June 13, 2015
NEW YORK, NY — In our pre-race preview for the women’s 1000m at the 2015 adidas Grand Prix, the only name discussed was Mary Cain. That’s because Treniere Moser was a last minute addition and we didn’t know Erin Donohue was going to come back from the dead and win the race. If you don’t remember Donohue, she was runner-up in the 1500 at the Olympic Trials to Shannon Rowbury in 2008. She went to Beijing, but didn’t make it to the final. She has PRs of 1:59.99 and 4:03.49, both from 2010. That year she again finished runner-up at nationals in the 1500, but then has barely made a peep since then. She was well off her best in 2011, we can’t find any results for her in 2012 or 2013 and no open track results in 2014. She ran a 2:04 800 at the Hoka One One meet earlier this year.
But now out of nowhere Donohue seems to be close to her best as she ran 2:37.42 today to win the women’s 1000. 2:37.42 is worth something around 2:00-2:01 in the 800 (John Kellogg‘s conversion formula converts it to about 2:00.37 which some may view as a little generous). She also beat two names in Mary Cain and Treniere Moser (although granted Moser was doubling back from the 800 and Cain is in a rut).
The race was out quick in the first 200 in around 30-seconds with Cain right on the rabbit, Donohue sitting mid-pack and Moser at the very back. They went through 400 in around 63 and when the rabbit stepped off at 600m Cain had the lead. However, she was passed on the backstretch first by Dana Mecke and then Donohue and had no response. They went through 800 in 2:07 and it looked like it might be down to Donohue and Mecke. However, Moser made a late charge to almost overtake Donohue for the win, but just ran out of room. Donohue won it in 2:37.42 with Moser 2:37.53 and Mecke third in 2:37.89. Cain was never relevant in the final 200 and finished fourth in 2:38.57.
Results and quick takes.
1000 Metres - Women 1 Donohue , Erin USA 2:37.42 2 Moser , Treniere USA 2:37.53 3 Mecke , Dana USA 2:37.89 4 Cain , Mary USA 2:38.57 5 England , Hannah GBR 2:41.04 6 Melcher , Annette USA 2:42.54 7 Charnigo , Stephanie USA 2:45.23 Brown , Ce'aira USA DNF Wilson , Heather USA DNS
Quick Take #1: What A Comeback For Erin Donohue
The recap says it all. Barely racing for the last 3-years and she pulls an upset win on the biggest stage. Bravo.
Quick Take #2: A Good Double For Treniere Moser
Moser ran 2:00.42 for 7th place in the 800 and then turned around less than an hour later to run a PB in the 1000 (she has a 2:37.86 indoor best from this year), almost getting the win. John Kellog’s conversion formula converts her 1k to 2:00.45 – so she’s only got so much speed but is pretty strong and got a nice workout in.
We spoke to her after the race and she was very happy saying it gives her a lot of confidence going into USAs where she knows the competition will be tough.
Quick Take #3: Mary Cain Makes Progress, But Still Struggling A Bit
This result for Cain is much better than her 4:16.48 at the Hoka One One meet last month (using JK’s conversion formula it equates to roughly 2:01.25 for 800), so it’s good to see her take a step in the right direction. But it’s still not a great result when you consider she was over a second behind Donohue, lost to her teammate who was doubling back from another race, and also finished behind Dana Mecke who only has PRs of 2:01.49 and 4:13. In her post-race interview Cain said it all when she stated, “I’m a little disappointed. I’ve done workouts where I’ve come through 1200 practically at that pace so I don’t know what happened”. Cain actually surprised us by saying she was shooting for a 2:34 here (her best is the 2:35.80 she ran indoors last year to set a WJR), but she felt that’s what workouts were indicating she could do.
Despite being 4-seconds off her goal she was upbeat recognizing that today was a good step from where she was 3-weeks ago and she has a positive outlook for the overall season, regardless if she makes Worlds or not. Speaking of Worlds, it might only be mid-June and Worlds are in August, but USAs are in two weeks. With the depth in the 1500, it’s hard to see her contending for a spot to Beijing.
We spoke to Moser a bit about Cain’s rut this year, thinking as a veteran and teammate she might have some insights. Moser made a really good point emphasizing that Cain is only 19 and a freshman in college. She said, “She’s so young, she’s only 19. We always talk about it, a lot of people in our group, we went through college and were able to hide a little bit and she’s not able to do that. [In college] you are able to learn and grow and go through those growing pains. She’s just going through hers. Every runner has had that moment and it just sucks that she has to do hers in the spotlight all the time, but she’s handling it like a champ.”
Cain also spoke about taking a break from Portland and the Oregon Project and we asked her for her thoughts on the BBC’s allegations against Alberto Salazar. For write-up of that as well as quotes from Moser and Ben True, see our separate article here.
Race Replay Here