Men’s 800 Heats: Edward Kemboi Stays The Favorite As A Couple Big Names Go Out

The men’s 800 saw the only big casualties in the distance heats as one of our top picks, Penn State’s Brannon Kidder, as well as the top returner from last year, Sean Obinwa (4th in 2013), didn’t make the final. The favorite to win though is Edward Kemboi and he made it through just fine as he won his the first heat and Ryan Schnulle won the second.

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March 14, 2014

Albuquerque, NM – The men’s 800 heats at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships saw the only big casualties in the mid-distance heats as two of the top entrants, Middle Tennessee State’s Eliud Rutto (#2 seed) and Penn State’s Brannon Kidder (#3 seed), as well as the top returner from last year, Sean Obinwa (4th in 2013), didn’t make the final. The favorite to win is still #1 seed Edward Kemboi and he made it through just fine as he won his the first heat and Ryan Schnulle won the second.

Place Name Affiliation Time
1 Edward Kemboi IAST 1:48.37 Q
2 Brandon McBride MSST 1:48.71 Q
3 Tomas Squella ARK 1:49.00 Q
4 Samuel Ellison NOVA 1:49.53 q
5 Jesse Jorgensen WAST 1:50.79 q
6 Alvaro Chavez UCON 1:50.83
7 Andres Arroyo UFL 1:51.17
8 Sean Obinwa UFL 1:51.36

*Full Splits

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Heat 1:

Brandon McBride led almot wire to wire as Edward Kemboi passed him in the last lap to win the heat 1:48.37 to McBride’s 1:48.71. Arkansas’ Tomas Squella got the other auto spot and both Samuel Ellison and Jesse Jorgensen made the final on time form this heat. The top returner from last year, Sean Obinwa, was dead last.

Quick Thought #1: Kemboi is definitely still the favorite to win this. Very cheerful interview with Kemboi below.


Edward Kemboi

Brandon McBride

Heat 2:

Place Name Affiliation Time
1 Ryan Schnulle UFL 1:51.36 Q
2 Za’Von Watkins PSU 1:51.82 Q
3 Patrick Rono ARK 1:51.97 Q
4 Eliud Rutto MTSU 1:51.98
5 Brannon Kidder PSU 1:52.02
6 Jacopo Lahbi BAMA 1:56.07
7 Billy Ledder GTWN 1:56.44
8 Andrew Smith UMBC 1:58.06

*Full Splits

This heat went out very slow as their second 200 was over 30-seconds and they went through 400m in 57.49 (comared to the 53.07 from heat 1) with Eliud Rutto leading. You would need to run a bit negative split in this race to make the final as Ryan Schnulle took over after the halfway point and ran his final 400 in 53.62 to win the heat in 1:51.36. Behind him Za’Von Watkins was second in 1:51.82 and Patrick Rono 3rd (1:51.97). Rutto closed in 54.51, but didn’t make the final as he was 4th (1:51.98) and Brannon Kidder was also out in 5th (1:52.02).

Quick Thought #1: Poor tactics cost Kidder in this race as he ran so much of it on the outside of lane 1 and lane 2. He definitely ran more than 800 meters and considering he only missed the final by .05 seconds, that made the difference right there.

QT #2: Both Watkins and Rono (and Ellison from heat 1) ran legs on their DMR heats Friday night so they’ll have a little extra fatigue in their legs for Saturday’s final.

QT #3: Of the top 8 seeds, only three made the final. Rutto came in seeded #2 at 1:47.45 but that was a converted time – his fastest actualy time of the year was 1:48.98 on a flat track which the NCAA chopped 1.43 off of.

Top 8 Seeds
1 Edward Kemboi JR Iowa State 1:45.98
2 Eliud Rutto SO Mid. Tenn. S 1:47.45
3 Brannon Kidder SO Penn State 1:47.45
4 465 Brandon McBride SO Miss State 1:47.51
5 Sean Obinwa SR Florida 1:47.76
6 Billy Ledder JR Georgetown 1:47.89
7 Alvaro Chavez SO Connecticut 1:47.96
8 346 Patrick Rono JR Arkansas 1:47.96


Patrick Rono