Matthew Centrowitz Takes Down Mo Farah, Brenda Martinez Impresses – 2017 Oxy USATF Distance Classic Recap

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by LetsRun.com
May 18, 2017

Matthew Centrowitz fans can take a breath. After two mediocre runs to start his outdoor season, the Olympic 1500m champion Centrowitz delivered a superb performance to win the 1500 in 3:33.41 and beat Olympic 5000m champion Mo Farah in the premier matchup at the 2017 USATF Distance Classic in Los Angeles.

The other standout performance at the meet was Brenda Martinez running a meet record 1:58.78 800m, destroying the field by over a second and a half and showing the form that made her a World Championship silver medallist in 2013.

In other women’s highlights, Sheila Reid upset Shannon Rowbury in the 1500m and Laura Weightman and Natosha Rogers had breakthroughs in the 5000m. On the men’s side, Donavan Brazier did not start in the 800 and the times were slow as a result. Eric Jenkins and Cristian Soratos put on a show in the second 1500m heat, Olympian Hillary Bor looked great in the steeple, and his Olympic teammate Shadrack Kipchirchir came up short of the Worlds qualifying time but looked tremendous the final 100m of the 5000m.

This meet — also known as Oxy since it is held at Occidental College — is primarily about athletes chasing World or USA qualifying times and tuning up for bigger races. Tonight showed that stars like Mo Farah and Matthew Centrowitz will race each other for free, but the sport needs to figure out how to get them to do it when more is on the line. We break down all the events for you below starting with the headliners, the men’s 1500 and women’s 800, and then going in order of distance.

*Full results here Messageboard Talk: Talk about the meet on our fan forum: Official 2017 Oxy Live Discussion Thread *What’s up with Centrowitz? *Can Centro Challenge The Men’s 1500M WR?

Centro, O'Hare, and Farah battling on final turn

Centro, O’Hare, and Farah battling on final turn

Men’s 1500: Matthew Centrowitz wins gold-medal showdown over Mo Farah, runs his fastest 1500 opener ever (3:33.41)

This wasn’t just the most-anticipated race of the night, but the most-anticipated race in this history of this meet as reigning Olympic champions Centrowitz and Farah squared off. And for the first time, it was Centro who emerged victorious, pulling away from Farah and Chris O’Hare and avenging defeats to Farah in Monaco in 2013 and 2015.

Farah clearly wanted to run fast. Before the race he could be seen motioning to the rabbit in a circular motion that he wanted him to keep the pedal to the medal and then when it started as he got out right behind the rabbits right away and Centrowitz, who needed the World Championships standard of 3:36.00, was more than willing to go right with him. After a first 400 of 56.4 for the rabbits (racers were around 57-flat), the field was already single-file and Centro, Farah, O’Hare and fellow Olympian Hassan Mead had begun to separate. The gap continued to grow over the next two laps as the order remained the same at 800 (1:55.1 for rabbit) and at the bell (2:38.92 for Farah).

Centro pulling away

Centro pulling away

The first big move of the race came on the first turn of the final lap as O’Hare moved into second. Then with 300 to go, he passed Farah to take over the lead and began the long drive for home. Mead was starting to feel the burn, but Farah and Centro were still in it. Entering the final turn, O’Hare had a lead of a few meters over Farah as Centrowitz tried to pass Farah on the outside. It took him a few seconds to get going, but eventually Centrowtiz was able to make the pass on the turn and  as he came off the turn he swing wide to go after O’Hare.

Over teh final 100, Centrowitz showed why he was the Olympic champ as he powered away to win comfortably in 3:33.41 thanks to a 54.38 last lap. Farah won the battle for second, 3:34.19 to 3:34.35 thanks to a final 55.38 lap that was exactly one second slower than Centrowitz’s, though O’Hare still PR’d by .48. Andrew Wheating ran down his former OTC teammate Mead to take fourth in 3:37.75, his fastest time in four years.

