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Friday, 15 May 2015 17:57

Vessey Beats Simpson at Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic

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Hopes for world championships qualifying marks were washed away for many when Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic at Occidental College in Los Angeles had to be cut short due to heavy rains, dangerous lightning and chilly temperatures. The men's and women's 5000m had to be scrapped. On the men's side, USA indoor 600m record holder Cas Loxsom held off a hard-charging Matthew Centrowitz in the first section of 800m to win in 1:46.23 to his rival's 1:46.55. Ryan Martin won the second heat in 1:46.37. In the women's two-lap race, the top two sections both played out dramatically. In the first section, reigning IAAF World Indoor champion Chanelle Price held the lead with 200 meters to go, but 

four-time USA 1500m champion Treniere Moser got around Price (second 2:01.99) on the outside in the homestretch to take the win in 2:01.67. In the second section, 2011 world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson chased 800m specialist Maggie Vessey down the homestretch, but couldn't quite catch her taller rival.  Vessey clocked 2:00.70, the fastest time of the night, to Simpson's 2:00.79 (World champs A standards). In the women's 1500m the closest to Worlds standard was Katie Mackey who won the first section in 4:07.51, just holding off Gabe Grunewald in the final meters (4:07.67). 

Shannon Rowbury did a interesting double 2:03.46 and 4:13.62. Sally Kipyego was timed with 4:11.95 in the 1500m, Emma Coburn 4:10.77, and Mary Cain 4:16.48. Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano bolted away from the field with 250 meters to go, and went on to win in 3:38.96 the 1500m ahead of two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating  (3:39.56). In terms of producing world championships qualifying marks, the two steeplechase races did best. Stephanie Garcia ran away from the women's field to win in 9:37.19, well under the 9:44.00 World Championships "A" standard. In the men's steeplechase, Canada's Matt Hughes dominated the race, leading nearly every step to win in 8:25.54.  He was pushed in the homestretch by compatriot Taylor Milne who finished second in 8:25.72.  Travis Mahoney finished third 8:27.08.

From RRW via EME News/Alfonz Juck

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