Maggie Vessey Gets an A plus, Symmonds Under 1:44, by Walt Murphy, Note by Larry Eder


Maggie Vessey is the topic of conversation today, upon my return to the states. She was coached by Terry Crawford at Cal Poly-SLO, in college. Greg Brock, former Stanford standout, superb high school coach and community college coach in Santa Cruz area ( some nice coaches there, remember Danny Gruber at Aptos?). I got chastized a bit about saying how Maggie could be dangerous at Worlds. Yes, great thing to make semis, but problem with American women 800 meter runners is that they do not shoot for the moon. Vessey does need to get her sea legs, so to speak, but she has the ability to really run very well.

Congrats to Nick Symmonds as well! Nick got under 1:44, a big deal and his kick makes him very, very dangerous. He has to focus, get out of the semis and get into that final. We wish both Maggie and Nick well!


Nick Symmonds, Nike Pre Classic, June 7, 2009, courtesy of

Walt Murphy's News and Results Service
(c)Copyright 2009-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission

Herculis Grand Prix--Monaco, July 28
Vessey gets an A+
by Walt Murphy

Vessey’s great post-race interview on Flotrack.
Vessey’s Incredible Journey (Includes links to videos of many of Vessey’s races)
Hometown Coverage(Vessey)
IAAF Report

Maggie Vessey’s search for an “A” qualifying standard for the World Championships ended on Tuesday in Monaco. She not only ran faster than the 2-flat needed to earn a berth on the U.S. team in the 800-meters, she beat a strong international field and ran 1:57.84, the fastest time in the world this year! That time moves her into a tie for 7th place(with Joetta Clark and ahead of Madeline Manning--pretty good company) on the All-Time U.S. performers’ list. (see below)
With the qualifying deadline approaching (midnight-Friday), Vessey’s trip to the Worlds in Berlin is almost guaranteed. Hazel Clark and Geena Gall, who only had a “B” qualifier, earned their spots on the team with their 1-2 finish at the U.S. Championships last month(A country can take two As and a B in each event). 3rd placer Phoebe Wright has also been chasing the “A” standard, but she fell short(2:01.23) in what is believed to have been her final attempt last Saturday. Gall, meanwhile, ran a personal best of 2:00.44 in Italy on July 12. If she had run 2:00.00 or faster, that would have given her an “A” qualifier and would have “bumped” Wright onto the team, leaving Vessey with nothing to chase! Assuming she gets to run in Berlin, Vessey now must be considered a potential medalist at the World Championships.
Vessey is a new face to many U.S. fans, but she finished 2nd at the NCAA Championship and 7th at the U.S. Nationals in 2005. She was hurt in 2006, returned to the track in 2007, and finished 5th at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials. Her college coach at Cal Poly/San Luis Obispo was Terry Crawford, who was a national-class 1/2-miler during her competitive days.
Vessey wasn’t the only American 800 runner to set a PR and move into the U.S. top-10 in Monaco. Nick Symmonds finished 3rd in the men’s 800 and broke 1:44 for the first time with his clocking of 1:43.83 and is now the 8th fastest American ever at the distance.
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, Lashinda Demus just missed the U.S. Record with her winning time of 52.63 seconds. That’s the fourth-fastest time in history and the fastest run by an American since 1995, when Kim Batten(52.61) and Tonja Buford-Bailey(52.62) finished 1-2 at the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

1:56.40 Jearl Miles-Clark 1999
1:56.90 Mary Slaney 1985
1:56.91 Kim Gallagher 1988
1:57.04 Meredith Rainey-Valmon 1996
1:57.80 Delisa Walton-Floyd 1988
1:57.82 Julie Jenkins 1990
1:57.84 Joetta Clark 1998
1:57.84 Maggie Vessey 2009
1:57.9 Madeline Manning 1976
1:57.97 Nicole Teter 2002

ALL-TIME U.S. LIST--MEN’S 800-METERS (Perfomers)
(*-made during 880y race)
1:42.60 Johnny Gray 1985
1:43.20 Mark Everett 1997
1:43.35 David Mack 1985
1:43.38 Rich Kenah 1997
1:43.5* Rick Wohlhuter 1974
1:43.62 Earl Jones 1986
1:43.68 Khadevis Robinson 2006
1:43.83 Nick Symmonds 2009
1:43.84 Alan Webb 2007
1:43.92 John Marshall 1984
1:43.92 James Robinson

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