Recap Of Day 3 Of 2012 NCAA Track & Field Championships: Cam Levins Becomes A Legend, Charles Jock Becomes A Champion, And Nachelle Mackie Remains Undefeated Against Collegians

Kipp Also Wins The Women's Steeple And Chanelle Price Finally PRs In Her Final Collegiate Race

By LetsRun.com with Tom Davis in Des Moines
June 8, 2012

The third day of the 2012 outdoor NCAA Track and Field championships in Des Moines did not disappoint for LetsRun.com mid-d and distance fans. In the 800, Charles Jock and Nachelle Mackie got the titles they so deserved after fighting off some spirted challengers, as Jock won for the first time and Mackie remained undefeated against collegians on the year; in the steeple, Colorado's Shalaya Kipp got a closer-than-expected victory; and then in the 5,000, Cam Levins became a legend by doing what he does best - obliterating the field over the final 150.

We recap it for you in the order that it occurred.

Men's 800 Final: Charles Jock Gets The NCAA Title He So Deserved

Last year, UC Irvine's Charles Jock did everything but win the NCAA men's 800 title as he led for the entire race except for the one meter that matters most - the last one - as Robby Andrews pipped him at the post and won in 1:44.71 to Jock's 1:44.75 in a truly legendary race. Jock would go on to make the World Championships team but he admitted that the loss stung him and he wanted to make amends for it this year (for a great piece on Jock talking about everything prior to the start of NCAAs, please click here).

Well, Jock got what he wanted on Friday night as he ended his NCAA career in style - with an NCAA title after a masterful job of frontrunning.

Under warm and breezy conditions, the race went off with a bang, as Jock, in typical fashion, took the field through 200 meters and 400 meters at 24.1 and 50.61 seconds, respectively. At this point, the main contenders stalked Jock in a big group, with Elijah Greer (Oregon) and Erik Sowinski (Iowa) leading the charge. Jock's Big West 800 rival Ryan Martin was surprisingly back in 6th at the 400 (51.55). As the runners approached the start of the final turn, Greer (who had been running 2-3 meters behind Jock most of the race) made a big move and tried to challenge Jock for the lead but Jock never let him get around. Just after Greer's move, Georgia's Aaron Evans, who had been last at 400, made a really strong push on the outside to put himself in contention.

With 100 meters to go, Jock still led but it now was Sowinski, who hadn't made a bunch of early moves but now was seemingly feeding off the roar of the Iowa crowd, that was making a strong push for glory. But there was no doubt who was the best guy over the final 80 meters in this one. Jock had saved something for the end and he powered away for the victory in 1:45.59 as Sowinski edged a game Greer for 2nd (1:45.90 to 1:46.05) as Ryan Martin moved up late to get 4th in 1:46.20.

 After winning, Jock admitted once again that last year's agonizing loss at the line to Robby Andrews motivated him a great deal.

"It feels like redemption. I've played that video so many times - it must be 20 times this week. I came into this race focused," said Jock.

When asked about how he felt coming into the race, he explained "I was a little nervous before the race, but I knew I had it in myself to win. I've run the 800 so many times, instincts just took over." And when asked about extra motivation and him being a refugee from Sudan, Jock said, "When I run I know I couldn't be here without the sacrifices my parents and family have made."

Jock also told the television reporter trackside, " It feels great. The plan was to come out to break everybody that first lap."

LetsRun.com (LRC) Quick Take (QT): This was the victory probably everyone but the Iowans and parents, friends and coaches of the other runners in the field wanted.

QT #2: We always say you only have one move in the 800 so use it wisely (meaning use it in the last 150 of an elite 800) and that clearly was the case tonight. Greer gamely tried to get the lead from Jock before 600. When he did that, we honestly thought he'd fade way back but he deserves a lot of props for holding onto third as Georgia's Evans ended up fading way back to 7th in 1:46.66 after his big move. Evans is definitely better than the 7th best guy in this field, but not when you run like a novice. Last at the bell but nearly first just after 600 - there went his race.

