh, he won.' But really for me this has been on my list since like January."

10k On The Boards:
*After the 10,000 any doubts that descending order qualifying is unfair?
NCAA coverage of 10k...
*Puskedra will shock the world and win the 10k tonight!

*FloTrack Video: Chelanga After The Race

Event 8  Men 10000 Meter Run
 Final only. Random draw. Double waterfall. 2/3 on main                      
    American: A 26:59.60  5/1/2010    Chris Solinsky, Nike                   
College Best: C 27:08.49  5/1/2010    Sam Chelanga, Liberty                  
   NCAA Meet: M 28:01.30  6/1/1979    Suleiman Nyambui, Texas-El Paso        
     Hayward: S 26:25.97  2008        Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia              
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points      
  1 Sam Chelanga              JR Liberty               28:37.40   10         
  2 John Kosgei               SR Oklahoma State        28:55.93    8         
  3 Jake Riley                JR Stanford              28:57.41    6         
  4 Mohammed Ahmed            FR Wisconsin             28:57.44    5         
  5 Kiel Uhl                  SR Iowa State            28:58.55    4         
  6 Joe Bosshard              FR Colorado              28:59.87    3         
  7 Ben Cheruiyot             SO Auburn                29:09.09    2         
  8 Alfred Kipchumba          SO Portland              29:09.63    1         
  9 Matt Llano                SR Richmond              29:10.27              
 10 John Beattie              SR Tulsa                 29:16.48              
 11 Samuel Kosgei             SR Lamar                 29:19.90              
 12 Tyler McCandless          SR Penn State            29:22.67              
 13 Michael Krisch            SR Georgetown            29:22.85              
 14 Luke Puskedra             SO Oregon                29:27.37              
 15 Ahmed Osman               SO Northern Arizona      29:29.62              
 16 Elkanah Kibet             SR Auburn                29:30.46              
 17 Kevin Schwab              FR Oklahoma              29:35.07              
 18 Josh Izewski              SO Florida               29:37.85              
 19 Ryan Collins              JR Virginia              29:48.76              
 20 Dan Jackson               JR Notre Dame            29:54.87              
 21 Duriel Hardy              SR Brown                 30:04.19              
 22 Lex Williams              SR Michigan              30:04.26              
 23 Patrick Cheptoek          SR Western Kentucky      30:04.32              
 -- Chris Barnicle            SR New Mexico                 DNF


Men's 1,500 Semifinals - Emanuel And Bolas Absolutely Throw Down In Heat 1

Acosta and Centro in good position to qualify in heat 2 of the men's 1,500.

After an opening lap of 66, 2-time indoor mile champion Lee Emanuel of New Mexico pounded to the front and strung the first heat and Andrew Wheating out to single file. Emanuel absolutely hammered the rest of the race, clocking laps of 56 and 57 before easing off in the final stretch. Wisconsin's Jack Bolas was apparently feeling good as he followed Emanuel's lead and hammered home in 1:51.9 for the last 800 to take the first heat by almost 10m. Wheating looked around in the homestretch and jogged it in with Cal's Mark Matusak and Columbia's Kyle Merber closing out the automatic top 5 spots. Minnesota's Ben Blankenship, sitting in 6th, waited and hoped that the 2nd heat would be slow. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't.

The 2nd heat was perfectly paced by Auburn senior Felix Kiboiywo as they went out in 45 for the first 300 and ran 61, then 58 heading into the bell lap. Maine's Riley Masters was right on the shoulder of Kiboiywo for most of the race before Oregon's AJ Acosta and Craig Miller of Wisconsin took the lead with 600 to go. Matt Centrowitz had himself comfortably in position the whole race and Jeff See of Ohio State did the same. In the end, as Stanford's Dylan Ferris kicked home well and Kiboiywo faded to the back of the pack, there were no surprises from heat 2 as the big names with the best seasonal bests advanced. Acosta won and looked great kicking off the relatively fast pace before he and Centrowitz eased off the gas at the end.

The question we have is can Oregon put 3 in the top 4 on Saturday? It certainly looks that way with Emanuel being the other clear podium contender. Big Ten seniors Jack Bolas, Craig Miller and Jeff See also have big meet experience and credentials.

