#DidYouSeeThat Recap: Historic & Dramatic College Distance Performances Across The Nation on Saturday
What a weekend in college track & field. So much happened that we’re splitting this weekend’s recap into three articles just to do everything justice.
This weekend was the biggest of the season for the distance events, so we broke out Saturday’s biggest distance action into one recap for you below, but be sure to check out the recap of Friday’s action (including all-time great mile, DMR and 60-meters performances) and the recap of the sprints/throws/jump (featuring a collegiate pole vault record and historic action in the weight throw, shot put, triple jump, women’s 4×400 relay and hurdles).
Collegians at the Millrose Games
Perhaps the highest-profile and best-documented collegiate action of the weekend were the top-flight NCAA distance runners who tried their hand against some of the world’s top professionals at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York City.
The night was filled with historic collegiate distance running. Here are the highlights:
Men’s 3000 – Oregon’s Eric Jenkins came up just shy of Galen Rupp‘s American collegiate record (and school record) with a winning time of 7:44.91, followed right behind by teammate Will Geoghegan in second in 7:45.71.
Though the duo missed on Rupp’s 7:44.69, Jenkins became the seventh-fastest man in collegiate history with the eighth-fastest time in collegiate history, while Geoghegan moved up to No. 8 on the all-time performers list with the 10th-fastest time. Removed from the all-time top-10 performers list to make room for them are all-time greats Joe Falcon of Arkansas and Bernard Lagat of Washington State.
Women’s 3000 – Kate Avery of Iona may have rolled through the cross country season with minimal resistance en route to a dominant NCAA title, but one woman with whom she didn’t have to contend was Providence’s Emily Sisson. The Providence senior, who raced the roads during the fall with no remaining cross country eligibility, brought Avery back down to earth with a head-to-head win, finishing fourth in 8:53.60 to Avery’s sixth in 8:53.12. Sisson narrowly trailed Avery for much of the race, pulling ahead of her in the final lap, splitting 33.60 over the final 200 to Avery’s 34.29.
Sisson’s performance moved her up to No. 5 in collegiate history (behind legends Jenny Barringer, Sally Kipyego, Kim Smith and Abbey D’Agostino), with Avery slotting in right behind at No. 6. Avery had previously been No. 9 all-time based on her 8:56.20 from this meet a year ago.
Combined with the all-time performance posted by Dominique Scott of Arkansas at Washington the same night (more on that later), the NCAA race should be a fast one.
Men’s Wanamaker Mile – For the first time during his collegiate track career, Oregon’s Edward Cheserek found a challenge he couldn’t surmount. In what many were touting as a potential attempt at the collegiate record (which would have been the fourth from this race in as many years) the superstar sophomore distance runner finished eighth in 3:56.43 and didn’t even finish with the 2015 NCAA lead (more on that in a moment).
The professional trio of eventual winner Matthew Centrowitz, Nick Willis and Pat Casey took off early and took off hard, running faster than 30 seconds per lap for nearly the entire way. Cheserek held the pace for three laps before falling back into the pack. Teammate John Gregorek finished 10th in 3:57.47.
Women’s Wanamaker Mile – While the men’s Wanamaker Mile had been touted by observers as a collegiate record attempt, the women’s race was deemed so by none other than the woman who was chasing it, Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State. Though she stayed with the pack for the better part of six laps of the eight-lap circuit, she ultimately came up short with a very admirable seventh-place performance in 4:30.77. Collegian Rosie Clarke of Iona was last in ninth, but still recorded a very significant 4:31.78.
A significant improvement from her 4:38.45 (oversized track) PR, Houlihan nevertheless didn’t exit the weekend with the 2015 collegiate lead: that went to Florida State’s Colleen Quigley and her No. 5 all-time 4:29.67 effort at Boston U on Friday. She did check in at No. 10 on the all-time college performers list.
Men’s 1000 – Avid track & field fans know Ashland’s Drew Windle is the Division II monarch of middle-distance and one of the best collegians out there, regardless of division. He proved that and more in a big way with a nationally televised third-place finish as the only collegian in the men’s 1000. After leading the race most of the way, he was overtaken by the duo of winner Erik Sowinski and Robby Andrews in the final lap but was able to hold off the rest of the field to finish in 2:22.91, ahead of sixth place Duane Solomon, an Olympian in Windle’s signature 800-meter event.
Christian Soratos Runs 3:55.27 mile at Washington
Fourteen of the year’s fastest 16 mile performances (16 is the cutoff to get to NCAAs) were among the 19 sub-4:00 miles reported to TFRRS this weekend, but none were nearly as impressive as the 3:55.27 run by unheralded Cristian Soratos of Montana State.
If you have Flotrack Pro and you haven’t yet watched the replay, you must do it now.
