LetsRun.com's Recap Of Women's Races At 2012 USATF Occidental High Performance Meet
May 19, 2012
The women's action at the 2012 USATF Occidental High Performance meet confirmed what we already knew - the US women's 1,500 team is going to be very hard to make (world #1 Morgan Uceny was beaten and world champion Jenny Simpson ran 2 seconds slower than she did last year), Deena Kastor is very tough and still motivated at age 39, and Bridget Franek, Lisa Uhl and Jackie Areson are all in good form.
1,500 Heat 1: World #1 Morgan Uceny Gets Surprised By Gabriele Anderson
The race was going perfectly to script after opening splits of 67.7, 2:14.6 and 3:19 (3:03.6 for 1,100), as world #1 Morgan Uceny went to the lead with 160 meters to go and seemed to be pulling away as the runners entered the homestretch. But Uceny's last 50 left a little something to be desired and Gabriele Anderson came on really strong over the last 30 meters and seemingly stole the race as she nipped Uceny at the line.
"I'm a little speechless. This is my season debut (at 1,500). I just came here to get the wheels turning," said Anderson after the race.
LRC Analysis: No reason for Uceny fans to be too worried. Last year, Uceny didn't win a race until USAs.
But this is a big boost for Anderson, who ran 4:06.77 at the end of last year but only 4:12 in May. Don't know Anderson? Read her bio here or our praise for her in 2010. She's a cancer survivor who was the NCAA runner-up in 2010.
Section 1 1 Gabriele Anderson Brooks 4:06.46 2 Morgan Uceny adidas 4:06.52 3 Katie Mackey Brooks 4:06.67 4 Hilary Stellingwerff Speed River TC 4:07.64 5 Nicole Schappert New York AC 4:07.79 6 Brie Felnagle adidas 4:08.80 7 Marina Muncan New Balance 4:09.06 8 Elizabeth Maloy New Balance 4:09.64 9 Treniere Moser Nike 4:10.79 10 Lea Wallace Nike 4:12.87
Last Lap or Full Race of Anderson Catching Uceny
Heat 2: Shannon Rowbury Holds Off A Fast-Closing Anna Pierce
A strange race for sure.
No one wanted to go with rabbit Kate Grace for the first 200 but then Brenda Martinez decided she'd get on Grace's shoulder. When Grace heard 66.5 at 400, she accelerated and Martinez went with her. They ended up getting a huge lead on the field - at least 15 meters. But once Grace stepped off after a 63 second 400, Martinez was in the DMZ and she'd quickly be swallowed up by early 2012 US leader at 5,000, Julia Lucas, with 450 meters remaining.
Lucas would hit 1,200 in 3:16. On the backstretch, 2009 World Championships bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury, who was in third about 7 or 8 meters back, started to move up and she'd take the lead on the final turn. An easy victory for Rowbury? Not so fast.
The resurgent Anna Pierce was coming on very fast. She was way back in 6th with 200 remaining but mowing down people with each step. In the end, Rowbury would hold on for a narrow victory in 4:05.92 to Pierce's 4:06.11. The Olympic "A" is of course 4:06.00 (Rowbury already had it - Pierce does not).
Afterwards, Rowbury was happy to have gotten the win. "I'm excited how it turned out. I was happy I was able to close the last 100. It's a good start," said Rowbury. "My goal (tonight) was to win. So mission accomplished. I'm pleased I ran so fast today going out relaxed and just closing."
LRC Analysis: Pierce has little reason to be worried in our minds about not having the A. Her blazing last 200 might make Trials favorites like Uceny and Rowbury a bit nervous as there was no doubt as to who had the best last 100 meters in all of the heats tonight - Pierce.
WIth better pacing, we'd be surprised if Martinez (who fell back in the pack but surged back for 3rd) doesn't get the "A" as well.