  Athlete   Affiliation Time 300m 700m 1100m 1500m
1 Matthew CENTROWITZ   Nike / Nike Oregon Project 3:33.41 42.24 [42.24] 1:41.09 [58.86] 2:39.04 [57.95] 3:33.41 [54.38]
2 Mo FARAH   Nike / Nike Oregon Project 3:34.19 42.02 [42.02] 1:40.86 [58.84] 2:38.82 [57.97] 3:34.19 [55.38]
3 Christopher O’HARE   Boston Athletic Association 3:34.35 42.42 [42.42] 1:41.27 [58.86] 2:39.14 [57.87] 3:34.35 [55.21]
4 Andrew WHEATING   Nike 3:37.75 44.00 [44.00] 1:42.61 [58.61] 2:41.71 [59.11] 3:37.75 [56.04]
5 Hassan MEAD   Nike / Nike Otce 3:37.95 42.59 [42.59] 1:41.47 [58.88] 2:39.41 [57.95] 3:37.95 [58.54]
6 Chad NOELLE   Asics Furman Elite 3:39.29 43.70 [43.70] 1:42.42 [58.73] 2:41.90 [59.48] 3:39.29 [57.40]
7 Daniel WINN   Boston Athletic Association 3:39.32 43.49 [43.49] 1:42.14 [58.65] 2:41.67 [59.54] 3:39.32 [57.65]
8 Travis BURKSTRAND   Brooks ID 3:41.40 43.26 [43.26] 1:42.89 [59.64] 2:43.10 [1:00.22] 3:41.40 [58.30]
9 Will CROCKER   District Track Club 3:41.44 43.88 [43.88] 1:43.22 [59.35] 2:43.33 [1:00.11] 3:41.44 [58.11]
10 Eoin EVERARD   Ireland 3:41.57 44.33 [44.33] 1:43.62 [59.30] 2:42.78 [59.16] 3:41.57 [58.80]
11 Daniel CASTLE   Unattached 3:44.51 44.10 [44.10] 1:43.46 [59.36] 2:43.38 [59.92] 3:44.51 [1:01.14]
12 Sam PENZENSTADLER   District Track Club 3:46.66 43.02 [43.02] 1:43.10 [1:00.08] 2:43.30 [1:00.21] 3:46.66 [1:03.36]
Centro at finish

Centro at finish

Quick Take #1: Matthew Centrowitz had a nice post-Olympic break, but he’s ready to go in next week’s Bowerman Mile

Centro was dominant indoors in 2015 and 2016, but his 2017 indoor season was something of a letdown after he won Olympic gold last year.

“Definitely had a nice little break [after Rio],” Centrowitz said on the NBC gold broadcast. “Little too good of a break, I think, and [that] reflected in my indoors but I’m fired up and motivated and excited to get after this outdoor season.”

He looked like the Centrowitz of old tonight, and his 3:33.41 was not only a meet record (bettering Farah’s 3:34.66 from 2012) but the fastest 1500 opener of his career. He’s certainly a lot further along than he was at this point last year, when he had to scratch from the Pre Classic with a stress reaction.

Centro knew that he was 0-2 against Farah going in and was happy to get a win over him and said the win was good momentum heading into next week’s Pre Classic, where he faces a stellar field that includes Asbel Kiprop, Ronald Kwemoi and Clayton Murphy.

Centrowitz and Farah are both in the Nike Oregon Project, but they have not been training together recently with Centrowitz training in Utah and Farah in Flagstaff, Arizona. Before the race Centrowitz asked Mo whether Mo’s objective was to win or to run fast. Mo said it was to run fast. Centro said in the clip below, “I asked him if he was going for the win or a fast time and he said fast time and that was all I needed to hear.” Centro’s objective was to get ready for Pre and get the win, so he said, “I was like, ‘I’m just going to sit on him (Farah).’”

Centro had raced twice this year outdoors and neither performance (13:48 for 5000 at Stanford and 1:49.42 at altitude in Provo on May 12th) was that impressive. This one was and he looks very good heading into Pre, where he will see a huge jump in class.

Quick Take #2: Andrew Wheating runs his fastest 1500 in four years

Wheating’s PR of 3:30.90 is only half a second slower than Centrowitz’s, but he has struggled to find that form since making his second Olympic team in 2012. But he’s been running well so far in 2017 after leaving the Oregon Track Club (though OTC coach Mark Rowland still assists with workouts). Indoors, he was 3rd in the 1k at USAs and tonight he ran 3:37.75, his best time since this meet four years ago. Clearly a large gap still exists between Centrowitz, the best in the US right now, and Wheating, but this was a good sign.

Jenkins FTW

Jenkins FTW

Section 2: Eric Jenkins continues to impress with a 3:36.51 victory

Section #2 technically was not a “B” heat, as technically heats #2 and #3 were considered to be equal to each other, but everyone’s attention was on section #3 featuring Centro and Farah. In section #2,  Eric Jenkins, who has been on a tear in the 1500/mile the last 12 months, added Oxy to a list of victories that included the Fifth Avenue Mile and Wanamaker Mile. He had to work for it tonight, however, as Cristian Soratos pushed him throughout the race.