More: MB Charles Jock Wire to Wire!!!! *Lananna Blames Himself For Elijah Greer's Loss*After tonite I'm predicting Jock, Martin, Primm will be the US Men's 800 Meter team for London 2012

Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time
1 Charles Jock SR UC Irvine 01:45.59
2 Erik Sowinski SR Iowa 01:45.90
3 Elijah Greer JR Oregon 01:46.05
4 Ryan Martin SR UC Santa Barbara 01:46.20
5 Edward Kemboi SO Iowa State 01:46.20
6 Ricky West JR Missouri 01:46.47
7 Aaron Evans SR Georgia 01:46.66
8 Samuel Ellison SO Villanova 01:47.62

*View Splits

Women's 800 Nachelle Mackie Remains Undefeated Against Collegians As Chanelle Price Goes Out With A Gutsy PR

Coming into the race, the field featured an outstanding group of athletes, including a matchup between last years champion in Oregon's Anne Kesselring and indoor champion and 2012 NCAA leader Nachelle Mackie of BYU. And like the men's race, the eventual winner, Mackie, did almost all of the work. After taking the lead shortly into the race, Mackie pulled the field through 400 meters in a very fast 57.77 seconds, with Tennessee's Chanelle Price, the one of 2:01.66 high school fameright behind, and Kesselring almost a full second behind (58.58) towards the very back of the pack. With 200 meters remaining, Price and Mackie had separated themslves from the others and it looked to be a two-person battle for glory. Price made her move, looking as though she might pass Mackie on the outside for the win. Could it possibly be that Price, who came into college as one of the most hyped recruits in recent memory thanks to her 2:01.61 PR, was actually going to get the storybook ending to her so far NCAA title-less career?

Price tried her best and pulled up directly besides Mackie about 680 meters into the race but no one was beating Mackie tonight as Mackie was able to hold her off and remain undefeated at 800 meters to collegians. In the homestretch, the fast 57.77 opening lap started to hit Mackie and she started to tie up mightily in the last 50. Was she cratering? Yes, but the hot early pace seemed to hit everyone else as well. Thus, while LSU's Charlene Lipsey made up some ground, in the end, Mackie ended up with a comfortable victory in 2:01.06 to Lipsey's 2:01.40 and Price's 2:01.49 as the top three all PRed.

The Oregon runners in Laura Roesler and Kesselring were fourth and fifth but way back (2:02.96 and 2:03.41).

When Mackie was asked why she took the lead so promptly, which many would have expected Price to do given the fact Price almost always leads, Mackie responded, "I don't usually like to lead. I thought (Chanelle) Price would lead. At the turn it started getting clumpy and I did not want to get trapped in lane two. When she let me take the lead, I had to rethink my race. I had to think mentally because I expected to be behind."

When asked if she thought she could maintain her lead down the homestretch, she said, "All I know is my legs were tightening up, so I was hoping I didn't fall. I didn't know where they were, but when I saw the times I knew they had to be right on my tail."

LRC QT: Mackie undefeated against collegians on the year. Enough said.

QT #2: It took a long, long time, but Chanelle Price finally beat her HS PR tonight. She deserves a lot of credit for remaining dedicated to the sport for all four years even though she probably wasn't living up to the expectations many had for her coming into college. She also deserves a lot of credit for really going for it tonight.

QT #3: Mackie talked about how Price let her have the lead early on. That may have been true, but it also may have been that Mackie was just super-excited and went out really fast. How much faster could Price have possibly gone out, as she went out in 57.97?

QT#4: Given how fast the first lap was, we thought defending champ Anne Kesselring of Oregon was in a decent spot at 400. She was way back at the bell but saving ground on the rail, and given the fast early pace, we thought she might mow down a lot of the people in the field but that didn't come close to happening.

