Recap: Manzano, Wheating, Loxsom Impress; Rowbury Struggles, Cain Really Struggles & The Jury Remains Out on Nick Symmonds

May 14, 2015

The 2015 Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic went well for some runners, went poorly for others and in some cases — if you were in the 5,000 or sections 2 and 3 of the men’s 1500 — it didn’t go at all, thanks to a downpour and lightning storm that forced the meet to be cancelled before completion.

We have three overall thoughts on the meet here: Three Thoughts on 2015 Hoka One One: It’s official – Mary Cain is struggling, USATF had better finish this meet, and where were the fast times?. Below we recap the action that actually took place.

Apart from the steeplechase, times were slow across the board as only eight people hit IAAF World Championship qualifiers — three each in the men’s and women’s steeples and Maggie Vessey and Jenny Simpson in the women’s 800. Still, there were strong showings from Cas LoxsomLeo ManzanoAndrew Wheating and Katie Mackey, all of whom stamped themselves as serious contenders for Team USA this summer.

Rain, rain go away: the meet was cut short due to thunderstorms Rain, rain go away

Nick Symmonds and Shannon Rowbury are among the runners wondering what might have been. Though they were able to race before the rain came, both were severely impacted by falls directly in front of them as Symmonds totally lost momentum with 300 to go in the 800 while Rowbury hit the ground 500 meters into the 1500 (after finishing last in her heat of the 800). We break down all the action with recaps, results and quick takes below.

Full results * All LRC coverage

MB: Official Hoka One One Live Thread and Live Radio Show
LRC Three Thoughts on 2015 Hoka One One: It’s official – Mary Cain is struggling, USATF had better finish this meet, and where were the fast times?

Men’s 800: Loxsom Goes Wire-to-Wire; Symmonds Thrown off by Fall

Article continues below player.

The rabbit went out extremely quickly in this one and had a big gap on the field at 200 meters. He slowed over the second 200 and led the field through 50.87 at the halfway mark with Cas Loxsom and Matthew Centrowitz behind him. Nick Symmonds did not get out well and ran in last for most of the first lap. At the bell, Loxsom and Centrowitz began to separate and open up some ground on the field.

Screenshot (182) Scheetz’ fall threw off Rutt and Symmonds

Symmonds passed one runner to move into seventh, but any chance of the win evaporated at 500 meters. Ben Scheetz, in fifth at the time, appeared to step on the rail and fell down. That threw Mike Rutt and Symmonds off balance as they dodged Scheetz’s body. Their loss of momentum, coupled with the acceleration of the leaders up front wiped out any chance they had at the win.

With 100 to go, it was still Loxsom leading Centrowitz and those two would battle throughout the homestretch. But no one, not even a hard-charging Charles Jock (who made up a lot of ground over the final 100) could catch Loxsom, who held on to win in 1:46.23, a nice time in his first outdoor open 800 of the season. Centrowitz just held off Jock for second in 1:46.55.

Ryan Martin looked good in section 2, holding off Canadian Anthony Romaniw and running the second-fastest time of the night (1:46.37).

Section 1

1 Casimir Loxsom
Brooks Beasts
1:46.23 1
2 Matthew Centrowitz
00 – Nike Oregon Project
1:46.55 3
3 Charles Jock
Nike OTC
1:46.58 [1:46.572] 4
4 Mark Wieczorek
Brooks Beasts
1:46.79 6
5 Johan Rogestedt
1:48.86 9
6 Mike Rutt
08 – Hoka One One/NJNYTC
1:48.94 10
7 Nick Symmonds
Brooks Beasts
1:49.81 12
DNF Ben Scheetz

Section 2

1 Ryan Martin
1:46.37 2
2 Anthony Romaniw
80 – Speed River New Balance TFC
1:46.58 [1:46.574] 5
3 Jared West
Nike Aus
1:48.49 7
4 Declan Murray
1:48.68 8
5 Geoff Harris
1:50.87 18
6 Felix Kitur
1:51.11 19
7 Jamal James
1:52.83 21