Jenkins has proven himself to be a great 1500 runner, but he does better when the pace is fast and he got things going with a hard move 800 meters into the race. At the bell, Jenkins still led but the top guys were still there with him as Soratos, Tom Lancashire and Cory Leslie were all close. Jenkins shifted gears again on the backstretch and this time did some serious damage as he led by four meters over Soratos with 200 to go. Those two pulled away in the home stretch, and Soratos closed the gap a little, but not enough to catch Jenkins. Neither man got the World Champs standard, however.

  Athlete   Affiliation Time 300m 700m 1100m 1500m
1 Eric JENKINS   Nike Oregon Project 3:36.51 43.67 [43.67] 1:42.11 [58.45] 2:40.84 [58.73] 3:36.51 [55.68]
2 Cristian SORATOS   Adidas 3:36.73 43.25 [43.25] 1:42.29 [59.05] 2:40.96 [58.67] 3:36.73 [55.78]
3 Riley MASTERS   Nike 3:37.86 43.75 [43.75] 1:42.44 [58.70] 2:41.37 [58.94] 3:37.86 [56.49]
4 Drew HUNTER   Adidas 3:38.39 44.27 [44.27] 1:42.65 [58.38] 2:41.58 [58.93] 3:38.39 [56.81]
5 Mac FLEET   Nike 3:38.72 44.40 [44.40] 1:43.18 [58.78] 2:42.48 [59.31] 3:38.72 [56.25]
6 Patrick CASEY   Nike / Nike Otce 3:38.86 44.03 [44.03] 1:42.83 [58.80] 2:42.06 [59.24] 3:38.86 [56.81]
7 Cory LESLIE   Nike 3:39.26 43.55 [43.55] 1:42.62 [59.08] 2:41.19 [58.58] 3:39.26 [58.07]
8 Tom LANCASHIRE   New Balance 3:41.10 43.21 [43.21] 1:42.08 [58.88] 2:41.15 [59.07] 3:41.10 [59.96]
9 Daniel HERRERA   High Performance West 3:41.53 43.94 [43.94] 1:42.72 [58.79] 2:41.83 [59.12] 3:41.53 [59.70]
10 Leonel MANZANO   Hoka One One 3:41.68 43.42 [43.42] 1:42.47 [59.06] 2:42.25 [59.78] 3:41.68 [59.43]
11 Adrian PLUMMER   Sydney Running Academy 3:43.71 44.52 [44.52] 1:43.71 [59.20] 2:43.15 [59.44] 3:43.71 [1:00.57]
12 Robert DENAULT   Newmarket Huskies 3:44.16 44.47 [44.47] 1:43.50 [59.04] 2:42.96 [59.46] 3:44.16 [1:01.20]
13 Edward VINING   Sydney Running Academy 3:48.86 44.14 [44.14] 1:43.55 [59.42] 2:45.28 [1:01.73] 3:48.86 [1:03.59]

Quick Take #1: Eric Jenkins’ speed is on point; will it help him make his first U.S. team next month?

Jenkins has been racing a lot of shorter events this year in order to improve his speed and while his results have been spectacular, it will be bittersweet if he doesn’t make it to London — remember Jenkins missed the World Indoor and Olympic teams last year by one spot, losing to Paul Chelimo both times (the latter by an agonizing .06). Having a slightly better kick could be the difference between running Worlds and watching it on TV, so Jenkins is leaving nothing to chance this year. He’ll race in a deep 5k at Pre next week.

Quick Take #2: Drew Hunter runs a big (1500) PR

Hunter slashed over four seconds off his 1500 best to clock 3:38.39, though the time wasn’t a massive leap forward considering he ran a 3:56.80 mile indoors, which is a roughly equivalent performance. Hunter’s run tonight shows what a big gap it is from the high school ranks to the pros. This was a good run for him, but he’s still got a ways to go to be a factor as a pro.

Quick Take #3: Mac Fleet’s resurgent 2017 continues

Fleet, who in his own words, ran like “s***” for the past 12 months, clocked his fastest time since 2014, taking 5th in 3:38.72, just .37 off his PR. Fleet has been a big talent since running 4:02 in the mile as a high schooler, and he was a two-time NCAA 1500 champ at Oregon, but his stint in Eugene with OTC wasn’t working out. Fleet’s going it alone for now and he’s starting to see some results (he also won the slow heat at Payton Jordan earlier this month).