QT#5: TFN projected Oregon to get 13 in this event - they only got 9.

More: MB Where is the love for the women's 800 runner's Mackie & Price?

Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time     Pts        
 1 Nachelle Mackie JR BYU 2:01.06     10         
 2 Charlene Lipsey JR LSU 2:01.40            
 3 Chanelle Price SR Tennessee 2:01.49            
 4 Laura Roesler SO Oregon 2:02.96            
 5 Anne Kesselring JR Oregon 2:03.41            
 6 Kathy Klump SR Cincinnati 2:03.56            
 7 Megan Malasarte SO Georgia 2:03.57            
 8 Caroline King SR Boston College 2:05.77            

*View Splits

Women's Steeple: Favorite Kipp Overcomes Doubts And Comes Through In The End

The final of the women's steeple wound up playing out a little bit differently than would have been thought, as Colorado's Shalaya Kipp, the NCAA leader and pre-race favorite, whose best time was almost 10 seconds better than the second seed, did not establish herself as the winner until the last steps of the race.

Kipp and Florida senior Genevieve LaCaze traded off the lead for much of the race, clicking off consistent 78-second laps. With three laps to go, Kipp and LaCaze were still running one-two, with Astrid Leutert of Florida State and Alexi Pappas of Dartmouth right behind. At this point the field began to spread out and it became a race for the top spots.

With 600 meters to go, LaCaze, who came into the race with a seasonal best of 9:55.4, began to push the pace and gained a slight lead over Kipp. Kipp was not to be broken, though, and she made her decisive move down the homestretch. The last 100 meters of the race saw Kipp and LaCaze clearing the final barrier at almost the exact same time, but it would be Kipp who sprinted away for the win, adding to Colorado's steeplechase dominance as her teammate Emma Coburn won last year and Jenny (Barringer) Simpson won in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Kipp won in 9:49.02 to LaCaze's second-place time of 9:50.25. The battle for the next spots was also close, as Pappas got third, Leutert fourth, and Colleen Quigley, a freshman from Florida State, finished in fifth.

Kipp admitted that she had some doubts during the race when she could not shake LaCaze, "I started doubting myself," she said. "Luckily in the last 200 I found something."

Kipp did not go into college with dreams of being a top steeplechaser, but she definitely picked the right school for her apparent talents. "I didn't even know what the steeple was," she said, explaining that coach Mark Wetmore pulled her aside one day at practice. Kipp said it helps a lot to have such good steeplechase coaches, calling Wetmore and Heather Burroughs "fantastic." She said she and defending NCAA champion Coburn practice the event together and that having Coburn as a training partner is a huge boost to confidence and skill

This marks Kipp's first national title and she was obviously pleased to have won.

"(It) feels pretty good, I've been thinking about it for a long time ... you dream about it in high school and every day in the summer. When you actually do it, it's better than you thought."

For the event overall, she said, "From the beginning of the race, I went up to the front. I had my plan. I wasn't behind anyone so it wasn't blind to me. I didn't want any mishaps, to fall over a barrier or something. I had clear water jumps, so that was nice. Then about 800 meters to go Genevieve LaCaze came upon me, and she overtook the lead. I started to doubt myself. I wasn't sure if I could hold on, but with about 200 meters left I found something in me and was able to kick it home to the finish. You always want to be able to kick over that last barrier. You watch so many falls when people hit it. So we do a lot in practice and it paid off today."

QT#1: Kipp's final lap was 72.12 as compared to LaCaze's 73.16.

More: MB Charles Jock Wire to Wire!!!!

 Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time
1 Shalaya Kipp JR Colorado 09:49.02
2 Genevieve LaCaze SR Florida 09:50.25
3 Alexi Pappas SR Dartmouth 10:01.20
4 Astrid Leutert SR Florida State 10:02.07
5 Colleen Quigley FR Florida State 10:05.61
6 Melanie Thompson SO Oregon 10:07.18
7 Alyssa Kulik SR Clemson 10:07.54
8 Rebeka Stowe SR Kansas 10:12.16
9 Kimber Mattox SR Oregon 10:15.16
10 Shelby Greany SO Providence 10:19.54
11 Amber Henry JR Weber State 10:26.53
12 Nicole Peters SR Colorado St. 10:46.10
13 Genna Hartung JR Cornell 10:52.12
 DNF Leah O'Connor FR Michigan State  

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Men's 5,000: Cam Levins Becomes A Legend

All eyes were on Southern Utah's Cam Levins this evening as he looked to complete the 5k/10k double at the NCAA national championships. After winning the 10k two nights ago, Levins had a full day of rest before attempting the double that only Galen Rupp has achieved in recent years.

And Levins did not disappoint, as he did exactly what he did in the 10,000 - use a sensational last lap and really fast last 150 to blow away the field - to earn the victory. In the 10,000, he closed in 58.06. Well, tonight he closed in 54.29. Well done, my friend. You have catapulted yourself into
NCAA legend status (MB: Cam Levins: 28:07, 13:40 double wins at NCAA's - who's done better in NCAA history?).

For most of the race, Levins ran in the middle of the pack, as Arizona teammates Stephen Sambu and Lawi Lalang traded off the lead in the opening laps. At 1,600 meters, passed in a conservative 4:28, Lalang, Sambu, Mohammed Ahmed (Wisconsin) and Paul Chelimo (UNC-Greensboro), who came into the meet with the #3 seed time behind Levins and Lalang at 13:21.89, were running in the front, with the rest of the field strung out behind.

About six minutes into the race, Lalang, who we learned has been hampered by an injured hamstring, sharply dropped from second to seventh, as teammate Sambu shifted gears with a 65-second lap. This is where Levins began to move from mid-pack to the front and the other runners began separating into groups. Also around this point, Lalang moved back into the front group, where he composed himself before re-taking the lead at the 10-minute mark.

With two laps remaining, there was a solid group of nine runners at the front thanks to a slowdown from 66-second 400s to 68-second 400s after 3,200 meters (leaders went through 3,200 in 8:51-ish), but even so, no one seemed ready to make a break for the tape and when the runners hit the bell, there were still 7 guys within .65 of the lead, as the next-to-last lap was run in a modest 65 seconds. Just before the bell, as Levins ran down the home straightway for the penultimate time, he made his first major move of the race, moving up onto the shoulder of Sambu, prompting the top four to significantly increase pace. In the last 200 meters, it was only Levins and Chelimo racing for the championship, with the two running stride-for-stride right until the final 50 or so meters, when Levins used his 160-miles-a-week strength to find that extra gear and pull away for his second national title of the meet in 13:40.05.

Levins closed his final lap in an impressive 54.29 seconds, with most of that speed coming from the final 150 meters, but he needed nearly all of that as Chelimo himself closed in an impressive 54.89 to finish in 13:41.04. After Chelimo, there were a group of finishers battling it out for All-American status, with Lalang taking third place, Hassan Mead (Minnesota) in fourth, Sambu in fifth, and Trevor Dunbar (Oregon) in sixth.

Lalang, who is also running the 1,500-meter final tomorrow, said that he was very pleased with his race given his recent injury. The trials for the 1,500 were run two days ago, but Lalang said he did not feel any fatigue in his legs and that he just gave it all that he had on the last lap.

In his last championship running for Southern Utah, Levins definitively established himself as a dominating force, and showed once again that his finishing kick produces results. An elated Levins said that he had "heavyish" legs from the 10k and that he focused on recovering as best he could between the two races. Throughout the season, Levins said that he saw the result playing out like it did and he said, "I felt if I didn't do it, it was my own fault for caving under the pressure."

