March 15, 2014
Albuquerque, NM – Mississippi State sophomore Brandon McBride, the Canadian junior national record holder, upset favorite Edward Kemboi of Iowa State in the men’s 800 tonight at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and won in 1:48.17 to Kemboi’s 1:48.54. McBride earned NCAA title #1 of his career in impressive fashion as he led wire to wire in this one. Arkansas runners Patrick Rono and Thomas Squella went 3-4 to make things interesting for the Razorbacks in the team competition but ultimately they’d end up second with 54 points to Oregon’s 62.
McBride led throughout but coming off the final turn, both Kemboi and Rono were right behind him, but once they hit the homestretch it was surprisingly McBride that pulled away for victory.
Quick Take #1: With the departure of the class of 2013 last year, which featured young 800 phenoms like Robby Andrews, Cas Loxsom and Elijah Greer, the collegiate men’s 800 needed a bright new young star and they got one tonight.
McBride is a big-time talent who was the Canadian (and North American) national HS record holder at 1:46.07 before going to Miss State last year – basically the fastest non-African high school runner ever. In high school, he even beat Olympic 1,500 silver medallist Nick Willis in a race.
Last year, he struggled in his first year in college. He did run 1:47.74 indoors but didn’t make the finals at NCAAs and then outdoors didn’t even break 1:50, sparking a message board thread titled: What happened to Brandon McBride during the NCAA season? When the fastest HSer in North America’s history doesn’t break 1:50, it’s going to create some criticism. Can we officially say the doubters have been silenced?
McBride comes from “speed first” training philosophy designed by Canadian coach Chris Scarrow, who wrote us last year when we were talking about McBride prior to NCAA indoors. Scarrow said the following about McBride’s training:
“His mileage varies according to training phase. He has went as high as 45 miles per week in base. In competition phase his mileage is low for an 800m runner 25 miles per week, but remember he is being trained as a 400 m runner also. The balance is delicate. It depends on where the 400 m fits into future plans. Not to say in the future his mileage will not increase 20-25 miles per week but the goal is longevity.”
Quick Take #2: Leading An Indoor 800 Works Yet Again
Tactically, there wasn’t a lot to say about this one. McBride did what Chanelle Price did at Worlds last week, led the whole thing. The difference here is he was never really challenged. McBride, Rono and Kemboi were 1-2-3 at 400. Kemboi tried to move into second at the 500 mark but Rono accelerated and held him off. Both Rono and Kemboi used up some energy battling there while McBride ran the shortest distance up front, uninterrupted in the lead.
Kemboi’s final 200 of 27.09 was a little bit better than McBride’s 27.18, so maybe if Rono hadn’t fought Kemboi off there this would have been close at the end but .37 is a pretty comfortable margin of victory in an indoor 800.
Interviews (We May Try To Transcribe Some Of This Later):
More: Old Threads About McBride: 1:46.0 Freshman Brandon McBride to open indoor season this week?
*1:46.07 for Brandon McBride…
*Grade 12 Canadian Brandon McBride runs 1:47:14
Finals 1 Brandon McBride SO Miss State 1:48.17 10 25.554 (25.554) 53.241 (27.687) 1:20.991 (27.750) 1:48.164 (27.174) 2 Edward Kemboi JR Iowa State 1:48.54 8 25.828 (25.828) 53.464 (27.636) 1:21.448 (27.984) 1:48.532 (27.085) 3 Patrick Rono JR Arkansas 1:49.04 6 25.679 (25.679) 53.431 (27.752) 1:21.274 (27.844) 1:49.033 (27.759) 4 Tomas Squella SO Arkansas 1:49.23 5 25.968 (25.968) 53.957 (27.989) 1:22.012 (28.055) 1:49.223 (27.211) 5 Ryan Schnulle SO Florida 1:49.31 4 26.181 (26.181) 54.167 (27.986) 1:21.661 (27.495) 1:49.306 (27.645)
6 Samuel Ellison SR Villanova 1:50.13 3 25.765 (25.765) 53.716 (27.951) 1:21.842 (28.126) 1:50.130 (28.289) 7 Za'Von Watkins SO Penn State 1:50.25 2 26.085 (26.085) 53.691 (27.606) 1:21.907 (28.216) 1:50.247 (28.340) 8 Jesse Jorgensen JR Washington St. 1:50.33 1 25.900 (25.900) 53.853 (27.954) 1:22.238 (28.385) 1:50.329 (28.092)