Chris O’Hare, Shannon Osika Win Hoka One One Long Island Miles, Ben Flanagan Goes Sub Four for First Time

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (05-Sep) — On a warm and humid evening here at Bay Shore Senior High School, Chris O’Hare and Shannon Osika prevailed over competitive fields at the fourth annual Hoka One One Long Island Mile.  O’Hare, a Scotsman who competed for the University of Tulsa during his NCAA career, successfully defended his title in 3:55.53.  Osika, who competed for the University of Michigan and still lives and trains in Ann Arbor, got her first win here in 4:29.91.  Both athletes won $3000 in prize money.

Chris O'Hare holds his son Ronan after winning the 2018 Hoka One One Long Island Mile in 3:55.53 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly) Chris O’Hare holds his son Ronan after winning the 2018 Hoka One One Long Island Mile in 3:55.53 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Fifteen athletes took to the track for the elite men’s race which began at 8:52 p.m.  Ford Palmer, a former high school football player who competes for the Hoka New Jersey-New York Track Club, was the designated pacemaker.  Moving swiftly from the starter’s gun, Palmer quickly strung out the field, hitting the first quarter in 58.8 seconds.  He was followed by Cristian Soratos, O’Hare, and Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot.

But the pace sagged in the second quarter, and the halfway point was reached in only 1:58.6.  At that point, Philibert-Thiboutot realized that he needed to change his strategy.  Instead of waiting for the final 200 meters to sprint, he would launch earlier and try to jump the field.

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“I could sense that the first two laps were slow,” Philibert-Thiboutot told Race Results Weekly.  “I told myself if I go with 350, 400 to go I can surprise some people.”

Palmer made it through three-quarters in 2:59.3 before retiring.  Philibert-Thiboutot immediately put in a surge (editor’s note: picking up a $500 prime for leading at the bell), and O’Hare responded.

“With 400 to go he went, and I thought, it’s a bit early,” O’Hare told Race Results Weekly.  “Stay smooth, stay smooth and don’t engage.”

But the pair had perhaps a 10 meter gap on the rest of the field, and O’Hare saw a chance to put the race away.

“I looked back with 320 to go and we had a bit of a gap,” O’Hare said.  “So I was like, forget it: just go hard.”

Like he did in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile back in February, O’Hare simply ran away from the field.  It was an emotional finish for him because a little more than a year ago meet record holder David Torrence died suddenly, and O’Hare had honored him with his victory last year by pointing to the sky as he finished.  Tonight, meet organizers left lane one open in Torrence’s honor.

“I’m just glad to come out here and put on a good race in memory of David,” O’Hare said as he held is son, Ronan, in his arms.  “You know, you get choked up when they leave lane one open for him.  I think all the racers today were standing on the start line with a lump in their throat.”

Philibert-Thiboutot was able to hold on for second place in 3:56.62.  Another Scotsman, Neil Gourley, was a surprise third place finisher in 3:57.20.  Olympian Ben Blankenship was fourth (3:57.29).  In tenth place, Sam Parsons ran 3:59.70, his first-ever sub-four mile.

Event 10  Men 1 Mile Run
    Comp#  Name                Year Team                Seed     Finals
  1 #501 O'Hare, Chris           Adidas                          3:55.53
  2 #502 Philibert-Thiboutot     Asics                           3:56.62
  3 #506 Gourley, Neil           Scotland                        3:57.20
  4 #505 Blankenship, Ben        Nike                            3:57.29
  5 #510 Napolitano, Rob         Hoka Njny                       3:57.65
  6 #500 Flanagan, Ben           Reebok Boston TC                3:57.75
  7 #511 Herrera, Daniel         Mexico – Hpw                    3:58.47
  8 #509 Grice, Charlie          Nike                            3:58.61
  9 #508 McEntee, Sam            Australia                       3:59.25
 10 #504 Parsons, Sam            Adidas                          3:59.70
 11 #507 Avila, Eric             Adidas                          4:01.03
 12 #513 Soratos, Cristian       Adidas                          4:04.19
 -- #503 Crawford, Graham        Hoka Njny                           DNF
 -- #514 Palmer, Ford            Hoka Njny                           DNF
 -- #520 Alexander, Colby        Hoka Njny                           DNF

Race replay here. 

