Men’s 800 Semis: The Big Boys – Solomon, Greer, Sowinski – Advance To Set Up A Great Final

June 27, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA — Coming into the men’s 800 at the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships here at Sacramento State, we wondered if Duane Solomon, the 4th placer at the 2012 Olympics, would be able to successfully defend his title or if upstart Elijah Greer or perhaps Eric Sowinski would take down Solomon in an upset.

We’ll find out on Sunday as Solomon and Greer were the two semifinal winners today and Sowinski was just .04 behind Greer in heat 2.

Heat 1:

In the first heat, Solomon went out hard as usual (24 low, 50.77) and the only man to go with him was former Penn State runner Cas Loxsom, running for the Brooks Beasts. Loxsom stayed glued to Solomon and when they hit 600 in 1:17 high, they had at least 10 meters on everyone else in the field.

Over the final 100, NY/NJ Track Club team member Robby Andrews and Michael Rutt closed down the gap quite a bit and secured the final two qualifying spots behind Solomon and Loxsom.

Heat 2

Richard Jones led a smuch slower second heat through 400 in 52.33 and this tactical 800 featured a very tight finish as five guys, Greer, Sowinski, Nick Hartle, Charles Jock, and Ryan Martin, battled it out for the 4 qualifying spots. In the end, the top 5 led by Greer finished within .15 of each other in a near blanket finish. Initial third placer, Nick Hartle was DQd however, moving Ryan Martin into the final.

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Post-race reaction from a few competitors below. Full results at the bottom of the article.

Nick Hartle finished third but was later DQ’ed for initiating contact on Sowinski and Greer near the finish line.

Hartle said he saw Ryan Martin and Chales Jock moving up hard on the outside but because he was on the inside, he didn’t have the position to speed up at that point. He said he was just trying to reach for the line at the end and didn’t believe he made excessive contact on Sowinski and Greer.

To us, this is a decision we probably wouldn’t have made. The top 4 on the inside were right next to each other. They all got across the line 1-4 and no one went down. Why DQ Hartle?

If Hartle is DQd, then what about Shannon Rowbury in the women’s 5000? She went from lane 2 to lane 1 and then back way outside all in the final 100. No contact was made only because Huddle ran way around her. We wouldn’t DQ Rowbury since Huddle won and wouldn’t DQ Hartle for the same reason.

In the NFL, they don’t call pass interference on a ball that can’t be caught.

If a foul doesn’t impact the outcome, then pick up the flag and don’t call it.

The default for officials should be – let the racing, not the judges decided it. The rule book should reflect that.

MB: What the hell did that UCLA grab Sowinski and Greer at the finish for? 

Erik Sowinski knows he needs to stay close to Duane Solomon in the final.

Sowinski said he knew it would be a tough finish because they went out very quickly for the first 200 and that he knew he had to go once Greer started to move at the end. Sowinski added that he feels a lot stronger in 2014 than he did at this point last year, when he was sixth in the final. Duane Solomon is the man to beat and Sowinski knows in the final that he will have to be close to him if he wants a shot of the win. Sowinski ran a PR of 1:44.58 behind Duane Solomon at Mt. SAC in April and was just .33 behind him in Rome on June 5.

Michael Rutt Loves Hoka One One

Rutt said he didn’t want to lead the chase pack but that the group he was with relaxed once Solomon and Loxsom took off. Rutt trains with Robby Andrews and Brian Gagnon in the NJ*NY Track Club and said that it was tough having all three of them in the same heat because they were hoping to all make the final (Gagnon was 5th).

He said he really likes his new sponsorship with Hoka One One and that “they treat us like gold.” He said that they’re still in the testing phase for what spike he’s going to wear for them, but said that it’s nice having a sponsor locked down and not worrying about it after every race.

Robby Andrews Was Happy With The Way He Ran

Elijah Greer

Duane Solomon

Full Results

Semi-Final 1

Click split distance to sort on split
Place Athlete Time 400m 800m
1 Duane Solomon
1:45.61 Q 50.79Rnk: 1 1:45.61
Rnk: 1   
2 Casimir Loxsom
Brooks / BROOKS Beasts TC
1:45.80 Q 50.99Rnk: 2 1:45.80
Rnk: 2   
3 Robby Andrews
1:46.47 Q 52.10Rnk: 7 1:46.47
Rnk: 3   ↑ 4
4 Michael Rutt
Hoka One One / New Jersey New
1:46.76 Q 51.60Rnk: 3 1:46.76
Rnk: 4   ↓ 1
5 Brian Gagnon
1:47.04 52.25Rnk: 8 1:47.04
Rnk: 5   ↑ 3
6 Benjamin Scheetz
1:47.09 51.86Rnk: 4 1:47.09
Rnk: 6   ↓ 2
7 Drew Windle
1:50.63 51.86Rnk: 5 1:50.63
Rnk: 7   ↓ 2
8 Samuel Ellison
1:52.24 51.95Rnk: 6 1:52.24
Rnk: 8   ↓ 2

Semi-Final 2

Click split distance to sort on split
Place Athlete Time 400m 800m
1 Elijah Greer
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
1:47.50 Q 52.78Rnk: 7 1:47.50
Rnk: 1   ↑ 6
2 Erik Sowinski
1:47.54 Q 52.43Rnk: 2 1:47.54
Rnk: 2   
3 Charles Jock
1:47.58 Q 52.55Rnk: 3 1:47.58
Rnk: 4   ↓ 1
4 Ryan Martin
1:47.65 Q 52.77Rnk: 6 1:47.65
Rnk: 5   ↑ 1
5 Mark Wieczorek
Brooks / BROOKS Beasts TC
1:48.16 52.98Rnk: 8 1:48.16
Rnk: 6   ↑ 2
6 Gabriel Hilbert
1:49.70 52.62Rnk: 5 1:49.70
Rnk: 7   ↓ 2
7 Richard Jones
1:50.31 52.39Rnk: 1 1:50.31
Rnk: 8   ↓ 7
DQ Nick Hartle
52.62Rnk: 4 1:47.56
Rnk: 3   ↑ 1

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