Quick Take #4: Leo Manzano Runs 3:41.68 for 10th

A 10th place finish usually doesn’t get much mention, but this was 2012 Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano. 3:41 is by far Leo’s best run of the year (4:02 mile was his best before today). Not many guys who are running 3:41 today can be a factor at nationals in 5 weeks, but Leo is one of them who could pull it off with his pedigree.

Brenda Martinez with a huge win

Brenda Martinez with a huge win

Women’s 800: Brenda Martinez lays the smackdown, runs her fastest 800 since 2013

The top heat was billed as a showdown between Martinez, Olympic finalist Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain and Olympic 1500 medallist Jenny Simpson, but it turned into a blowout as Martinez crushed everyone over the final 300 meters.

2014 World Indoor champ Chanelle Price led the racers through 400 in 57.53, just behind the rabbit, with Martinez on her shoulder. Martinez made her move at the end of the first turn on the bell lap and immediately began to open up ground on Price, even as Price was pulling away from the rest of the field. Martinez’ lead continued to grow, and by the time Martinez entered the homestretch, she held a 15-meter lead with Price falling back to the pack.

Martinez kept her foot on the gap and ran 1:58.78, lowering her facility record set two weeks ago. No one else broke 2:00, but Brit Adelle Tracey (2:00.35), New Zealander Angela Petty (2:00.44) and American Cecilia Barowski (2:00.90) all got the World Championship standard of 2:01.00. Jenny Simpson was never a serious factor and finished 6th in 2:02.32 as Sharp wound up dropping out.

Pl Athlete   Affiliation Time 400m
1 Brenda MARTINEZ   New Balance 1:58.78 57.84 [57.84]
2 Adelle TRACEY   Nike 2:00.35 58.28 [58.28]
3 Angela PETTY   New Zealand 2:00.44 58.75 [58.75]
4 Cecilia BAROWSKI   Hoka Njnytc 2:00.90 58.55 [58.55]
5 Chanelle PRICE   Nike 2:02.13 57.53 [57.53]
6 Jennifer SIMPSON   New Balance 2:02.32 58.70 [58.70]
7 Kendra CHAMBERS   Texas Elite Track Club 2:05.25 58.21 [58.21]
DNF Lynsey SHARP   Great Britain

Quick Take #1: This is the best Brenda Martinez has looked since 2014

Martinez turns 30 in September, but rather than move up to the 1500 — the event she ran at the Olympics last year — she’s giving the 800 one more go and so far that’s proven to be a great decision. She’s now run 1:59.21 and 1:58.78, basically by herself, in the span of 13 days, the latter her fastest time since her World Championship medal season of 2013. Martinez was no slouch in 2015 or 2016, making the World/Olympic semifinals, but you’d have to go back to 2014, when she won the Diamond League 800 final, to find a time when Martinez looked this dominant.

“I think there is just a lot of unfinished business from last year,” Martinez said on the NBC Sports Gold broadcast. “I made the team but, I didn’t finish the way I wanted to at the Olympic Games. That kind of stung…I have that sense of urgency to always do my best every single day.”

Martinez said that in practice, her husband Carlos Handler will yet at her “Go with Caster!” at the end of reps, and while Martinez acknowledged that it may not be realistic to expect to beat Semenya — no one has since 2015 — it serves as good motivation.

Quick Take #2: Cecilia Barowski continues her impressive 2017 season

Barowski had a decent collegiate career at Princeton, finishing 5th at NCAAs last year and advancing to the Olympic Trials semis, but she’s hit a new level in her first year as a pro with NJ*NY Track Club. Indoors, she ran a best of 2:01.52 (her previous best was 2:02.14 outdoors in 2014) and tonight she broke 2:01 for the first time, finishing as the second American behind Martinez. The 800 is a deep event for American women right now, but at only 24 years old, Barowski may not be done improving.

Men’s 800: Aussie Luke Mathews wins in 1:46.44 as Donavan Brazier is a DNS

The fast section was something a letdown as instead of following the young phenom Brazier as he chased a fast time, the runners did not go out fast as Brazier was a DNS and the racers did not go with the rabbit and hit 400 meters in just 53.12. At that point, 2016 Olympian Charles Jock held the lead, but he ran out of gas on the final lap and would fade to last place.

