Steeplechase Semifinals Go According To Form: Andy Bayer Still Learning, Ben Bruce Wins 3.5 Weeks After A Marathon

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June 27, 2014

The men’s steeplechase  semis were Thursday night at the 2014 USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento. Our one main thought about the semis and then our post-race interviews appear below.

1) Nothing of consequence happened in these two heats given the fact that 14 of the 19 starters moved on.

The top 13 seeds all made it to the final. 14th seed David Goodman of NE Distance didn’t make the final while 17th seed Jesus Romo of New Balance Silicon Valley did.

While the racing wasn’t all the interesting, the post-race reaction from the athletes was worthwhile. We share that with you below.

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Andy Bayer is still learning the event.

We spoke to Bayer after the race and he told us that he was happy to PR (he ran 8:37, previous PR: 8:39) but that his form wasn’t great on several hurdles. He said he’d like to be under 8:30 in the final and that while he’d like to place highly, he knows it will be tough with guys like his training partners Evan Jager and Dan Huling in the field. The final will be just the third steeple of Bayer’s life.

Off-camera, we asked for a little clarification on why Bayer, the 2012 NCAA champ at 1500, switched to the steeple. He said that coach Jerry Schumacher’s workouts are very tough and that it was a little easier to start out training in that group in an event where there aren’t as many expectations. He added that, as an off-year, 2014 was a good time to experiment and that he doesn’t have plans to give up the 1500 as of now.

We also spoke to Bayer after his steeple debut two weeks ago at the Portland Track Classic where he fell. That interviews is here.

Don Cabral

Ben Bruce knows it will be tough in the final

Bruce said that with Jager and Huling running well in 2014 that it will be tough to place highly in the final but added that Sunday’s final will also be very hot (it’s at 1:52 p.m. Pacific Time and there’s a forecasted high of 99 in Sacramento on Sunday). He had been on the roads a lot recently and won the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on June 1 in 2:23:50, so he’s only done one hurdle workout this year. Still, he managed to win the heat, which he said (off-camera) that he did for his son, who was born two weeks ago.

Dan Huling

Heat 1 Results

Place Athlete Time
1 Evan JagerNike / Bowerman Track Club 8:34.45 Q
2 Donald CabralNike 8:34.77 Q
3 Cory LeslieNike 8:35.33 Q
4 Andrew BayerNike / Bowerman Track Club 8:37.21 Q
5 Mason FerlicMichigan 8:38.99 Q
6 Aric Van HalenUnattached 8:50.45
7 William NelsonUnattached 8:54.38
8 Dylan SorensenGeorgetown 9:02.75
9 Edward OwensPrinceton 9:10.56
10 Alex McGuirkCal St. Chico 9:20.59

Heat 2

Place Athlete Time
1 Benjamin Bruce
8:39.44 Q
2 Daniel Huling
Nike / Bowerman Track Club
8:40.38 Q
3 Donald Cowart
8:40.51 Q
4 Craig Forys
New York Athletic Club (NYAC)
8:41.82 Q
5 Tabor Stevens
Adams St.
8:42.45 Q
6 Travis Mahoney
8:46.62 q
7 Jesus Romo
New Balance Silicon Valley
8:49.11 q
8 Tyler Curtis
Colorado School of Mines
9 David Goodman
NE Distance
DNS Alex Brill

The 1:59:40 GOAT shirts are here