Mid-D Recaps: Hasay Gets Title #1, Batty Gets Title #2, Fred Samoei Wins A Nailbiter And Bleazard Dominates
March 12, 2011
College Station, TX - Recaps of the mid-distance finals (800 and mile) from the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Women's Mile: Jordan Hasay Gets Her First NCAA Title
After leading most of the DMR anchor leg on Friday night only to get outkicked over the final 200 meters, Oregon's Jordan Hasay did the reverse in the women's mile final to earn her first individual national championship at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field championships on Saturday night.
Hasay ran most of the race just behind her teammate Zoe Buckman, who basically rabbited the field through the first seven laps (Buckman was technically in 2nd at 200). After the opening 809+ was covered in 2:21.14, the pace would gradually get faster all the way to the finish. Buckman covered 809 to 1,209 in 68.49, as 1,209 was reached in 3:29.62. With 400 left, the pace got decidedly faster, as Bucknam entered the bell at 4:01.90 (32.28 last 200) with Hasay and Dukeís Kate Van Buskirk, the collegiate record holder at 1k, trailing close behind.
Who would have the goods over the final 200?
For the first time in her brief collegiate career, Hasay uncorked a finishing kick good enough to get her a much-deserved national title. After giving up the lead at last year's outdoor meet in the 1,500, in cross-country in the fall and in the DMR on Friday night, Hasay found a gear she hadn't really shown before, as she blitzed the final 200 in 30.94 to get the win in 4:33.01, also producing a last 400 of 63.18 - a marked improvement over the 65.40 she closed in last year to get fourth in 4:38.29.
Finishing a well-beaten second was Van Buskirk (4:33.71), who just edged Buckman (4:33.76).
While Oregon's top two milers were up front the whole race, their third mile finalist ran the race from the back. German Anne Kesselring moved up from last with 400 left to finish 4th in 4:34.96 (although it should be pointed out that with 400 to go, the whole field was within .97 of each other) to give the Ducks 21 points in this event and a 24-point lead over #2 Texas.
With the first running event on the track concluded, the meet was basically over as at the end of the mile, the Ducks led 47 to 23 and by the end of the day, Texas would finish second with 38 (Oregon would score 20 more to win a romp).
Final Lap Women's Mile: NCAA Title #1 For Hasay
|*More On Hasay's Incredible Weekend, Including Her 3k Win, With Interview Of Her Here|
Men's Mile: Miles Batty Gets NCAA Crown #2
Miles Batty came into the NCAA Track and Field Championships with one really fast mile on his resumť. He leaves with two NCAA titles, as he overtook Tulsa's Chris O'Hare on the final straight to capture the indoor mile title less than 24 hours after leading BYU to the distance medley relay title Friday night.
O'Hare, from Scotland, has had a breakout season. He came into tonight's final undefeated on the year and with a 3:56 PR to his name, after having a modest 3:46 1,500m personal best last year. Much like he did in the prelims, O'Hare took over the pacing duties at 600m and would control the race the rest of the way. With 4 laps to go (2:03.84), it was still anyone's race, but O'Hare would slowly ratchet up the pace to the finish, thinning out the field in the process.
The next lap was a 30.03, then a 29.53 and the field was starting to spread out. A 28.56 next lap put four guys in contention at the bell, O'Hare, Batty (who moved ahead of Penn State's Ryan Foster right at the bell), and Florida's Dumisane Hlaselo.
Soon it was a two-man race. O'Hare continued to increase the pace and Batty gave chase and they put a little distance on Foster. Coming off the final turn, O'Hare was still in the lead. Could he hold off Batty?
No. On the final straight, O'Hare first looked over his left shoulder even though he was in lane 1. There was no room to pass there, but Batty was trying to come outside. O'Hare then looked over his right shoulder and there was Batty. O'Hare tried to dig for one final push, but it was too late. He was gassed and Batty came by for the win.
Afterwards, both Batty and O'Hare admitted they were spent on the final lap. Batty at first thought he'd have to settle for second, but kept digging, keeping O'Hare in his sight. As he got close, on the ESPN broadcast he said he thought to himself, "How much do I want it, how much do I want it?" Apparently, pretty bad.
O'Hare had to settle for the runner-up finish and his first loss of the year. Afterwards, he said he looked over his shoulder because he was tired and if he saw someone perhaps he could dig for one final push. O'Hare, despite coming a long way in one year (last year, he was a 3:46 1,500m guy (basically a 4:04 miler), was disappointed to have to settle for second but is excited about the future and trying to make London 2012.
Final Lap Men's Mile
Miles Batty After NCAA Crown #2
Chris O'Hare After Mile
Menís 800: Fred Samoei Edges Michael Rutt
Coming into the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the menís 800 was viewed as a totally wide open affair, as only one guy, Zach Mellon of Wisconsin, was back from last year's final. When Mellon and four of the top eight seeds were eliminated in the prelims, the event seemed even more wide open.