Instead, it was Brit Kyle Langford who took the lead on the backstretch with two-time Aussie champ Luke Mathews moving into second. Mathews swung wide as they entered the home stretch and though Langford and fellow Brit Andrew Osagie fought hard, neither could touch Mathews tonight, who won with a slight negative split (53.41-53.03). The Oregon Track Club’s Harun Abda was the top American in the top heat, clocking 1:47.64, but the fastest U.S. time belonged to Izaic Yorks in heat 2, who closed extremely well in the final 50 meters to run a PR of 1:47.59 and win the heat.

But overall on the night, it was a 1-2 finish for a pair of 21-year olds as both Matthews and Langford are just 21. Mathews ran in the Olympics in both the 800 and 1500 last year for Australia whereas Langford ran 1:45.78 as a 19-year old in 2015.

Quick Take #1: Charles Jock’s struggles continue

The more races Jock runs, the more his heroic Olympic Trials performance looks like an outlier. Outside of the final at the Trials, where he ran 1:45.48, he hasn’t broken 1:47 since May 2015 and he’s now run 1:49.98 and 1:51.72 in his last two races. However, Jock dealt with health issues last year, including a hamstring injury before the Trials, and if he’s not fully healthy, that could explain his recent struggles. Clearly the guy is very talented as he made the US World Champs team as a junior in college in 2011 and won NCAAs the following year.

Men’s 800 (Splits and heat results here)

    Athlete   Affiliation Time     Sec (pl)      
1   Luke MATHEWS   Melbourne Track Club 1:46.44     2 (1)      
2   Kyle LANGFORD   Nike 1:46.77     2 (2)      
3   Andrew OSAGIE   Nike Oregon Track Club Elite 1:46.93     2 (3)      
4   Izaic YORKS   Brooks Beasts 1:47.59     1 (1)      
5   Harun ABDA   Nike / Nike Otce 1:47.64     2 (4)      
6   David TORRENCE   Hoka One One 1:47.65     2 (5)      
7   James GILREATH   Team Green Running 1:47.69     1 (2)      
8   Lachlan BARBER   Melbourne Track Club 1:47.85     1 (3)      
9   Mason COHEN   Australia 1:48.14     1 (4)      
10   Anthony ROMANIW   Speed River Tfc 1:48.17     1 (5)      
11   Brannon KIDDER   Brooks 1:48.22     2 (6)      
12   Michael RIMMER   Puma 1:48.83     2 (7)      
13   Felix KITUR   Santa Monica Track Club 1:49.17     1 (6)      
14   Charles JOCK   Nike / Nike Otce 1:51.72     2 (8)      
15   Bryan MARTINEZ   Mx International 1:52.76     1 (7)      
    Richard JONES   Brooks/Altis DNF     1      
    Chris GIESTING   Hoka Njnytc DNS     1      
    Donavan BRAZIER   Nike DNS     2      
Rowbury Leads Reid Just Before Finish

Rowbury Leads Reid Just Before Finish

Women’s 1500: Sheila Reid outkicks Shannon Rowbury, 4:07.07 to 4:07.17

This was Rowbury’s first outdoor track race of the year, and the 2016 Olympic 4th placer asserted herself early behind the rabbits, leading through 800 (2:12) and she still led with a lap to go. Not much had changed behind her either, as former Villanova star Sheila Reid was in second at the bell after sitting on Rowbury for the entire race.

This was still a close race with 100 to go. Reid and Rowbury were running 1-2, but Violah Lagat, Marta Freitas and Sasha Gollish were all very much in contention entering the home straight. Reid and Rowbury quickly separated though, and Reid made the pass just before the line to win by a tenth, 4:07.07 to 4:07.17, as they were the only two women to hit the World standard of 4:07.50. Alexa Efraimson (4:10.12) and Kim Conley (4:11.18) were also in this race but neither were ever in contention for the win.

