Creese’s 26.0 Final 200 Gives PSU Its Third Title in Two Years; Andy Bayer Splits 3:55 For Indiana
April 26, 2013
Penn State sophomore Robbie Creese doesn’t mind having the lead at the Penn Relays. A year after it seemed as if he might be a sitting duck on the anchor in the 4 x 800, before Creese held off Oregon Duck Eljiah Greer to give Penn State the victory, Creese did it again from the front on the anchor of the DMR. Creese blitzed the last 200 in 26 flat to finish off a 3:58.9 anchor to give Penn State its first DMR title in 54 years in 9:24.68.
Thanks to a big 3:58.4 anchor from 3:36 man Jordan Williamsz, Villanova ended up second in 9:26.80 as Oregon, which had the lead at the start of the anchor leg, was third in 9:27.09 after Jeremy Elkaim’s 4:01.5 carry. 2012 NCAA 1,500 champ Andy Bayer had a massive anchor split (3:55.6) to get within striking distance at the bell as Indiana finished fourth in 9:29.02.
Heading into the anchor leg, the race was a two-team affair between Oregon, anchored by 3:59 miler Jeremy Elkaim, and Penn State with its 3:57 performer Robbie Creese. The two got the baton right next to each other as Villanova’s Williamsz was roughly 20 meters back (Williamsz would catch the top two at 500 by going out very fast but never was a factor in the battle for the win).
Elkaim led for the first 800 (59, 2:01) before slamming on the breaks and making Creese lead. Elkaim might not have wanted the lead but Creese wasn’t freaked out by having it as he just ran relaxed through the bell (3:04ish). Creese saved a ton for the kick as he turned it into overdrive over the final 200 and blew everyone away thanks to his 26 flat final 200.
Villanova’s Williamsz finished off his nice anchor leg and got past Elkaim on the homestretch to get ‘Nova second but no one threatened Penn State’s Creese here.
The opening leg was a high quality affair. After the opening leg it essentially was a three team race between the eventual top three. Everyone else, including defending champion and 2013 NCAA indoor champs Princeton, was out of the hunt for the win.
Oregon used the guy we thought they should have anchored – Mac Fleet – first. Fleet, the 2010 NCAA mile runner-up who ran 3:40 low last week in crushing everyone at the Oregon Relays, ran very well. After a 1:57 opening 800, he closed well (2:52.7) and gave Oregon a tiny lead over Villanova which had its other 3:36 performer Sam McEntee (2:53.0) running lead off.
Penn State’s true frosh Brandon Kidder didn’t let the occasion get to him as the 3:59 performer did a great job of keeping PSU in it as he handed off third in 2:53.5 as the top three were well clear of everyone else.
800 Legs – Loxsom vs. Greer – 1:46 and 1:47 Despite Jogging the Last 200
Oregon had 2011 world championship 4 x 400 gold medallist Mike Berry running the 400 and he extended Oregon’s lead to close to 10 meters on Penn State at the start of the 800.
The 800 leg was a treat to watch as in the lead for Oregon was 2013 NCAA indoor 800 champ Elijah Greer and the man chasing him from Penn State, Cas Loxsom, was of course the 2013 NCAA indoor runner-up.
Loxsom went out very fast and caught Greer within 300 meters as Loxsom went through 400 in 49 mid. Loxsom looked fantastic and it seemed as if in the last 150 he could go by Greer whenever he wanted to. That perception was probably reality as it became clear near the end of the leg that neither Greer or Loxsom wanted to hand off in the lead. The two 800 studs basically jogged the final 200 in 29.5 and still recorded splits of 1:46.7 for Loxsom and 1:47.6 for Greer.
Results and Quick Takes Below.
Quick Take #1: Some guys have “it” and Creese seems to be one. Certainly not scared of the moment. Indoors at NCAAs on the DMR, he couldn’t get the job done but he was tired from the mile prelims. Here he was on equal footing with everyone else and got the job done.
Quick Take #2: This race reminded us of why we love the 4 x 800 more than the DMR. In a 4 x 800, two guys likely wouldn’t jog the end of the third leg like Greer and Loxsom did here so the anchor wouldn’t have the lead. In the 800, one can run away from people from the front like David Rudisha did in London. That’s hard to do on a 1600/mile leg.
That being said, we thought Loxsom looked really good on his leg. It will be fun to see what he does on the 4 x 800 tomorrow.
Quick Take #3: Andy Bayer 3:55 – enough said.
Quick Take #4: The rumors of Princeton indoor anchor Peter Callahan being injured yet again seem to be true as he was a no-show for the Tigers. Callahan, who is a senior, has one outdoor season to his name in college. He’s been injured sophomore, junior and senior years.
Quick Take #5: We said it was PSU’s third title in two years. Not many LetsRun fans pay attention to the Sprint Medley, but PSU and Loxsom won that last year.
Quick Take #6: Hard to believe but Oregon’s third place was good enough for an outdoor school record. Them putting Elkaim on the anchor wasn’t a smart decision. Put him first and let him try to keep it close. If he doesn’t, then Berry and/or Greer will get you right back in it for Fleet.
|1||Penn State||9:24.68||Brannon Kidder (2:53.5), Brandon Bennett-Green (45.6), Casimir Loxsom (1:46.7), Robby Creese (3:58.9)||AC|
|2||Villanova||9:26.80||Sam McEntee (2:53.0), Samuel Ellison (46.0), Christopher Fitzsimons (1:49.4), Jordan Williamsz (3:58.4)||AF|
|3||Oregon||9:27.09||Mac Fleet (2:52.7), Mike Berry (45.3), Elijah Greer (1:47.6), Jeramy Elkaim (4:01.5)||AD|
|4||Indiana||9:29.02||Zachary Mayhew (2:57.3), Chris Vaughn (46.6), Jordan Gornall (1:49.5), Andrew Bayer (3:55.6)||AB|
|5||Georgetown||9:37.25||Bobby Peavey (2:55.3), Devante Washington (48.3), Billy Ledder (1:49.0), Andrew Springer (4:04.6)||AI|
|6||La Salle||9:38.07||Nick Crits (2:56.3), Wayne Bartholomew (49.2), Paul Reilly (1:50.2), Alfredo Santana (4:02.4)||AN|
|7||Columbia||9:38.64||Daniel Everett (2:55.2), Connor Claflin (48.0), Harry McFann (1:49.3), John Gregorek (4:06.1)||AE|
|8||Kentucky||9:39.19||Jake Wildenmann (2:55.4), Ben Mason (48.3), Robbie Scharold (1:48.9), Adam Kahleifeh (4:06.6)||AV|
|9||Princeton||9:41.98||Michael Palmisano (2:56.8), Tom Scott (49.0), Bradley Paternostro (1:48.6), Michael Williams (4:07.6)||AA|
|10||Texas A&M||9:48.40||Juan Blanco (3:01.4), Hector Hernandez (48.2), Josh Hernandez (1:50.8), Henry Lelei (4:08.0)||AH|
|11||UConn||9:53.80||James Agati (3:02.1), Robert Hovanec (47.8), Philip Caldwell (1:52.2), Joe Clark (4:11.7)||AP|
|12||Michigan||9:54.89||Nathan Karr (2:58.1), Matthew Campbell (47.3), Brendon Blacklaws (1:52.1), Jeffrey Sattler (4:17.4)||AM|
|13||Tennessee||10:02.57||Kyle Walter, Michael Williams, Antonio Carter, Jeremy Dickie||AO|