NCAA Day 3 - Andrew Wheating, Lisa Koll Earn Big Wins
By Emory Mort
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
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.
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.
Finals 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."