The Favorites Advance In 1st Round of 800s At The 2012 US Olympic Track & Field Trials

The Top 6 Women's Seeds and Top 7 Men's All Advance To Tomorrow's Semifinals

June 22, 2012

Editor's Note: Below you will see our preliminary recap of the first round of the men's and women's 800 at the 2012 US Olympic Track & Field Trials. Check back later as we'll update it with interviews. We just wanted to get it up before the 10,000s start.

Women's 800
The womenís 800 wasnít without drama and excitement as there was contact in two of the four heats and a high schooler advanced. But in terms of the big names, it was a pretty good days as the top six seeds all advanced. The big casualties however were world indoor bronze medallist Erica Moore and former HS star Chanelle Price.

Maggie Vessey and Geena Gall took the tightly bunched field out in 28.8 through 200. The pack was still together in 61.8 at 400.  High school sophomore sensation Mary Cain was in sixth and tried to move up on the backstretch but as she moved to lane two, LSUís Charlene Lipsey made a strong move for the lead at 600, going through in 1:32.8.  

On the homestretch, Gall and Vessey reasserted themselves and pulled away strongly to place first and second.   NYACís Maggie Infeld zigged and zagged her way through the field her way through the field on the final straightaway to get third and the final automatic qualifying spot.  Cain did a nice job to finish fifth in 2:04.11 while Lipsey faded a bit to get fourth in 2:04.11.

The NCAA runner-up and the high school star will have to wait to see if they can advance.  After the other heats finished, they would not advance.

High schooler Mary Cain ran 2:04.11. Interviews with Cain, Lipse and Infeld below. Vessey walked through the interview area purposely not stopping.

1 Geena Gall Nike / Oregon TC Elite 2:02.96 Q
2 Maggie Vessey New Balance 2:03.31 Q
3 Margaret Infeld N Y A C 2:03.53 Q
4 Charlene Lipsey L S U 2:03.74
5 Mary Cain Bronxville Track Club 2:04.11
6 Kate Grace Oiselle / New Jersey New York 2:04.28
7 Christina Rodgers Unattached 2:08.06
8 Heidi Dahl New Balance 2:09.49

Charlene Lipse of LSU Talks About Making a Big Move Agains the Pros

Maggie Infeld

High Schooler Mary Cain



Alysia Montano was out very fast in 27.8 at 200 and had a 5 meter lead at 250, a lead that only lengthened as Montano went through 400 in a very fast 57.68.  In the chase pack, BYUís Nachelle Mackie led a tightly bunched pack that slowly ate away at Montanoís lead.  Montano went through 600 in 1:29.7, holding a five meter lead.

With the pack tightly bunched coming off the Bowerman curve, a pile-up narrowed the field considerably as Latavia Thomas got tangled in the feet of Oregonís Laura Roesler.  It looked like Thomas bumped Roesler from behind but it was Thomas that went down went down and she took Lyndsay Harper down with her in the process.

The contact didnít hurt the hometown favorite Roesler who got the crowd excited by finishing strong with a third place finish to grab an automatic qualifying spot.  Montano cruised home in first.  

Finishing fourth in 2:03.30 was NCAA champion Nachelle Mackie, who would advance on time.  This heat also had a high school star, as Californiaís Amy Weissanbach came home fifth in 2:06.46 but didn't advance.

With Nikeís Thomas falling badly (but still able to finish in 2:28.43), donít be surprised if a protest is filed and extra people qualify to the next round.

Quick Take #1: If youíve got the credentials, some would say connections, to get into the Pre Classic 800, certainly someone can get you into the semis of Olympic Trials, particularly if you are the seventh seed at 1:59.67. That being said, Thomasí yearly best is only  2:01.27.

Quick Take #2: We can't why Thomas should be advanced. Harper wasnít going to make it herself but we could see a rationale for Harper being advanced.

1 Alysia Montano Nike 2:02.61 Q
2 Shannon Leinert Big River Running Company 2:02.78 Q
3 Laura Roesler Oregon 2:03.11 Q
4 Nachelle Mackie B Y U 2:03.30 q
5 Amy Weissenbach Gold Medal Athletic Club 2:06.46
6 Rebekka Simko Penn State 2:07.33
7 Lyndsay Harper Unattached 2:08.33
8 Latavia Thomas Nike 2:28.43

Alysia Montano After Cruising to the Semis

Laura Roesler of Oregon after Advancing

Blue Collar Runner Shannon Leinert
No Training Partners, an Online Coach and Overcoming Injuries

Phoebe Wright was out in 28.7 at 200 and continued to roll through 59.49 with Molly Beckwith in close pursuit.  Heather Kampf was in third.  At 600, Beckwith took control, going through in 1:29.8.  As the group came off the Bowerman curve, Brenda Martinez closed extremely well to garner the third qualifying slot in 2:01.43.  Beckwith (2:00.61) and Wright (2:00.83) may have gone through 600 slower than the previous heat but they finished with the fastest times thus far.

