NCAA Indoor Men's Day 1 Recap - Wheating/Ulrey DMR Duel Goes To The Olympian

March 12, 2010

Day 1 finished on a high note, as both the men's and women's DMR's came down to thrilling anchor legs between Oregon and a traditional relay powerhouse. On the men's side it was Olympian vs. Arkansas legend as Dorian Ulrey fought to hold off Andrew Wheating to the wire. In the 5,000, David McNeill earned his first NCAA title by defeating Sam Chelanga, while in the 800 and mile semifinals, there were mostly expected results as the heavyweights moved on. We recap the distance events below.

Men's DMR - Wheating Outsprints Ulrey In Final 40m In Thrilling Race
As we predicted (lucky guess), the men's distance medley relay came down to Arkansas senior Dorian Ulrey and Oregon senior Andrew Wheating. It's not every year you see a duel between a US World Championships team member and a US Olympian in the last leg of an NCAA relay.

The last leg was great, but before we get to it, we should set the table by describing the other legs. First of all, Mark Matusak of Cal absolutely crushed the 1,200m leg, running 2:54. AJ Acosta for Oregon and the rest of the field were a couple of seconds behind. But then Cal's 400m runner didn't have a great day and the rest of the teams got back in the hunt. Cal looked like they totally lost their momentum until their 800m man Sebastian Sam ran a great leg to extend the Golden Bears out to another significant lead. Meanwhile, behind Cal was Arkansas, but then there was a big gap back to the rest of the teams. Oregon was probably about 3 seconds behind the leaders going into the 1,600 leg.

Here's where the crucial decision was made. Cal's Michael Coe had a big lead and Ulrey caught him within 150m or so. They could have pushed the pace and made the field (and Wheating) struggle to catch up. But what did they do? Coe pulled out to lane 2, Ulrey decided he was going to let the pace lag, and all of a sudden 10 guys were together.

It was at this point that we knew exactly what was going to happen. Of those 10 guys in the pack, only 2 mattered. Of course, they were Ulrey and Wheating.

Video: Dorian Ulrey says he wishes he went with 7 laps to go instead of with 1 lap to go.

When the kicking got going, it was Ulrey making the moves. With 400m to go, he opened up the throttle. Wheating had himself perfectly positioned on the outside to mark Ulrey's move. Ulrey got a gap, built a lead, and was closing extremely quickly. Wheating was clearly coming for him ... he looked great, too. There was doubt as to who would win - it was great. With 100m to go Wheating was closing on Ulrey and with 75 to go, Wheating moved to lane 1 as if he was going to pass on the inside. Then Wheating decided to go outside and Ulrey also moved out to lane 2. It was over as Wheating turned on his superior jets. He and Ulrey tangled arms with 25m to go but the outcome of the race was clear - Wheating won it despite Ulrey's great effort.

Now Wheating gets to deal with freshman Robby Andrews and Penn State's Ryan Foster tomorrow in the 800m final. Ulrey has the tougher task, doubling back in the open 3,000m against, among others, a red-hot David McNeill, who won the 5,000m tonight.

Great, great race. We still can't believe after all the hard running in the first 3 legs that the anchor milers slowed it down and put the race on a platter for Wheating.

Boards: When you look in the dictionary under "Man", there's a picture of Andrew Wheating
*Wheating = Man among boys
*Get rid of the DMR