Section 2 1 Shannon Rowbury Nike 4:05.92 2 Anna Pierce Nike 4:06.11 3 Brenda Martinez New Balance 4:06.96 4 Julia Lucas Nike O T C 4:07.23 5 Sara Vaughn Nike 4:08.34 6 Phoebe Wright Nike 4:08.72 7 Emma Coburn Unattached 4:09.42 8 Maggie Infeld NYAC-Nike 4:09.76 9 Nicole Sifuentes Saucony 4:09.80 10 Natalja Piliusina Oklahoma St 4:13.95 11 Heidi Dahl New Balance 4:17.06 12 Lauren Bonds adidas Raleigh TC 4:20.56
Last Lap or Full Race of Rowbury's Win
Section 3 1 Kim Conley SRA Elite 4:14.00 2 Kate Van Buskirk Canada 4:14.13 3 Renee Tomlin Nike 4:14.92 4 Julia Kawamoto Canada 4:15.47 5 Amy Mortimer-Garman Saucony 4:15.78 6 Lauren Centrowitz New Balance 4:15.94 7 Amanda Dunne Unattached 4:16.05 8 Dawn Grunnagle Nike O T C 4:16.30 9 Annick Lamar New York AC 4:17.71 10 Dacia Perkins adidas/Rogue AC 4:18.98 11 Carmen Husser New Balance 4:21.36 12 Ashley Hinther Canada 4:34.31
Women's 5,000 - Deena Kastor Does All The Work
In the end, the results of this race show it to have been a repeat of the first Stanford 5,000, where Jackie Areson got the best of Lisa Uhl at the end. However, that wasn't the whole story as at least this time Uhl go the "A" standard of 15:20.
This race really to us was all about the continued return of Deena Kastor to the track. The 39-year-old ended up third in just over 15:23 as she was only able to close in 2:28.3, but she did ALL of the work after the rabbits were done and looked good in our minds.
LRC Comment: There is no doubt that Steve Prefontaine would probably be turning over in his grave if he could see this race, as Areson and Uhl did nothing but sit on Kastor. Yes, that's racing, but this race is all about getting the "A" so it would have been nice to see them help out. But Kastor will race the 10 at the Trials anyway, so it doesn't matter too much.
Finals 1 Jackie Areson Nike 15:14.31 2 Lisa Uhl Nike O T C 15:15.22 3 Deena Kastor Asics 15:23.51 4 Liz Costello Tennessee AC 15:45.11 5 Tarah McKay-Korir Canada 15:57.39 6 Sarah Porter Zap Fitness 15:59.95 7 Melissa Cook Unattached 16:07.01 8 Kaitlin Gregg N B Silicon Vlly 16:12.48 9 Annie Bersagel N B Silicon Vlly 16:17.07 10 Kristen Rohde Unattached 16:18.85 11 Blake Russell Reebok 16:25.49 12 Monica Kinney Unattached 17:04.77
3:05 for 1k
6:10 for 2k
9:12 for 3k - only three are left
12:17 for 4k
12:54 for 4,200
74.66 for Kastor
73.68 for Kastor
Last 500 or Full Race of Women's 5000
Women's 800: No One Gets The Olympic A Of 1:59.90
The first 700 featured Olympian Alice Schmidt and Erica Moore, who won a bronze medal at the World Indoors, in the top 2 spots as they went through 400 in 58.3. At 700, Moore started to fade and 2008 and 2009 NCAA champion Geena Gall started to make her presence felt as she moved up and powered away from Schmidt over the last 50.
Section 1 1 Geena Gall Nike O T C 2:00.44 2 Alice Schmidt Nike 2:00.79 3 Kate Grace N J-N Y TC 2:01.63 4 Nachelle Mackie BYU 2:01.84 5 Neisha Bernard adidas 2:01.91 6 Laura Januszewski Brooks 2:02.49 7 Christina Rodgers Unattached 2:03.32 8 Erica Moore Nike 2:03.55
Heat 2 - Molly Beckwith Wins As Jenny Simpson Runs 2:03.49
Molly Beckwith, who ran 1:59.51 in Doha last week, went out hard today and tied up but still hung on for the victory in 2:01.24. The opening splits of 27.3 and 57.6 were quick.
World 1,500 champion Jenny Simpson, who ran 2:01.20 here last year, ended up sixth in 2:03.49. She went through 400 maybe a second back in about 58.6.
