Thursday's 1500m Heats: 2011 US Leader Russell Brown Bows Out

June 23, 2011

Both the men's and women's 1500m heats and round 1 of the 800s were held on Thursday night. We recap the 1500s and the round 1 of the men's steeple below. 800 recaps here.

The big news was on the men's side with 2011 US leader Russell Brown going out in round 1. Andrew Wheating looked great and said as mjuch afterwards.

Women's 1500m Heat 1: Favorite Advance, Donohue Out

Heat 1 featured the last six winners of the 1500 at the USATFs but the pace was not particularly strong at the start, meaning that several stars were putting their spot in the final in jeopardy.

Sub 4:00 1500m runner Jenny Simpson controlled the pace most of the way with Anna Willard right on her shoulder, leading the tightly bunched pack through in 68.2, 2:20.7 and 3:28.3.  2009 Worldx bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury made a big move with 250 to go but Simpson was able to regroup and closed in 45.6 to claim the win.  Despite a fast closing pace, a major casualty was 2008 Olympian Erin Donohue who had only raced once in 2011.

Quick take: Shannon Rowbury looked better than she has so far in 2011.

1 Jennifer Simpson New Balance 4:14.20 Q
2 Gabriele Anderson Team USA Minnesota / Asics 4:14.25 Q
3 Anna Pierce Nike 4:14.32 Q
4 Shannon Rowbury Nike 4:14.40 Q
5 Treniere Moser Nike 4:14.41 q
6 Jackie Areson unattached 4:14.42 q
7 Lauren Hagans Asics 4:14.86
8 Erin Donohue Nike 4:15.11
9 Sara Vaughn adidas 4:15.30
10 Lauren Bonds adidas Raleigh Track Club 4:16.21
11 Lauren Centrowitz New Balance 4:16.59
12 Brittany Sheffey Tennessee 4:21.20
13 Katrina Drennen unattached 4:22.64
14 Ellen Dougherty New York Athletic Club (NYAC) 4:24.39

Heat 2: Hasay Sneaks By

Jordan Hasay pr Oregon and Morgan Uceny shot to the lead at 100 meters but 2011 US leader Christin Wurth-Thomas wasted no time in moving to the front at 300 meters and then led for the final 1200.

This heat was noticeably faster from the gun as Wurth-Thomas led the field through in 66.2 at 400 meters.  Only Uceny went with her through 800 in 2:12.0 and 1200 was passed in 3:18.6 as the two broke well away from the a chase pack that included Katie Follett, Hasay, Brie Felnagle and Emily Infeld.  Despite the fire-power in heat one, this heat proved to be just as fast through six places (and considerably faster upfront) and despite her sixth place finish, Hasay was able to hold on for the final qualifying spot in Saturdayís final.

Quick take: It never looks pretty for Christin Wurth but they don't subtract time off for style points. She has to be the favorite for the final.

1 Christin Wurth Nike 4:08.32 Q
2 Morgan Uceny adidas 4:08.68 Q
3 Katherine Follett Brooks 4:09.94 Q
4 Brie Felnagle adidas 4:09.95 Q
5 Emily Infeld Georgetown University 4:10.02 q
6 Jordan Hasay Oregon 4:14.85 q
7 Annick Lamar New York Athletic Club (NYAC) 4:15.44
8 Lindsey Gallo unattached 4:17.46
9 Julia Lucas Oregon TC Elite 4:17.65
10 Karly Hamric RIADHA 4:19.16
11 Renee Tomlin Georgetown University 4:21.86
12 Lauren Johnson unattached 4:22.58
13 Kristen Gillespie Arkansas 4:23.62
14 Heidi Dahl New Balance 4:32.15
DNS Kim Conley unattached

Menís 1500 First Round

Russell Brown learned the hard-way that when there are 4 good guys for 3 qualifying spots someone is going to go home unhappy unless someone qualifiers on time.

Top 3 + 3 Times

Heat 1: An Oregon Reunion as Andrew Wheating Looks Great

Andrew Wheating made a 2:59 first 1200 look as easy as it possibly could and then the next 300 looked like a near replay of the 2010 NCAA 1500 final as he and AJ Acosta took the top two spots (the other part of that famous trio, Matthew Centrowitz, would be up next in heat two).  It was a near Oregon sweep as Oregon TCís Jordan McNamara placed fourth when Virginia Techís Michael Hammond passed him at the line.  2009 World Championship team member at 5000m Evan Jager was fifth and hung on to qualify for the finals on time.

