NCAA Day 3 - Andrew Wheating, Lisa Koll Earn Big Wins

By Emory Mort
Eugene, Oregon
June 11, 2010

Day 3 was the most exciting day of the championships with Andrew Wheating clobbering Robby Andrews in the 800m final, Lisa Koll vanquishing NCAA great Angela Bizzarri in the 5,000m, a sub-10 100m from Florida football/track dual star Jeff Demps and an impressive finish from the new steeplechase champion Matt Hughes of Louisville. These are just some of the headlines, so read below for the most interesting tidbits from an action-packed 2 hours in Eugene.

Wheating Tremendous In Perfectly Executed Final

Facing his biggest nemesis in front of 12,000 fans in his sold-out home stadium, Oregon senior Andrew Wheating delivered a decisive kick and his fastest 800m time since he qualified for the Olympics on this same track in 2008. With a sold-out Hayward Field crowd pulling for him to get his first head-to-head victory over Virginia freshman Robby Andrews - not to mention a field that included two other 1:45 800m runners - Wheating ran a perfect tactical race to clobber the field by over a second thanks to a 26.20 final 200m (Andrews, who had the 2nd-fastest kick, closed in 26.61).

Wheating after the 800m victory lap.

Andrews said after the race that he just didn't have it today. He and his coach had hoped to focus on the 3rd 200m, but Andrews could not improve his position during that part of the race and was left in last place in the fast, even-paced final.

Meanwhile, Wheating had himself on the outside in the middle of the pack and had no trouble kicking to victory in front of the roaring crowd. Wheating's winning time of 1:45.69 was his seasonal best and gave him new confidence in his ability at the 800m. He said afterwards that he has started to think of himself as a 1,500m runner but this might have changed his mind. He'll have a chance to complete the 800/1,500 double Saturday morning.

Men's 800m Results:
1 Andrew Wheating SR Oregon 1:45.69 10
2 Robby Andrews FR Virginia 1:46.83 8
3 Aaron Evans SO Georgia 1:46.87 6
4 Ryan Martin JR Santa Barbara 1:47.02 5
5 Cory Primm JR UCLA 1:47.58 4
6 Lance Roller SO Virginia 1:47.64 3
7 Chris Gowell SR Baylor 1:47.67 2
8 Fred Samoei JR Alabama 1:47.84 1

On The Boards:
*Robby Andrews: 2010 World Junior Championships 800m could he win?
*Wheating's Last 200 (26.20) > Andrew's Last 200

Lisa Koll Challenges Bizzarri - Reigning 5,000m NCAA Champ Sits Down With 1,400 To Go

Video: Lisa Koll after the 5000m

In probably the most shocking distance race thus far in the championships, Angela Bizzarri followed Lisa Koll for 9 laps of the 5,000m final before slowing, stepping off the track and sitting down, effectively ending her NCAA career. Koll went on to win by a comfortable margin, saying it only started to get tiring in the last lap, but the 10,000m champion's 3:03/km pace was too much for anyone in the field.

After about 400m Koll's 73-second lap pace had already separated the field into the top 3 (Koll, Bizzarri and Marie-Louise Asselin of West Virginia) and the rest of the pack. Asselin would gamely hold on for 2nd, but Bizzarri put all her effort into staying in contention for the championship before succumbing to fatigue (Bizzarri, appearing uninjured, did not want to talk after the race).

The women's 5,000m was also exciting thanks to Oregon's Alex Kosinski surging away from the trailing pack into 3rd place with over 1,200m to go. Simply put, Kosinski ran amazingly. She held on for 3rd though she couldn't quite narrow the significant gap built up by the tough Asselin. Kosinski earned 6 points for the Duck women but even that may not be enough to keep them in the team title hunt (more on that tomorrow).

For Koll, it was the perfect ending to her senior year as she won the 10,000/5,000 double. She said all of the racing she's had to do this season hasn't hurt her that much as she's a high-mileage runner (80 miles a week or more even during racing season) and many of the races, like the regional 5k and 10k, have been tactical. After the 10,000 on Wednesday, she said it was a mix between a fartlek and a tempo run. See more from Koll in our interview after the race to the right.

