Abbey D’Agostino and Kennedy Kithuka Earn Dominant Victories At The 2013 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships

Kithuka Puts On A Front Running Show From Start To Finish As D’Agostino Hammers Home The Last Mile Plus

March 8, 2013

Fayetteville, Arkansas – Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth and Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech used vastly different tactics but the results were the same – dominant victories tonight at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor track and field championships .

Kithuka did it from the front from start to the finish. D’Agostino didn’t wait for a kick, either. She took the lead at about the 3350 meter and led the entire last 1650 but didn’t pull clear of last year’s champion, Betsy Saina, until the final 400 meters. But when D’Agostino did get clear, it was suddenly a rout.

The Men’s Race
Kithuka took the lead from the gun. After the race, Kithuka indicated he wanted to hit 1600 in 4:15 and 3200 in 8:30. At 1200 (3:13.40), Kithuka was slightly behind his ambitious schedule. As a result, he accelerated and ran each of the next 400 meters in under 63 seconds as he went 62.57, 62.94,  and 62.99 to blow the race open.

Article continues below player.
Diego Estrada Kept Close to Kennedy Kithuka for a Little While

When he hit 1600 in 4:16.64, Kithuka already had a 2-3 meter lead on Diego Estrada, the senior from Northern Arizona who ran at the Olympics for Mexico last year. A lap later Kithuka’s lead was 6-7 meters and for all practical purposes, this race was over. Kithuka would hit 3200 in 8:30 as he had planned and at that point he enjoyed his largest lead of the night (5.28 seconds).

To his credit, Estrada never gave up and kept fighting and he’d get as close at 3.84 seconds back with 400 left. With the lead shrinking, Kithuka was looking over his shoulder. Was he in trouble? No.

Afterwards, Kithuka told LRC he was just making sure he was far enough ahead so he wouldn’t have to push hard at the end as he wanted to save something for the 3000 tomorrow. Kithuka said (inteview embedded below) today’s 13:25.38 masterpiece from the front, which just missed the NCAA meet record of that Lawi Lalang set last year at 13:25.11, wasn’t too hard for him.

D’Agostino Impresses

D’Agostino likewise was full of energy after her victory. She even said she was hoping the race would be faster from the start as she was hoping to potentially get the IAAF ‘A’ standard for the 2013 World Championships of 15:18.00 out of the way. Instead, she merely blew away a 31:15 10,000 runner at the end of a 15:28.11 win – her second straight NCAA 5000 title, as she won outdoors last year.

Abbey D’Agastino Starts Her Push for Home Ahead of Saina and Hasay

The stats reveal D’Agostino likely had a sub 15:18 in her as she ran her final 1600 in 4:44.36  (sub 14:50 pace) with a final 400 of 66.81.

D’Agostino took the lead with just over 1600 to go, a half lap after her coach, 1996 Olympic marathoner, Mark Coogan yelled, “Abbey, you’re fine. You’re the best the best miler in the field.” Coogan was factually correct, as D’Agostino ran 4:30.03 in the mile this winter whereas Saina’s mile pb is just 4:40.98 (Hasay’s is second best at 4:33.98)

Once in the lead, Coogan instructed her to “just keep squeezing it down” and that’s exactly what she did. Take a look at her last 8 lap splits – each one faster than the previous.

38.91 (slowest lap of night takes lead near end of lap), 37.11, 36.61, 36.55, 36.53, 35.74, 35.07, 33.92, 32.89. Beutiful execution by D’Agostino.

Early on, the pace was pretty honest from the start as Saina hit 1600 in 4:59 and  3200 in 10:04. By 4k, the field was down to four as the top two finishers were still joined by eventual third placer Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton (15:38.00) and fourth placer Jordan Hasay (15:40.30) of Oregon. With 850 to go, Hasay showed signs of life and moved up to third. As the pace squeezed down the final 800m, it soon became a two person battle for the win with 550 remaining.

D’Agastino, Pappas and Hasay

Results and post-race interviews with Kithuka, Estrada, D’Agostino, Hasay and her Oregon teammate Alexi Pappas, who also scored (6th 15:47.13) and was teammates with D’Agostino last year at Dartmouth before graduating, appear below. There also is an interview with fifth placer Mo Ahmed of Wisconsin. He and his Wisconsin teammate Maverick Darling did a good job of coming off the pace to pick off people to finish fifth (13:41.25) and fourth (13:41.84) respectively as they got by UTEP’s Anthony Rotich, who was fourth at the cross country championships, on the last lap. Oklahoma State’s Girma Mecheso, who was the last person accepted into the meet after he blew up trying to ride the train in the American record attempt in New York last weekend, was a deserved third in 13:40.28.

Quick Take #1: Well deserved victories for D’Agostinto and Kithuka in honest races. Nothing to complain about here.