Beckwith: "I decided to go out as fast as I've even gone out before and see what happened. My coach said, 'Why don't you go 57 pace for as long as you can until you hit the wall?'"
LRC Analysis: It's hard to read too much into this race for Simpson as she's definitely not an 800 runner and the early pace was so hot.
Section 2 1 Molly Beckwith Unattached 2:01.24 2 Lemlem Ogbasilassie Canada 2:01.53 3 Jessica Smith Valley Royals 2:01.79 4 Jemma Simpson Nike O T C 2:02.18 5 LaTavia Thomas Nike 2:02.21 6 Jenny Simpson New Balance 2:03.49 7 Lindsey Schnell Unattached 2:04.93 8 Stephanie Charnigo N J-N Y TC 2:06.70
Section 3 - Katie Palmer Wins
In a battle of two Canadians, NCAA third placer from indoors, Katie Palmer, who is redshirting for BYU, outdueled two-time World Championships finalist Diane Cummings over the final 100 to get a narrow victory in a new PR of 2:02.77 to Cummings' 2:02.82. The 2:02.82 represents the best time for the 38-year-old Cummings since 2010 when she ran 2:00.08.
The pace was 28 for 200 for the pack, 58.6 for 400, and 1:31 for 600. Three-time Olympian Hazel Clark was a no-show.
Section 3 1 Katie Palmer BYU TC 2:02.77 2 Diane Cummins Mountain West 2:02.82 3 Bethany Praska Unattached 2:04.12 4 Kimarra McDonald Tennessee AC 2:04.45 5 Annie LeBlanc Canada 2:04.55 6 Leanna Maclean Canada 2:04.66 7 Lyndsay Harper Unattached 2:05.02
Women's Steeple Fast Heat - Bridget Franek Is The Class Of The Field
Bridget Franek was the class of the field and the victory was really never in doubt over the second half of the race.
The Olympic "A" is 9:46.00, which Franek (and Delilah DiCrescenzo, who was 4th, and Sara Hall, who was 7th) already had.
Fast Heat Women's Steeple 1 Bridget Franek Oregon TC 9:41.96 2 Ashley Higginson Saucony 9:46.83 3 Beverly Ramos New Balance 9:47.47 4 Delilah DiCrescenzo Puma 9:47.50 5 Stephanie Reilly Ireland 9:54.55 6 Lisa Aguilera Nike 9:54.77 7 Sara Hall Asics 9:57.60 8 Shayla Houlihan Brooks 10:03.95 9 Genevieve Lalonde Speed River TC 10:09.10 10 Kara Thorne adidas/Rogue AC 10:09.43 11 Chantelle Groenewoud Unattached 10:12.69 12 Nicole Bush New Balance 10:19.08
Jamie Cheever was pumped to get an automatic qualifer for the Trials in 9:52.15 as her previous PR was 10:02.
Slow Heat Women's Steeple 1 Jamie Cheever Mammoth TC 9:52.15 2 Bethany Nickless Run Racing 9:59.81 3 Dana Buchanan Speed River TC 10:02.99 4 Lois Keller Club Northwest 10:03.42 5 Mary Goldkamp RC Elite 10:04.03 6 Fiona Crombie Unattached 10:04.51 7 Maggie Callahan Tucson Intrnl 10:10.33 8 Milly Clark Australia 10:13.73 9 Lydia Willemse Speed River TC 10:15.61 10 Andrea Parker RGF Sports 10:16.38 11 Meredith MacGregor Speed River TC 10:21.08 12 Leonora Petrina Saucony 10:25.35 13 Jacqui Wentz Raiၤha 10:45.79 14 Jane Rudkin Bowerman Ath Club 10:47.99 -- Rolanda Bell Tennessee AC DNF
Editor's Note: The quotes for this article came from two sources - the post-race interviews that the meet announcer did with the top finishers as well as the interviews that flotrack did with the top finishers on their live stream. For nearly every race, the meet announce would interview someone and then they flotrack people would follow up with a more in depth interview. We jotted down the most interesting things from these interviews.