Section 3

1 Alex Ullman
1:49.01 11
2 Luke Mathews
00 – Melbourne Track Club
1:50.14 13
3 Aaron Evans
00 – Team run Eugene
1:50.36 14
4 Cameron Proceviat
1:50.48 15
5 James Gilreath
70 – Adidas Team Green Running
1:50.49 16
6 Shawn Roberts
1:50.70 17
7 Richard Jones
1:51.75 20

Quick Take #1: Cas Loxsom’s terrific 2015 continues

Loxsom after the race Loxsom after the race

Loxsom didn’t get the Worlds standard of 1:46.00 but he looked in control in this race, going wire-to-wire for the win behind the rabbit. Loxsom capped a great indoor season with a win and an American record in the 600 at USA indoors and he ran a very good 1:45.59 third leg on the U.S.’s gold-medal-winning 4×800 at World Relays two weeks ago. Second at USA outdoors in 2014, Loxsom appears well-positioned to make his first U.S. senior team this year.

Quick Take #2: The jury remains out on Nick Symmonds

In the past, Symmonds has had success running from the back (though often against faster fields than the one assembled here) but when he lost his balance after Scheetz’s fall with 300 meters to go, he was in seventh place and didn’t look great. It’s impossible to say how fast he would have closed, and though it would have taken a big effort to catch the leaders — he was almost 20 meters back of Loxsom/Centrowitz — we have seen Symmonds make up those deficits before. For now, the jury remains out on Symmonds, but he doesn’t have many positives to take away from his races so far in 2015 — an 8:20 3k indoors, a 3:44 1500 at Stanford and now a 1:49 in his first outdoor 800 since 2013. The fans on the messageboard cerrtainly weren’t impressed by this one: MB: Symmonds BOMBS

Women’s 800: Maggie Vessey & Jenny Simpson Hit IAAF Standard of 2:01.00

Maggie Vessey, running in another of her unique designs (this outfit looked very much like a bikini), ran the fastest time on the night, taking section 2 in 2:00.70 as she just held off Jenny Simpson, who made her 2015 outdoor debut (Simpson just missed her pb of 2:00.45 set at this meet two years ago). In section one, the Nike Oregon Project’s Treniere Moser got back on track with a 2:01.67 victory (she ran 2:04.96 at the Oregon Relays on April 18), getting the win over 2012 Olympian Geena Lara. 2014 World indoor champ Chanelle Price was fourth and Moser’s NOP teammate Shannon Rowbury struggled, finishing last in her heat in 2:03.46.

Section 1

1 Treniere Moser
00 – Nike Oregon Project
2:01.67 3
2 Geena Lara
2:01.87 4
3 Latavia Thomas
2:01.89 5
4 Chanelle Price
2:01.98 6
5 Phoebe Wright
2:02.18 8
6 Selma Kajan
00 – Melbourne Track Club
2:02.68 [2:02.674] 11
7 Jessica Smith
2:02.81 12
8 Shannon Rowbury
00 – Nike Oregon Project
2:03.46 14

Section 2

1 Maggie Vessey
2:00.70 1
2 Jenny Simpson
New Balance
2:00.79 2
3 Brittany McGowan
00 – Melbourne Track Club
2:02.17 7
4 Karine Belleau-Beliveau
00 – Speed River/Asics
2:02.49 9
5 Shannon Leinert
01 – Brooks/Speed Factory Athletics
2:02.68 [2:02.673] 10
6 Lauren Wallace
2:03.73 16
7 Kendra Chambers
2:06.07 25
8 Charlene Lipsey
2:06.63 27

Section 3

1 Maggie Vessey
2:00.70 1
2 Jenny Simpson
New Balance
2:00.79 2
3 Brittany McGowan
00 – Melbourne Track Club
2:02.17 7
4 Karine Belleau-Beliveau
00 – Speed River/Asics
2:02.49 9
5 Shannon Leinert
01 – Brooks/Speed Factory Athletics
2:02.68 [2:02.673] 10
6 Lauren Wallace
2:03.73 16
7 Kendra Chambers
2:06.07 25
8 Charlene Lipsey
2:06.63 27

