“It was phenomenal” – Andrew Wheating Is Thrilled With His First Banked Indoor Track Race In Nearly 6 Years
January 23, 2015
With all apologies going out to Paul Chelimo who won the 3000 in 7:44 (as a 7:44 3000 is a better performance in an absolute sense than a 3:39 1500), the biggest story coming out of the second high performance meet last night at Portland’s House of Track was Andrew Wheating‘s season-opening win in 3:39 in the men’s 1500. Wheating, the 28-year-old, two-time Olympian who ran 3:30.90 in 2010 (a time that makes him the 4th fastest in US history), has struggled mightily in recent years as he hasn’t broken 3:34 since and has only run 3:37, 3:38, and 3:38 the last three years.
After the race, several media members caught up with a very upbeat Wheating.
In an interview with Dave “nikeman” Ross of Rossrunning.com, Wheating was clearly happy with his performance. “It’s good, it’s really good. Things are going really well and under control. Everything is moving fluidly and I’m healthy. And honestly I’m having fun,” said Wheating who added he can’t remember the last time he had a healthy winter.
Wheating stated that he had no time goals for the race – he just wanted to race to win and feel good. In terms of future plans, Wheating really tried to emphasize the focus is on the present. He said he’ll run again in Portland in two weeks but admitted there “are ideas of running on the East Coast” and that World Indoors is “on the map.”
In an interview with DyeStat/RunnerSpace, Wheating was also very upbeat about his first race on a 200-meter banked track since his senior year of college in 2010 when he finished as the runner-up to freshman Robby Andrews at NCAA indoors.
It was phenomenal. I wanted to win – when you race, you race to win – I wanted that immediately, but more importantly, I wanted to finish the race feeling comfortable – like everything was under control. I didn’t strain myself to do anything. It was everything that I asked for. I wanted to win – got it. I wanted to end healthy and comfortable – I got it. And then I got to come back and pace 600 of the 800 and that (also) felt phenomenal – that is like the fastest I’ve run all year. So things are going really well but if I’ve learned anything it’s to never to get too far ahead of myself – to just take it as it comes and stay focused on the present.
You can watch more post-race interviews from RossRunning here. DyeStat/RunnerSpace also has more post-race interviews here and they also have race replays if you are RunnerSpace +plus subscriber. In terms of the race, we’ve watched it and the guys were basically single-file the whole time. Wheating was just behind the rabbit until going to the lead with just over 400 to go. We had his splits as unofficially (43.7-59.9-59.8-57.5 (28.26, 29.18)).
In the 3000, Pablo Solares rabbitted for 1900. They hit the 1600 in something close to 4:13, at which point Chelimo was getting anxious, but Eric Jenkins did most of the leading until the final 150. Coming off the penultimate turn, Chelimo went to the lead and never looked back. He closed in 27.4 (it was hard to see the line at the bell, we timed it leader-to-leader in 27.3 initially but think it was probably 27.6 so Chelimo would be 27.4ish). Unofficially, we had the last 600 leader to leader as 29.4, 29.9, 27.6.
Talk about the meet on our famous fan forum: MB Wheating, Jenkins, Levins, Gall, Reid, Roesler all racing at Portland HP Meet #2 Tonight –
*MB: Is he Baaaaack????? Andrew Wheating 3:39 FTW!!!!.