Though he posted several times that put him near the top of the NCAA Championships qualifying lists, he did so with the assistance of altitude conversions that left doubt in some peoples’ minds.
Doubt no more.
He ran from the front of the pack the entire way, actually passing rabbit Riley Masters ahead of schedule to push the pace. He was overtaken by Penn State’s Brannon Kidder in the final lap, but Soratos absolutely dropped the hammer in the middle of the final turn to pull away and clinch a two-second victory.
Elsewhere around the country, Georgetown had four men run sub-4 at Boston U. (though three of them are on the outside looking in for NCAAs right now at Nos. 17, 18 and 21), Oklahoma State had three sub-4’s and Oregon had three sub-4s, including two school records: first from Daniel Winn at Washington and then from Cheserek.
Twice the collegiate lead changed hands, first going to Providence’s Julian Oakley with his first-ever indoor sub-4 in 3:57.22 at Boston U., then to Soratos.
Dominique Scott’s Historic 3k at Washington
As fast as Sisson went in that 3k at the Millrose Games, she didn’t finish the day as the collegiate leader. Out on the west coast on the oversized track at Washington Husky Classic, Arkansas’ Dominique Scott eclipsed her collegiate-leader by just .03, running 8:52.57 to win by two seconds over runner-up Brie Felnagle and by 10 seconds over the next-best collegians in Stanford’s Elise Cranny and Katrina Coogan of Georgetown.
Though the time doesn’t count on the all-time top-10 collegiate list because it was run on an oversized track, hers is the fifth-fastest all-conditions time in collegiate history and the fastest ever run on an oversized track. Jenny Barringer (we’ve brought her name up a lot this weekend) previously ran 8:53.88 on this track in 2009.
Scott, Cranny, Coogan and former NCAA great Angela Bizzarri broke away midway through the race with Scott leading the way. Scott pulled away from the field and opened up a big gap at 2k and never looked back. Felnagle attempted to kick for the win on the final lap, but couldn’t come close to Scott.
Erin Teschuk’s Dramatic 3k Comeback at Iowa State
Though the fastest times of the weekend went to Scott, Sisson and Avery, by far the most exciting and dramatic finish was that of Erin Teschuk of North Dakota State to win the 3k at Iowa State in what was then a collegiate-leading 9:02.40. In what was the definition of a photo finish, Teschuk came from way back – more than five seconds back on the final lap – on pro Nicol Traynor to win by just .09 of a second literally at the line.
Teschuk, who had entered the weekend as the top qualifier on the NCAA mile list, had to first chase down Rachel Johnson of Baylor – who had pulled away with Traynor earlier in the race but fell back to the pack – then had to reel in Traynor herself.
Do yourself a favor and watch the Flotrack Pro replay here. Watch for it again later this week as a likely candidate for Flotrack’s Kick of the Week.
Fast Frosh 3ks at Washington and Iowa State
Though it was Kemoy Campbell who won the men’s 3000 meters at Washington in 7:48.13, perhaps the biggest surprise of the race was who finished third behind Cambell of Arkansas and pro Garrett Heath: Washington frosh Colby Gilbert, who ran a college No. 4 and school record 7:49.25 and held off distance studs Stanley Kebenei of Arkansas, Robby Creese of Penn State, Fabian Clarkson of Oklahoma State and Kevin Batt of Adams State.
Haven’t hear of Gilbert? We’re not surprised. This was his first 3000 meters race as a Washington Husky, and just his second collegiate track race (ran a 4:00.62 mile on this track two weekends ago). He was 195th at NCAA XC this year.
Earlier in the day at the Iowa State Classic, a frosh did get the win as Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald took down his All-American XC teammate Malachy Schrobilgen to win in 7:55.20, putting him at No. 15 in the country. This was his first collegiate 3k after running a 4:03.81 mile two weekends ago and finishing 75th at NCAA XC in the fall.
Edward Kemboi and Brandon McBride Win in Strong 800m Efforts
First up, defending indoor and outdoor NCAA champion Brandon McBride of Mississippi State cruised to a 1:46.80 – at the time a collegiate-leader – in his first 800 of the season at the SPIRE Division I Invitational with minimal resistance from the field. He turned on the jets on the final turn to pull away for a two-second win over Anthony Romaniw of Guelph.
Later in the afternoon, Edward Kemboi – last indoor season’s fastest regular-season collegian – took over the collegiate lead with a win in the fastest 800m race of the season. Crossing the line in 1:46.09, he held off college No. 2 Andres Arroyo of Florida (1:46.78) and No. 5 Jesse Garn of Binghamton (1:46.98). Ryan Schnulle of Florida (No. 6 1:47.29) and Joe McAsey (No. 7 1:47.38) also contended for the win.