On The Boards:
*Who does Koll sign with?
*Congratulations Lisa Koll on being the first double champion, doing something even Kipyego could not do!
*What happened to Bizzarri in the 5000?

Women's 5000m Finals - 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships                                                                       
  1 Lisa Koll                 SR Iowa State            15:23.80   10         
  2 Marie Louise Asselin      JR West Virginia         15:53.93    8         
  3 Alex Kosinski             JR Oregon                16:02.90    6         
  4 Risper Kimaiyo            SO Texas-El Paso         16:06.26    5         
  5 Kathy Kroeger             FR Stanford              16:06.36    4         
  6 Emily MacLeod             JR Michigan State        16:06.75    3         
  7 Holly Van Dalen           SO Stony Brook-SUNY      16:06.77    2         
  8 Alex Banfich              SO Princeton             16:06.79    1         
  9 Deborah Maier             SO California            16:07.20              
 10 Beverly Ramos             SR Kansas State          16:07.88              
 11 Amanda Marino             JR Villanova             16:10.57              
 12 Jessica Engel             SO Oklahoma              16:13.28              
 13 Bogdana Mimic             FR Villanova             16:14.65              
 14 Brianna Felnagle          SR North Carolina        16:14.95              
 15 Paula Whiting             JR Tulsa                 16:15.41              
 16 Jackie Areson             SR Tennessee             16:17.07              
 17 Semehar Tesfaye           SO Iowa State            16:17.76              
 18 Mia Behm                  SO Texas                 16:20.02              
 19 Claire Richardson         JR Harvard               16:25.80              
 20 Amanda Goetschius         SO Charlotte             16:31.34              
 21 Caroline McDonough        FR Columbia              16:32.47              
 22 Juliet Bottorff           FR Duke                  16:38.26              
 23 Nicole Blood              SR Oregon                16:41.84              
 -- Angela Bizzarri           SR Illinois                   DNF                                        

Men's Steeplechase - Matt Hughes Wins NCAAs, Princeton's Cabral 2nd

Matt Hughes used final laps of 64 and 62 to break away from the pack and win the national title as a junior. The top 7 finishers are all underclassmen, so next year should be even more exciting. We were most surprised that Richard Nelson of BYU finished well back in 8th.

Men's Steeplechase Finals - 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships                                                                         
  1 Matt Hughes               JR Louisville             8:34.18   10            
  2 Donn Cabral               SO Princeton              8:38.90    8            
  3 Hillary Bor               JR Iowa State             8:39.11    6            
  4 John Sullivan             JR Stanford               8:42.97    5            
  5 Gilbert Limo              JR Texas Tech             8:43.70    4            
  6 Steve Sodaro              JR California             8:44.06    3            
  7 Joonas Harjamaki          JR Lamar                  8:44.58    2            
  8 Richard Nelson            SR Brigham Young          8:45.63    1            
  9 Julian DeRubira           SR Santa Barbara          8:49.34                 
 10 John Martinez             SR NC State               8:53.33                 
 11 Stephen Finley            JR Virginia               9:00.61                 
 12 De'Sean Turner            SO Indiana                9:03.61                 
 13 Barnabas Kirui            SR Mississippi            9:03.64                 
 -- Brett Hales               JR Weber State                DNS                                                

Women's 800 - Phoebe Wright Powers To Wire-To-Wire Victory

Tennessee's Phoebe Wright (2:01.40) did the expected and controlled the pace in the women's 800m final on Friday. Indiana's Molly Beckwith ran well (2:02.14) to get second by a big margin over LaTavia Thomas. This concludes a remarkable year for Wright, in which she and Tennessee won almost every big middle-distance relay and individual 800m race of the year, including the indoor DMR, indoor 800, the Penn Relays triple and outdoor 800.

