Saturday, June 11, 2011

Matt Gibney a Strong 4th at NCAA 1500 Final -- Now a Two-Time All American at 1500 Meters

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DES MOINES, Iowa--A strong race in the finals of the 1500 meters made senior Matthew Gibney (Albury, Australia) an All-American in the event for the second time in the last three years and Gibney placed fourth in the finals at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Drake Stadium on Saturday afternoon. He ran in a very strong field and made a strong move down the stretch to pass several runners and move up into fourth place.

"I was surprised how good I felt in training leading up to the NCAA Regional and the championships this weekend," Gibney said. "To finish fourth is a great result and I am happy with that, although I thought I had a chance to do something a little bit better. I wasn't as aggressive as I could have been in the middle of the race and got a little further back from the leaders than I should have."

Gibney looked strong throughout the race and crossed the finish line in 3:44.38 to notch his best time of the season. After running near the front of the pack for the first half of the race he had been pushed to as far back as 11th place at one point before an impressive home stretch. Gibney even overcame a late stumble in the final lap to still persevere and move through the ranks to ensure a strong finish in one of the top-eight scoring spots.

"Matt ran a really great race and I am so happy for him to finish fourth and win his second All-America honor in the 1500 meters," Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan said. "In this race Matt did a terrific job of covering moves that were made and for him to find himself far back in the pack and then finish the way he did was really great. He probably ran his fastest 300 meters down the stretch and that gave him a great result."

Gibney finishes off a terrific spring season in which he anchored Villanova to the Championship of America distance medley relay title at the Penn Relays, earned All-BIG EAST recognition in the 800 meters and had the fastest 1500 meters time in the national quarterfinals at the NCAA East Regional.

Matthew Centrowitz of Oregon won the 1500 meters championship with a time of 3:42.54 and was followed by Dorian Ulrey of Arkansas (3:43.06) and Abdi Hassan of Arizona (3:43.95) ahead of Gibney. The rest of the eight scorers included Dumisane Hlaselo of Florida (3:44.59), Erik van Ingen of Binghamton (3:44.71), Miles Batty of BYU (3:45.07) and Patrick Casey of Montana State (3:45.10).

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