800 Prelims: Charles Jock & Brandon Johnson Go Home as the Rest of the Favorites Advance

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By LetsRun.com
June 25, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. — There were no surprises in the first round of the women’s 800 at USAs as all of the big names advanced to Friday’s semifinals. The only woman in the top 20 on the 2015 U.S. list who failed to advance were Stanford’s NCAA runner-up Claudia Saunders (2:00.63, #10 U.S.) and Arkansas’ NCAA 4th-placer Chrishuna Williams (2:01.61, #20 U.S.).

There wasn’t much drama as favorites Ajee Wilson, Brenda Martinez, Chanelle Price, Molly Ludlow and Maggie Vessey all looked very comfortable.

The men’s side had a few more casualties as two ‘names’ went out. 2011 world championship team member Charles Jock, who had the second fastest time of all the entrants on the year at 1:45.40, went home after a hamstring injury (Jock did not speak to media in the mixed zone but Race Results Weekly’s David Monti told LRC about Jock’s hamstring), as did 2013 World Championship team member Brandon Johnson.

However, those were really the only surprises. 15 men came into the 800 prelims having run under 1:47 this year and 12 of them moved on with the only exceptions being Jock (#2, 1:45.40), Craig Engels of Ole Miss (#7, 1:46.13) and Johnson (#15 – 1:46.90).

Rather than give a comprehensive recap of each heat, we’ll tell you what we learned after speaking with the top runners.

Men’s results

Heat 1

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Duane Solomon Jr Saucony 1:47.39 Q 25.09 [25.09] 51.81 [26.73] 1:19.19 [27.38] 1:47.39 [28.21]
2 Mark Wieczorek Brooks 1:47.72 Q 25.47 [25.47] 52.21 [26.74] 1:19.62 [27.42] 1:47.72 [28.10]
3 Casimir Loxsom Brooks 1:47.76 Q 25.28 [25.28] 52.02 [26.74] 1:19.37 [27.36] 1:47.76 [28.40]
4 Jesse Jorgensen Unattached 1:48.18 25.71 [25.71] 52.50 [26.79] 1:20.37 [27.88] 1:48.18 [27.81]
5 Jesse Garn Binghamton 1:48.59 26.03 [26.03] 53.67 [27.65] 1:21.70 [28.04] 1:48.59 [26.89]
6 Nick Hartle U C L A 1:48.84 25.88 [25.88] 52.89 [27.01] 1:21.29 [28.40] 1:48.84 [27.55]
7 Ryan Manahan Georgetown 1:49.54 26.09 [26.09] 52.77 [26.68] 1:20.93 [28.16] 1:49.54 [28.61]
8 Brandon Lasater Georgia Tech 1:50.32 26.24 [26.24] 53.41 [27.17] 1:21.82 [28.42] 1:50.32 [28.51]

Heat 2

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Erik Sowinski Nike 1:47.80 Q 25.71 [25.71] 52.03 [26.33] 1:19.25 [27.22] 1:47.80 [28.55]
2 Boris Berian Big Bear TC 1:48.47 Q 25.86 [25.86] 52.30 [26.44] 1:19.56 [27.27] 1:48.47 [28.91]
3 Harun Abda Nike / Nike OTCE 1:48.66 Q 25.57 [25.57] 52.44 [26.87] 1:19.74 [27.31] 1:48.66 [28.92]
4 Dylan Capwell Monmouth 1:49.43 25.62 [25.62] 52.64 [27.03] 1:20.97 [28.33] 1:49.43 [28.46]
5 Joe McAsey Illinois 1:49.92 25.85 [25.85] 52.70 [26.85] 1:20.49 [27.80] 1:49.92 [29.44]
6 Richard Jones Unattached 1:50.06 25.80 [25.80] 52.97 [27.17] 1:20.81 [27.85] 1:50.06 [29.26]
7 Drew Windle Ashland 1:50.53 25.78 [25.78] 53.25 [27.47] 1:21.25 [28.01] 1:50.53 [29.28]
8 Brandon Johnson Nike 1:51.24 25.61 [25.61] 52.50 [26.89] 1:20.88 [28.39] 1:51.24 [30.36]

