Robby Andrews & Lauren Wallace Claim First National Titles In Thrilling 1,000s
March 1, 2015
BOSTON – New distance, new champions. In the first 1,000-meter event at USATF Indoors since 1939, Robby Andrews and Lauren Wallace kicked best to claim their first national titles. Andrews used a devastating final 75 meters to win in 2:21.91 over his two former NY / NJ teammates Kyle Merber (2:22.39) and Michael Rutt (2:22.44), while Wallace won an epic four-way kick at the line, crossing in 2:40.42. Behind her, three more women crossed in the next .44 seconds, led by Treniere Moser in second, who was boxed in for almost all of the final lap and could not escape until it was too late.
Results, video interviews and quick takes below.
Men’s 1,000 (Lap-By-Lap Splits)
|2||Kyle Merber||Hoka One One||2:22.39|
|3||Michael Rutt||Hoka N J N Y||2:22.44|
|6||James Gilreath||adidas Tm Green||2:24.26|
|7||Harun Abda||Nike / OTC Elite||2:24.45|
|8||Liam Boylan-Pett||N J N Y TC||2:26.18|
Quick Take #1: Don’t expect a change in strategies anytime soon from Robby Andrews, who is happy training again under his old college coach Jason Vigilante.
Andrews was in the lead for the first couple of laps and was closer to the front than normal when the kicking began, but that wasn’t the product of a new strategy – he just knew that the pace was slow (1:27.97 through 600) and he figured that if the other runners were just letting him hang around near the front, he might as well stay there. He looked like the Andrews of old as he swung wide on the home stretch to kick home for his first national title, closing in 25.82 for his final lap (the next-best final lap was Kyle Merber’s 26.46), opening up a gap on the home stretch.
Andrews thanked his former coach Frank Gagliano along with Vigilante in his interview and said that he still gets along well with his former NJ*NY TC teammates Merber and Michael Rutt (who were second and third in this race), but it was clear that he feels he is in a good place under Vigilante at the moment. He’s now moving up to the 1,500 outdoors, where the competition will be fierce for a spot on Team USA.
We’ll have time to analyze this win for Andrews in the coming days. Some are saying it means he’s back: MB: Lewis Johnson: ‘Maybe Robby Andrews is Back!”
Quick Take #2: Kyle Merber continues to mature as a runner.
Merber was pleased with his performance and knows that Andrews is a tough man to beat when he’s on his game. Merber said that coach Frank Gagliano has had him work more on a prolonged kick – gradually ramping up the pace before hitting top gear over the final 100 meters of a race – because that is how professional middle-distance races are usually won. In the past, Merber would make a strong move with a certain distance to go, which is an approach that worked for him in high school and college but may not always succeed at the pro level.
Quick Take #3: Michael Rutt wasn’t happy after this one.
Rutt was far from happy when this one was over and went through the media area without talking to the press. To be fair, we didn’t try to stop him as he looked like a man on a mission – to get through the mixed zone as quickly as possible.
Women’s 1,000 (Lap-By-Lap Splits)
|1||Lauren Wallace||Oiselle / SRA El||2:40.42|
|2||Treniere Moser||Nike / Nike Or P||2:40.62 (2:40.611)|
|3||Stephanie Brown||Nike||2:40.62 (2:40.619)|
|6||Stephanie Charnigo||N J N Y TC||2:41.87|
|9||Emily Lipari||Boston A A||2:48.16|
Quick Take #1: Lauren Wallace surprised herself with the win, but planned on risking it all on the rail all along.
Wallace, who is Oiselle’s first national champion, admitted she surprised herself by getting the win tonight. “The coolest part for me was just running through the tape, I’ve never been able to do that before,” said Wallace after the race.
As for grabbing the lead by coming up the rail, Wallace said it was her plan all along:
“I knew that everyone would swing wide – that seems to be the tactic on an indoor track, unfortunately I learned that the hard way a couple of weeks ago in Birmingham.”
“Last night, when I was going over my race plan, I just decided to just stay comfortable in lane one and I knew there would be a gap opening up. So I just took advantage of the gap and really gave it all the last 50 meters.”
Quick Take #2: Wallace’s coach, Drew Wartenburg, said indoors hadn’t gone as planned for Wallace but they kept to their plan and were rewarded.
After opening with a 2:02.98 win, Wallace only ran 2:04.03 last week in the UK but today everything went her way. Wartenburg talked about how last year Wallace and Kim Conley trained together a lot, but this winter with Conley running (and winning) the US Half Championships in Houston, they haven’t been training together at all.
Quick Take #3: Moser was fairly satisfied with second after getting boxed in.
We thought we’d encounter a very upset Treniere Moser after this one was over as she was the favorite coming in. But Moser, who was boxed in for much of the second lap, viewed the race as a learning experience.
“(Getting boxed in) has been my weakness for a while so my walk away is ‘Win or learn’ so I’m learning that I can’t keep putting myself in bad spots – just get a clear shot of the finish line. It probably cost me a little bit but the field was so competitive and the girls so good, it was a dogfight, so to walk away with second to the women (in the race) isn’t that bad.”
Moser said she hadn’t raced this much indoors since college ( 5 weeks in a row she said). Outdoors, she hopes to have just 4 races before USAs, possibly opening up at Drake.
Quick Take #4: Charlene Lipsey says she never knows what she’s going to do on a given day now that she’s training under Khadevis Robinson.