Wheating was really excited with this run and said afterwards:    "This is what track is...I was back in my element. I felt total love for my sport... I didn't care if they went out in 52 (seconds) or 72 I was loving every moment of it. I was right back to where I started sophomore year... I've got plenty more gears left. I felt awesome that last homestretch."

1 Andrew Wheating Oregon TC Elite 3:39.88 Q
2 AJ Acosta Oregon 3:40.28 Q
3 Michael Hammond Virginia Tech 3:40.43 Q
4 Jordan McNamara Oregon TC Elite 3:40.43 q
5 Evan Jager Oregon TC Elite 3:40.65 q
6 Miles Batty Brigham Young 3:41.72
7 Patrick Todd Virginia 3:41.92
8 John Minen Virginia 3:42.05
9 Tony Jordanek unattached 3:43.34
10 Ryan McNiff Adams State 3:44.36
11 Brandon Rooney unattached 3:45.39
DNS Nicholas Symmonds Oregon TC Elite

Andrew Wheating Was Ready Whether It Went out in 52 ot 72

AJ Able to Get ReFocused

Heat 2:

Binghamtonís Erik Van Ingen led the group through in 58.2 and then slowed dramatically, putting Craig Miller in charge of the pacing duties through 800 in 2:00.3, as NCAA champ Oregonís Matthew Centrowitz patiently bided his time in second.

A huge group was still bunched at 1200 in 2:59.9 but Centrowitz was in the front of them and he easily pulled away with 200 meters remaining.  Last year's US#1 Leo Manzano, who has struggled in 2011, made a big move to move past half a dozen in the last 150 to place second.

Centro Jr said of the final, "Stay relaxed and stay confident, hopefully good things will happen" while Leo breezed through the media area not bothering to talk knowing bigger things await on Saturday (you can see him walk through in the Wheating interview above).

Quick take: Leo may be outgunned this year so far, but he looked much better here than he has so far.

1 Matthew Centrowitz Oregon 3:40.00 Q
2 Leonel Manzano Nike 3:40.07 Q
3 David Torrence Nike 3:40.24 Q
4 Kyle Miller Nike 3:40.48 q
5 Dorian Ulrey Arkansas 3:41.28
6 Craig Miller New Balance 3:41.61
7 John Jefferson Brooks 3:42.04
8 Erik Van Ingen Binghamton 3:42.31
9 Liam Boylan-Pett NJ-NY Track Club / Puma 3:42.42
10 Jack Bolas New Balance 3:42.76
11 Rob Finnerty Wisconsin 3:42.81
12 Matthew Elliott Brooks 3:43.69


Heat 3: With 2 Olympians in the Field Making it a Kicker's Race May Not Be a Good Idea

With Olympians Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong and rising star Russell Brown in heat three coupled with the relatively modest  results of the first two heats, it seemed likely that the pace here would be honest.

It was anything but, as the first 400 was run in 64.3 and then the 800 was split in 2:08.1. Miles love to think they can all kick.

Things got very interesting with 600 to go as Tommy Schmitz made a big move; Lomong in 4th and Lagat in 5th lurked close as the pack went through 1200 in 3:03.6.

The cream rose to the top with 200 to go as Lomong and Lagat had the lead, Lagat easing to the win.  Will Leer came on very strong in lane one to pass Lomong on the inside and Russell Brown, the 2011 US leader at 1500 and the mile, was denied a spot in the final with a fourth place finish in the slowest heat of the afternoon.

Afterwards, Brown was visible upset and at a loss for words. He said, "I wish I could explain it. I guess the fact is if I felt like I did today in the final there is no point in being there anyway. I've got to figure this out. That's all there is too it"

1 Bernard Lagat Nike 3:44.04 Q
2 William Leer Nike 3:44.13 Q
3 Lopez Lomong Nike 3:44.24 Q
4 Russell Brown Oregon TC Elite 3:44.47
5 Benjamin Blankenship Minnesota 3:44.74
6 Rob Myers Saucony 3:46.32
7 Macklin Chaffee Ragged Mountain Racing 3:47.15
8 Patrick Casey Montana State 3:47.77
9 Stephen Pifer Oregon TC Elite 3:48.08
10 Kevin Ondrasek unattached 3:49.36
11 Tommy Schmitz Wisconsin Runner Racing Team 3:49.71
DNS Duncan Phillips Arkansas


Menís 3000 Steeplechase: Steve Slattery Goes Out
Top 5 + 4 Times
8:23.10 WC "A" Standard

Heat 1:
Last year's champ Daniel Huling
and Kyle Acorn broke away early, putting up a big lead on Indianaís DeíSean Turner and Cory Leslie of Ohio State.  With 1000 to go, the quartet were bunched together, well clear of fifth place Stephen Finley of the home-town Ducks and former US champ Josh McAdams.  With 600 to, McAdams had regained contact and the group was in good shape to garner the top five automatic qualifiers, fifty meters ahead of sixth place as they came across the line together.  Finley held on for sixth.   