Heat 3

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Clayton Murphy Akron 1:46.35 Q 26.24 [26.24] 53.01 [26.77] 1:19.84 [26.84] 1:46.35 [26.51]
2 Nicholas Symmonds BROOKS Beasts 1:46.37 Q 27.05 [27.05] 53.27 [26.22] 1:20.09 [26.83] 1:46.37 [26.29]
3 Shaquille Walker B Y U 1:46.51 Q 25.92 [25.92] 52.46 [26.54] 1:19.31 [26.86] 1:46.51 [27.20]
4 Michael Rutt Hoka / N J N Y 1:46.57 26.37 [26.37] 52.79 [26.42] 1:19.52 [26.74] 1:46.57 [27.06]
5 Goaner Deng Minnesota 1:48.62 26.55 [26.55] 53.35 [26.80] 1:20.96 [27.62] 1:48.62 [27.67]
6 Joseph White Georgetown 1:50.53 26.77 [26.77] 53.59 [26.82] 1:20.81 [27.23] 1:50.53 [29.72]
7 Charles Jock NIKE OTCE 1:51.17 26.50 [26.50] 53.24 [26.74] 1:20.37 [27.14] 1:51.17 [30.80]
8 William Ledder Georgetown 1:53.19 26.21 [26.21] 52.68 [26.47] 1:21.20 [28.53] 1:53.19 [31.99]

Heat 4

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Brannon Kidder Penn St. 1:47.80 Q 26.63 [26.63] 53.31 [26.68] 1:20.55 [27.25] 1:47.80 [27.25]
2 Joe Abbott Unattached 1:48.04 Q 26.25 [26.25] 53.22 [26.97] 1:20.95 [27.74] 1:48.04 [27.09]
3 Christopher Low Long Beach St 1:48.04 Q 26.44 [26.44] 52.77 [26.33] 1:20.70 [27.93] 1:48.04 [27.35]
4 Ryan Martin ASICS 1:48.14 26.12 [26.12] 52.90 [26.78] 1:20.81 [27.91] 1:48.14 [27.34]
5 Julian Parker L S U 1:48.20 26.37 [26.37] 53.01 [26.64] 1:20.62 [27.62] 1:48.20 [27.59]
6 Craig Engels Ole Miss 1:48.56 25.99 [25.99] 52.57 [26.58] 1:20.43 [27.87] 1:48.56 [28.13]
7 Holland Sherrer Ole Miss 1:48.83 26.17 [26.17] 53.04 [26.88] 1:21.16 [28.12] 1:48.83 [27.68]
8 Brandon Hazouri Samford 1:53.88 26.50 [26.50] 53.52 [27.03] 1:22.55 [29.04] 1:53.88 [31.34]

Boris Berian
The US leader is a little bit surprised with his success this year where he has gone from 1:48 to 1:43. He talked like a veteran who has done this before even though he hasn’t, although he had success at the D2 level.

Duane Solomon was a little nervous as today was the first open 800 he’s finished in 2015

Solomon has been dealing with an injury near the soleus muscle in his calf for several months and said that this was the first time this season that he was able to get through a race without pain. He said that he was still able to get in some good workouts but that the injury didn’t allow him to run several races this spring (he scratched from Pre and DNF’ed at the adidas Grand Prix).

We wondered if the schedule at USAs (three races in four days) might be tough on his leg, but Solomon said he thinks it will be the opposite as he’s always been good running rounds.

“It’s easy to go out and run one good race, but can you do it after two hard rounds in you?” Solomon said. Indeed, that’s one of the big questions about the 800 at USAs this year as Boris Berian has by far the fastest time on the year but has never run at USAs before.

Brandon Johnson: “When I’m healthy, I’m good, but when I’m hurt, I’m crap”

The 1:43 man, who made Worlds two years ago, did not advance as he finished last in heat 2, running 1:51.24. Heading into USAs, Johnson hadn’t raced since the World Relays on May 3, which suggested he may have been injured, and he confirmed that was indeed the case. He had been dealing with a heel injury (he said he now has a fracture in his heel) and after running a workout on it, he found he could no longer put any weight on his foot. He then got an MRI, which revealed the partial tear. Johnson said he still wanted to give it a go at USAs but clearly he wasn’t close to 100% today.

It’s a tough break for the 30-year-old, as he developed a femoral acetabular impingement right after the World Relays last year, costing him almost the entire summer. Johnson is going to get surgery now on his heel and said his season is most likely over, but he’s focused on coming back strong and making the Olympic team in 2016.

