2011 USA Track & Field Champs 800m Round 1 Goes According To Form
June 23, 2011
The 800m got underway on Thursday at the USA Champs. The news of note on the track was that five-time US champ Hazel Clark did not start. On the men's side, the favorites advanced and we talked to veterans Khadevis Robinson and Nick Symmonds.
Men's 800 First Round: Favorites Advance
Top 3 + 4 Times 1:45.40 WC "A" Standard
Heat 1: Tevan Everett blazed to a 24.28 first 200 split and had a 10-meter lead on the field at 400 meters. UC-Irvine's Charles Jock was in an uncharacteristic fourth place at the bell, but steadily moved up over the final 200 meters to finish four one-hundredths behind Tyler Mulder. Rob Novak looked good in placing third. Everett faded to fourth but did manage to nab a spot on time in the semifinals.
|1||Tyler Mulder||Oregon TC Elite||1:47.45||Q|
|3||Rob Novak||New York Athletic Club (NYAC)||1:47.60||Q|
Heat 2: Duane Solomon Goes Out
2010 runner-up Duane Solomon led through 400 at 53.65 and, after starting in last through 200, Nick Symmonds put himself in the top three for the first time with 200 to go and ultimately placed second to Penn State's Cas Loxsom, who came on for the win as Solomon faded to fourth. Michael Rutt ran a smart race to finish third.
Afterwards, we talked to a pleased Symmonds and asked him whether there was any concern heading into USAs after a sub-par run at Pre. He said the focus is on running well in September at Worlds, so the early-season performances are not going to be as sharp.
Nick Symmonds On Being Ready
Heat 3: Elijah Greer Advances
Spurred on by the Hayward Field crowd, Oregon's Elijah Greer had a three-meter lead at 400, splitting 52.67. Mark Wieczorek timed his move nicely in the final 100 to pass Greer on the inside for the win in 1:46.82. Former LSU All-American Richard Jones moved up well for third. Sharif Webb of Kentucky, Cory Primm of UCLA and Lance Roller of UVA managed to qualify on time, as the entire heat advanced to round 2.
Note: Earlier we confused Richard Jones with Richard Smith, a high school teammate of Alan Webb.
|3||Richard Jones||Santa Monica Track Club||1:47.14||Q|
|5||Cory Primm||U C L A||1:47.57||q|
Heat 4: Khadevis Robinson And Robby Andrews - Round 1
It was the kind of race that Nick Symmonds patented and NCAA champion Robby Andrews has come to perfect. After a slow first 400 of 53.61, Andrews moved through the field after running in last through 500 meters. He still seemed boxed with 200 to go but extricated himself to qualify for the final with a third place finish. The hardest working man in track and field, Khadevis Robinson (Golden Gala winner in Rome earlier this year), ran a clean, smart race to claim the win, as Penn State's Samuel Borchers was second.
Afterwards, we talked to Robinson, who may be the most entertaining interview in the sport. In the course of 4:38, we talked about his children, choo-choo trains, the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat, Dirk Nowitzki and even 800m running. On 800m running, KD said he made the mistake of shutting down with 100m to go instead of cruising in and then had to push again to get the win. He said he prefers running rounds to one-off races, contrary to popular opinion.
Women's 800 First Round: 5-Time US Champ Hazel Clark Doesn't Start
Round 1 of the women's 800m got underway and the only news of note was that five-time US champ Hazel Clark did not start. Clark had only run one 800m this year - a sub-par 2:10 to start the season on early May. Heat-by-heat recaps below.
Top 3 + 4 Times 1:59.80 WC "A", 2:01.30 WC "B"
Heat 1: Bethany Praska of Iowa led the first lap in 61.59 and Maggie Vessey looked strong in bringing key players Molly Beckwith and Latavia Thomas home to lock up the automatic top three qualifiers.
|1||Maggie Vessey||New Balance||2:04.71||Q|
|7||Dominique Jackson||North Carolina||2:07.62|
Pre-race favorite and 2010 US champ Alysia Mantano and Chanelle Price brought the group through in 60.14, but then Price fell hard to the track midway through the backstretch.
After the tangle, Mantano easily cruised to the line for the win and Heather Kampf moved up well to finish as Price managed to get up to finish, hoping that with a finish time (even at 2:36.05), she will at least earn a spot in the semi-finals on protest. Erica Moore grabbed the other automatic qualifier in placing second.
|3||Heather Kampf||Team USA Minnesota / Asics||2:03.76||Q|
Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark was a no-show (as was Renee Tomlin of Georgetown, who opted for the 1,500 later), so only six women toed the line. 2-time US champ (2002, 2003) Alice Schmidt looked strong, bringing the race through in a comfortable 61.33. Former NCAA champ and recent sub-2 runner Geena Gall looked very good on Schmidt's shoulder throughout, as Arizona's Christine Rodgers held off a late-charging Devotia Moore of Duke for the third and final spot.
|2||Geena Gall||Oregon TC Elite||2:05.48||Q|
|4||Devotia Moore||Duke University||2:05.87|
|DNS||Renee Tomlin||Georgetown University|
Treniere Moser opted for the 1,500, so only seven started the race. Last year's breakout performer Phoebe Wright looked terrific in leading wire-to-wire. Oregonís super-frosh Laura Roesler ran well in front of the home crowd, sitting on Wright's shoulder before fading at the end, as North Dakota State's Christine Schmaltz and Laura Januzewski grabbed the final automatic qualifiers. Roesler still managed to run a fast enough time to advance.
|2||Christine Schmaltz||North Dakota State||2:03.52||Q|
|7||Cydney Ross||Duke University||2:11.38|
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