1 Oregon 9:36.87 10 1(1)
  A.J. Acosta (SR) 2:57.04 Chad Barlow (SR) 48.39 Travis Thompson (JR) 1:50.22 Andrew Wheating (SR) 4:01.23
2 Arkansas 9:37.53 8 1(2)
  Drew Butler (FR) 2:56.84 Ben Skidmore (SO) 47.26 Chris Bilbrew (JR) 1:49.64 Dorian Ulrey (SR) 4:03.79
3 Minnesota 9:38.09 6 1(3)
  Ben Blankenship (SO) 2:57.17 Logan Stroman (SR) 47.70 Harun Abda (FR) 1:49.64 Chris Rombough (SR) 4:03.59
4 California 9:38.19 5 1(4)
  Mark Matusak (SR) 2:54.68 Tom Blocker (FR) 48.77 Sebastian Sam (SO) 1:48.91 Michael Coe (JR) 4:05.84
5 Eastern Michigan 9:38.44 4 1(5)
  Curtis Vollmar (SR) 2:56.62 Ackeem Forde (SR) 46.72 Blake Figgins (SR) 1:50.36 David Brent (SR) 4:04.75
6 UCLA 9:39.20 3 1(6)
  Scott Crawford (SR) 2:58.66 Quentin Powell (JR) 48.85 Cory Primm (JR) 1:48.97 Marlon Patterson (SR) 4:02.72
7 Indiana 9:39.35 2 1(7)
  De'Sean Turner (JR) 2:57.86 Kind Butler (SO) 47.45 Daniel Stockberger (SO) 1:50.90 Andrew Bayer (FR) 4:03.16
8 Texas 9:39.91 1 1(8)
  Logan Gonzales (JR) 2:57.77 Danzell Fortson (JR) 47.06 Tevas Everett (SR) 1:50.06 Patrick Todd (SO) 4:05.03
9 Villanova 9:39.96 1(9)
  Carl MacKenzie (JR) 2:56.30 Garrett Kroner (SR) 48.06 Cody Harper (JR) 1:51.02 Mathew Mildenhall (FR) 4:04.59
10 Stanford 9:41.90 1(10)
  John Sullivan (JR) 2:57.98 Amaechi Morton (SO) 46.50 Dylan Ferris (SO) 1:51.00 Justin Marpole-Bird (SR) 4:06.44
11 Arizona State 9:44.98 1(11)
  Nectaly Barbosa (JR) 2:58.84 Joel Phillip (SR) 47.51 Mason McHenry (SO) 1:54.08 Brandon Bethke (SR) 4:04.57
Video: Sam Chelanga says he's not in good shape and is surprised he ran 13:30s.

Men's 5,000 - David McNeill Wins First NCAA Title Over Sam Chelanga
Congrats go to Aussie David McNeill of NAU, who used the magic of training in Flagstaff to earn his first NCAA title by defeating Sam Chelanga of Liberty in a very fast NCAA time of 13:36.41. Last year, Chelanga lost to Galen Rupp in the indoor 5,000. This year, Chelanga again came in runner-up, as McNeill had his number when it came down to the closing stages of the race.

You could call this an upset but we're not. In fact, it's exactly what we predicted would happen.

Alistair Cragg has the NCAA meet record of 13:28, set back in 2004.

Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time Pts Heat(PL)
1 David McNeill JR Northern Arizona 13:36.41 10 1(1)
2 Sam Chelanga JR Liberty 13:37.01 8 1(2)
3 Justin Tyner JR Air Force 13:41.26 6 1(3)
4 Chris Barnicle SR New Mexico 13:43.20 5 1(4)
5 Jon Grey SR William and Mary 13:46.12 4 1(5)
6 Festus Kigen JR TCU 13:50.21 3 1(6)
7 Elliott Heath SO Stanford 13:51.00 2 1(7)
8 Colby Lowe SO Oklahoma State 13:54.90 1 1(8)
9 Luke Puskedra SO Oregon 13:57.98 1(9)
10 Jake Riley JR Stanford 13:59.85 1(10)
11 Ryan Collins SO Virginia 14:06.98 1(11)
12 Colton Tully-Doyle JR Washington 14:07.50 1(12)
13 Rory Fraser SR New Mexico 14:07.77 1(13)
14 Scott MacPherson SR Arkansas 14:30.27 1(14)
15 Andrew Poore SO Indiana 14:32.09 1(15)


Men's Mile Semis - Reigning Champ Lee Emanuel Wins Heat, Looks Like Prohibitive Favorite
Lee Emanuel controlled and won the first of 2 men's mile heats in Fayetteville, advancing to the final ahead of LRC favorite Riley Masters of Maine, Abdi Hassan of Arizona and Dylan Ferris of Stanford. Oregon's A.J. Acosta earned a spot in the final and would go on later in the evening to run a leg on an NCAA championship relay. Only 2 runners from the first heat failed to make the final, as the first 7 runners were separated by less than 0.8 seconds. We feel sorry for Erik van Ingen of Binghamton, who missed the final by a quarter of a second.

Video: Maine's Riley Masters after making the final of the men's mile.
Heat 1 [View Splits]
Pl Athlete Name Affiliation Time
1 Lee Emanuel New Mexico 4:02.95 Q
2 Riley Masters Maine 4:03.10 Q
3 Abdi Hassan Arizona 4:03.11 Q
4 Dylan Ferris Stanford 4:03.13 Q
5 A.J. Acosta Oregon 4:03.21 q
6 Eric Harasyn Oklahoma 4:03.46 q
7 Erik van Ingen Binghamton 4:03.73
8 Jacob Boone Oklahoma 4:05.82

Heat 2 was similar to heat 1 in that the first 5 runners finished within a quarter of a second. The odd man out was USC's Blake Shaw, who missed the final by 0.03 seconds. Ohio State's Jeff See took the blanket finish in 4:05.53. Oregon got a boost as freshman Mac Fleet made the final by finishing 3rd in the mad sprint.

