2019 BAA Mile: Robert Domanic (4:06.4) & Nikki Hiltz (4:40.1) Win Close Races

By Jonathan Gault
April 13, 2019

BOSTON — Early this afternoon, the finishing stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street played host to the BAA Invitational Miles, which were won by 2018 college grads Robert Domanic (formerly of Ole Miss, now of the Reebok Boston Track Club) and Nikki Hiltz (formerly of Arkansas, now of the Mission Athletics Club).

Both races came down to the wire. On the men’s side, Domanic grabbed the lead on the final turn of the three-lap course, and that was enough to hold off Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare, last month’s European Indoor silver medalist over 3,000 meters. Domanic ran 4:06.4 to O’Hare’s 4:06.9.

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“I knew coming into this last straight that I had to either be in first or top three right there, because there’s not a lot of ground to make up,” Domanic said. “And when you have a bunch of milers, at the end of the day, most all of them have the same kind of foot speed, so you’re not really going to outkick too many people. So you just gotta be at the front.”

That proved effective as O’Hare simply couldn’t make up the deficit on a day where he was not at his best. The Scot hadn’t worked out in three weeks before this week due to bursitis in his knee.

“[Domanic] is fit and he’s strong,” O’Hare said. “It’s hard to fake your way through when everyone else is fit and strong.”

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Hiltz barely edged Lipari at the line

Women’s winner Hiltz took a different approach than Domanic. After studying the course yesterday, she concluded that she’d still have room to make a late move, and that’s exactly what she did, steaming by on the outside to prevail in a three-way kick over Emily Lipari, 2018 runner-up Shannon Osika, and road mile specialist Heather Kampf. Hiltz and Lipari are both members of the Mission Athletics Club led by coach Terrence Mahon, though Lipari lives in Seattle (Hiltz and the rest of the group is based in San Diego).

“I saw the last turn, I just remember thinking to myself, that’s enough room to kick,” Hiltz said.

Both Hiltz and Lipari were credited with the same time of 4:40.1, and initially it wasn’t clear who won, with Hiltz finally being announced as the winner five minutes after the finish. Osika (4:40.7) and Kampf (4:40.8) weren’t far behind.

Men’s results

1. Robert Domanic 4:06.4
2. Chris O’Hare 4:06.9
3. Sam Parsons 4:07.6
4. Jeff Thies 4:08.4
5. Julian Oakley 4:08.5
6. Daniel Herrera 4:09.4
7. Mike Marsella 4:10.1
8. James Randon 4:11.6
9. Eric Avila 4:14.1
10. Ben Groleau 4:15.4

Women’s results

1. Nikki Hiltz 4:40.1
2. Emily Lipari 4:40.1
3. Shannon Osika 4:40.7
4. Heather Kampf 4:40.8
5. Helen Schlactenhaufen 4:45.6
6. Ashley Stinson 4:46.3
7. Therese Haiss 4:53.1
8. Emily Oren 4:54.1

Robert Domanic interview

Nikki Hiltz interview

Chris O’Hare interview

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