Indeed, three of the four qualifying times would come out of this heat.

1 Molly Beckwith Saucony 2:00.61 Q
2 Phoebe Wright Nike 2:00.83 Q
3 Brenda Martinez New Balance 2:01.43 Q
4 Heather Kampf Asics / Team USA Minnesota 2:01.54 q
5 Lea Wallace Nike 2:02.94 q
6 Ashley Miller Nebraska 2:03.34 q
7 Caroline King Unattached 2:05.25
8 Stephanie Brown Arkansas 2:06.36

Molly Beckwith After Winning Her Heat

Brenda Martinez Talks About Doubling

Lindsey Schnell was closely followed by Tennesseeís Chanelle Price at 200 in 28.0.  At 400, a confident looking Price took the lead, going through in 59.75.  There was some contact 500 meters into the race, some of it involving the New Jersey high school star Ajee Wilson, that caused some disruption in the back of the pack. On the televisions replays, it looked like Wilson clipped Schnell from behind. Schnell didnít go down but she did lose her momentum and get spun out to lane three.

The contact didnít faze Wilson, who assertively moved into third as the group went throuth 600 in 1:31.5  To the roar of the crowe, Wilson looked awesome coming down the home stretch and was passed at the line by two-time Olympian Alice Schmidt, but still looked very good in second at 2:03.63, only .12 behind Scmidt.  Katie Palmer of BYU was third in 2:03.66 as Price faded to fourth and was unable to advance out of the first round.

Quick Take #1: There were two big casualties in this heat was 2012 world indoor bronze medallist Erica Moore didnít advance nor did Tennesseeís Price.

Heading into the 2008 US Olympic Trials, would anyone have thought that Price, who had already run 2:01.61 in HS, would bomb out of the first round of both the 2008 and 2012 Trials?

1 Alice Schmidt Nike 2:03.51 Q
2 Ajee Wilson Juventus Track Club 2:03.63 Q
3 Katie Palmer Unattached 2:03.66 Q
4 Chanelle Price Tennessee 2:04.17
5 Erica Moore Nike 2:04.44
6 Stephanie Charnigo New Jersey New York Track Club 2:05.28
7 Lindsey Schnell Brooks/Arizona Elite 2:06.50
8 Laura Januszewski Brooks 2:07

High Schooler Ajee Wilson Advances

Menís 800:
The favorites fared well in the menís 800 as werenít a lot of casualties as the top 7 seeds in the menís 800 all advanced to tomorrowís semi-final and 9 of the 12 who had run under 1:46.00 in the qualifying window. Details below.

Willie Brown was in the lead at 24.2 at 200 while pre-meet favorite Nick Symmonds was near last at 25.0.  But Symmonds moved into third at 350 meter as the early leader Brown and Tevan Everett went through 400 in 51.67.

At 600, David Pachuta of Minnesota had the lead at 1:19.3, with Symmonds right on his shoulder.  Looking around to make sure his position was secure, Symmonds asserted himself in the last 50 meters to take the win, as he pleased, in 1:46.94.   It appeared that Symmonds, Pachuta and Everett were well clear in the top three but Erick Sowinski came on well to catch Everett by .01, 1:47.30 - 1:47.31 at the line.  Everett tried not to coast in as he could sense Sowinski was coming on but he didnít lunge at the line and that cost him an automatic qualifying spot, but ultimately the 2009 NCAA runner-up would advance on time.

1 Nicholas Symmonds Nike / Oregon TC Elite 1:46.94 Q
2 David Pachuta Minnesota 1:47.14 Q
3 Erik Sowinski Iowa 1:47.30 Q
4 Tevan Everett New Jersey New York Track Club 1:47.31 q
5 Sharif Webb Unattached 1:47.86 q
6 Rob Novak N Y A C 1:47.97 q
7 Lance Roller Jr Virginia 1:48.67
8 Willie Brown Akron 1:51.33

Mr. Eugene Nick Symmonds



Ryan Martin of UCSB had a three step lead at 200, going through in 25.3.  The pack seemed to hold back and things were strung out at 400 as Martin went through 400 in 52.2.  With 300 to go, he still had a 10 meter lead on Jackson Langat.  Martin went through 600 in 1:18.5 and seemed to be tying up as he hit the Bowerman curve. Tyler Mulder closed extremely well to take first in 1:46.81 while Martin was able to hang on for second, just .11 back.  Mark Wieczorek who was way back on the first lap ran a strong second lap to move up for third in 1:47.05.  

