2015 Portland Summer Twilight: Robby Andrews Gets It Done, Runs 3:35.82 to Officially Make U.S. Team at 1500
July 2, 2015
Robby Andrews didn’t need to go to Europe to hit the IAAF’s 3:36.20 qualifying standard in the 1500. Heck, he didn’t even have to leave the state of Oregon. Just five days after Andrews finished a dramatic second in the 1500 at USAs in Eugene, he ran away from a solid field at Thursday night’s Portland Summer Twilight meet at Lewis & Clark College, winning the race in 3:35.82 to officially book his ticket to next month’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing. We briefly recap the race and give results for the rest of the meet below.
Men’s 1500: Andrews dominates over final 200 to hit the standard
While this was an opportunity for the entire field to run fast, the goal of the race was for Andrews to hit the IAAF standard, and as such there were three rabbits: Ryan Booth, Mark Wieczorek and David Torrence, doubling back from the 800 half an hour earlier.
Booth wasted no time early and by the first lap (57.3 for Booth, 58.0 for Andrews), the field was strung out single-file. NCAA indoor mile champ Edward Cheserek was the first non-rabbit in third, with Andrews behind him, followed by Daniel Winn, Riley Masters and Colby Alexander. The order remained the same when Booth dropped off at 800 (1:54 for the rabbit, 1:55 for Andrews) with all four racers still in contention. Wieczorek stepped off just before the bell (2:38) as Torrence began to push the pace and Andrews stepped up to Cheserek’s shoulder. The two narrowed the gap on Torrence before he stepped off with 300 to go, and midway through the backstretch, Andrews made his bid, seizing the lead from Cheserek and dropping the pace.
Andrews’ lead would only grow and coming off the turn he had eight meters on Cheserek; it was Andrews against the clock, with the crowd (lining the homestretch in lane 5) urging him on. In the end, he got under with .38 of a second to spare, running 3:35.82. Cheserek couldn’t hold on to the hot pace and Masters and Alexander both passed him in the final 50, with Masters holding Alexander off for second in a PR of 3:36.49 (previous PR: 3:37.19). Alexander still earned a monster four-second PR of 3:36.56 in third.
(Editor’s note: the results initially had Alexander finishing second and Masters third, but they have since been updated.)
We give you Andrews’ unofficial splits below. The timekeeper is pretty quick, too.
1 Andrews, Robby Adidas 3:35.82 2 Masters, Riley Brooks Beasts 3:36.49 3 Alexander, Colby Unattached 3:36.56 4 Cheserek, Edward Unattached 3:37.08 5 Winn, Daniel Unattached 3:37.56 6 Crawford, Graham North Carolina St. 3:38.49 7 Bolas, Jack Nj*Ny TC 3:38.52 8 Herrera, Daniel Unattached 3:39.66 9 Haney, Blake Unattached 3:42.29 10 Perkins, Zach U.S. Air Force 3:45.64 -- Torrence, David Hoka One One DNF Section 2
1 Davila, Michael Empire Track Club 3:45.21 2 Kremske, Dan Team Run Eugene 3:51.31 3 Coates, Riley U.S. Air Force 3:53.26 4 Benson, Doug Team Run Eugene 3:54.14 5 Palmer, Matthew Jacuzzi Boys AC 3:56.90 6 McLauchlan, Rob Team Run Eugene 4:03.06 -- Bylenga, Nolan Unattached DNF
Quick Take #1: The U.S. 1500 team is essentially set
Andrews looked strong and confident after taking off with 250 to go and he accomplished his mission tonight, running his second-fastest 1500 ever — and fastest since 2012. He was clearly best tonight against a field that included two other USA finalists and 3:37 guy (now 3:36 guy) Riley Masters.
All that remains is for Leo Manzano to hit the standard to lock in the U.S. team at 1500, which shouldn’t be a problem considering that he’s run faster than 3:36.20 in each of the past six years. But even if he doesn’t, there’s no way USATF doesn’t send Manzano to Worlds. He’s run 3:53.55 this year for the mile (IAAF standard is 3:53.30) and would easily be in position to solicit a bid based on the IAAF descending order list. USATF has said that runners with the standard take priority, even though their website says the opposite – that order of finish at USAs takes priority, but we can’t imagine USATF would leave the Olympic silver medalist at home when he’s run within .23 of the standard and the IAAF would allow him to run.