Women’s Race

Osika, who won the Murphey Mile in Memphis on August 25th in a personal best 4:25.47, ran a sound tactical race.  When pacemaker Kenyetta Iyevbele was running a few meters ahead of the field with former Dartmouth athlete Helen Schlachtenhaufen in tow, Osika hung back.  The early pace –63.6 at the quarter and 2:16.3 at the half– wasn’t fast enough for her to be worried that she couldn’t close the gap in the second half.  Indeed, after Iyevbele stepped aside, Schlachtenhaufen came back, and with one full lap to go, Osika was in the lead with the versatile Rachel Schneider on her heels.

Shannon Osika after winning 2018 Hoka One One Long Island Mile in 4:29.91 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly) Shannon Osika after winning 2018 Hoka One One Long Island Mile in 4:29.91 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the races lately, so I wanted to see what I could do if I hung back,” Osika explained.  “Helen was bold.  She went up with the rabbit.  I tried to latch on to her for a bit, and take control with 400 to go.  I was just hanging on for dear life.”

Schneider did her best to chase down Osika, but couldn’t quite catch her.  She would finish a close second in 4:30.18.

“Shannon’s got a great kick right now,” Schneider observed.  “She’s having an awesome season, and she’s a really tough competitor.  I’m really happy for her.”

Reigning world steeplechase champion Emma Coburn finished third in 4:31.08, just ahead of defending champion Emily Lipari (4:31.26) and Schlachtenhaufen (4:31.80).

Event 11  Women 1 Mile Run
    Comp#  Name                Year Team                Seed     Finals
  1 #526 Osika, Shannon          Nike                            4:29.91
  2 #529 Schneider, Rachel       Under Armour                    4:30.18
  3 #524 Coburn, Emma            New Balance                     4:31.08
  4 #522 Lipari, Emily           Adidas                          4:31.26
  5 #519 Schlachtenhaufen, H     Saucony Freedom                 4:31.80
  6 #527 Van-Buskirk, Kate       Nike                            4:32.09
  7 #521 Brown, Ce'Aira          Hoka Njny                       4:32.23
  8 #515 McGee, Cory             New Balance                     4:32.74
  9 #525 Aragon, Danielle        Hoka Njny                       4:33.90
 10 #516 Sutherland, Sara        Saucony                         4:35.22
 11 #528 Eccleston, Amanda       Brooks                          4:36.27
 12 #518 Hiltz, Nikki            Adidas                          4:39.23
 13 #517 Coogan, Katrina         New Balance                     4:40.50
 14 #523 Schappert, Stephani     Hoka Njny                       4:42.07
 -- #512 Iyevbele*, Kenyetta     Hoka Njny                           DNF

Eighteen of the athletes (10 men and 8 women) who competed here tonight will also run the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in nearby Manhattan on Sunday.  (Editor’s note: David Monti is an elite athlete consultant for the 5th Avenue Mile)

Race replay here. 

LRC Additions below:

Chris O’Hare: Pays Tribute to David Torrence  and Talks 2018 Season and  Jakob Ingebrigtsen

Chris O’Hare has never run faster than he has in 2018 with indoor (3:37.03) and outdoor PRs (3:32.11) but he also has dealt with injury and some lackluster results in the three major championships he’s run (8th at World Indoors and Commonwealths, 9th at Europeans). He showed the better side of his 2018 today and was pleased to get the win. Also while he wanted the late David Torrence’s 3:53.91 meet record and $5,000 bonus that comes with it, he was fine that David still has the record.