Section 4

1 Alexa Efraimson
2:03.23 13
2 McKayla Fricker
2:03.50 15
3 Lindsey Butterworth
11 – SFU
2:05.87 23
4 Annette Melcher
Air Force WCAP
2:05.98 24
5 Dalanne Zanotelli
Big Bear TC
2:06.76 28
6 Celia Peters
2:08.57 29
7 Manami Mashita
2:09.42 30

Men’s 1500: Leo Manzano and Andrew Wheating Come Up Big

Manzano FTW Manzano FTW

The race went out quickly as the first rabbit came through in 41.65 seconds for the first 300 meters and roughly 56 for 400. Andrew Wheating was the first non-rabbit, followed by Julian Matthews and a gap to the next group. The next 400 remained quick, as Wheating remained in the lead, crossing 800 in around 1:55. At this point, he and Matthews were joined by four other men: Leo Manzano, Kyle Merber, Ciaran O’Lionaird and Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Obaid Al Salhi.

The race slowed way down on the third lap once the rabbit dropped off at 1000 meters. Wheating ran just a 61.43 at the front from 700 to 1100 meters (Wheating’s splits were 42.25 then 58.01 (1:40.25) then 61.43 (2:41.68)). That allowed most of the field to get back in it and the pack was huge with 300 to go. The kicking began when Al Salhi made a bid for the lead on the backstretch of the final lap. Manzano responded immediately and went to the front; with 100 to go, he really turned on the jets and blasted away from the rest of the field, winning comfortably in 3:38.96 with a 57.19 final lap (27.x last 200). Wheating, who initally had faded to sixth with 200 to go, looked strong late in the race as well and he separated from the rest of the field over the final 50 meters for second in 3:39.56. Kyle Merber was the best of the rest in third in 3:40.03 as spots 3 through 10 were separated by just .51 of a second.

1 Leo Manzano
Hoka One One
3:38.96 1(1)
2 Andrew Wheating
Nike OTC
3:39.56 1(2)
3 Kyle Merber
54 – Hoka One One/NJNYTC
3:40.03 1(3)
4 Mac Fleet
Nike OTC
3:40.04 1(4)
5 Julian Matthews
3:40.24 1(5)
6 Riley Masters
3:40.34 1(6)
7 Jordan McNamara
Nike OTC
3:40.45 1(7)
8 Abdullah Obaid Al Salhi
00 – EMPIR
3:40.54 1(8)
9 Ross Proudfoot
46 – Speed River New Balance TFC
3:40.57 1(9)
10 Ciaran O’Lionaird
3:41.04 1(10)
11 David Torrence
Hoka One One
3:41.75 1(11)
12 Pat Casey
Nike OTC
3:43.36 1(12)
13 Christian Gonzalez
3:45.75 1(13)
14 Tommy Schmitz
Speed Factory
3:47.22 1(14)
Manzano sported a new Hoka One One speedsuit Manzano sported a new Hoka One One speedsuit

Quick Take #1: Leo Manzano has an Olympic silver medal for a reason

When he’s on his game, there are only a handful of people in the world who can match Leo Manzano in the final 100 meters of a 1500. Tonight, he showed the speed that has earned him two U.S. 1500 titles as he destroyed everyone over the final straight to take the win easily. He is right on track to make his seventh straight U.S. team outdoors in Eugene.

Quick Take #2: An odd race for Andrew Wheating, but a good sign

Even though in the end, the time was slow, the fitness seems to be there for Andrew Wheating. He got out aggressively and clearly felt like he was capable of running a quick time. Maybe he thought he was fitter than he really is though as he struggled when he was in the lead. With 200 to go, it looked as if the entire field might come past him. However, he regrouped and once he got out of the box on the home straight, he devoured the track with his long stride. Wheating appeared shot out of a cannon, separating himself from the chasers and closing the gap on Manzano.Now he has to fine-tune his tactics before USAs if he is to make the team at 1500.