*Video: Lee Emanuel Says 10:30am final on Saturday is a bit too early, but at least he'll be done in time for the World Cup England/USA game.
Acosta looking strong

Event 5  Men 1500 Meter Run
 2 Heats.  Advance top 5 from each heat plus next best 2 times               
    American: A 3:29.30  8/28/2005   Bernard Lagat, Nike                     
College Best: C 3:30.56  8/11/1999   Bernard Lagat, Washington S             
   NCAA Meet: M 3:35.30  6/6/1981    Sydney Maree, Villanova                 
     Hayward: S 3:32.81  2007        Daniel K. Komen, Kenya                  
    Name                    Year School                 Prelims              
Heat  1 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 Jack Bolas                SR Wisconsin              3:43.26Q             
  2 Lee Emanuel               SR New Mexico             3:44.99Q             
  3 Andrew Wheating           SR Oregon                 3:45.24Q             
  4 Mark Matusak              SR California             3:45.54Q             
  5 Kyle Merber               SO Columbia               3:45.91Q             
  6 Ben Blankenship           JR Minnesota              3:46.34              
  7 David Forrester           FR Florida State          3:47.30              
  8 Brandon Rooney            SR Iowa State             3:49.62              
  9 Julian Matthews           SO Providence             3:50.63              
 10 Trevor Van Ackeren        SO Princeton              3:51.66              
 11 Jason Bigelow             SR Oakland                3:53.62              
 -- Carl MacKenzie            JR Villanova                  DNF              
Heat  2 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 A.J. Acosta               JR Oregon                 3:40.95Q             
  2 Jeff See                  SR Ohio State             3:41.25Q             
  3 Matthew Centrowitz        SO Oregon                 3:41.27Q             
  4 Dylan Ferris              SO Stanford               3:41.92Q             
  5 Riley Masters             SO Maine                  3:42.01Q             
  6 Daniel Clark              SR Notre Dame             3:42.20q             
  7 Craig Miller              SR Wisconsin              3:42.33q             
  8 Josh McAlary              FR Michigan State         3:44.96              
  9 Francis Kasagule          SR Lamar                  3:45.23              
 10 Abdi Hassan               SO Arizona                3:46.37              
 11 Felix Kiboiywo            SR Auburn                 3:46.96              
 12 Cory Nanni                JR Duke                   3:53.04        

Women's 1,500 Preliminaries - Event Remains Wide Open As 8 Girls Could Legitimately Win

  Hasay and Bucknam take to the lead with Reid, McShine, Browning and Martinez stalking.

Lucy Van Dalen and Pilar McShine won the 2 semifinal heats on Thursday, though handicapping Saturday's final remains a very difficult task. Washington star Katie Follett, indoor mile champion Charlotte Browning, 2009 runner-up Brenda Martinez, and Villanova's XC and track star Sheila Reid are some of the other top contenders.

Oregon's Zoe Buckman was the biggest casualty of the first round, as she faded towards the end of the slower 2nd heat and finished as the first person out. Jordan Hasay ran well to extend her season and Alex Kosinski snuck in with her time-qualfying 4:15.67 from the first, and faster, heat.

The first heat, led by Follett, went out in 66, then 2:16 (70), 3:25 (69) and the final lap was a 64. Tennessee standout Brittney Sheffey, who anchord the Vols to the indoor DMR championship, got tangled up in a tight pack with 800 to go and fell to the track. The top 7 finished well clear of the rest of the field as the top 5 knew they would automatically advance.

The 2nd heat went out slowly and only passed 800m in 2:24. At that point, Hasay and Buckman took over the lead with the entire 12-person field bunched directly behind. The race really picked up heading into the final lap and the girls finished with a 62-second lap. Reid and Martinez, 2 runners who many think could win the final, only qualified with late pushes to knock Australian Zoe Buckman out.

Event 25  Women 1500 Meter Run
 2 Heats.  Advance top 5 from each heat plus next best 2 times               
    American: A 3:57.12  7/26/1983   Mary Slaney, Athletics West             
College Best: C 3:59.90  6/7/2009    Jenny Barringer, Colorado               
   NCAA Meet: M 4:06.19  6/14/2008   Hannah England, Fla State               
     Hayward: S 3:59.19  1984        Mary Slaney, USA                        
    Name                    Year School                 Prelims              
Heat  1 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 Lucy Van Dalen            JR Stony Brook-SUNY       4:13.19Q             
  2 Gabriele Anderson         SR Minnesota              4:13.45Q             
  3 Karly Hamric              SR West Virginia          4:13.54Q             
  4 Katie Follett             SR Washington             4:13.58Q             
  5 Lauren Bonds              SR Kansas                 4:14.29Q             
  6 Keri Bland                JR West Virginia          4:14.87q             
  7 Alex Kosinski             JR Oregon                 4:15.67q             
  8 Mihaela Susa              JR Oklahoma State         4:19.19              
  9 Betsy Flood               SO Iowa                   4:19.75              
 10 Ashley Verplank           SO North Carolina         4:24.68              
 11 Nikki Swenson             JR Minnesota              4:28.23              
 12 Brittany Sheffey          SO Tennessee              4:36.85              
Heat  2 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 Pilar McShine             SR Florida State          4:16.53Q             
  2 Charlotte Browning        SR Florida                4:16.77Q             
  3 Jordan Hasay              FR Oregon                 4:17.90Q             
  4 Brenda Martinez           SR Riverside              4:18.17Q             
  5 Sheila Reid               SO Villanova              4:18.34Q             
  6 Zoe Buckman               SR Oregon                 4:19.02              
  7 Katrina Drennen           SO Montana                4:20.24              
  8 Heidi Gregson             SO Iona                   4:22.89              
  9 Rachel Schneider          FR Georgetown             4:24.25              
 10 Lauren Hardesty           JR Iowa                   4:26.01              
 11 Kate Van Buskirk          JR Duke                   4:28.65              
 12 Ellen Dougherty           SR Villanova              4:31.68                                

Women's Steeplechase - Can Colorado Sub-10 Duo Challenge Franek?
Penn State's Bridget Franek, a US World Championships team member in 2009, ran unopposed in the first heat before the Colorado duo of sophomore Emma Coburn and freshman Shalaya Kipp both broke 10:00 in the 2nd heat. The final should be interesting.