2008 Olympian Christian Smith, who memorably dove at the line to earn a spot on the US Team four years ago, was sixth in 1:49.21.

1 Tyler Mulder Nike / Oregon TC Elite 1:46.81 Q
2 Ryan Martin U C S B 1:46.92 Q
3 Mark Wieczorek Unattached 1:47.05 Q
4 Brian Gagnon New Jersey New York Track Club 1:47.10 q
5 Brandon Johnson Unattached 1:48.82
6 Christian Smith Unattached 1:49.21
7 Benjamin Scheetz Unattached 1:49.42
8 Jackson Langat Unattached 1:49.47

2008 Olympian Christian Smith Bows Out

Mark Wieczorek Unsponsored And LRC Puma Faas Challenge Winner Advances

Ryan Martin Says He Has Something to Prove After NCAAs and to Treat the Semi as a Final


Penn Stateís Cas Loxsom and newly minted Nike runner Charles Jock (the 2012 NCAA Champion from UC Irvine) took the field through 200 in 25.3.  Jock looked very controlled in leading the field through 400 in 52.97 with Loxsom in close pursuit.

Loxsom tried to take the lead at 550 but Jock held him off, going through 600, still in first, in 1:20.3.  Jock looked very good, opening up his long stride in the final 100 meters to take first in a controlled 1:47.90.  World indoor finalist Michael Rutt closed very well on the outside in 1:47.99 while Michael Preble was third in 1:48.20.  Loxsom, who looked strong through 600, faded to 1:49.25.  

Another casualty from this heat was Richard Jones, the ninth seed entering the meet. Jones who had run 1:45.56 last year only had a seasonal best of 1:47.43.

Quick Take #1: Except for a Big 10 win and meet record, 2012 was certainly a disappointing year for Penn Stateís Cas Loxsom. Hopefully the former world junior bronze medallist gets his iron issues figured out and is a force in 2016.

1 Charles Jock Nike 1:47.90 Q
2 Michael Rutt New Jersey New York Track Club 1:47.99 Q
3 Michael Preble Texas A&M 1:48.20 Q
4 Richard Jones Santa Monica Track Club 1:48.29
5 Tetlo Emmen Unattached 1:48.46
6 Liam Boylan-Pett New Jersey New York Track Club 1:48.46
7 Casimir Loxsom Penn State 1:49.25
8 Christian Gonzalez New Jersey New York Track Club 1:49.32

New Nike Pro Charles Jock

Unsponsored Michael Rutt Says He Doesn't Mind Being Overlooked

2007 world championship team member Duane Solomon took the tightly bunched crew through in 25.0.  With 400 to go and runners four abreast, these runners seemed to be playing Russian Roulette with their advancement chances,  only going through in 52.6

Khadevis Robinson (ďKDĒ) took the lead at 500, hitting 600 at 1:19.6 and then cruised home in first with Oregon Duck Elijah Greer exciting the crowd by following him home over the last 200 to grab second in 1:47.42, just .12 behind Robinson as Solomon hung on for third in 1:47.91.  Despite knowing that a 1:47 would make it on time, no one advanced on time from this heat after the modest early pace.

Quick Take: Given his old proclivlity for front running, it was a bit surprising to see ďKDĒ sitting back in the pack. But what we really wanted to point out is how much better he looked in the first round this year than 4 years ago? Anyone besides us remember when he finished 6th in his heat and only ran 1:48.04?

1 Khadevis Robinson Nike 1:47.30 Q
2 Elijah Greer Oregon 1:47.42 Q
3 Duane Solomon Jr Saucony 1:47.91 Q
4 Joe Abbott Unattached 1:48.16
5 Harun Abda Minnesota 1:48.26
6 Andrew Dawson Unattached 1:48.35
7 Brandon Shaw Brooks / Evo Track Club 1:48.89
8 Patrick Roach S.W.I.F.T. Racing 1:50.11

Khadevis Robinson

Elijah Greer

Duane Solomon and American Record Holder Coach Johnny Gray



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