Favorites Get Through In Mile Prelims as Men Don’t Mess Around (4:00.25 doesn’t advance)

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by: LetsRun.com
March 13, 2015

Fayetteville, AR -The 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships got underway tonight with the mile prelims. We recap the men’s and women’s races for you below.

Men’s mile

The biggest names all made it through in two extremely fast men’s mile prelims on Friday night. The top two seeds, Cristian Soratos and Edward Cheserek, each won their heats, with Soratos leading wire-to-wire to win in 3:57.94 while Cheserek made his move with 400 to go, closing in 26.76 seconds for the final lap to separate from the field with teammate Johnny Gregorek. Indeed, all three Ducks looked good today as teammate Daniel Winn was second behind Soratos in heat 2 to also advance.

The biggest casualty was last year’s outdoor third-placer, Sam Penzenstadler of Iona, who was last in heat 2.

Quick Take #1: The men’s milers were not screwing around

For the first time this year, you had to run faster than 3:59.00 to even make it into NCAAs and perhaps fittingly, the mile prelims were extremely fast tonight — Brannon Kidder was the last guy into the final at 4:00.00. Yes, you had to run 4:00.00 or faster to make the final.

Colorado’s Jake Hurysz said he was certainly surprised that heat 1 went out that quickly, but the fast pace didn’t come as a shock to the winner of heat 2, Cristian Soratos of Montana State, who dictated the pace from the get-go, coming through in 1:59.87 for 800 before winning it in 3:57.94. Soratos wasn’t worried about tiring himself out for tomorrow, as he stated his main priority was getting through to the final and after seeing the fast time in heat 1, he didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

Though both races ended up with fast times, they were achieved differently. Heat 1 went out in “only” 2:01.55 for 809 but top finishers Edward Cheserek and Johnny Gregorek closed hard, running their final laps in an identical 26.76 seconds. With Soratos pushing the pace, heat 2 went out faster, which made it more difficult for anyone to close hard (Soratos ran 29.27 for his last lap; Julian Oakley’s 28.65 was the fastest last lap in the field).

Quick Take #2: Soratos said it’s impossible not to be intimidated by Edward Cheserek
Soratos is familiar with Cheserek’s stellar track record at NCAAs and said that it’s hard not to be at least a little intimidated by the five-time NCAA champion. With that said, he said he’s just focusing on himself tomorrow and won’t worry about what others may do.

Overall, Soratos appeared confident after the race and not like an athlete at his first NCAA championships. He said he’s gone over every possible race scenario for tomorrow’s final in his head already, so when he actually gets out on the track he’ll be prepared and won’t panic.

Heat 1 Results *Lap by lap splits here

1 Edward Cheserek Oregon 3:58.69 Q 1:01.41 [30.52] 2:01.74 [30.16] 3:03.04 [30.59] 3:58.69 [26.76]
2 Johnny Gregorek Oregon 3:58.75 Q 1:02.08 [30.39] 2:02.55 [30.12] 3:03.08 [30.12] 3:58.75 [26.76]
3 Jake Hurysz Colorado 3:59.93 Q 1:01.67 [30.56] 2:02.21 [30.27] 3:03.43 [30.50] 3:59.93 [27.35]
4 Anthony Rotich UTEP 3:59.94 Q 1:01.82 [30.42] 2:01.92 [29.86] 3:03.24 [30.67] 3:59.94 [27.52]
5 Brannon Kidder Penn State 4:00.00q 1:01.20 [30.53] 2:02.01 [30.32] 3:03.47 [30.88] 3:60.00 [27.95]
6 Elmar Engholm New Mexico 4:00.79 1:01.88 [30.61] 2:02.28 [30.12] 3:03.25 [30.46] 4:00.79 [28.30]
7 Robert Denault Villanova 4:00.80 1:00.93 [30.35] 2:01.55 [30.39] 3:02.85 [30.61] 4:00.80 [28.68]
8 Izaic Yorks Washington 4:01.84 1:01.58 [30.67] 2:02.15 [30.36] 3:03.59 [30.89] 4:01.84 [29.06]

Heat 2 Results *Lap by lap splits here

Place Name Affiliation Time 409m 809m 1209m Mile
1 Cristian Soratos Montana State 3:57.94 Q 1:00.57 [29.65] 1:59.87 [29.72] 2:59.45 [29.99] 3:57.94 [29.27]
2 Daniel Winn Oregon 3:58.50 Q 1:01.36 [30.01] 2:00.48 [29.37] 3:00.28 [30.21] 3:58.50 [29.12]
3 Keffri Neal Kentucky 3:58.99 Q 1:01.28 [30.06] 2:00.86 [29.86] 3:00.56 [29.84] 3:58.99 [29.25]
4 Chad Noelle Oklahoma State 3:59.06 Q 1:01.08 [29.85] 2:00.11 [29.64] 2:59.79 [30.11] 3:59.06 [29.91]
5 Ahmed Bile Georgetown 3:59.92q 1:01.55 [30.18] 2:01.13 [29.99] 3:01.17 [30.15] 3:59.92 [28.95]
6 Julian Oakley Providence 4:00.25 1:01.54 [29.96] 2:01.34 [29.86] 3:01.42 [30.31] 4:00.25 [28.65]
7 Patrick Joseph Virginia Tech 4:07.97 1:00.89 [29.87] 2:00.79 [30.08] 3:02.41 [31.59] 4:07.97 [34.34]
8 Sam Penzenstadler Loyola (Ill.) 4:11.27 1:01.80 [30.20] 2:01.82 [30.08] 3:03.99 [31.74] 4:11.27 [34.69]

Women’s mile

Pre-race favorites Shelby Houlihan and Leah O’Connor ran like it today as both controlled their prelims to advance to tomorrow night’s mile final. Both led the entire way in their prelims and with neither running the DMR, both should be ready to roll for what is sure to be an exciting mile final tomorrow night.

