2011 USATF Indoors: Leo Manzano Edges Centrowitz, Jenny Simpson Completes The Double, Brenda Martinez Is For Real

By Ben Fletcher for LetsRun.com
February 26, 2012

On Sunday, the men's and women's 1,500m were the highlights of the distance action at the 2012 USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Recap of Sunday's distance races below. Day 1: USATF Indoor Men's 3k: Lagat, Lomong Crush Rupp

Men's 1,500m: Leo Manzano Edges Centro As Rupp Makes A Run For It

The third edition of the 1,500m/mile race in Albuquerque featured the 2010 and 2011 Champions, Leo Manzano and Jeff See, taking on the freshly-minted pro and 2011 World 1,500m Bronze Medallist, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. Other top runners included former Stanford teammates Garret Heath and Russell Brown. Added to the mix was Galen Rupp, looking to redeem himself after he failed to qualify for Worlds in the 3,000m on day one. The blue ribbon event would prove to the biggest crowd pleaser of the day.

As the gun cracked, it was the young Centrowitz hesitantly settling into the pole position. He carried the pack through in a pedestrian first quarter in 65.94, perhaps cognizant of the moderate 5,000ft altitude. At 400m, Centrowitz was followed closely by See and Brown, with the rest of the pack tightly bunched. The pace continued to lag as Garrett Heath took over just before 800m in 2:11.77. Jeff See maintained contact, with Manzano and Rupp hot on his tail. Those four would jostle until Rupp took the lead just before 1,100m, with Garrett Heath attempting to hold him off in the process. It seemed Rupp was making an all-out bid for home, attempting to run the kick out of the rest of the stellar field. Just after 1,300m, the close-knit pace saw See tumble to the ground. He popped up immediately, but at that point the three behind Rupp broke away and it would stay that way until the final straight. Rupp continued to press, running all-out, with Manzano and Centrowitz staying on his shoulder until the last bend before making their final push for home. The smooth-running Centrowitz passed Rupp first on the final straight, but 2010 champ Manzano was kicking hard on his outside. He passed Centro just before the line to get the win in 3:48.05, with his final circuit timed at 26.74. He was followed by Centrowitz in 3:48.16 and Rupp in 3:48.44.

Rupp may not be going to the World Indoor Champs, but he did win $25,000 as the winner of the Visa Championships series for his 2-mile American record in Arkansas. He spoke after winning the Visa crown and said this to USATF, "It was a little bit of a tough weekend, but this isn't a bad consolation prize. I had no idea I was in the running until after Fayetteville. I just couldn't believe it. I was just focused on running fast and doing what I needed to do, and it was a nice bonus. I'll be taking my wife out to a nice diner tonight." (Interview via Runnerspace below)

 1 Leonel Manzano   Nike 3:48.05            
 2 Matthew Centrowitz   Nike 3:48.16            
 3 Galen Rupp   Nike 3:48.44            
 4 Garrett Heath   Saucony 3:49.59            
 5 Brian Gagnon   New Jersey New York TC 3:52.81            
 6 Carlos Jamieson   Central Park TC-New Balance 3:54.25            
 7 Jeff See   Saucony 3:54.54            
 8 John Sullivan   New Balance Silicon Valley 3:55.00            
 9 Owen Dawson   unattached 3:55.25            
 10 Russell Brown   Oregon TC Elite/Nike 3:56.62            
 DNS Christian Gonzalez   New Jersey New York TC              
 DNS Liam Boylan-Pett   New Jersey New York TC

Splits Here

Leo After The Win

Centro Jr After Runner-Up Finish


Galen Rupp After Winning the $25,000 Visa Championships Series

Women's 1,500m: Simpson Completes The Double, Martinez Impresses

Fresh from her 3,000m win on Saturday, World 1,500m gold medallist Jennifer Simpson took to the line in her main event, the 1,500m. Other contenders, former UC Riverside standout Brenda Martinez and Colorado Buffalo Sara Vaughn, challenged Simpson in the second section of the two-heat final.

It was Vaughn who grabbed the early lead, with Simpson and Martinez stalking off her shoulder. Simpson eventually took over at the half, which was reached in an honest 2:19.74. In similar fashion to the 3,000m the day before, Simpson slowly turned on the heat the final 800. She ran the penultimate lap in 32.5 before ripping her final circuit (30.58).  Simpson appeared to have the race in the bag with 100m left as she was kicking fast and had a 5-7 meter lead on Martinez, who got boxed in and was only 4th at the bell behind Simpson, Vaughn and former basketball player Lauren Johnson. However, Martinez made it a very interesting finish, closing like a rocket and chasing down Simpson to the line. Simpson had just enough to edge Martinez 4:15:04 to 4:15.11. Sarah Vaughn closed out the top three with a 4:18.25, which more-than-likely will see her named to the US team if Simpson chooses not to go to Turkey.

