NCAA 800 Meter Star Robby Andrews No Longer Running for the University of Virginia
March 1, 2012
LetsRun.com has learned from a source close to the program that the collegiate running career at the University of Virginia of two-time NCAA 800 meter champion Robby Andrews has come to an end. Andrews, a UVA junior, has decided to no longer compete for the Cavaliers. The next step for Andrews is likely a professional running career, although he could transfer to another school.
(Updated: UVA has now released its own press release talking about Robby leaving and wishing him the best).
Andrews went to UVA with a lot of hype as in high school he set the US high school indoor records for both the 800 (1:49.21) and the 1000 (2:22.28). The former NJ prep star more than lived up to the hype right from the get go in college. As a freshman, Andrews went undefeated indoors, capping off the season with a stunning victory by .01 over US Olympian Andrew Wheating at the NCAA indoor meet in an absolutely thrilling race.
Early in the outdoor season, Andrews got the best of Wheating once again at Penn Relays as he led UVA to title in the 4 x 800 in a race he and Wheating had identical splits of 1:47.78 (MB: Andrews OOWWWWNNSSSS Wheating). At NCAA outdoors, Andrews was the runner-up to Wheating. Andrews then concluded his sensational freshman year with runner-up at the US junior championships and a bronze medal at the world junior championships, finishing behind Penn State's Casimir Loxsom in both races.
Last year as a sophomore, Andrews missed the indoor campaign as he was plagued by plantar fasciitis. However, outdoors, he certainly didn't look rusty as he got revenge on Loxsom at Penn Relays when Andrews split 1:46.00 to lead UVA to another Penn Relays 4 x 800 win, this time in the second fastest time in meet history - 7:12.15.
At the NCAA outdoors, Andrews won one of the greatest races in NCAA history. Everyone in the final 8 had a PB of 1:46.06 or faster and the race more than lived up to the hype as Andrews came from behind to nip Charles Jock, 1:44.71 to 1:44.75 (race video embedded on right).
In hindsight, one can say that Andrews' UVA NCAA championship career began and ended with truly epic races (.01 win over Wheating, .04 win over Jock).
Recently, Andrews running career was thrown into disarray as his coach at UVA, Jason Vigiliante, resigned unexpectedly after the NCAA cross country championships in November. With Vig's departure, speculation immediately began as to what the future held for Andrews. Would he stay at UVA? Would he go pro and stay with Vig? Would he go pro and be coached by someone else?
Likely Andrews is going pro. There is the chance he could transfer to another NCAA school, but this is an Olympic year and Andrews value is very high. If he goes pro he still can get his degree from Virginia.
Andrews didn't compete in the indoor season but LetsRun.com has good info stating that Andrews is healthy and training fine.
As for who will be coaching Andrews, that question is still up in the air. If we were betting men, we'd put our money on Andrews going pro and being coached by former coach Jason Vigilante.
Discuss On the Boards: Robby Andrews No Longer Running for UVA