Morgan Uceny Powers Away From The Field Over The Last 600 To Win The Women's Olympic Trials 1500 Final

The Best Three 1500m Runners In The US Took The Top Three Spots

July 1, 2012

More: *Race Video

2011 World #1 Morgan Uceny powered away from the field on the final lap to win her second consecutive US Championship and make her first Olympic team. 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury edged reigning World Champion Jenny Simpson for second, as America's top three 1500m runners all booked their tickets to London.

The race featured five women who already had the Olympic "A" qualifying standard of 4:06.00, the top 3, 800m Olympian Alice Schmidt, and former sub 4:00 runner, Anna Pierce. The rest of the field needed to run under 4:06 and finish in the top 3 to go to London.

With that goal in mind, three time US champion Treniere Moser took the field out in 66.0. Brenda Martinez then took over and the pace lagged a bit as they went through 800m in 2:13.9. Uceny who had run from the front in her qualifying races, stalked the leader throughout, and then took the lead with 600 to go. At the bell, Uceny, Simpson and Rowbury quickened the pace and down the backstretch opened a lead on the field. The last 200m, Uceny would extend away for the win, and Rowbury would pass Simpson with 100m to go and hold on for second, as the top 3 in this one were clear cut.

Gabriele Anderson who needed the "A" standard was a distant fourth in 4:07.38 ahead of Uceny's training partner Anna Pierce in 4:07.78 as Sarah Bowman, who was in the mix throughout, finished sixth. Maggie Infeld was seventh and Alice Schmidt who frankly should not have been in the final was eighth.

Afterwards Uceny said the big goal was making sure she got in the top three. Once she felt she had that secured, her coach Terrence Mahon, gave her permission to go for the win. Uceny said, "Once I saw I had the top three I went for the win". And win she did inflicting pain on her rivals. Uceny said, "I like making other people hurt, I like making other people hurt a lot. I’m happy with the outcome."

She got the win and up next on the radar is London. "I haven’t been thinking about it too much because you can’t overlook something as big and important as the Olympic trials. I had to go through each round and now that I have and they are over I can’t wait to go to London and fight to get a gold for the USA," said Uceny.

Quick Take #1: Uceny seems to be getting sharper. In Oslo on Jue 7th, she ran 4:05 and closed in 61 mid. Today she ran 4:04 and almost broke 60 in her last lap - 60.14.

Quick Take #2: Watching this race shows us that Uceny is a master tactician. We noticed this in the Diamond League last year as she always positioned herself so she was where she needed to be with a lap to go. You never see her boxed in and trapped as Simpson was early in the race. Here, she sat in second and responded to those coming up from behind, making them go wide and keeping her place. If you haven't seen the race, watch it and pay attention as Simpson tries to pass her on the third lap. The only thing that could hurt her is that in international races things often get more physical and aggressive so we hope she's ready for some elbowing so she doesn't end up in a bush.

Quick Take #3: These three women are the three that should have made it. You have the 2011 world #1 in Uceny, the 2011 World champion in Simpson, and bronze medallist Rowbury. In the press conference, Rowbury even said, "If you had asked me beforehand I would have expected that if all went well that the three of us would be up here.".

Quick Take #4: Anna Pierce, one of the 5 with the "A", came on strong the last lap with a 62.45 to get 5th, but was never in contention to challenge the top 3. Still, she had a great comeback year as last year she didn't even break 4:10 while in 2012 she's ran 4:05.52 and finished 5th in the US Olympic Trials. Post race, she said, "All the work I did last year, even though I knew it wasn't going to show last year, it sucked. And all that work was towards this. And I felt like I have come a long way. But clearly I have a little more work to do." Hopefully she can run some good races in Europe this summer and take advantage of the fitness she has gained back.

Quick Take #5: In the last 100, both Uceny (once she realized she had it won) and Rowbury (once she knew she wasn't getting the win) didn't seem to be all out at the very end. Simpson on the other hand was flat out right up until the line trying to catch Rowbury. She doesn't seem as fit as the other two and at this point is a long shot to defend her world title. As she even said post-race, "Especially in the 15, really anything can happen. And I was the poster child for that last year and I know that ... the margin of error in the 15 is so small."

 1 Morgan Uceny  adidas 4:04.59
 2 Shannon Rowbury  Nike 4:05.11
 3 Jenny Simpson  New Balance 4:05.17
 4 Gabriele Anderson Brooks / Team USA Minnesota 4:07.38
 5 Anna Pierce Nike 4:07.78
 6 Sarah Bowman New Balance 4:08.25
 7 Margaret Infeld N Y A C 4:08.31
 8 Alice Schmidt Nike 4:09.64
 9 Katherine Mackey Brooks 4:11.46
 10 Nicole Schappert N Y A C 4:13.51
 11 Treniere Moser Nike 4:15.84
 12 Brenda Martinez New Balance 4:17.41
 13 Sara Vaughn Nike 4:30.89

*Race Splits

Post-Race Interviews:

US Trials Champion Morgan Uceny
"I went to Cornell where my freshman year I drank too much and gained 10 pounds and didn't get a varsity letter running ... And that really changed me. as a person because I knew that's not who I was."

Shannon Rowbury Still Dreams Of An Olympic Gold

Anna Pierce Has Came A Long Way In A Year But Not Far Away

Top 3  Press Conference

Brenda Martinez After A Disappointing Final



Race Details:
Women’s 1500 Final:
Three-time national champion Treniere Moser took the lead and the past was honest through 400 in 65.8.  Defending national champion Morgan Uceny was also out well and right behind in second.

Brenda Martinez moved up through the field and brought the field through in 2:13.9, still fast enough for the field to take a run at the A standard.  

Uceny, who stayed in the top three throughout, took the lead at 600 to go with 2011 World Champion Jenny Simpson and 2009 World Bronze Medalist Shannon Rowbury following right behind.  

The three separated from the pack as they crossed 1100 in 3:04.  At 1200, Uceny hit 3:19.5 with a 65.5 third 400 and then began pushing down on the accelerator.  By 150 to go, she had opened up a gap on her rivals and looked extremely smooth coming home for the victory and her first Olympic berth and an impressive final lap of 60.14

65.8 (Moser)
68.1 (Martinez, 2:13.9)
65.6 (Uceny, 3:19.5)
44.9 (Uceny, 4:04.59

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