March 28, 2015
Jeremy Wariner’s 800m debut was a successful one as the 2004 Olympic 400m champion ran a come-from-behind 1:53.02 victory in heat 2 at the 2015 Bobcat Invitational San Marcos, Texas. Wariner’s time was faster than the guys in Heat 1, so he also won the 800 overall at the meet.
Wariner looked like a novice 800m runner (race video below results). He led the first lap going through 400m in 55 seconds. Then 500m into the race, he let a bunch of guys pass him. Five guys passed him the next 100m. Coming around the final turn Wariner had a lot of work to do but started his kick for home. He had enough in the tank to get the win.
The plan for Wariner is to still try to focus on the 400m this year and use the 800m for strength training. Back in January, when Wariner first revealed his plans to run an 800m this year, he told Chris Chavez, “It could be great if I could open up under 1:50 and run around 1:47 or 1:48 as my first one ever. Anything faster than that I’d be happy with. Anything slower than that, I know I’d need more strength work.” It was clear by running at Texas State in a second heat, Wariner had tempered his 800m expectations a bit since January.
Afterwards, Wariner told Flotrack (video below) today’s run was “about where I wanted to be. I wanted to be as close to 1:50 as possible.” He said, “I got to the 500 and it hit me.” The 400m star could have given up but he didn’t saying, “I’m proud of myself I stayed with it and didn’t quit.”
Whether Wariner can be a world-class 400m runner is much in doubt. He has battled injuries recently. 2013 was the first year since Wariner burst on the scene winning Olympic gold in 2004 that he didn’t run sub-45 in the 400m (his best was 45.31). In 2014, Wariner turned 30 and it was the first year Wariner didn’t break 46 seconds (his best was a 46.01 in three 400s) since 2001. Wariner runs his first 400m of 2015 next week.
Jeremy’s win today was his first win in any race since 2013.
Section 2 1 Wariner, Jeremy Adidas 1:53.02 2 Rivera, Brandon West Texas A&M 1:53.28 3 Paul, Sterlen Abilene Christian 1:53.39 4 edgar, marbeq Unattached 1:53.85 5 Cleary, Ryan Abilene Christian 1:54.20 6 Wynn, Tyler Purdue 1:54.75 7 Allen, Darwin Prairie View 1:55.20 8 Kapmatana, Kevin Papua New Gu 1:57.74 9 Rollock, Fard Prairie View 1:58.10 10 Mcghee, Wesley Unattached 2:03.85
Race video via Flotrack
*Discuss Jeremy’s run here.