    Athlete   Affiliation Time     Sec (pl)      
1   Sheila REID   Nike Oregon Track Club Elite 4:07.07     3 (1)      
2   Shannon ROWBURY   Nike Oregon Project 4:07.17     3 (2)      
3   Violah LAGAT   Adidas 4:07.66     3 (3)      
4   Sasha GOLLISH   Oiselle/Skechers 4:07.70     3 (4)      
5   Marta PEN FREITAS   Portugal 4:08.11     3 (5)      
6   Gabriela STAFFORD   Brooks/University of Toronto 4:08.41     2 (1)      
7   Sara VAUGHN   Brooks 4:08.61     2 (2)      
8   Rachel SCHNEIDER   Under Armour 4:08.95     3 (6)      
9   Emily LIPARI   Boston Athletic Association 4:08.98     2 (3)      
10   Sara SUTHERLAND   Saucony 4:09.70     3 (7)      
11   Alexa EFRAIMSON   Nike 4:10.12     3 (8)      
12   Kim CONLEY   New Balance 4:11.18     3 (9)      
13   Regan YEE   Langley Mustangs 4:11.31     2 (4)      
14   Andrea SECCAFIEN   University of Toronto 4:11.47     3 (10)      
15   Gabriele GRUNEWALD   Brooks 4:12.29     2 (5)      
16   Eleanor FULTON   Skechers Performance / High Pe 4:12.43     2 (6)      
17   Mariah KELLY   New Balance Canada 4:12.71     2 (7)      
18   Laura ROESLER   Nike / Texas Elite Track Club 4:12.93     2 (8)      
19   Stephanie SCHAPPERT   Hoka Njnytc 4:12.99     3 (11)      
20   Sarah MACPHERSON   Vic City Elite 4:13.37     2 (9)      
21   Natalja PILIUSINA   Brooks Beasts 4:14.09     2 (10)      
22   Lianne FARBER   New Balance NorCal 4:14.51     2 (11)      
23   Tori TSOLIS   Strava TC / rabbit 4:14.92     1 (1)      
24   Dana MECKE   Brooks/Texas Elite Track Club 4:15.70     3 (12)      
25   Kristen FINDLEY   Big Bear Track Club 4:15.89     1 (2)      
26   Lucia STAFFORD   University of Toronto 4:16.45     1 (3)      
27   Laurence COTE   Caul 4:17.69     1 (4)      
28   Tracee VAN DER WYK   Unattached 4:18.56     1 (5)      
29   Ayla GRANADOS   Strava TC / rabbit 4:18.64     1 (6)      
30   Kendra POMFRET   Vancouver Thunderbirds 4:20.42     1 (7)      
31   Hina TAKAHASHI   Nike Tokyo Tc 4:39.74  

Quick Take #1: A good win for Sheila Reid

A stress reaction in her right tibia cost Reid a shot at her second Olympic team last year for Canada, but she is healthy again and is now 2-for-2 in races in 2017, winning tonight after opening up with a 4:10.40 in Eugene two weeks ago. Beating a runner of Rowbury’s caliber was certainly a good sign and now she has the World Championship standard as well.

Quick Take #2: A decent track opener for Shannon Rowbury

Rowbury has been one of the best 1500 runners in the world for the past three years, and as a result we imagine she’ll be disappointed to lose to Reid, who is good but not world-class — even though Rowbury did almost all of the work in this race.

The time was also slower than what Rowbury ran here in 2016 (4:06.58) — and that came after doubling back from the 800. Still, Rowbury is someone who usually runs a serious indoor season, which means that it can take her a little while to round into form early in the outdoor season. Though she hasn’t won any of her last three races, she’s been close to the win in all three and still has five weeks to sharpen for USAs.

Quick Take #3: Alexa Efraimson runs 4:10

We’ve mentioned how 2017 could be an important year for the 20-year-old Efraimson after she failed to PR in 2016 (the closest she came to her 4:03.39 PR was her 4:06.48 at Furman). Efraimson gets a pass for her outdoor opener at Drake, where she ran 4:17 in horrible conditions, but she didn’t close well tonight as she went from 3rd to 8th in the final lap. Her 67.55 final lap was actually slower than her splits from 300 to 700 (67.25) and 700 to 1100 (66.28).

Women’s steeple: Mel Lawrence goes from third to first after the final barrier

This one came down to a four-way battle as Lawrence, Marisa Howard, Alexina Wilson and Rachel Johnson were all still in it over the final water jump. Howard took the lead just before the water jump and held it over the final barrier, but Lawrence still had plenty left of the tank and sprinted from third to first to win in 9:40.20 as she, Howard and Wilson all knocked out the World Champs standard of 9:42.00. This was Lawrence’s third-fastest time ever after she ran a pair of 9:36’s at the Olympic Trials (where she was 8th) and the Portland Track Festival last year.