Quick Take #2: It’s been a wild spring for Colby Alexander
Going into the outdoor season, if you had to put money on another Oregon Duck to defeat Cheserek, the vast majority of track fans would have bet on Eric Jenkins. Alexander, who ran the leadoff leg on Oregon’s NCAA-winning DMR indoors, wouldn’t have been anyone’s second, third or even fourth choice. Jenkins never did it, falling short at NCAAs outdoors, but Alexander (who graduated in June) pulled it off on Thursday, blowing by Cheserek in the final 50 meters to run a huge PR of 3:36.56.
It’s been a crazy last two months for Alexander. He entered the spring with a 3:41.45 PR and ran the 800 at Pac-12s, where he failed to make the final. At the NCAA West prelims, he bombed out, finishing dead-last in his semifinal heat and failed to make NCAAs. For many seniors, that would be it, but Alexander ran the Portland Track Festival on June 14 and his 3:40.32 PR there was just fast enough to get him into USAs. He then scraped into the 1500 final at USAs as a time qualifier before finishing 9th in the final. Now, five days later, he’s a 3:36 guy. Alexander’s classmate Daniel Winn (seventh at USAs) also ran a nice PR here, going from 3:38.95 at the Portland Track Festival to 3:37.56 tonight.
Alexander isn’t the only one enjoying a wild spring. NC State junior Graham Crawford ran a big pb of 3:38.49 tonight (previous pb of 3:40.67). At ACCs this spring, Crawford was dead last in the final before he rebounded to get 10th at NCAAs. You can watch the ACC final, which was a fun one to watch as it was won by Syracuse super-frosh Justyn Knight with one shoe here:
So two guys who couldn’t even score in the 1500 at their conference meet have now run 3:36 and 3:38. College running is officially ridiculous.
Quick Take #3: This race provided a perfect example of the difference between championship races and time trials
Three weeks ago at NCAAs, Zach Perkins and Blake Haney were second and third in a slow race that was won in 3:54.96. Today in a much faster race, they were well out of it, finishing ninth (Haney, 3:42.29) and 10th (Perkins, 3:45.64) in a race where everyone else broke 3:40. Of course Andrews, known for his kick in tactical races, won the darn thing in 3:35, but it’s amazing that the NCAA runner-up and third-placer were beaten so badly by Winn (who was ninth at NCAAs), NC State’s Crawford (who was 10th) and Alexander (who didn’t even qualify).
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Former Weber State runner Amber Schultz ran her fastest time in over two years to take the win in 4:21.24 over Anne Beck.
1 Schultz, Amber Unattached 4:21.24 2 Beck, Anne Strava TC 4:21.84 3 Newberry, Mel Team Run Eugene 4:22.77 4 Smith, Jordyn Team Run Eugene 4:23.44 5 Rosenfeld, Leah Team Run Fla 4:23.88 6 Murphy, Joanna Unattached 4:31.50 7 Goldring, Katja The Janes El 4:32.90 -- Connor, Anna Bowerman TC 4:DNF
Men’s 800: Torrence holds off Noelle in tight finish
David Torrence, who finished fifth at USAs in the 5,000 four days ago, barely managed to hold off NCAA 1500 champ Chad Noelle of Oklahoma State (who still has eligibility) after battling over the final 100 meters. Noelle lowered his PR to 1:48.06 (previous PR: 1:48.62) as former NCAA indoor champ Tyler Mulder was third.
Section 1 1 Torrence, David Hoka One One 1:48.04 2 Noelle, Chad Unattached 1:48.06 3 Mulder, Tyler Nike Oregon 1:48.53 4 Eichberger, James Team Run Eugene 1:49.67 5 Head, Spencer Unattached 1:52.23
Section 2 1 Armstrong, Beau Team Run Eugene 1:53.68 2 Garcia, Ricky Unattached 1:54.17 3 Bylenga, Nolan Unattached 1:56.41 4 Khairandesh, Wais Afghanistan 1:57.48
Latvia’s Liga Velvere just missed her PR of 2:02.79 set here on June 14, holding off former UNC runner Dominique Jackson on the home stretch, 2:02.90 to 2:03.72.
1 Velvere, Liga Unattached 2:02.90 2 Jackson, Dominique Sra Elite 2:03.72 3 Eccleston, Amanda Unattached 2:04.93 4 Carlin, Jesse Pacers New Balance 2:04.97 5 Connor, Anna Bowerman TC 2:06.57 6 Limage, Junia Club Ats 2:11.94