Men’s International Mile: James Magut Wins, No HS Sub-4 As Will Leer Gets Top American Honors as Andrew Wheating Runs ‘Scared’

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May 31, 2013

Eugene, OR – Kenya’s James Magut, who ran 3:33 last year and 3:35 earlier this month in Shanghai, won the International Men’s mile tonight in 3:55.24 as the 2013 Pre Classic got underway with its Distance Night.

Norwegian national record holder Henrik Ingebrigtsen, who was 5th at the Olympics last year at just age 21, was second in 3:55.50. The Bowerman mile record holder, Daniel Kipchirir Komen who ran 3:48.28 on a Saturday at Hayward in 2007, was third in 3:56.13.

The top American honors went to American Will Leer in 3:56.39 for fourth as he beat 2008 and 2012 Olympian Andrew Wheating (fifth, 3:57.02).

Arizona high schooler Bernie Montoya, who ran 4:05.65 for fourth last week in New York came up short in his attempt for a sub-4 but improved to 4:01.72,not far off the 4:01.32 he ran in New York last year.

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Full results and post-race analysis with video interviews embedded below.

One Mile – Men Race 1

1 Magut , James Kiplagat           KEN    3:55.24
2 Ingebrigtsen , Henrik            NOR    3:55.50
3 Komen , Daniel Kipchirchir       KEN    3:56.13
4 Leer , Will                      USA    3:56.39
5 Wheating , Andrew                USA    3:57.02
6 Torrence , David                 USA    3:57.43
7 Al-Garni , Mohamad               QAT    4:00.72
8 Montoya , Bernie                 USA    4:01.71
9 Yego , Alfred Kirwa              KEN    4:07.10
10 Murray , Ross                    GBR    4:16.05
Miner , Matt                     USA        DNF
Wieczorek , Mark                 USA        DNF
Cabral , Donald                  USA        DNS

Post race thought #1 (normally we call this our quick thoughts but these are quite long): Andrew Wheating was not happy with himself afterwards. We were stunned by how hard he was on himself.

He ripped himself for running “scared” and said had he made his move when he should have, he might have won the race. Our full interview is embedded on the right but the highlights of his opening rant are below.

I ran scared.

I was confident and decided I really wanted to make an effort and not just sit there and watch people run away so I made an effort to keep the race going…..

I felt good. Everything was going fine. With 600 to go, I felt the pressure on my shoulder and then with 500 to go, I felt even more. And then going into the last lap people started passing me and I was like, ‘I feel ok. I’m not falling apart. Am I running that slow?’ And it was clear that the guy in front of me was setting a slow pace, and I wasn’t aware of it as I was just kind of zoned out going. I was kind of waiting for the guy in front of me to make a move, rather than do it myself.

And again, it’s just running scared. It’s not my thing. I don’t normally do that.

I feel like I’m learning to race again. After two years of kind of ups and downs of trying and being unsuccessful, I’m finally healthy and success is knocking the door but I’m too afraid to answer it, because I don’t want to get hurt again.

I have to go and make moves, force myself to do it rather than hope that someone in front of me is going to do it for me.

Will Leer went by me so I was ok, clearly he’s doing well. So let’s go cause Will’s going and by the time I knew it, I started to kick. I was fine and my knees were high and I was confident the last 100,but had I made my move when I should have and not been afraid I could have probably won that race.

Post Race Thought #2: Will Leer is full of confidence right now.

When we asked him if the focus now turns to USAs and hopefully his first ever top-3 finish outdoors, Leer said no, his goal is to try to win USAs.

“The focus is winning,” said Leer. “I’d love to win. I won two indoor titles this year. I’d love to add an outdoor to my resume before I hang up the spikes.  I can’t stay young forever. I’m not getting any younger,” added the 28-year old who said it was pretty windy on the backstretch.

As for the race, he admitted he was focused on beating the other Americans in the race today.

“I was concerned about competing against the Americans today as that’s really what I have to worry about the next two weeks. And so we kind of let Daniel Komen get away at the beginning. I had a lot left at the end, but I’d say today was pretty sub-par in terms of what I’ve been expecting from myself when I step on the track this year. I guess I’m not too upset but I was hoping for more.”

Post Race Thought #3: Montoya was disappointed at not joining the elusive club of sub-4 high schoolers, but said he wasn’t upset with a 4:01.

“I was really happy with it, considering I just wanted to [go out there] and run with the best”, said Montoya.

His quest chasing the barrier has given him respect for sub-4 milers as he said, “Anyone who’s broken 4, I definitely have total respect for them. It’s a tough barrier.” This was his most likely his last shot at sub-4 for this year, but says, “Eventually I know it’s a goal for me to get in college.”

Post-Race Thought #4: 2012 Olympic steeplechase finalist Donn Cabral was a DNS here. We guess technically we can’t say that’s a disappointment as he didn’t race but it’s not a good sign in our minds. At Oxy last year, he ran 8:19. This year he ran 8:34. We were looking for a sign that things were headed in the right direction and didn’t get it.

Post-Race Thought #5: By the transitive properry, we are giving Ben Saarel a sub-4. Last week, he beat Montoya by 2.92 seconds. 4:01.71 – 2.92 = 3:58.79.

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