January 31, 2015
We recap the women’s 2-mile and 800 from today’s Armory Track Invitational in New York. You can find our recaps of the world record DMR and Cam Levins incredible double in or Armory special section.
Women’s 2-mile: Jordan Hasay Kicks Home To Convincing Win
Jordan Hasay looked very comfortable in winning a tactical women’s 2-mile in 9:38.28. Hasay’s pb isn’t much faster than what she ran today (9:35.05 outdoors last year) but she was clearly capable of much, much faster than what her winning time today.
The field went out in a modest 4:53.7 for the first mile. A Ethiopian (14:50 5k pb) Buze Diriba took the lead during the second half of the race, the lead pack (which was down to seven runners) was content to let her keep the pace slow. The clock read 8:36 with two laps to go and six women were still in it.
The penultimate lap is where Hasay made her move. With 300 to go, Hasay, who had been sitting on Diriba’s shoulder during the previous few laps, moved outside and quickly accelerated by the Ethiopian. No one could respond, and by the bell, Hasay had a lead of around five meters. She maintained that gap for the remainder of the race, closing in 62.40 seconds for the final 400 (31.63/30.77).
Hoka One One/NYAC’s Nicole Tully (formerly Schappert) closed very well, overtaking Diriba at the end to place second in 9:39.38. She covered her final 200 close to what Hasay did (31.14 to 30.77), but Hasay established enough of a lead during the penultimate lap that the outcome was never in doubt.
“It was a big win, it’s just an honor to compete here,” Hasay told NBC Sports Network. “My parents flew all the way out here and got in at 2 a.m. I was just thrilled.
“The plan was [to go] no sooner than 400 to go because that’s what I want to practice. It was slow early on, so I said ‘This is okay’ and just decided to wait for it.
“We’ve been working on shoulders down, elbows in and I just watched the replay…looked pretty good to me.”
Quick Take #1: Hasay continues to develop her speed under coach Alberto Salazar
Salazar has shown that he’s one of the best coaches in the world at developing closing speed, turning Galen Rupp and Mo Farah into world beaters. Hasay’s not on their level internationally, but after a career year in 2014, she appears to be on the right track this year, closing very well over the final 400 to win this race comfortably. Hasay didn’t have the speed over the final lap in the 10,000 at USAs last year, falling to Kim Conley. While Conley focused her winter season on the USA Half Marathon Championships (winning in 69:44), Hasay went the other direction, running a 1k/mile double two weeks ago and now winning the 2-mile today. Both decisions seem to be working pretty well right now.
Quick Take #2: The 2014 NCAA rematch fizzled
One of the storylines entering this race was the showdown between Abbey D’Agostino (formerly Dartmouth, now New Balance) and Marielle Hall (formerly Texas, now Nike), the two top distance runners from the NCAA Class of 2014. Hall upset D’Agostino to win the 5,000 at NCAAs in June and this was set to be the pair’s first meeting since that race. Well that matchup didn’t end up happening as D’Agostino didn’t even start the race. Hall, while finishing a respectable fourth in 9:39.61, was essentially an afterthought as no one else was in the race once Hasay made her move.
1 Jordan Hasay – Nike Oregon Project 9:38.28
2 Nicole Tully – HOKA/NYAC 9:39.38
3 Buze Diriba – adidas 9:39.46
4 Marielle Hall – Nike 9:39.61
5 Ashley Higginson – Saucony 9:42.58
6 Liz Costello – New Balance Boston 9:42.78
7 Kerri Gallagher – Oiselle / NYAC 9:58.77
8 Frances Koons – Georgetown Running Club 10:06.21
9 Dana Mecke – Unattached 10:14.28
DNF Lucy Yates Neptune
More: Discuss Hasay on our forum: Could Jordan Hasay be the next Galen Rupp?
Women’s 800: Ajee Wilson Wins Narrowily
2014 world leader Ajee Wilson won her first 800 of 2015, moving to the front with 100 to go and holding off Treniere Moser (initially slated to run the 2-mile) for the win, 2:01.63 to 2:01.79. Mary Cain finished an unremarkable fifth in 2:02.75.
The rabbit took the field through a quick first 200 of 28.17, and the field was strung out single-file almost immediately. After hitting 400 in 58.86, Charlene Lipsey was the first non-rabbit, followed by 2013 NCAA indoor/outdoor champ Natoya Goule and Wilson.
As the rabbit stepped off at the bell (1:30.23), Lipsey led, with Wilson, Goule and Moser close behind her. Cain was in fifth, a few meters behind Moser.
Wilson finally showed her class at the end, gently moving past Lipsey with 100 to go and holding off a hard-charging Moser in the home stretch for the win. It all looked very routine for Wilson, who didn’t seem to be working particularly hard despite the closeness of the race. Cain didn’t gain or lose any places, finishing fifth.
“We’ve been working a lot on building up the strength part of my race,” Wilson told NBC Sports Network after the race. “I knew whatever we came through for the first quarter, I’d hang out there (around the middle of the pack) and kick hard in the last 200.”
Quick Take #1: A ho-hum effort from Ajee Wilson
Wilson will likely be satisfied by this result, as she got to work on her tactics and still managed to get the win in her first 800 of the season. With no World Indoors this year, there’s no rush for Wilson to get in shape, but it’s always nice to win your opener. The time wasn’t incredibly fast, but indoor 800s rarely go that fast anyway and Wilson seemed concerned only with place, not time, today.
Quick Take #2: Don’t freak out about Mary Cain
Cain’s first two 800s outdoors weren’t anything special (2:02.31 at Pre, 2:01.67 at the New York Diamond League race) but she looked great later in the summer, taking second behind Jenny Simpson at USAs in the 1500 and winning World Juniors in the 3000. Cain said in a pre-recorded interview that she’s definitely more of a 1500 runner right now. 2:02.67 indoors is nothing to be alarmed about.
Quick Take #3: A huge collegiate leader for Natoya Goule
This was a great opportunity for Goule, who dominated the NCAA in 2013 and sat out last year after transferring from LSU to Clemson, to get some top-level competition that she can’t find in the NCAA. She ran just 2:02.78 for sixth, which on the surface would seem to be a so-so performance. But that time is actually a collegiate leader by 2.49 seconds (it’s also her fourth-fastest indoor 800 ever). Goule probably would have liked to have gone a little faster, but this performance certainly suggests she remains the favorite for NCAAs this year.
Place Athlete Time
1 Ajee’ Wilson – adidas 2:01.63
2 Treniere Moser – Nike Oregon Project 2:01.79
3 Charlene Lipsey – adidas 2:02.20
4 Stephanie Charnigo – NJ-NY TC 2:02.66
5 Mary Cain – Nike Oregon Project 2:02.75
6 Natoya Goule – Clemson 2:02.78
7 Katie Kirk – New Balance 2:06.23
8 Megan Malasarte – Brooks 2:06.32
DNF Kimarra McDonald – Neptune
More screenshots. Click for larger image.