Being injured (as Wheating was for most of 2014) is a problem for athletes as in addition to having to rebuild their fitness, it prevents them from working on their tactics — a critical skill for a 1500 runner. This was just Wheating’s third 1500 since USAs in 2013 and it showed that he still might be a bit rusty tactically despite running several outdoor races in Australia/New Zealand earlier this year.

Tactics improve with experience and the more Wheating gets accustomed to racing again, the better he’ll be in these situations in the future. The good news is that Wheating’s kick is still there; if he can close like he did tonight, few men will be able to beat him at USAs six weeks from now.

However, the best news of the night is that Wheating’s confidence seems to be back.


Women’s 1500: Katie Mackey & Sarah Brown Take Top Two Sections

Section 1

It was close, but Mackey edged Grunewald in section 1 It was close, but Mackey edged Grunewald in section 1

Shannon Rowbury, doubling back from the 800 40 minutes earlier, was never a factor in this one as she went down 500 meters into the race when Heather Wilson fell directly ahead of her. Rowbury picked herself up quickly but couldn’t close in on the leaders.

At the bell, Canadian Nicole Sifuentes led Katie Mackey, Stephanie Brown, Gabe Grunewald and Sally Kipyego. With 200 to go, it was down to Sifuentes, Mackey and Grunewald and midway through the final turn, Mackey struck, swinging wide past Sifuentes to take the lead. Grunewald responded and appeared to cut off Sifuentes as she attempted to make up ground on Mackey. Both Mackey and Grunewald displayed good form as they sprinted down the homestretch but in the end Mackey had the strength to hold on and take the win in 4:07.51 to Grunewald’s 4:07.67 (62.54 final lap for Mackey).

1 Katie Mackey
Brooks Beasts
4:07.51 1
2 Gabriele Grunewald
22 – Brooks / Team USA Minnesota
4:07.67 2
3 Nicole Sifuentes
4:09.23 5
4 Stephanie Brown
4:11.24 10
5 Gabriela Stafford
00 – University of Toronto
4:11.92 11
6 Sally Kipyego
Nike OTC
4:11.95 12
7 Shannon Rowbury
00 – Nike Oregon Project
4:12.62 13
8 Stephanie Charnigo
00 – Saucony/ NJ/NY Track Club
4:14.11 18
9 Trychelle Kingdom
UTS Norths
4:19.60 30
10 Kerri Gallagher
4:23.43 31
DNF Heather Wilson

Section 2

Brown kicked best in section 2 Brown held on to win section 2

This race came down to a six-way sprint over the final 100 meters of the race. At the bell, Emma Coburn, Sarah Brown, Melissa Duncan, Nicole Tully and Morgan Uceny were all together and remained that way as they entered the final straight. Brown led at that point and as the kicking began, Coburn couldn’t shift gears but everyone else was still in it. Tully made a big move on the outside to get up for second, but no one could run down Brown, who held on for the win in 4:09.00.

Rowbury showed she’s human tonight.

1 Sarah Brown
New Balance
4:09.00 3
2 Nicole Tully
00 – Hoka/NYAC
4:09.10 4
3 Nikki Hamblin
New Zealand
4:09.37 6
4 Melissa Duncan
00 – Melbourne Track Club
4:09.41 7
5 Morgan Uceny
4:09.74 8
6 Emma Coburn
New Balance
4:10.77 9
7 Sheila Reid
Nike OTC
4:12.66 14
8 Dana Mecke
4:13.34 15
9 Lauren Johnson
Nike OTC
4:14.74 20
10 Hilary Stellingwerff
51 – Speed River New Balance TFC
4:16.38 23
11 Mary Cain
00 – Nike Oregon Project
4:16.48 25
12 Cory McGee
New Balance
4:17.05 26

Section 3

1 Sasha Gollish
00 – University of Toronto
4:13.40 16
2 Rachel Schneider
Under Armour
4:13.81 17
3 Carise Thompson
91 – Speed River New Balance TFC
4:14.20 19
4 Rosie Clarke
Iona College
4:15.32 21
5 Kendra Pomfret
UVic Vikes
4:15.49 22
6 Mariah Kelly
4:16.44 24
7 Emily Lipari
4:17.21 27
8 Amanda Mergaert
25 – Big Bear TC
4:17.89 28
9 Hillary Holt
4:19.00 29
10 Kelsey Duerksen
4:24.12 32
11 Tracee van der Wyk
4:27.14 33
12 Liina Tsernov
4:38.95 34