However, in the end, a little order was restored, as the man who looked best in the prelims and the man who has the fastest overall personal best of everyone in the final, Alabama senior Fred Samoei, got the win in a thrilling men's 800. Samoei of Kenya, who sports a PR of 1:45.94 from last year's NCAA outdoor meet, got past UConn senior Michael Rutt just before the line as Rutt almost pulled off the upset victory just as LetsRun.com predicted he would in our preview. Samoei's winning time was 1:48.33 to Rutt's 1:48.37.
After his impressive heat win on Friday, Samoei seemed well positioned to get the win tonight as, given his background, there was little fear he'd have trouble coming back on day 2 - unlike so many speed-based 800 runners. Prior to coming to Alabama, Samoei had run a 3:58 mile while at South Plains junior college, and while at Alabama has a top-15 SEC Cross-Country showing to his credit.
In Saturday's final, as the runners were approaching the 400 (53.61), Rutt made a big move from the middle of the pack to the lead and it was a lead that he wouldn't give up until maybe five meters before the finish line. At 600 (1:20.80), Rutt had the lead and Big 10 600 champ Harun Abda was on his outside with Texas A&M's Michael Preble just behind him. Samoei was on the inside of Preble, boxed in in a virtual tie for third/fourth.
Over the final two laps, Samoei remained patiently on the inside as the pace accelerated. Entering the final turn, Samoei was still boxed in, but as the runners made the final turn, it opened up a bit as all but the top two started to fade. Coming off the final turn, Samoei moved to the outside but by no stretch of the imagination was the final kick home a coronation for Samoei. Many probably were thinking Samoei had it in the bag, but Rutt put up a good fight and Samoei only got the lead as they leaned for the tape. Rutt made Samoei work but Samoei deserved the victory, as he picked up the pace over the final 200 and ran a blistering 27.23 to get the win.
Behind Samoei and Rutt, Preble ended up third in 1:48.89. (Preble did not run the 800 at Big 12s and only qualified for the meet last week, but looks like a natural). Iowa junior Erik Sowinski, the winner of heat 2 on Friday, moved up to finish fourth in 1:49.47, just ahead of Abdul (1:49.51).
Itís worth pointing out that Sowinski wasnít even the Big 10 champion this winter, as Penn Stateís Ryan Foster defeated him convincingly (by .36) at Big 10s. It would have been interesting to see how Foster, who was third in 800 indoors last year at NCAAs, would have done in the 800 this year as he opted for the mile instead, where he was once again third.
The win caps a great weekend for Samoei, as in addition to his open 800 achievements, he also ran the 2nd-fastest split on the DMR on Friday night.
Fred Samoei After Winning NCAA 800m
Mike Preble After Finishing 3rd At NCAAs One Week After Qualifying
Womenís 800: Lacey Bleazard X 2 At A&M
History repeated itself in the womenís 800 as BYU junior Lacey Bleazard (formerly known as Lacey Cramer) won just as she did two years ago when the meet was held at Texas A&M. However, there was one big difference from two years ago when Bleazard came up late on the inside to get a win in tight three-way finish. Tonight, Bleazard absolutely dominated, as she basically led the entire way and won convincingly in 2:04.09.
Bleazard had the lead at 200 (29.00) and 400 (59.99) and was technically in second at 600 in 1:32.25 as Mississippiís Sofie Persson (1:32.25) moved up on the outside to grab the lead at the bell. But Persson never moved up enough to cut in on Bleazard, who soon started to kick for home, and her final 200 of 31.74 gave her a dominant victory by .69.
The person who closed the 2nd-fastest was Michiganís Jilian Smith, who went from fifth to 2nd on the last lap thanks to her 31.78 but she ended up well back in 2:04.78. Persson ended up third in 2:04.89 as UConnís Heather Wilson was fourth in 2:05.18.
The two heat winners from Friday finished in the second half of the field. Arizonaís Christina Rodgers, who led the first heat wire to wire on Friday, ended up fifth in 2:05.27. Tennesseeís Chanelle Price, who looked great in winning heat two on Friday, didnít look nearly as good today as she was sixth in 2:05.42.
Another person who had a disappointing finish was 8th placer Rebecca Addison of Michigan. Addison, the Big 10 champ
at 8 00 and in the mile this year, came into the meet with the #2 time in the country. After only running only a 2:09.81 last night on the DMR, she only could manage a 2:07.68 today.
More: NCAA Day 2 News: *LRC Day 1 NCAA Coverage: *5,000m Recaps: Unheralded Leonard Korir Storms To NCAA Meet Record, Jackie Areson Impresses, Mia Behm Surprises Everyone
*NCAA Day 1: DMR: Villanova's Reid Outkicks Oregon's Hasay, BYU's Miles Batty Holds Off Incredible 3:53 Anchor From Andy Bayer (video of last laps)
*Recap Of Mile Heats From Day 1 Of 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
*Recap Of 800 Heats From Day 1 Of 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
*Day 1 Photos
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