Five Quick Thoughts on the Men’s 1500m Final Won by Matt Centrowitz

June 22, 2013

(Note there is a lengthier recap on this race here)

Des Moines, IA – We assume you saw the race, but if not, the results are below or you can watch it now:

Article continues below player

More coverage coming, but 5 quick thoughts on the men’s 1500m final with video interviews.

1) The cream rose to the top. Three guys in the final had ever finished top three during at USAs during a World Championship year, and all three made another one here . Matt Centrowitz (Worlds bronze in 2011) got the win, Leo Manzano (Olympic silver medallist) was right with him, and Lopez Lomong was just a couple steps behind (Andrew Wheating went to Worlds in 2011 after finishing 4th in 1500 and obviously has been top 3 at 2 Olympic Trials). Fast or slow that’s what you expected and that’s what happened.

2) Never discount Leo Manzano. The guy is a championship racer. Coming in, the Olympic silver medallists was not only without a shoe contract, but he was coming off a dead last performance at the Pre Classic. None of that mattered today. Centrowitz edged him here, but without getting boxed in the places could have been reversed. Manzano was really closing hard in the last 50, and yet with 140 meters to go, he seemed to be dead and going nowhere in fifth. What a warrior. Post-race reaction from Leo here.

3) Lopez Lomong is doubling back in the 5000 tomorrow despite having hamstring issues. After the race, Lomong said he has been having hamstring issues and he had to back off with 400m to go today because of his hamstring. Nonethless, he said he enjoys the 5000m more than the 1500m and will be running the 5000m tomorrow in the heat. Lomong said he grew up in the heat (Lomong was a “Lost Boy” of Sudan) and it should help him tomorrow. Meanwhile, we asked Will Leer about the 5000m and he said you couldn’t pay him enough money to run in the 90 degree heat tomorrow for 3+ miles. Post race interview with Lopez here.

And do you not think the 90 degree heat will be a factor? Hit play on the video below. It shows Todd Williams being carried off the track after trying to stick with Bob Kennedy in the heat of Indianapolis in 1997. We have it queued to start at that point.

4) Who? Matthew Elliott Finished 4th
The 4th place finisher was Matthew Elliott. Total unknown coming into today who didn’t even qualify for the Olympic Trials, and has a real job as a teacher. Yet there he was beating Will Leer. He needs to get his blog going again. Nice run by the 27-year old, Scott Simmons coached American Distance Project Athlete who has a pb of just 3:40.52 and mile pb of just 3:57.16.

5) Will Leer Comes Close Again, But Could He Still Go To Worlds?
Will Leer picked the wrong time to come of age as a 1500m runner in the US. He came up just short once again. He said the final lap “was a shit show” with a lot of bumping and being boxed in. Leer has a penchant of finishing just off the podium in championship years. He was 4th at the Olympic Trials in 2008, 5th at the World Championship Trials in 2009, 5th at the Trials in 2011, and 5th this year.

Now we just realized Leer could still end up in Moscow. Lomong said the 5000 is his main event. If he qualifies also in that, he’ll likely do the 5000 and not the 1500 in Moscow as the double is next to impossible (thje 5000 1st round is the day before the 1500 firs round and the 1500 semis are 1:40 before the 5000 final).

So if Lomong doesn’t go in the 1500, then Leer might possibly go as fourth placer Matthew Elliott has a pb of just 3:40.52 and the ‘B’ is 3:37.00. Now USATF said you have to be top ‘4’ to chase, but we assume they’d let Leer go even though he was fifth if Lomong says he’s not going.

But no one besides Centrowitz will go unless one person goes and get’s the ‘A’ as right now Centrowitz, Manzano, Lomong and Leer only have the ‘B’. And here is a crazy thought we just came across on the messageboard: Might Centro not chase the ‘A’ on purpose to screw Manzano over (one less potential medallist to deal with)?

And Leer (or Elliott) can only go if two people go sub-3:35 as you can send two ‘A’s and one ‘B’.

Place Athlete Time          
1 Matthew Centrowitz
2 Leonel Manzano
3 Lopez Lomong
4 Matthew Elliott
5 William Leer
6 Mac Fleet
7 David Torrence
8 Miles Batty
9 Russell Brown
10 Benjamin Blankenship
11 Craig Miller
New Balance
12 Andrew Wheating
Nike / Oregon TC Elite

Post Race 1500m Videos Below:

Filed Under: