Both the 800 (1:49.26) and 1,500 (3:54.96) had incredibly slow winning times due to wind on the backstretch, but that made for thrilling theater as everyone was still in contention with 200 to go in each race. As it did last year, the steeple came down to Rotich vs. Stanley Kebenei and Rotich once again prevailed by a narrow .38 margin.
We recap the action and have a quote from Cristian Soratos that would make Steve Prefontaine proud.
We're not sure if there will be drama in the 5 an 10ks but these races should more than make it up for it. The 800, where NCAA champs Brandon McBride and Edward Kemboi lead the way, is the deepest 800 in years at the NCAA level. Cristian Soratos vs. Jordan Williamsz is must-watch drama in the 1500 as is the Stanely Kebenei vs. Anthony Rotich battle in the steeple.
LSU's Julian Parker won the 800 in 1:46.17 over Brandon McBride (1:46.53). Arkansas went 1-2 in the 5000 as Kemoy Campbell beat Stanley Kebenei by less than a second in 13:52. Dominique Scott won the 1500/5000 double. *Meet Home Florida men and Arkansas women currently lead going into final day.
Natoya Goule broke the meet record and Edward Kemboi ran faster than anyone else had at NCAAs in 14 years as the 800 action was fast.
McBride is looking to become the first man since fellow Canadian Nate Brannen ('03-'04) to repeat at NCAAs; Goule wants to regain her 2013 title after transferring from LSU to Clemson. Iowa State's Edward Kemboi (NCAA leader at 1:46.09) and Arkansas' Chrishuna Williams (2:02.95 in her first year as an 800 runner) lead the list of challengers.
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It was a thrilling four-man battle down the home straight, but in the end McBride had just enough to hold everyone off.