    Athlete   Affiliation Time            
1   Mel LAWRENCE   Oiselle 9:40.20            
2   Marisa HOWARD   Oiselle 9:40.40            
3   Alexina WILSON   Oiselle 9:40.90            
4   Rachel JOHNSON   Asics 9:42.50            
5   Maria BERNARD   Saucony Hurricanes 9:45.01            
6   Megan ROLLAND   Oiselle 9:48.46            
7   Erin TESCHUK   Asics Furman Elite 9:53.83            
8   Jamie CHEEVER   Oiselle/Team Usa Minnesota 9:59.26            
9   Kira GARRY   Unattached 10:00.37            
10   Alicia NELSON   Boulder Track Club 10:01.00            
11   Katie LANDWEHR   Unattached 10:03.82            
12   Misaki SANGO   Unattached 10:05.74            
13   Alycia BUTTERWORTH   Unattached 10:05.83            
14   Lennie WAITE   Great Britain 10:06.90            
15   Madelin TALBERT   Team Run Eugene 10:17.57            
16   Erika BARR   Sra Elite 10:21.04            

Men’s steeple: Hillary Bor dominates with a world-leading 8:23.08

On paper, Bor, who was 7th in Rio last year, was the class of this field and he ran like it tonight, pulling away just after 1k and soloing an 8:23.08, closing in 63.99 for his final lap. Eastern Kentucky alum Ole Hesselbjerg of Denmark ran a three-second PR of 8:27.89 to duck under the World Champs standard of 8:32.00, with Brit Rob Mullett also getting it (8:30.06). American Mike Hardy came agonizingly close, missing it by just .23.

    Athlete   Affiliation Time            
1   Hillary BOR   Unattached 8:23.08            
2   Ole HESSELBJERG   Sparta 8:27.89            
3   Rob MULLETT   Atlanta Track Club 8:30.06            
4   Mike HARDY   Unattached 8:32.23            
5   Emil BLOMBERG   Hasselby 8:32.27            
6   Isaac UPDIKE   Team Run Eugene 8:32.34            
7   Antoine THIBEAULT   Math Sport Zenix 8:34.08            
8   Travis MAHONEY   Hoka One One 8:35.65            
9   Haron LAGAT   U.S. Army 8:36.46            
10   John GAY   British Columbia 8:36.55            
11   Jordan MANN   Providence 8:37.36            
12   David GOODMAN   Unattached 8:37.43            
13   Bryce MILLER   Unattached 8:37.80            
14   Micheal JORDAN   Unattached 8:42.14            
15   Brian SHRADER   Saucony 8:42.20            
16   Jacob EDWARDS   Columbus Running Company 8:45.30            
17   Aric VAN HALEN   Unattached 8:54.04            
18   Aaron NELSON   Reebok Zap Fitness 8:54.40            
    Tomas COTTER   Asics Furman Elite DNF            

Quick Take #1: Hillary Bor looks good, still awaiting a bigger test

Bor was totally unchallenged in this one and likely could have run a lot faster than 8:23 if he had someone to chase. Normally that time wouldn’t be fast enough to register as a world leader, but because of the new Diamond League format, there have been no men’s steeples on the DL circuit yet this year. In fact, there won’t be one at the Pre Classic — DL meet #3 — either as the event will only be run at five of the 14 meets, as opposed to seven in years past. The first DL steeple is in Rome on June 8.

Bor in the clip below said he had some nagging injuries in April, so his goal today was to just get under 8:25, but he felt good. Bor said also it was his first time over barriers this year.

Weightman after 5k

Weightman after 5k

Women’s 5000: Weightman and Rogers Impress

Great Britain’s Laura Weightman’s 5,000m debut was a smashing success as she got the win in 15:08.24 by .05 over a fast-closing Natosha Rogers, who had a 20-second personal best in second.

Weightman looked to have this one won with 100m to go, but Rogers closed quick and Weightman was just able to hold her off. Weightman, until tonight was primarily known as a 1500m runner, making the Olympic final in 2012 and 2016 and having a 4:00.17 personal best, but her 5,000m debut went very well.

Jessica O’Connell, Sarah Pagano, and Lauren Paquette all also got the 15:22 world championship standard. The standout performance of that group was Pagano who had an 8-second PR. Amanda Eccleston was 6th in 15:26.56 and most likely will focus on the 1500 at USAs now.

