June 23, 2013
Des Moines, IA – As expected, it was American record holder Evan Jager who got the win in the men’s 3000m steeplechase at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium. Not far behind him in second was teammate and training partner Dan Huling. Team Indiana Elite member De’Sean Turner ended up a surprise third place to get the last World Championships spot.
Ben Bruce did most of the leading early until Jager went to the front. Jager started to ratchet down the pace the final three laps. Up until that point the field had been running between 68 and 69 seconds a lap.
Jager threw in a 65.7 to reach 800m to go with Cory Leslie (who had been running great in 2013) and Huling right on him as the field was strung out single file with 7 men still in contention.
Jager ran 62.7 the next lap and cracked the entire field except for Huling as those two began to pull away with 600m left. At the bell, they were clear of the filed with Leslie, De’Sean Turner and Andrew Poore battling for the final Worlds spot behind them.
Jager was too good the final 200m and he got the win in 8:20.67 as Huling was a comfortable second in 8:22.62. Leslie totally fell apart the final 400m, as his dream season took a turn for the worse at the wrong time. De’Sean Turner went into the third spot with 200m to go and would keep it all the way to the finish ahead of Poore.
Leslie would fade all the way back to 10th on the last lap as 2012 Olympic finalist Donn Cabral got 6th.
Quick Long Takes And Interviews:
LT#1: Jager Delivers
Coming in, Jager didn’t plan to take the lead as early as he did. He said:
“I wasn’t supposed to take the lead any time before 1K to go. Like every single time that I have taken the lead in a race, it just kind of naturally happened, over a barrier or a water jump. With just over three laps to go I came off the water jump and I must have had a really good one because I shot out right in front of him. I found myself in the lead and once I was there I just tried to slowly squeeze it down. I felt really good and was able to hold everyone off.”
Coming in everyone expected Jager to win, but he wasn’t taking the race lightly. He and Huling have become training partners in the last year and Jager knew what Huling was capable of. Jager said:
“Dan’s really fit. He ran 8:13 and 8:14 two years in a row and he just had an off-year last year. I knew him joining the group, the biggest thing he lacked was strength and that’s a major part of our group. I knew once he got some of that in he was going to be pretty dangerous. I’m not taking him lightly. I thought there was a chance, if he was there with 200 to go, he could be a player.”
LT#2: Huling Adapting Well
This has been a good year for Dan Huling who after making Worlds in 2009, running 8:13 in 2010 and making Worlds again in 2011, failed to make the Olympics last year when he finished seventh at the Trials. Huling was very happy and excited to be back on a US team after last year’s disappointment and talked about the transition to Jerry Schumacher‘s group this year. He said he didn’t come from a strength background so he had a hard time dealing with their “little Badger mile thing” and how hard workouts were. He struggled for the first month in Colorado Springs in January and told Jerry, “Don’t give up on me, I don’t suck this bad.”
Huling admitted after that race that going into the last lap when he was right on Jager the thought process was more on making the team rather than going for the win. He said, “Yeah, I probably should have [taken a shot at the win]; I was more concerned with just making the team. He probably would have held me off, but yeah I should have been a little more in the race with 200 to go. I mean, he was right there, I felt good. But right before the water jump I looked back and I just needed a spot on the team this year. I wasn’t really that concerned with beating Evan.” Jager likely would have won either way, but Huling does have an 8:13 PR so it could have been closer. In the steeple however, if you go for it with 200 to go and mess up on the last water jump that could be the difference between a spot on the team and watching the Moscow World Championships on your TV this summer.
LT#3: De’Sean Turner Gets 3rd and the “A”
De’Sean Turner had a great day to make the World Championships team in his first year as a professional. He came in without the 8:26.00 “A” standard, but got it in this race so he is definitely going to Moscow (even though in hindsight he only needed the “B” which he already had). Not bad for a guy who was only seventh at the NCAA meet last year and went out in the first round of the Olympic Trials where he was 10th in his heat. After the race he said, “I am very excited. After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I stuck with it, and hard work pays off.”
LT#4: Andy Poore PRs
Great run for Andrew Poore who came in with an 8:31 PR, but ran 8:26 today. Unfortunately for him, Turner was just better today. Nice interview with Poore below who gives thanks to his recent gear sponsors adidas, and the many others who have helped him in his first years as a professional.
LT#5: Leslie and Cabral Struggle
Definitely not great days for Cory Leslie and Don Cabral. Leslie came into the meet ranked #2 with an 8:20.08 this year, but finished way back in 10th in 8:42, falling apart the last lap.Cabral was the NCAA champion last year and went to and made the final at the Olympics. He also ran well indoors this year running a 3:56.41 mile PR. Things have gone poorly in the spring for him as he only ran 8:34 at Oxy and ran some sub-par races on the roads as well. He was sixth today and said that he’s going to see some doctors as he knows something is medically wrong with him. He moved to Washington this year to be coached by his high school coach, Peter Oviatt, but based on his recent interview with Runners World, we don’t expect him to be there next year.
LT#6: Last year’s Olympic fourth place finisher, Donnie Cowart, who we called the “happiest 4th place guy in history”, was fifth this year.
New York Athletic Club
University of Colorado
New Jersey New York Track Club
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USATF Sunday: (2013 USATF Photo Gallery)
Mens 800: Duane Solomon Goes Wire-To-Wire To Run World-Leading 1:43.27 To Stop Nick Symmonds’ Streak Of US Titles At Five
Women’s 800: Alysia Montano Wins Her 5th Straight National Title, Holding Off A Fast-Closing Brenda Martinez
Men’s 5,000: Bernard Lagat Outkicks Galen Rupp To Win The Men’s 1,500m 5,000m
Women’s 5,000: Jenny Simpson Gets The Win In Her First 5k In Two Years Over American Record Holder Molly Huddle, As Rowbury Guts It Out for 3rd
Steeple Evan Jager And Dan Huling Go 1-2 In Steeple For Team Schumacher
Men: Tyson Gay’s World-Leading 19.74 Caps Final Day As Aries Merritt Makes Hurdles Team
Women: Kimberly Duncan Upsets Allyson Felix In 200m At USAs