Boards: Phoebe Wright is the future of USA 800 distance running!!!

  1 Phoebe Wright             SR Tennessee              2:01.40   10         
  2 Molly Beckwith            SR Indiana                2:02.14    8         
  3 LaTavia Thomas            SR LSU                    2:03.64    6         
  4 Christina Rodgers         JR Arizona                2:04.47    5         
  5 Christine Whalen          SR Georgetown             2:05.16    4         
  6 Anne Kesselring           FR Oregon                 2:05.41    3         
  7 Kate Grace                JR Yale                   2:05.92    2         
  8 Kayann Thompson           SR LSU                    2:07.15    1              

More Events - "Showdown Friday" Highlighted By Ashton Eaton's Near Record Decathlon

Marshall Ackley finishes the decathlon 1,500 with 1 functioning hamstring.

Oregon's Ashton Eaton set a heptathlon world record at the indoor NCAAs and hoped to possibly set an NCAA decathlon record outdoors. He came up just short, but not for lack of effort. Needing a 4:20 in the 1,500 to close out the demanding schedule and break world champion Trey Hardee's record, Eaton really went for it and won the event, closing in 63 to run 4:21.85. Eaton is amazing to watch in person, especially in the running events. He ran 13.68 for the 110 hurdles, 10.37 for the 100m, 46.28 for the 400 and then ran very well in the 1,500.

Also, we should mention Oregon's Marshall Ackley, who blew out his hamstring in the pole vault but wanted to finish his last collegiate decathlon in front of the home fans. He ran the 1,500, got lapped by the entire field but the crowd stood and applauded and cheered for the entire final 2 minutes of the race (see a short clip, right). It was an incredible scene and Ackley said after the race that he wouldn't have finished the decathlon had it not been at home.

Eaton is a decathlete we can love, he tries in the 1500

100m Finals - Sub-10 And Sub-11 (But The Wind Didn't Cooperate)
Florida football/track star Jeff Demps ran a 9.96 in the 100m (though it was wind-aided at 2.5m/sec). Blessing Okagbare dominated the women's 100m, also breaking a significant barrier with her 10.98 clocking (also wind-aided at 2.8m/sec). Texas A&M went 4, 6 in the men's 100 while the A&M women went 2, 3 for 14 team points.

400 Finals - Too Bad It's Cool And Windy
If it wasn't so cool and breezy in Eugene today, the times might have been eye-popping, but nonetheless Alabama freshman Kirani James' 45.05 and Hampton's Francena McCorory's 50.69 were impressive wins against top fields. The men's field was especially stacked with big names as it took 45.7 to make the final.

400m Hurdles Finals
South Carolina's Johnny Dutch patiently walked down fast-starting Jeshua Anderson of Washington State to take the highly-anticipated men's 400m hurdle final. In the women's race, it was the same story as Miami's Ti'erra Brown took the early lead before Virginia Tech's Queen Harrison closed in the last 200 to get the win pulling away.

Oregon State Male Presence Back At NCAAs
Jordan Bishop
, the first Oregon State athlete since 1988 to compete at NCAAs, cleared 7' 1.5" in the high jump and got a big roar from the crowd in support when he finished (he was 10th). Bishop and some of his football friends decided they wanted to do track this year, despite the Beavers not having a men's program for Title IX reasons. With the help of women's coach Kelly Sullivan and the PAC-10 and the NCAA, Bishop and others were amazingly allowed to compete and qualify for championship meets. We love the enthusiasm for track and field.

Baylor 4 x 4 Note
After writing yesterday that Baylor's days of 4 x 4 dominance were officially over as they barely qualified for the final after Iowa beat them to the line in their heat, we got this email from a reader:

"Regarding your NCAA coverage ... What happened to Baylor's 4x400 meter relay is that they recently lost their two best legs (Trey Harts and anchor Marcus Boyd) to injury. It's actually pretty remarkable, and a great testimony to the program's strength, that they were able to make the final using two substitutes."

*Full Results
*More LetsRun videos



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