One casualty of the first round was Olympian Steve Slattery, who did not finish. Slattery had run 8:28 this year but also had a few aweful performances and this fell in that category.

1 Kyle Alcorn Nike 8:40.33 Q
2 Cory Leslie Ohio State 8:40.42 Q
3 Joshua McAdams New Balance 8:40.51 Q
4 Daniel Huling Reebok 8:40.70 Q
5 De'Sean Turner Indiana University 8:40.86 Q
6 Stephen Finley Oregon 8:42.28 q
7 Justin Tyner unattached 8:46.43 q
8 Jacques Sallberg unattached 8:50.42
9 Adrien Dannemiller Cornell University 8:54.65
10 Travis Mahoney Temple University 9:01.89
DNF Steve Slattery unattached

Heat 2:
Oregon Track Club's Ben Bruce set an aggressive pace from the gun, and ran 10 meters clear of Olympian Billy Nelson through the first four laps as things were strung out much more quickly than in heat one.  The diminutative Nelson was particularly strong on the water jumps and managed to keep Bruce close.

Just past 2000 meters, Nelson made a strong surge to the lead but six runners remained within 15 meters of the lead.  Bruce regained the lead in the last lap as he and Nelson cruised to the top two spots.

1 Benjamin Bruce Oregon TC Elite 8:40.62 Q
2 William Nelson New Balance 8:40.76 Q
3 Derek Scott unattached 8:41.02 Q
4 Donald Cowart Ragged Mountain Racing 8:41.40 Q
5 John Sullivan Stanford 8:41.54 Q
6 Andrew Poore Indiana University 8:42.38 q
7 Jordan Fife Brooks 8:46.51 q
8 Andrew Benford Richmond 8:50.05
9 Adu Dentamo Brooks 8:52.18
10 John Ricardi Brooks 8:55.64
11 David Adams Nebraska 8:58.93
12 Matthew Williams U.S. Air Force 9:04.54

Men's 800m:
LRC Men's 800m: Nick Symmonds Makes it Four in a Row
Women's 800m: LRC Women's 800m: Alysia Goes Wire to Wire
Women's Steeplechase: LRC Emma Coburn Wins, Stephanie Garcia Falls, and Hey Delilah Goes to Korea

Saturday USATF Coverage
Men's 1500m: LRC Matt Centrowitz Jr Pulls Away from Bernard Lagat
Women's 1500m: LRC The Thrill Victory (Morgan Uceny) and Agony of Defeat (Christin Wurth Thomas)
Men's Steeple: LRC Billy Nelson's Return to Oregon is Successful

Friday: USATF Coverage
Men' 5000m: LRC Men's 5,000m: Bernard Lagat's 3:57.80 Close Wins A Thriller Over Chris Solinsky And Galen Rupp
Women's 5000m: LRC Women's 5,000m: Molly Huddle Impresses, Hastings And Bizzarri Continue The Mammoth Mojo
800m Semis: LRC All the Favorites Advance And KD Asks For Some Energy From His Fans In The Final
*Ashton Eaton Sets PR With Decathlon Win, Olympic Gold Medallist Bryan Clay Falls In 110 Hurdles And Doesn't Finish The Meet
*Walter Dix Just Outleans Justin Gatlin To Win US Champs 100 
*SI's Tim Layden Takes a Look at Justin Gatlin's Situation
*Post Race Interviews

Complete Thursday USATF Coverage: *10k Photos
Men's 10k: LRC Men's 10,000m: Galen Rupp Closes Out Matt Tegenkamp With 1:52.5 Final 800m
Women's 10k: LRC Women's 10,000m: Shalane Flanagan Goes Wire to Wire Over Kara Goucher and Field
1500m Round 1 and Men's Steeple Round1: LRC Thursday's 1500m Heats: 2011 US Leader Russell Brown Bows Out
800M Round 1: LRC: 800m Round 1 Goes According to Form


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