It was the second straight year Simpson successfully did the 1,500-3,000 double at indoors. Brenda Martinez made her first USA National team. Afterwards, Simpson said to RRW, "I didn't hear her, but you know when you hear that something's going on and so you don't shut it down. I didn't necessarily know she was right there."

For more on the interesting story of Johnson, click here.

 1 Jennifer Simpson   New Balance 4:15.04  
 2 Brenda Martinez   New Balance 4:15.11  
 3 Sara Vaughn   unattached 4:18.25  
 4 Lauren Johnson   unattached 4:19.30  
 5 Lauren Centrowitz   New Balance 4:20.35  
 6 Sara Hall   Asics 4:21.64  
 7 Katherine Follett   unattached 4:22.43  
 8 Lauren Bonds   adidas Raleigh TC 4:23.51  
 9 Margaret Infeld   New York AC 4:28.14  
 10 Nicole Schappert   New York AC 4:29.97  

Splits Here

Jenny After The Double

Brenda Martinez


Men's 800m: Duane Solomon Goes Wire-To-Wire

With 800m stars Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson skipping indoors, it was an opportunity for a new name to step forward.

Duane Solomon made the most of it as he went wire-to-wire for the win here.

Solomon went through 200m in 25.83 and 400m in 54.30. Tevan Everett hung close until 300m to go. Solomon hit the bell in 1:22.91 and powered away to a dominating victory of 1.32 in 1:48.58. Michael Rutt of the New Jersey New York Track Club grabbed the 2nd and final spot for a chance to represent the US in Istanbul. Rutt turned in a 1:49.90 just ahead of Mark Wieczorek.

Editor's note: Duane Solomon talks about going to Istanbul (where Worlds are in the video below) but neither he nor Mark Wieczorek have run under the 1:48.00 Worlds standard. So Michael Rutt and Tevan Everett are going to Worlds.

1 Duane Solomon   Saucony 1:48.58            
 2 Michael Rutt   New Jersey New York TC 1:49.90            
 3 Mark Wieczorek   unattached 1:49.96            
 4 Tevan Everett   New Jersey New York TC 1:50.02            
 5 Christian Gonzalez   New Jersey New York TC 1:50.04            
 6 Kevin Hicks   Self Esteem Through Athletics 1:50.12

Splits Here

Duane Solomon

Women's 800m: Erica Moore Dominates Her More Heralded Training Partner Wright

Like her male counterpart Duane Solomon, Nike's Erica Moore (a former hurdler who ran 2:00.17 last year) led from the gun to capture the Women's 800m Championship. Moore hit the first 200m in 28.88, before reaching the half in a respectable 58.78. She was followed closely through 600m by Latavia Thomas and training partner Phoebe Wright, with Wright eventually overtaking Thomas. But it was Erica Moore who launched a strong kick with 150m to go to just blow away the field, giving her the dominant win in 2:01.08, by far the quickest 800m in the US this year. Wright would finish second, with Thomas coming in third, one second back.

Moore clearly didn't know how far in front she was, as she told USATF, "It was great. Even coming out of the curve I wasn't sure if I was going to take it, I thought I'd have to fight for it."

1 Erica Moore   Nike 2:01.08            
 2 Phoebe Wright   Nike 2:03.07            
 3 Latavia Thomas   Nike 2:04.50            
 4 Bethany Praska   unattached 2:04.93            
 5 Lindsey Schnell   Brooks 2:06.00            
 6 Stephanie Charnigo   New Jersey New York TC 2:06.21



*Day 2 Photo Gallery *Day 1 Photo Gallery
Race Videos Are Now Up Here

David Monti's Race Results Weekly Recap Here

: LRC USATF Indoor Men's 3k: Lagat, Lomong Crush Rupp (updated w/ video interviews) Galen Rupp pushed the pace early, hoping his 12th attempt at beating powerhouse Lagat would be the charm, but was badly dropped before the bell, unable to challenge Lagat, who then crushed Lopez Lomong with a 25-second last lap. On to Worlds for Lagat, where he may be the favorite to defend his title. Like Lagat, Jenny Simpson ran away with the women's 3,000m title. Find out why she won't be running in Istanbul 


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