As for tonight's race, Levins said, "I was just aiming to sprint, basically. I was waiting for someone to make a move on me. I didn't quite do it at 200, and then Paul Chelimo came up on me and I'm like 'Okay, I have to go,' you know, he's going to get by me and have the advantage entering the final 100 meters, so I just held him off and gave whatever I could on the final 100 meters."

Levins is known for his hard work through his 160-mile weeks, often doing triple-run days, and he was kind enough to give us a few specifics about his progression in training and how it has affected his performances. "Each year I just look to build more and more mileage," he said. As of last year, he was running in the 120-130 mile per week range, which he remarked is a lot. However, he went on to say, "Coming into my final season, I felt like 'okay, I better risk it and see what happens.'" This prompted him to put in consistent 160-mile weeks through the cross-country season.

With his increase in mileage has also come a significant increase in fitness and ability: "I feel like I can just do workouts hard over and over again," said Levins. He is not a slave to the numbers, though, and says that he is very good at reading his body and knowing when to take it easy. "When I'm dead tired, I'm like 'okay, just take the day off.' If I have 110 miles with a day to go, I don't go out the door and run 50 miles."

Levins' next goal is to make the finals of the 5k at this summer's Olympic Games. At that point his goal is to "Compete with those guys. If it blows up in my face, so be it," citing that he will hopefully have many more opportunities to compete on the world stage in coming years. Levins, equipped with his powerful closing speed, is not afraid of competing against the best in the world, saying, "I'll just do my best to compete against anybody." This mindset and work ethic has turned Levins into a rare champion.

QT#1: After Levins' 10,000 dominance, we here at LetsRun.com knew who was going to win the 5,000, as shown by this thread: I don't get ESPN3 at home - someone let me know when Cam Levins wins.

QT#2: People are comparing Levins to the last man to complete the 5/10 double at NCAAs, Galen Rupp, and for good reason (MB: Would Rupp have won the 5k today?), as Levins was incredible this year and Rupp was incredible at NCAAs in 2009. Does anyone besides us remember that Rupp closed the 5,000 in 4:00.08, including with a 1:54.30 last 800?

More: MB: Cam Levins: 28:07, 13:40 double wins at NCAA's - who's done better in NCAA history? *Where did Cam Levins come from? *Levins moving to another level ...wait for NCAA *LEVINS CLOSES IN 54.5


 Place Athlete Name Yr Affiliation Time     Pts        
 1 Cameron Levins SR Southern Utah 13:40.05     10         
 2 Paul Chelimo SO UNC-Greensboro 13:41.04            
 3 Lawi Lalang SO Arizona 13:42.20            
 4 Hassan Mead SR Minnesota 13:42.53            
 5 Stephen Sambu SR Arizona 13:43.76            
 6 Trevor Dunbar SO Oregon 13:44.16            
 7 Mohammed Ahmed SO Wisconsin 13:50.32            
 8 Girma Mecheso JR Oklahoma State 13:57.08            
 9 George Alex SR Oklahoma 13:57.84              
 10 Parker Stinson SO Oregon 13:58.28              
 11 Dan Lowry SR Brown 14:00.04              
 12 Mitch Goose SR Iona 14:02.53              
 13 Brendan Gregg SR Stanford 14:03.29              
 14 Joe Stilin SR Princeton 14:03.76              
 15 Chris Kwiatkowski SR Oregon 14:05.38              
 16 Soufiane Bouchikhi JR Eastern Kentucky 14:08.68              
 17 David Rooney JR McNeese State 14:09.95              
 18 Sandy Roberts SR North Carolina St. 14:10.92              
 19 Ben Hubers SR Indiana 14:13.80              
 20 Dan Quigley JR Missouri 14:17.71              
 21 William Mulherin JR Virginia Tech 14:30.11              
 22 Terefe Ejigu JR Eastern Michigan 14:34.09              
 23 Joseph Chebet JR Western Kentucky 14:36.48              
 24 Bobby Moldovan SR North Carolina St. 14:44.62              

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