Cole Hocker Bombs Out of USAs in Round 1 of 1500m

by LetsRun.com
June 23, 2022

Cole Hocker will not be at the World Championships in the 1500.

Roughly 2 hours after Sha’Carri Richardson flamed out of round 1 of the women’s 100m, last year’s Olympic Trials 1500m champion was eliminated after finishing just sixth in heat #1 in 3:39.57.

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Hocker was in control and in the lead from 150 until the final 50. While serving as the unofficial rabbit, he put up the fastest splits of the night at 400 (57.74), 800 (1:58.81) and 1200 (2:58.52), but his final close of 41.06 was not enough. 

Hocker halfway down the homestretch

Coming off the final turn, there were 5 guys within striking distance and halfway home Hocker looked to his right and there were four guys right there. They would all go by him as would Vincent Ciattei right before the line. Hocker wasn’t the only stud to be eliminated in heat one as Ciattei – the former Virginia Tech Hokie who was the third fastest American this year thanks to the 3:35.07 he ran at Pre – was also eliminated. Yared Nuguse, who has found his form of late, won the super tight heat in 3:38.99 at just .15 separated the top 4.

In heat #2, Colby Alexander, the second fastest American in the 1500 during the qualifying window (3:33.65) but only the 11th fastest his year (3:36.43), was sent home after finishing 4th in 3:42.31 after Sam Prakel (3:40.91) got a convincing win and Cooper Teare (3:41.27) went from 8th to 2nd the final 300m. 

In heat 3, the surprises continued but in a positive way as Drake’s Isaac Basten, who was just 10th at NCAAs, PR’d to win the heat in 3:38.92 (previous pb 3:39.08), just ahead of Johnny Gregorek and Jonathan Davis, as two (Henry Wynne and Josh Thompson) of the three time qualifiers came from this heat thanks to Princeton’s Sam Ellis pushing the pace early.

2019 world championship team member Drew Hunter, who made it in 2019 in the 5000, had to run this event as he didn’t have a 5000 qualifier. He didn’t advance after finishing 7th in 3:39.55.

MB: What?! Drew Hunter is in 1500? 

Quick Take: Did the pressure get to Cole Hocker? No, it appears he was injured

With only three auto qualifiers in each heat and three time qualifiers there wasn’t a lot of room for error. Hocker was at a definite disadvantage being in heat 1, but he seemed to try to remove any chance from the equation by keeping the pace honest and controlling the race from the front. The problem is a lot of Americans can run 3:39 in today’s era. He didn’t get any separation on the final lap, and then with 50 meters to go when he looked over to his right, we’re not sure if he was out of gas and in trouble or if he panicked, but the result was the same. He tied up and flailed for the line and will have to shift his focus to the 5000.

Hocker did not stop to talk to the media, so we don’t know what happened.

Update: David Woods of the Indy Star has received a text from Hocker’s agent Ray Flynn and is reporting that Hocker has an unspecified injury that kept him on the bicycle for the previous 12 days.

*MB: Breaking News: Cole Hocker ran through an injury according to Ray Flynn 

Quick Take: Cooper Teare looked good over the final 300.

Heading into the final lap of heat #2, Teare was only in 7th and was boxed in on the inside. With 300 to go, he moved back to 8th to get out of the box but once he got out he looked good. Still just 5th with 200 to go, he knew the entire last 150 he was going to make it in this one.

Afterward, Teare said he wanted to make sure the pace was somewhat honest.

“I think going in we just didn’t want to make it a 400 race. If you can keep it honest, at least at 61 -62s, I think I have a better time kicking off of that rather than trying seeing who is the fastest over the final 500 /600 meters. That kind of leaves everyone in the race. If you are coming through in 3:03 or 3:04 through 1200, that takes away some of the 3:40 guys,” said Teare.

Quick Take: There were 36 racers today but only 29 in the US Olympic Trials last year, that needs to change

Last year we lambasted USATF for only having 29 starters in the 1500 at the US Olympic Trials when there were three rounds. USATF made the races boring for the fans (24 advanced) and needlessly denied 19 guys the honor of saying they compete in the US Olympic Trials (we’d argue for 48 in a 3-round race – at least 36).

This year, there were 35 guys and only 2 rounds. If anything, that’s too many for 2 rounds (maybe Cole Hocker fans are upset). But in general, we sure hope this is a trend moving forward. Maybe our rant accomplished something. USATF should never lose sight of the fact that competing in a Trials or US Champs is a dream for many runners. But if you are going to the 3 heats, we think it should be top 4 in each heat move on  – no time qualifiers.

Quick Take: Props to Isaac Basten

Basten is in the final after being just the 34th fastest American on the year. High schooler Colin Sahlman‘s 1500 split at Pre (3:39.06) was faster than Basten’s PB  (3:39.08) before tonight.

Quick Take: Here is how the 16 guys who ran under 3:37.00 during the qualifying window did.

1 Cole Hocker NIKE 03:31.40 eliminated, 6thin heat #1 (3:39.57) after leading virtually all of it
2 Colby Alexander adidas 03:33.65 eliminated, 4th in heat #2 – 1.02 seconds out of 3rd
3 Henry Wynne Brooks 03:34.22 q- time qualifier after finishing 4th in heat #3 in 3:39.17
4 John Gregorek ASICS 03:34.49 Q – 2nd in heat #3 (3:38.95)
5 Cooper Teare NIKE 03:34.81 Q – 2nd in heat #2 (3:41.27)
6 Yared Nuguse On Athletics Club 03:34.98 Q – Won heat #1 (3:38.99)
7 Vincent Ciattei NIKE / NIKE OTCE 03:35.07 Eliminated – 5th in heat #1 (3:39.34) as the last time qualifier was 3:39.25
8 Paul Ryan adidas 03:35.82 Q – 3rd in heat #2 (3:41.209_noble
9 Christian Noble New Balance Boston 03:36.00 eliminated – 6th in heat #3 (3:39.37), missing by .12
10 Josh Thompson NIKE / Bowerman Track Club 03:36.29 q – snagged last time qualifier at 3:39.325 (5th heat 3)
11 Samuel Prakel adidas 03:36.43 Q – Won heat #2 (3:40.91)
12 Reed Brown University of Oregon 03:36.44 Q – 3rd in heat #1 (3:39.04)
13 Eric Holt EMPIRE ELITE TC 03:36.62 Q – 2nd in heat #1 (3:39.00)
14 Hobbs Kessler adidas 03:36.63 Eliminated – 5th in heat #2 (3:42.56)
15 David Ribich Brooks 03:36.70 Eliminated – 8th in heat #3 (3:38.89
16 Jonathan Davis University of Illinois, Champaign 03:36.85 Q – 3rd in heat #5 (3:39.02)

Discuss this article here: Hocker bombs!

For post-race interviews of many of the top stars runners including Allyson Felix, Chistian  Coleman, Evan Jager, Ajee’ Wilson, Cade Flatt, Bruce Hoppel and Raevyn Rogers, go to our YouTube page,

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