Our Kiwi friend, Roy Stevenson, wrote this piece on the Pre Classic International Mile, which has been a strong race in past Prefontaine meets….you will remember Roy from covering major Diamond League events for us in 2011, 2012. A great observer, Roy uses his past competitive life, strong writing skills and knowledge of the sport to give us a unique view of mile….watch for his piece on the Pre Classic.
Pre Classic International Men’s Mile
By Roy Stevenson
Any seasoned miler will tell you that with a short event like the mile, the slightest tactical error can make all the difference between winning and being an also ran, and the International Mile in Eugene confirmed this adage nicely.
Milers of the caliber of Daniel Komen (PR 3:48.28) should not be allowed to slip away early as he did because making up a 15 yard gap on runners of this caliber is a daunting task–especially with a headwind gusting down the back straight.
Pacemaker Matt Miner did his job well with a 56.73 first lap with Komen latched on behind him. James Magut (PR 3:50.68) led the rest of the pack 10 yards back, with Norwegian Henrik Ingebritson (PR 3:54.28) hovering further back in 8th.
Second pacemaker Mark Wieczorek led through the half in 1:54.88 with Komen trailing nicely and the gap stretching out to 15 yards. By this time it was apparent that the American milers Andrew Wheating (5th 3:57.02), Will Leer (4th 3:56.39 PR) and David Torrence (6th 3:57.43) were more preoccupied with watching each other than the rest of the milers, and they ultimately paid the price.
At the bell lap Komen had a 15 yard lead over fellow Kenyan Magut and Ingebritson, with the rest finally waking up to the fact that time and space were running out.
A game Komen started his kick from 230 meters out, but Ingebritson slipped past and looked to have the race sewn up down the home straight. Then a late sprint by Magut nailed him in turn, with 40 yards to go. Magut’s first place was a creditable 3:55.24, with Ingebritson’s second place 3:55.5, and Komen’s third 3:56.13. Magut’s time was a world leader.
Leer’s 4th (3:56.13), Wheating’s 5th (3:57.02) and Torrence’s 6th 3:57.43) would undoubtedly been faster if they had stayed on the pace, or at least closed the gap to a do-able 5 yards with one lap to go.
This was an exciting race, with fortunes changing in the last lap, but I wonder how much faster it would have been if the pack had stayed up with the pace.
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