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.
|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.
|1||David McNeill||JR||Northern Arizona||13:36.41||10||1(1)|
|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)|
|8||Colby Lowe||SO||Oklahoma State||13:54.90||1||1(8)|
|13||Rory Fraser||SR||New Mexico||14:07.77||1(13)|
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]|
|1||Lee Emanuel||New Mexico||4:02.95||Q|
|7||Erik van Ingen||Binghamton||4:03.73|
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]|
|1||Jeff See||Ohio State||4:05.53||Q|
|4||Patrick Casey||Montana State||4:05.72||Q|
|8||Cameron Levins||Southern Utah||4:11.30|
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