USC’s Isaiah Jewett Holds Off Texas A&M’s Brandon Miller to Win 2021 NCAA 800 Title as Both Break 1:45

by Robert Johnson
June 12, 2021

Noted front runners Isaiah Jewett, the USC senior and fastest man in the NCAA this year at 1:45.16, and Brandon Miller, the Texas A&M freshman who edged Jewett at the West Regional, did their front-running thing today and it worked out quite well as Jewett won with the 4th fastest time in NCAA meet history at 1:44.68. Jewett’s now the #8 performer all-time in NCAA history (he came in with a 1:45.16 pb). The true freshman Miller also dipped under 1:45 for the 1st time in his career for 2nd in 1:44.97 (previous pb of 1:45.57).

The Race

Jewett and Miller both went out hard and wanted the lead and Miller had it at 200 in 25.1. No one else went with them and at 400 (50.94), they had nearly a full second on the rest of the field  as indoor runner-up Finley McLear of Miami-Ohio was third at 51.75.

Jewett took the lead just after 400 and by 600 (1:15.9), it was clear one of the two front runners was going to be the winner. Jewett never gave up the lead and got the win. 

“Brandon’s a great competitor. I just kept fighting. I know he’s a fighter so I had to fight back,” said Jewett when asked about how he reversed the order of finish from regionals.

Indoor champ Charlie Hunter of Oregon closed best of the chase pack to grab third in a pb of 1:45.75.

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EUGENE, OR – JUNE 11: Isaiah Jewett reacts after winning the men’s 800 meter race during the Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Hayward Field on June 11, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

1 Isaiah Jewett SR USC 1:44.68 (50.965)
2 Brandon Miller FR Texas A&M 1:44.97 (50.937)
3 Charlie Hunter SR Oregon 1:45.75 (52.119)
4 Finley McLear SO Miami (Ohio) 1:45.80 (51.744)
5 Festus Lagat SR Iowa State 1:46.33 (52.477)
6 Shane Streich SR Lipscomb 1:46.70 (52.309)
7 Yusuf Bizimana FR Texas 1:46.76 (51.874)
8 Eric Brown SR Auburn 1:46.76 (51.997)
9 Crayton Carrozza FR Texas 1:46.94 (52.228)

Quick Take: If you’re wondering why no one went with the front runners…

Watching this live, we imagine many casual fans were wondering why didn’t anyone go with the leaders?

Two reasons. 

1) They were running super fast 

Check this stat out. 8 of the 9 guys in this race PRd. Yes, that’s right. Everyone but Festus Lagat (5th placer who has a pb of 1:45.05) ran a new personal best tonight. The other guys simply may not be capable of going out in 50 point and hanging on to a good time.

2) Both Jewett and Miller were not good in the prelims and only got into the final on time.

If you watched the semifinals on Wednesday, you likely were surprised by what happened in the men’s 800 final tonight as in the prelims both Jewett and Miller faded off a much more modest pace and only squeaked into the final on time. In the prelims, Jewett ran his 53.22 – 54.28 with Miller right behind. Tonight, he ran his second lap in 53.72 despite going out WAY faster.

Full Race Replay

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