There were 2 interesting casualties in Minnesota's Ben Blankenship and Columbia's Kyle Merber. Both ran exactly 10 seconds slower in the mile than they ran less than a week ago to qualify for the meet.

Heat 2 [View Splits]
Pl Athlete Name Affiliation Time
1 Jeff See Ohio State 4:05.53 Q
2 Rob Mullett Butler 4:05.63 Q
3 Mac Fleet Oregon 4:05.64 Q
4 Patrick Casey Montana State 4:05.72 Q
5 Blake Shaw USC 4:05.75
6 Ben Blankenship Minnesota 4:07.91
7 Kyle Merber Columbia 4:08.69
8 Cameron Levins Southern Utah 4:11.30

Men's 800m Semis - Robby Andrews And Andrew Wheating Win Respective Heats
Penn State moved forward 2 of their 4 entrants in the 800m, but the story here has to be the upcoming showdown between heat winners Andrew Wheating and Robby Andrews. It's hard to believe, but it looks like the mighty Wheating will face his biggest challenge from a true freshman. Aussie Ryan Foster of PSU certainly shouldn't be counted out either.

Wheating couldn't be blamed for being a bit flat tomorrow after running 1:49 today and then having to kick very hard to beat Dorian Ulrey in the DMR. Andrews, we'll admit, probably doesn't have a prayer, but we don't see anyone else challenging Wheating. With his preliminary win, Andrews remains undefeated on the season.

The vaunted true freshman 800m runners didn't have it all their way in the first round, as PSU's Casimir Loxsom and Oregon's Elijah Greer both missed the final by a good margin.

Heat 1 [View Splits]
Pl Athlete Name Affiliation Time
1 Robby Andrews Virginia 1:49.31 Q
2 Ryan Foster Penn State 1:49.39 Q
3 Richard Jones LSU 1:49.47 Q
4 Jack Howard Notre Dame 1:49.52 q
5 Sharif Webb Kentucky 1:49.78
6 Elijah Greer Oregon 1:50.55
7 Lionel Williams Penn State 1:50.80
8 Mason McHenry Arizona State 1:53.76
Heat 2 [View Splits]
Pl Athlete Name Affiliation Time
1 Andrew Wheating Oregon 1:49.23 Q
2 Jamaal James LSU 1:49.67 Q
3 Owen Dawson Penn State 1:49.72 Q
4 Zach Mellon Wisconsin 1:49.73 q
5 James Gilreath Baylor 1:52.18
6 Dan White Ohio State 1:52.47
7 Casimir Loxsom Penn State 1:53.99
DNF Chris Gowell Baylor

Men's 200m Finals
We weren't really watching the broadcast during the 200m, but we looked up and saw a white guy from Florida State (Brandon Byram) set a world-leading time of 20.46 on the 200m banked track in the first heat. His time was then outdone by a Mississippi St. runner (Curtis Mitchell) in the final in 20.38 so hats off to both those guys. It's hard to imagine being the fastest athlete in the world while living in a dorm room, but that must be a great feeling.

Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time Pts Heat(PL)
1 Curtis Mitchell SO Texas A&M 20.38 10 2(1)
2 Brandon Byram JR Florida State 20.46 8 1(1)
3 Antonio Sales JR South Carolina 20.52 6 1(2)
4 Marcus Rowland SO Auburn 20.62 5 [20.613] 2(2)
5 Maurice Mitchell SO Florida State 20.62 4 [20.620] 1(3)
6 Calvin Smith SR Florida 20.72 3 2(3)
7 Rakieem Salaam SO Oklahoma 20.79 2 1(4)
8 Tony McQuay FR Florida 20.88 1 2(4)

Top 5 Team Standings After Day 1 - Upset Alert, As Home Team Arkansas Has The Lead!

Team Scores 6 of 17 Events Scores
Rank Team Score
1 Arkansas 24
2 Florida 20
3 Florida State 14
4 Arizona State 12
5 Washington 10
5 Northern Arizona 10
5 Texas A&M 10
5 Oregon 10


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