Saturday, June 25, 2011

USATF Championships Day 3

All the races today played out as expected, except the 1500m. Both men's and women's races were crazy and completely different. The women started out with Christin Wurth pushing the pace making sure it was an honest race. Unfortunately she went out like it was an 800m and no one went with her. She went through the 400m split in 62 seconds, which is nearly world record pace. She had created a huge gap between herself and the rest of the field which was still moving pretty quick. She looked great for 1350m and may have run away with it if she had gone out in 64 instead of 62. They started to gain on Wurth with 300m to go and caught her on the home stretch. She was passed by Uceny, then Simpson, and Rowbury at the line. I thought Wurth was going to collapse with 50m to go as her legs looked wobbly. The top three women could all make the final at World Champs. I picked the winner (Uceny) but was wrong on Pierce and off by a place with Wurth. Watch the race here.

The men's 1500m was a mess. It was awful to watch. Nobody wanted to lead. No one wanted to break the wind or let others sit on them, and everyone seemed to be willing to let Lagat dictate the race. He went to the lead and then slowed the pace dramatically. The men's first lap was 66 (4 seconds slower than the women). There was bumping and shoving, and multiple times were people almost went down. Then they all started to kick playing into Lagat's perfect senario. All my picks were within a few steps of each other in the last 30m. And after a few late surges it ended up 1. Centrowitz, 2. Lagat, 3. Manzano, 4. Wheating. The reason #4 was important was because Lagat knew he wouldn't be running the 1500m at Worlds and 4th would move into 3rd. Some people (Leer who ended up 5th) took offense to Lagat's strategy, but who can blame him for wanting two win to events at USA's. Unfortunately, he turned what could have been a very fast and competitive race with one of the most stacked fields in US history, into "who can run the fastest 200m surrounded by other runners without falling down." I picked Lagat to win but not in that fashion. He was beat in the last 20-30m by NCAA champ Matt Centrowitz and Leo Manzano snuck into 3rd with a late kick. I thought Wheating would have more but he ended up 4th. Torrence was 6th (my pick for 3rd). Unfortunately, of the three runners that may be in the 1500m for the US, I think Wheating has the only shot at making the final. I hope I am wrong.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Thank you for the great breakdown of the 1500's! I missed them.