Leo Manzano’s Amazing USATF Championship Record

Nine USA meets for Leo in his life, nine top 3 finishes.

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by: LetsRun.com
June 28, 2014

Editor’s note: We have these points in our men’s 1500m recap that has extensive analysis of the men’s race but are also putting them out here because they are interesting in their own right.

QT #1: Leo Manzano’s Amazing Championship Record

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Leo Manzano has earned a reputation for being “hot” or “cold”. Will the good Leo show up or will the Leo who sometimes runs over 4 minutes in the mile show up?

What had the 2012 Olympic silver medalist done in his last race before USAs? Earlier this month he lost to three guys most people probably have never heard of as he ran 3:59.31 to take fourth at the Adrian Martinez Classic in Concord, Mass. Before that, he ran a good race at the Pre Classic winning the International Mile with a 3:52.41 and beating many top Americans in the process, but before that he almost cost the US a silver medal at World Relays with a 3:46.7 1500 split in the 4×1500. Very inconsistent to say the least.

One area where Leo is not inconsistent is the USATF Championships. Leo always peaks well for the championship meets and is a beast in non-rabbited races.

Leo gets the win

Leo gets the win

This was his second national title but even more impressive is his consistency. It was Manzano’s ninth USATF meet and his ninth straight top-three performance. The other names come and go — Alan Webb, Bernard Lagat, Andrew Wheating, Matt Centrowitz — but one name that is always in the top 3 is Leo Manzano.

Leo Manzano’s USATF History
Year  | Leo’s Place | Leo’s Time | Winner
2014 1st 3:38.63
2013 2nd 3:45.35 Matt Centrowitz
2012 1st 3:35.75
2011 3rd 3:48.16 Matt Centrowitz
2010 2nd 3:50.91 Lopez Lomong
2009 2nd 3:41.82 Lopez Lomong
2008 2nd 3:40.90 Bernard Lagat
2007 2nd 3:35.29 Alan Webb
2006 3rd 3:39.49 Bernard Lagat (Gabe Jennings 2nd)
2005 1st NCAAs as a freshman – did not run USAs

Very impressive Leo. On the boards: Leo is the Man

QT#2: Manzano is in a good place right now with his training.

Post-race, Manzano said that running without a sponsor in 2013 was very rough, but that coming out to Sacramento and winning his second national title at 1500 meters was “a blessing.” He had planned to be closer to the front throught the race, but he moved up smartly over the final lap and was in great position to kick with 100 to go.

Now that he’s healthy and training with a new coach in John Hayes, Manzano has been able to incorporate more speed work into his training, something he couldn’t do much of while he was dealing with injuries last year. That speed was on full display here closing in 52.64.

Manzano said that he loves to compete in championship races but he’ll be looking to improve his performance in paced races over the remainder of 2014. He’d like to get in a few 800s and has goals of sub-1:44 for 800, sub-3:32 in the 1500 and sub-3:50 in the mile.

We’ve got more quick takes including why it was a good decision for Andrew Wheating to skip this one in our Full LRC Recap of the Men’s 1500m

Place Athlete Time
1 Leo Manzano
Hoka One One
2 Pat Casey
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
3 Lopez Lomong
Nike / Bowerman Track Club
3:39.11 [3:39.103]
4 Will Leer
3:39.11 [3:39.109]
5 Ford Palmer
6 AJ Acosta
7 Riley Masters
8 Dorian Ulrey
9 Garrett Heath
10 Eric Avila
Southern Oregon Univ
11 Liam Boylan-Pett
12 Matt Hillenbrand