NCAA runner-up Brannon Kidder is focused on making the final on Sunday and then he’ll “see what happens”

Cas Loxsom And His Training Partners Are Through

Cas went through with training partner Mark Wieczorek as they followed Duane Solomon into the semis. Cas said fellow Nittany Lion Brandon Kidder is a collegian who could do something at USAs.

 

Ryan Martin Starts Over in the Semis
Martin finished in lane 5 of his heat and would advance to the semis on time. He knows he starts from scratch in the semis.

Women’s results

Heat 1

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Ajee’ Wilson adidas 2:01.96 Q 28.28 [28.28] 58.66 [30.38] 1:30.67 [32.02] 2:01.96 [31.29]
2 Alysia Montano ASICS / N Y A C 2:02.00 Q 28.34 [28.34] 58.77 [30.44] 1:30.74 [31.98] 2:02.00 [31.27]
3 Charlene Lipsey adidas 2:02.48 Q 28.49 [28.49] 59.03 [30.55] 1:30.97 [31.95] 2:02.48 [31.52]
4 Geena Lara Unattached 2:02.97 28.93 [28.93] 59.64 [30.71] 1:31.29 [31.66] 2:02.97 [31.68]
5 LaTavia Thomas N J N Y T C 2:03.22 28.54 [28.54] 59.14 [30.61] 1:31.00 [31.87] 2:03.22 [32.22]
6 Kenyetta Iyevbele Unattached 2:03.27 29.01 [29.01] 1:00.02 [31.02] 1:31.98 [31.96] 2:03.27 [31.30]
7 Bethany Praska Unattached 2:05.41 28.73 [28.73] 59.42 [30.69] 1:31.21 [31.80] 2:05.41 [34.20]
8 Stephanie Schappert Villanova 2:07.28 29.94 [29.94] 1:00.65 [30.72] 1:33.05 [32.40] 2:07.28 [34.24]

 

Heat 2

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Molly Ludlow Saucony 2:03.73 Q 28.74 [28.74] 59.59 [30.85] 1:31.37 [31.79] 2:03.73 [32.36]
2 Hanna Green Virginia Tech 2:04.58 Q 29.26 [29.26] 1:00.80 [31.54] 1:33.24 [32.45] 2:04.58 [31.35]
3 Kaela Edwards Oklahoma St. 2:04.95 Q 29.83 [29.83] 1:01.36 [31.53] 1:33.96 [32.61] 2:04.95 [31.00]
4 Dominique Jackson S R A Elite 2:05.77 29.52 [29.52] 1:00.95 [31.43] 1:33.03 [32.09] 2:05.77 [32.74]
5 Shannon Leinert Brooks / Spd Fac 2:06.78 29.60 [29.60] 1:00.96 [31.37] 1:32.90 [31.94] 2:06.78 [33.89]
6 Claudia Saunders Stanford 2:07.33 29.34 [29.34] 1:00.75 [31.41] 1:33.29 [32.54] 2:07.33 [34.04]
7 Maya Williamson Memphis 2:08.05 29.08 [29.08] 1:00.53 [31.45] 1:32.84 [32.32] 2:08.05 [35.21]
DNF Erin Donohue Unattached

 

Heat 3

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Brenda Martinez New Balance 2:02.33 Q 29.07 [29.07] 1:00.09 [31.03] 1:31.60 [31.51] 2:02.33 [30.73]
2 Phoebe Wright Nike 2:02.47 Q 29.23 [29.23] 1:00.22 [31.00] 1:31.85 [31.63] 2:02.47 [30.63]
3 Lauren Wallace Oiselle / S R A 2:02.56 Q 29.66 [29.66] 1:00.43 [30.78] 1:32.09 [31.66] 2:02.56 [30.47]
4 Mckayla Fricker Unattached 2:02.75 29.47 [29.47] 1:00.57 [31.11] 1:32.31 [31.75] 2:02.75 [30.45]
5 Elizabeth Staker Embry-Riddle 2:04.31 30.00 [30.00] 1:01.10 [31.11] 1:33.23 [32.14] 2:04.31 [31.08]
6 Kendra Chambers Unattached 2:04.70 29.17 [29.17] 1:00.15 [30.99] 1:31.69 [31.54] 2:04.70 [33.02]
7 Christina Cazzola Oiselle 2:07.57 28.94 [28.94] 60.00 [31.07] 1:32.03 [32.04] 2:07.57 [35.55]
8 Stephanie Herrick Central Park T C 2:15.47 29.85 [29.85] 1:01.19 [31.35] 1:36.50 [35.32] 2:15.47 [38.97]