    Athlete   Affiliation Time            
1   Laura WEIGHTMAN   Nike Uk 15:08.24            
2   Natosha ROGERS   New Balance 15:08.29            
3   Jessica O’CONNELL   Canada 15:16.79            
4   Sarah PAGANO   Boston Athletic Association 15:18.57            
5   Lauren PAQUETTE   Brooks 15:19.73            
6   Amanda ECCLESTON   Brooks 15:26.56            
7   Elaina BALOURIS   Unattached 15:32.49            
8   Rachel CLIFF   Unattached 15:35.80            
9   Alycia CRIDEBRING   rabbit / Sra Elite 15:45.84            
10   Cally MACUMBER   Hansons-Brooks Distance Projec 15:49.02            
11   Bethany SACHTLEBEN   Saucony Hurricanes 15:52.44            
12   Samantha SILVA   Btc/Nike 15:52.92            
13   Brenda FLORES   Corre Ac 15:56.63            
14   Sandra LOPEZ   Mx International 15:58.96            
15   Erica DIGBY   Vancouver Thunderbirds 16:03.97            
16   Emma BATES   Boston Athletic Association 16:12.74            
17   Natasha LABEAUD   Skechers/rabbit 16:25.10            
18   Kate SPENCER   Sydney Running Academy 16:36.28            
19   Maria LARSSON   Melbourne Track Club 16:40.26            
20   Rosa FLANAGAN   New Zealand 16:54.58            
    Leah O’CONNOR   Adidas DNF            

Quick Take: Natosha Rogers is Officially BAAACK!

Rogers has never made the Olympics, but won the NCAA 10,000m in 2012 and finished second at the Olympic Trials that year, beating Shalane Flanagan (but missing the standard). Rogers then had some time away from the sport, but she is starting to put it all together in 2017. She made the US team for World Cross, got her first US title in April winning the US half marathon champs in Columbus, and tonight got the 20-second PR.

Despite accomplishing all of that this year, Natosha still was somehow able to find to find time to remind LRCers to be nice to each other on the forums. Be a fan and post but remember you are posting about a real people. 

All alone final 100m for Kipchirchir

All alone final 100m for Kipchirchir

Men’s 5000: Shadrack Kipchirchir (13:23.74) runs crazy final 100 but comes up just short of World Champs standard

This was a two-man race from halfway onward, with Kipchirchir and his training partner Abbabiya Simbassa dropping the rest of the field. They looked to be on course to hit the 13:22.60 Worlds standard with four laps to go, as they needed to run their final 1600 in 4:13 — quick, but doable. But, with Simbassa leading, their next two laps were the slowest of the race (66.69-65.99) and the standard began to slip away. Kipchirchir finally passed Simbassa with 100 to go and completely blew his doors off, but at that point it was too little, too late as he missed it by just over a second. Simbassa took second in a big PR of 13:25.79 (his previous best was 14:07.28, though he ran 27:45 for 10k two weeks ago).

Quick Take #1: Kipchirchir only has himself to blame for missing the standard

Kipchirchir clearly had a ton left at the end as he put over two seconds on Simbassa in the final 100. If he had taken off once Simbassa began to feel the hurt in the final mile, there’s no doubt he would have run the standard. Instead, it was an opportunity missed.

“It’s kind of painful,” Kipchirchir said afterward to NBC Sports. “My main aim was to get that standard.”

Kipchirchir can’t be too devastated though, as he has been better in the 10k so far in his career (he ran that event at Worlds in ‘15 and the Olympics last year) and, assuming the schedule is not changed, the 5k/10k will be a tough double at USAs since the 5k is the day after the 10k. Clearly, he is fit right now.

    Athlete   Affiliation Time            
1   Shadrack KIPCHIRCHIR   U.S. Army 13:23.74            
2   Abbabiya SIMBASSA   American distance project 13:25.79            
3   Martin HEHIR   Hoka One One 13:29.94            
4   Reid BUCHANAN   Mammoth Track Club 13:35.08            
5   Craig LUTZ   Hoka One One 13:36.03            
6   Futsum ZIENSELLASSIE   Hoka One One 13:36.08            
7   Kirubel ERASSA   Atlanta Track Club 13:36.17            
8   Andrew TROUARD   The Rebel Alliance. 13:36.43            
9   Luc BRUCHET   Asics/Canada 13:37.62            
10   Joe STILIN   Reebok Zap Fitness 13:39.89            
11   Takanori ICHIKAWA   Hitachi Transport System 13:55.45            
12   Mitsunori ASAOKA   Hitachi Transport System 13:55.72            
13   Toshiyuki YANAGI   Hitachi Transport System 13:58.30            
14   Josef TESSEMA   American distance project 14:15.85            
15   Yuki MUTA   Hitachi Transport System 14:30.70            
    Frezer LEGESSE   Under Armour DNF            
    German FERNANDEZ   Nike DNF            

More: Talk about ther meet on our fan forum: Official 2017 Oxy Live Discussion Thread
*
What’s up with Centrowitz?
*Can Centro Challenge The Men’s 1500M WR?

*Results on one page with links to splits here


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