The victory for D’Agostino was a reversal of what happened in cross country when she finished second and Saina first, but it should be pointed out that D’Agositno was injured mid-season and didn’t race for six weeks in the middle of the season – from Paul Short (9/28/12) to regionals (11/9/12)

Quick Take #2: Who was the top American in the men’s race? Diego Estrada is an American citizen and he was second, but he runs internationally for Mexico. So he’s the first American but the first American by IAAF standards was Mecheso.

Quick Take #3: Post-Race, Jordan Hasay had a bit of a sad look on her face at first as the 2011 NCAA indoor mile and 3000 champ was unable to get NCAA title #3 today, but she really lit up when talking about the team and how she was going to do everything she could for them in the 3000 on Saturday. It should be pointed out that in 2011, Hasay was bested by Sheila Reid on day 1 before turning the tables on her on day 2.

It’s hard to imagine that happening here but there is a reason why you run the race.
Women’s Lap by Lap Splits are Here. *Men’s Lap by Lap Splits are Here.

Event 23  Women 5000 M
 Final only.  Two waterfall start, two turn stagger.  (11,5)                    
    American: A 14:47.62  2/7/2009    Shalane Flanagan                          
  Collegiate: C 15:14.18  3/12/2004   Kim Smith, Providence                     
   NCAA Meet: M 15:14.18  3/12/2004   Kim Smith, Providence                     
    Facility: F 15:14.18  3/12/2004   Kim Smith, Providence                     
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points         
  1 Abbey D'Agostino          JR Dartmouth             15:28.11   10            
  2 Betsy Saina               SR Iowa State            15:33.66    8            
  3 Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton  SR Wichita State         15:38.00    6            
  4 Jordan Hasay              SR Oregon                15:40.30    5            
  5 Katie Matthews            SR Boston U.             15:42.27    4            
  6 Alexi Pappas              SR Oregon                15:47.13    3            
  7 Juliet Bottorff           JR Duke                  15:49.45    2            
  8 Sara Sutherland           SR Texas                 15:50.04    1            
  9 Emily Sisson              SO Providence            15:54.73                 
 10 Jennifer Bergman          SR Arizona               15:56.35                 
 11 Rachel Sorna              JR Cornell               15:59.60                 
 12 Corey Conner              SR Maine                 16:02.44                 
 13 Gina Valgoi               SR Loyola (Ill.)         16:04.90                 
 14 Emma Bates                JR Boise State           16:08.56                 
 15 Jessica Tonn              JR Stanford              16:10.42                 
 16 Katie Conlon              SR Oregon                16:46.53
 Flash Results, Inc. - Contractor License 
                  NCAA Division 1  2013 Indoor Championship                  
                  Randal Tyson Track Complex -U of Arkansas                  
                  Fayetteville, Ar  - 3/8/2013 to 3/9/2013                   

Event 7  Men 5000 M
 Final only.  Two waterfall start, two turn stagger.  (11,5)                 
    American: A 13:07.15  2/11/2012   Bernard Lagat                          
  Collegiate: C 13:08.28  2/11/2012   Lawi Lalang, Arizona                   
   NCAA Meet: M 13:25.11  3/9/2012    Lawi Lalang, Arizona                   
    Facility: F 13:17.89  2/13/2009   Bekana Daba, adidas                    
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points      
  1 Kennedy Kithuka           SR Texas Tech            13:25.38   10         
  2 Diego Estrada             SR Northern Arizona      13:30.24    8         
  3 Girma Mecheso             SR Oklahoma State        13:40.28    6         
  4 Maverick Darling          SR Wisconsin             13:41.25    5         
  5 Mohammed Ahmed            JR Wisconsin             13:41.84    4         
  6 Anthony Rotich            SO UTEP                  13:43.52    3         
  7 Stanley Kebenei           JR Arkansas              13:45.87    2         
  8 Luke Caldwell             JR New Mexico            13:46.44    1         
  9 Jared Ward                JR BYU                   13:54.04              
 10 Dan Lowry                 SR Michigan              13:54.41              
 11 Shadrack Kipchirchir      SR Oklahoma State        13:55.00              
 12 Elliot Krause             SR Wisconsin             13:55.31              
 13 Jeramy Elkaim             SO Oregon                14:08.42              
 14 Bobby Aprill              SR Michigan              14:10.96              
 15 Tylor Thatcher            JR BYU                   14:12.55              
 16 Kevin Williams            SR Oklahoma              14:33.79


Abbey D’Agostino Jordan Hasay and Alexi Pappas
Olympian Mark Coogan, Dartmouth Coach

Men’s 5k Videos

Kennedy Kithuka The Champ  Diego Estrada Makes LRC History: Rojo Interview
& a Wejo Interview:
Mo Ahmed:


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