Shannon Rowbury Puts Away Field With Ease Over the Final 400 and Turns Focus to Medalling at Worlds

March 11, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — When Shannon Rowbury made her move with 400m to go in the women’s 3000m at tonight’s 2016 USATF Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center it was all over. Rowbury hit the accelerator with two laps to go and powered to the lead.

The field tried to give chase but to no avail. Former NCAA champions Marielle Hall and Shelby Houlihan had been 1-2 with 400 to go but they could not keep up with Rowbury. A third former NCAA champ, Abbey D’Agostino, had the best response, but Rowbury was clear of the field and nearly 1.5 seconds up with a lap to go thanks to a 31.38 lap.

Rowbury had kept something in reserve and upped the ante with a 30.14 final lap and D’Agostino did her best to close the gap but could not as she ran 30.34. Rowbury crossed the line in first in 8:55.65 followed by D’Agostino in 8:57.31 as 2012 steeplechase Olympian Shalaya Kipp surprised a lot of people, including herself, in third in 8:59.85 with Leah O’Connor in 4th, Houlihan 5th, and Hall in 6th as those six were well clear of the field.

All Rowbury at the end of this one All Rowbury at the end of this one

The race had been largely uneventful until the final 600m. World Championship bronze medallist Emily Infeld led the first 2000m. She ran her first 1000m in 2:59.31 and she slowed to 3:04.61 the next 2000m. Infeld was then overtaken by Hall and was later clipped from behind, causing her to stumble into the infield.

Infeld in the infield Infeld in the infield

Rowbury would make her move and this one was all over. (Race video here)

QT #1: Rowbury Will Run 3000m and Take on Dibaba at Worlds

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At the Olympics Rowbury’s best chance for a medal remains the 1500m (she is the American record holder) and Shannon is entered in Saturday’s 1500m final. She said after the 3000m she would talk to coach Alberto Salazar about whether she would still run the 1500m tomorrow. She said she felt like “I just did a hard 400 today” and if Worlds weren’t only a week away she would definitely attempt the double here but her priority is getting a medal at Worlds.

One thing became clearer later Friday night and that is Rowbury is going to run the 3000m at Worlds which she announced on Twitter.

Considering Rowbury has run 8:29.93 for 3000m outdoors, running the 3000m is not a bad idea. It might be Rowbury’s best event. However, she will have to race Genzebe Dibaba in the 3000m which means for all practical purposes Rowbury will be hoping for at best a silver medal. Dibaba’s run 8:22 for 3000m this indoor season and is virtually unbeatable if healthy.

QT #2 Abbey D’Agostino Turns it Around

D’Agostino’s indoor season had not been a bad one but in the biggest race prior to this one, the Millrose Games 5000m, she had faded badly and finished 6th, beaten by four Americans. She got revenge on three of them today (Hall, Infeld, and Houlihan; the fourth, Molly Huddle, did not race here) and reasserted herself as one of the favorites for the Olympic team at 5000m. Up first will be next week’s world 3000m here in Portland.

D’Agostino said she realized after Millrose that she felt quite tired and as a result she backed off the intensity the last few weeks. The plan worked perfectly and considering how well Rowbury has been running the past few years, second is really all D’Agostino could have hoped for tonight. D’Agostino’s coach Mark Coogan was particularly pleased with D’Agostino’s final 400 (63.16) and received some more good news an hour later: daughter Katrina Coogan anchored Georgetown to a win in the DMR at the NCAA Championships.

QT #3 A Surprise 3rd Place for Shalaya Kipp

Shalaya Kipp made the Olympics in 2012 in the steeplechase, but she surprised a lot of people, including herself, with her 3rd place finish today. This was only her second indoor race of the year (she ran 9:00 on the 300m track in Washington and was beaten by Allie Ostrander’s 8:54 in her other 3000m this year). Kipp said, “It was more than I was expecting today. The plan was to go out at 9-flat pace, which is what I did. I was expecting maybe 8th or 9th. There were a lot of good names in that [field].”

Now she turns her attention to the outdoor season and the steeplechase and that “first week in July (the Olympic Trials)”.

QT #4 No Excuses from Infeld

Although Infeld led most of the race, she said she was running slower than she wanted and her legs did not feel good. She didn’t blame her performance on getting clipped once she lost the lead. She said, “I wanted to take it out faster but I didn’t have it in my legs… I don’t know, I just didn’t have it.” She said she wanted to run anywhere between 69- and 71-second laps, but she was running over 72s her second kilometer in the lead.

Results (splits here)
*Race video here


Athlete Affiliation Time
1 Shannon Rowbury Nike Oregon Proj 8:55.65
2 Abbey D’Agostino New Balance Bost 8:57.31
3 Shalaya Kipp Oiselle 8:59.85
4 Leah O’Connor adidas 9:00.79
5 Shelby Houlihan Nike / Bower TC 9:01.11
6 Marielle Hall Nike 9:01.32
7 Carmen Graves adidas Garden St 9:06.61
8 Sarah Boyle Saucony 9:08.14
9 Lauren Paquette Unattached 9:08.75
10 Emily Infeld Nike / Bower TC 9:10.22
11 Megan Patrignelli Team Run Eugene 9:10.32
12 Elaina Balouris Boston A A 9:10.54
13 Megan Rolland Oiselle 9:22.20
14 Sarah Feeny Utah 9:22.59
15 Amber Schultz Club Northwest 9:27.13
16 Nicole Blood High Perf West 9:29.88
17 Natalie Schudrowitz Brown 9:37.13


Shannon Celebrates Shannon celebrates
Shannon Celebrates Shannon celebrates
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