Quick Take #1: Not a great night for Shannon Rowbury

Rowbury struggled to a last-place finish in section 1 of the 800 (2:03.46) and her shot at redemption was cut short when she hit the track following Wilson’s fall. It’s nothing to be too concerned about — she ran well in anchoring the U.S. to a DMR world record at the World Relays — but not what Rowbury was hoping from tonight.

Quick Take #2: Things can change a lot in two years

In 2013, things were looking up for Mary Cain and Cory McGee. Both made their first U.S. senior world teams in the 1500 and neither was older than 21. Tonight, they were second-to-last and last in section 2 of the 1500. Both took a step back last year outdoors and instead of reversing the trend, both have continued to struggle outdoors in 2015. They’re still young, but the chances of both making their second straight teams this year appear slim.

For more on Cain, check out our extended thoughts on her here.

MB: Mary Cain is Officially DONE

Quick Take #3: Sarah Brown keeps rolling

Brown, who was also on that 2013 1500 squad (as an injury replacement for Treniere Moser), has excelled over a variety of distances so far this year. She ran the 1200 leg on a world-record-setting DMR squad indoors in Boston, was the top American at the Carlsbad 5000 (earning a nice $5,400 payday after John Legere doubled American prize money in the race) and ran a then-world-leading 4:08.15 to win at Mt. SAC on April 17. She looked strong and confident tonight at Oxy and has to be feeling good about her chances for Beijing considering the U.S. once again gets four spots in the women’s 1500 due to Jenny Simpson’s Diamond League title.

Men’s 3000 steeplechase: Three Get the Standard

2013 Worlds sixth-placer Matt Hughes of Canada got the win as he led three men under the IAAF standard of 8:28.00. One of them was American Travis Mahoney, who broke 8:30 for the first time at 8:27.08.

Place Athlete Time
1 Matt Hughes
2 Taylor Milne
Speed River New Balance TFC
3 Travis Mahoney
4 Chris Winter
Speed River New Balance TFC
6 Matt Cleaver
Adidas/Rogue AC
7 Ryan Brockerville
8 James Nipperess
ASICS Sydney Australia
9 Ben Bruce
10 Chris Dulhanty
Speed River New Balance TFC
11 Austin Bussing
Adidas/Rogue AC
12 Luis Ibarra
13 David Goodman
NE Distance
14 Javier Quintana
15 Henry Sterling
NE Distance
16 Michael Jordan
17 Troy Reeder

Women’s 3000 steeplechase: Stephanie Garcia & Ashley Higginson Go 1-2

Last year’s second- and third-place finishers at USAs, Ashley Higginson and Stephanie Garcia, went 1-2, though in the reverse order from USAs as Garcia won this time with Higginson second. As in the men’s race, three women got the IAAF standard of 9:44.00, including Garcia and Higginson.

1 Stephanie Garcia
New Balance
2 Ashley Higginson
Saucony/ NJ/NY Track Club
3 Genevieve Lalonde
Speed River New Balance TFC
4 Lennie Waite
Adidas/Rogue AC
5 Ana Cristina Narvaez
6 Sarah Pease
Adidas/Rogue AC
7 Mary Goldkamp
Rogue AC
8 Rebeka Stowe
9 Megan Rolland
10 Jamie Cheever
Club Northwest/Brooks
11 Collier Lawrence
12 Addie Bracy
Brooks/Hudson Elite
13 Nicole Bush
New Balance
14 Amber Schultz
15 Mel Lawrence
16 Courtney Heiner
Strava TC
17 Mayuko Nakamura


Discuss this meet in our fan forum: Three Thoughts on 2015 Hoka One One: It’s official – Mary Cain is struggling, USATF had better finish this meet, and where were the fast times?


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