 

Heat 4

Place Name Affiliation Time 200m 400m 600m 800m
1 Chanelle Price Nike 2:02.60 Q 28.99 [28.99] 59.93 [30.94] 1:31.82 [31.90] 2:02.60 [30.79]
2 Maggie Vessey Unattached 2:03.13 Q 29.22 [29.22] 1:00.17 [30.96] 1:31.94 [31.78] 2:03.13 [31.19]
3 Dana Mecke Unattached 2:03.36 Q 29.39 [29.39] 1:00.68 [31.29] 1:32.22 [31.55] 2:03.36 [31.15]
4 Chrishuna Williams Arkansas 2:03.54 29.32 [29.32] 1:00.35 [31.03] 1:32.14 [31.80] 2:03.54 [31.40]
5 Megan Malasarte Brooks 2:04.09 29.74 [29.74] 1:00.50 [30.77] 1:32.09 [31.59] 2:04.09 [32.01]
6 Megan Krumpoch New Balance 2:04.59 29.49 [29.49] 1:00.78 [31.30] 1:32.94 [32.16] 2:04.59 [31.66]
7 Annette Melcher U.S. Air Force 2:05.99 29.61 [29.61] 1:00.96 [31.36] 1:33.32 [32.36] 2:05.99 [32.68]
8 Angel Piccirillo Villanova 2:08.44 29.52 [29.52] 1:00.74 [31.23] 1:33.60 [32.86] 2:08.44 [34.84]

Alysia Montaño says “you don’t have to be 100% to give 110%”

Montaño, who gave birth to daughter Linnea in August, said she’s been dealing with diastasis recti, or a separation of the abdominal muscles, a common occurrence in women who have given birth. As a result, she wore a large amount of RockTape on her abdomen in addition to tape on her SI joint (which has also been bothering her). She added that the diastasis recti has caused problems with her training as she has had to cut short several workouts in the buildups to USAs. Montaño said normally it takes between nine and 12 months for it to get back to normal but said it might take a little longer for her.

Montaño added that USAs wasn’t on her radar at the start of the year as she was just viewing 2015 as a building year before getting back to business in 2016. But she ran a strong 600 in practice indoors, which led her to run (and win) the 600 at USAs. That in turn earned her an invite to the World Relays, where Montaño ran a terrific 1:58.90 leg on the U.S.’s gold-medal winning 4×800 team. She then went ahead and decided to run USAs outdoors, but stressed that she has done her best to ensure she’s not rushing back into things after her pregnancy. That approach has also given her a different attitude at USAs this time than in years past.

“I think I’ve been at championships previously where I was always just like, I’m defending champion, win.’ So I think there’s a little bit of pressure off.”

Brenda Martinez has passed on the lessons of her pro career to Boris Berian

Martinez looked relaxed in winning heat 3 in 2:02.33 and admitted as much after the race. But her most interesting comments were about Berian, who trains in Martinez’s Big Bear Track Club and is coached by her husband, Carlos Handler. The two will occasionally run a few repeats together, and though Martinez said that he finishes way ahead of her (understandably), it’s nice having someone to match her energy at the end of a good workout.

She also added that she’s tried to pass on the knowledge she’s acquired during her own professional career.

“I made so many mistakes the first two and a half years before I got that [bronze] medal [at Worlds in 2013] that I knew we couldn’t mess up with him. It’s like I had to do the trial and errors so that we don’t do that to our own teammates.”

Chanelle Price is in a much better place than a year ago

In 2014, Price ran one round at USAs but had to withdraw from the meet and ultimately end her season due to surgery on her navicular bone. Coming off a PR at the adidas Grand Prix on June 13, Price is in much higher spirits this year and said she’s extremely excited to compete for a spot on Team USA.

Erin Donohue Out With Injury

It’s been five years of off-and-on injury for 2008 Olympian Erin Donohue. She turned heads by winning the 1000m at the adidas Grand Prix two weeks ago. However, she developed a calf injury during an easy run last weekend and had to drop out here.

Defending champion Ajee Wilson led all qualifiers at 2:01.96

 


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