Saturday, June 9, 2012

Disappointment in Des Moines on Day 3 of NCAA Nationals

Three of Villanova's most prominent runners competed today on the final day of the NCAA national championships in Des Moines. None performed up to their own expectations. In the men's 1500 meters, many pundits saw Saw McEntee as a top-three contender, especially in consideration of his massive PR of 3:36 run at Swarthmore at the end of the outdoor season. McEntee finished 9th in the final, just one sport from All-American status, in 3:46.41. Indeed, the last four finishers in this final could easily be viewed as among the top five favorites entering the race. Last place finisher Chris O'Hare was the NCAA indoor champion in this event a few months ago.

Men's 1500 meter Final
    Name               Yr  Affiliation    Time      Pts 
 1. Andrew Bayer       JR  Indiana         3:43.82  10
 2. Miles Batty        SR  BYU             3:43.83  8
 3. Ryan Hill          JR  NC St.          3:44.24  6
 4. Michael Hammond    JR  Virginia Tech   3:44.47  5
 5. Rob Finnerty       JR  Wisconsin       3:44.53  4 
 6. Rich Peters        SO  Boston U.       3:44.66  3 
 7. Duncan Phillips    SR  Arkansas        3:44.77  2 
 8. Erik van Ingen     SR  Binghamton      3:45.00  1
 9. Sam McEntee        SO  Villanova       3:46.41 
 10. German Fernandez  JR  Oklahoma State  3:46.62  
 11. Lawi Lalang       SO  Arizona         3:46.82 
 12. Chris O'Hare      JR  Tulsa           3:51.64 

In the women's 5000, defending NCAA champion Sheila Reid was dethroned decisively, as she could never match the fitness and psychological invincibility she enjoyed during the 2011 outdoor season. She was physically spent at the NCAA East Regional and had to be helped off the track after qualifying for Nationals in third place two weeks ago. She was off her game in race tactics, racing as she put it "like an amateur" at the Prefontaine Classic over 1500 meters. In a word, Reid was just a bit "off" this season -- having not competed during the NCAA indoor season and having to worry about the Canadian Olympic Trials at the end of June. Today Reid ran back in the pack for the majority of the race, made a bid to get into contention during the penultimate lap (getting up to 6th place -- 2 seconds back -- at the gun), but faltered badly over the final 400 meters (covered in 1:24.92) and finished 10th, in 16:31.48. Her time was 54 seconds slower than her winning tine of 15:37.57 run a year ago at this meet.

In the same race, Bogdana Mimic finished 17th in 16:53.66, almost a full minute slower than the time she ran (15:55.09) at the NCAA finals last year, when she finished 11th. All runners were hit by the heat in Des Moines, as this year's race was much slower than last year's. Winner Abbey D'Agostino's time of 16:11.37 would have put her in 18th place last year. By way of comparison, D'Agostino was third last year in this race, 31 seconds faster than she ran today. In any event, today's results were a downer, given the possibilities.

Women's 5000 meters
     Name               Yr   Affiliation    Time      Pts  
 1.  Abbey D'Agostino   SO   Dartmouth      16:11.34  10  
 2.  Megan Goethals     SO   Washington     16:11.37  8 
 3.  Jessica Tebo       SR   Colorado       16:14.32  6 
 4.  Emily Sisson       SO   Providence     16:18.24  5
 5.  Aliphine Tuliamuk  JR   Wichita State  16:18.61  4   
 6.  Natosha Rogers     JR   Texas A&M      16:20.04  3
 7.  Kathy Kroeger      JR   Stanford       16:22.60  2
 8.  Alex Kosinski      SR   Oregon         16:24.42  1 
 9.  Chelsea Reilly     SR   California     16:30.31   
10.  Sheila Reid        SR   Villanova      16:31.48   
11.  Elvin Kibet        SO   Arizona        16:39.72    
12.  Emma Bates         FR   Boise State    16:43.84   
13.  Allison Woodward   FR   Oregon         16:43.92   
14.  McKenzie Melander  SR   Iowa           16:44.78   
15.  Sara Sutherland    SO   Texas          16:48.94   
16.  Corey Conner       JR   Maine          16:51.92     
17.  Bogdana Mimic      JR   Villanova      16:53.66     
18.  Kayleigh Tyerman   JR   Florida State  16:55.40     
19.  Jessica O'Connell  SR   West Virginia  17:10.43 
20.  Charl F-O'Carroll  JR   Providence     17:19.04
21.  Kathleen Stevens   FR   Virginia       17:24.29
22.  Lauren Penney      JR   Syracuse       17:39.83 
DNF  Chelsea Ley        FR   Virginia     
DNF Madeline Chambers   SO   Georgetown

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