The top five seeds made it through; sixth seed Rhianwedd Price of Mississippi State was DQ’ed from heat 1 after crossing the line third.

Quick Take #1: Leah O’Connor knew it would take a big effort to come back for the DMR and thought she’d be better served running only the mile

Many (including us) assumed O’Connor would anchor Michigan State’s DMR tonight after her stellar 4:26 anchor split carried the Spartans to the title at Big 10s. Instead, in what she said was a tough decision, O’Connor chose only to enter mile as she looked at the other potential anchors in the DMR and knew that it would be difficult to deliver a big performance in that race three hours after running her mile prelim (and with the mile final to come tomorrow).

Tomorrow’s mile final should be a great race and O’Connor is excited as she knows the field is loaded. In our preview, we wrote that Shelby Houlihan and O’Connor would be the women to beat and today’s action confirms that: both women looked very comfortable in controlling their heats and advancing to the final.

Quick Take #2: Rosie Clarke is still feeling the effects of traveling to Prague last week but is hoping today’s race woke her legs up

Clarke was sixth in the 1500 at the European Indoor Championships last week in her first senior competition representing Great Britain and was pleased with that performance. Today, she was third in heat 1 in 4:37.52 to make it through, but she was actually the fourth woman across the line as Rhianwedd Price of Mississippi State was later DQ’ed. Clarke didn’t look totally comfortable, something she attributed to her recent travel but said she hopes today’s race helped get her back to normal for tomorrow’s final.

We asked why Clarke chose to run NCAAs and Europeans while her teammate, NCAA XC champ Kate Avery, only ran Euros. Clarke said she couldn’t speak to Avery but that her personal reason for running both meets is that she wanted to experience everything the NCAA system has to offer in the short time she’s a participant in it.

Heat 1 Results *Lap by lap splits here

Place Name Affiliation Time 409m 809m 1209m Mile
1 Shelby Houlihan Arizona State 4:36.17 Q 1:09.73 [34.61] 2:20.64 [35.59] 3:31.15 [35.16] 4:36.17 [31.21]
2 Sammy Silva New Mexico 4:36.79 Q 1:09.93 [34.69] 2:20.88 [35.61] 3:31.33 [35.11] 4:36.79 [31.63]
3 Rosie Clarke Iona 4:37.52 Q 1:09.99 [34.62] 2:21.00 [35.64] 3:31.16 [35.04] 4:37.52 [32.31]
4 Mariah Kelly Baylor 4:37.81 Q 1:10.31 [34.77] 2:21.07 [35.64] 3:31.32 [34.90] 4:37.81 [32.32]
5 Katie Porada Oregon 4:40.25 1:10.50 [34.86] 2:21.21 [35.61] 3:31.41 [34.80] 4:40.25 [34.96]
6 Blanca Fernández Temple 4:42.17 1:10.25 [34.65] 2:21.19 [35.64] 3:31.68 [35.18] 4:42.17 [35.76]
7 Eleanor Fulton Washington 4:43.78 1:10.77 [34.90] 2:21.84 [35.86] 3:33.30 [35.87] 4:43.78 [34.76]
DQ Rhianwedd Price Miss State 1:10.11 [34.75] 2:20.91 [35.69] 3:31.19 [34.84] 4:36.39 [31.45]

Heat 2 Results *Lap by lap splits here

Place Name Affiliation Time 409m 809m 1209m Mile
1 Leah O’Connor Michigan State 4:34.17 Q 1:08.45 [33.52] 2:16.93 [34.41] 3:25.62 [34.17] 4:34.17 [34.62]
2 Erin Teschuk North Dakota St. 4:34.25 Q 1:08.92 [33.52] 2:17.40 [34.40] 3:26.60 [34.56] 4:34.25 [33.76]
3 Angel Piccirillo Villanova 4:34.67 Q 1:08.68 [33.44] 2:17.17 [34.41] 3:25.93 [34.25] 4:34.67 [34.42]
4 Colleen Quigley Florida State 4:35.36 Q 1:08.63 [33.35] 2:17.24 [34.42] 3:26.26 [34.38] 4:35.36 [34.67]
5 Nikki Hiltz Oregon 4:37.90 1:09.10 [33.65] 2:17.44 [34.47] 3:26.94 [34.78] 4:37.90 [35.45]
6 Stephanie Schappert Villanova 4:38.13 1:09.35 [33.70] 2:17.65 [34.32] 3:27.17 [34.77] 4:38.13 [35.93]
7 Anne Twombly New Hampshire 4:46.69 1:08.87 [33.41] 2:17.85 [34.83] 3:29.79 [36.56] 4:46.69 [38.81]
8 Jenny Celis Oklahoma State 4:57.36 1:09.66 [33.87] 2:18.53 [34.77] 3:31.60 [36.97] 4:57.36 [45.28]

 


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