SMU pre-race favorite Silje Fjortoft surprisingly slipped back to 10th in the final heat after factoring in the front of the heat for most of the race.

Heat  1 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 Bridget Franek            SR Penn State            10:02.48Q             
  2 Winrose Karunde           JR Texas Tech            10:07.15Q             
  3 Sarah Pease               JR Indiana               10:09.03Q             
  4 Rebeka Stowe              SO Kansas                10:09.05Q             
  5 Kristen Hemphill          SR Colorado State        10:09.51Q             
  6 Sarah Klaczynski          SR Purdue                10:11.17Q             
  7 Eva Krchova               FR San Francisco         10:11.43q             
  8 Jennifer Dunn             SO Florida State         10:14.58q             
  9 Ruth Senior               SO New Mexico            10:20.45              
 10 Stephanie Pancoast        SR Cornell               10:40.85              
 11 Jenielle Hunt             SR Ohio                  10:47.53              
 -- Maddie O'Meara            SR Stanford                   DNS              
Heat  2 Preliminaries                                                        
  1 Emma Coburn               SO Colorado               9:59.69Q             
  2 Shalaya Kipp              FR Colorado               9:59.93Q             
  3 Ashley Higginson          JR Princeton             10:02.83Q             
  4 Shelby Greany             FR Providence            10:04.88Q             
  5 Marie Lawrence            SO Washington            10:06.09Q             
  6 Hannah Moen               SO Arizona               10:13.13Q             
  7 Lauren Gregory            SR Georgetown            10:15.90              
  8 Martina Tresch            FR Kansas State          10:16.85              
  9 Julie Northrup            SR Florida               10:20.58              
 10 Silje Fjortoft            JR Southern Methodist    10:24.61              
 11 Nicole Rozario            SO South Florida         10:48.05              
 12 Anne Lovelace             SO Yale                  10:58.75          

Other Interesting News - Eaton 10.37, 25'11", 46.28 On Day 1

Ashton Eaton after day 1 of the decathlon.

Decathlete Ashton Eaton excited the early morning schoolkid crowd with a 10.37 100m dash and near 26' long jump. His performance of the day, however, came in front of the regular home crowd during the afternoon session when he set an NCAA decathlon 400m record of 46.28. He ends the first day with 4500 points and may break the NCAA record (8465, Trey Hardee) with another strong day tomorrow (his better day is typically the first day).

Oregon Men - The Team Dream Is Over
It's all over for the Oregon men. Cyrus Hostetler, the Duck javelin thrower with the farthest throw in the NCAA coming into the championships, didn't make the javelin final, which essentially kills the team hopes with Texas A&M and Florida both looking fine through 2 days.

Baylor 400 Runners - What Happened?
In the 3rd heat of 4 x 400m qualifying, the once-fearsome Baylor Bear 4 x 400 couldn't even get an auto qualifying spot in the final, as the Big Ten's Iowa Hawkeyes beat them to the line for 2nd. Baylor got a time qualifying spot, but it appears the days of Baylor's and Clyde Hart's unbelievable perennial 4 x 400m dominance are over.

Heps Pride - Brown's Kinsley Wins Javelin, Throws T-Shirt To Top Of The Stands
Brown's Craig Kinsley gave the Ivy League their first individual title of the championship with a 250' javelin throw. After his victory lap, he had a T-shirt that we think he was supposed to throw into the crowd. This is the perfect task for a javelin thrower and he got to show off by throwing the shirt practically to the top of the main stands to some surprised kids. Very impressive.

More Tidbits:

  • Jessica Beard of Texas A&M ran a 50.19 split to bring the Aggies from 4th to 1st in their 4 x 400m semifinal.
  • Rice's Jason Colwick, the defending pole vault champion, passed to 5.30m but then went miss, miss, miss and no-heighted at nationals.
  • Ronnie Ash of Oklahoma ran a 13.32 in the 110 hurdle prelims to cement himself as the best high hurdler in the NCAAs.
  • Like Ash, Virginia Tech's Queen Harrison showed the crowd what a special talent she is by winning her heat of the 100m hurdles in 12.68.
  • Oregon's heptathlete Brianne Theisen finished her career as a 2-time NCAA heptathlon champion.







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