“I wanted the meet record but I’m kind of glad in a way David still has it. It’s one of those things we all want to get, but we want to leave his memory on the meet. I’m glad I won, almost glad I didn’t get the meet record,” he said. On his 2018, O’Hare said, “This year has been really hard. Up and down,” noting that when he got injured indoors it made the rest of the year much more difficult.

Chris’ son and wife are with him this week in New York and he said his nearly 2 year old son helps him keep perspective.

We also asked Chris about 17 year-old European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen. “He’s an absolute stud. He’s one of the very few people in the world who could handle that amount of training (that young),” O’Hare said. Full video below.

Ben Flanagan Goes Sub 4 for 1st Time

Ben Flanagan surprised heads by winning the NCAA 10,000m title. Then he surprised again by winning the Falmouth Road Race. Now the former 4:07 miler is a 3:57 miler thanks to his 3:57.75 mile.

“I can’t believe it. Oh my god, it’s the same theme as every race this season (with everything going as I wanted). Two weeks ago I said I wanted to run 3:57… You hit the bell and you have to just go for it at that point,” he said.

Flanagan was running in Reebok kit and will be training with the new Reebok coached Chris Fox group next year, but first he’s got the Canadian 5k road championships and one more semester of school to finish up in Michigan where Fox will coach him remotely.

As for his amazing 2018, Flanagan said it’s about having fun and staying healthy. “There’s no secret. It’s just consistency really,” he said.

Discuss: Ben Flanagan’s Dream Summer Continues: Former 4:07 Miler is now a 3:57 Miler 

Shannon Osika continues her hot streak

Shannon Osika has been running great the last two weeks. On August 25th, she got a dominant win at the Ed Murphey mile in Memphis in a pb of 4:25.47 (she won by nearly 4 seconds). Tonight’s win was a little closer, but also impressive. Up next is a tougher filed at 5th Avenue, but Osika is clicking really well right now. “I was a little nicked up earlier in the season so I was getting by on 20 miles a I’m now just peaking,” Osika said of the pain in her shin that limited her earlier this summer.

Daniel Winn running sabbatical aka “professional red shirt year” is almost over

Daniel Winn has relocated to Brooklyn this year, been a dog walker, and trained much less intensely (running 40 miles a week). He wasn’t sure if he was done with super competitive running, but now he feels motivated and is ready to gear up again next year and take a shot at the 2019 Worlds and 2020 Olympics. He said his “professional red shirt year” is almost officially over. He still gave a sub 4 a shot in the “B” mile tonight, but after a 57 second first lap faded big time to 4:13.15.



“Emma” is a Star

September represents the fun part of the track season when athletes are not as stressed out about their results. This was our first year at the Hoka One One Long Island meet and the fans had a great attitude as well. They were making noise with bells and in jovial spirits and then after the women’s mile they swarmed not the winner, but third placer, World steeplechase champion Emma Coburn. It was refreshing to see the high school kids treating Emma like a star.

Other results of note from the non-pro miles at Hoka One One Long Island Mile

Section  12                                                                 
  1 #58 Gatchell, Caleb        M Lancaster                       4:08.14    
  2 #170 Winn, Daniel          M Brooklyn                        4:13.15    
  3 #95 Mann, Curtis           M Queens                          4:17.19    
  4 #36 Davies, John           M Brooklyn                        4:19.64    
  5 #63 Grieco, Joseph         M N Massapequa                    4:24.33    
  6 #26 Coburn, Zane           M Brooklyn                        4:26.10    
  7 #77 Hoyt, Alex             M Brooklyn                        4:28.50    
  8 #72 Herbert, Michael       M Smithtown                       4:31.60    
  9 #188 Carriniow, Boyd       M Amityville                      4:34.75    
 10 #33 Culhane, Colin         M Sayville                        4:35.89
Section  10                                                                 
  1 #18 Brannigan, Mikey       M Northport                       4:46.22    
  2 #7 Aromolo, Anthony        M East Northport                  4:48.00    
  3 #202 Toro, Jonathan        M Mastic                          4:51.83    
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