Lipari Takes Over
Emily Lipari came full circle as a member of Villanova's victorious distance medley relay at the Armory Collegiate Inviatational on Friday.
As a freshman, Lipari ran the lead-off 1,200 for the Wildcats, who the 2010 race in 11:02.83. As a sophomore, she blazed a sensational split of 3:20.7 as Villanova set an Armory record with 10:56.12.
Friday, she took on the anchor role left behind by Olympian Sheila Reid, taking the baton from three new teammates and bringing the baton home in 10:56.74.
"It's an honor to run with three different girls and run the same time (as 2011)," Lipari said. "I've never run on the mile leg before. Noboby can ever take Sheila's spot but I stepped it up and did the best I could."
Villanova has won the women's DMR five times in the past 10 years at the ACI.
Lipari split 4:34 on the anchor, overtaking Arkansas' Dominique Scott and then putting eight seconds on the second-place Razorbacks. Villanova's time included carries by Angel Piccirillo, Faith Dismuke and Nicky Akande, and is tops in the nation this year.
The men's DMR was perhaps even more dramatic, thanks to an early mishap for a talented team from Oregon. Lead-off Brett Johnson went down in the first 40 meters, but the race continued and almost left him behind. Johnson got up and chased the pack from 10 meters back, closing much of the gap.
Then Michael Berry, a World Championships gold medalist in the 4x400 for the U.S. in 2011, took the baton and blitzed a 46.1-second 400 to draw even with the lead. Elijah Greer then took the lead for the Ducks and began to gap the field with a 1:47 800 meters.
Greer passed to Mac Fleet, who is coming back from a lengthy foot injury and his lack of race sharpness showed. Stanford and Arkansas closed the gap and with 600 meters left it was a three-way race.
Ultimately, Stanford's Michael Atchoo was the difference-maker, splitting 3:58 to bring the Cardinal the win in 9:34.20. Oregon was next in 9:35.06 and Arkansas was third in 9:35.50.
"I was just thinking 'Take my time and work my way up to the two guys in front of me,'" Atchoo said. "I reeled them in gradually. I wanted to be on them (Oregon and Arkansas) with 800 to go and that's what I did and then I was kind of patient and then be ready to make my move with a quarter (to go)."
Tyler Stutzman (1,200, 2:54.7), Spencer Chase (400, 48.1) and Luke Lefebure (800, 1:52.3) also factored into Stanford's win.
The Ducks, meanwhile, will look for another opportunity to run a fast time.
"In a way it's good to know that there's probably five more seconds out there that we could have picked up pretty easily," Oregon assistant coach Andy Powell said. "It's the first mile that Mac's run in a couple of years. I'm just happy that he's back and that he's healthy. He's in better shape than that, he just has to learn how to run it again."
In the championships 60-meter races, Bowerman Award winner Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU broke the meet record with 7.16 seconds. Dezerea Bryant of Clemson was second in 7.26 and Geronne Black of Portland State was third in 7.30.
In the men's race, D'Angelo Cherry of Mississippi State won a very close race in 6.67 seconds. LSU's Rynell Parson was second in 6.68 and Tigers teammate Aaron Ernest was third in 6.69.
Professional mid-distance star Robby Andrews came tantalizingly close to breaking the U.S. record in the indoor 1,000, finishing .04 seconds shy of the mark with 2:17.90. Andrews admitted after the race that he shouldn't have looked up to the clock before he hit the finish line. That tiny loss of focus probably cost him the record.
"I need to learn how to deal with the pressure, deal with the expectations," Andrews said. "Today it was putting pressure on myself, and I would have liked to do a little better, but I thought I handled it pretty well."
Andrews sat on a platform above the first turn of the track to do an interview with Flotrack as the junior men's 1,000 was lining up. And another New Jersey standout was prepared to go after Andrews' high school record in the 1,000.
Ben Malone, a Villanova recruit who attends Pascack Valley High School, got hemmed in early and by the time he found daylight and ran away from everyone else in the race it was too late. Malone finished in 2:25.82, more than three seconds shy of the record.
"I didn't react well to the gun and I let myself get boxed in," lamented Malone.
Malone's 1,000 was one of five events for high-school aged athletes — and all five competitions produced U.S. No. 1 performances. Sabrina Southerland of Queens won the junior women's 1,000 in 2:47.44. The Union Catholic (N.J.) boys ran 3:18.88 to win the 4x400 relay. Columbia (N.J.) ran 3:47.51 to win the girls 4x400 relay. And Rudy Winkler of Averill Park, N.Y. dominated the weight throw competition with 79-6 3/4.
In other college finals, Charlene Lipsey of LSU defended her title in the 1,000, breaking her own meet record with 2:44.20. Her teammate, Laura Carleton, won the 5,000 in 16:11.58 — breaking the school record in the event by more than a minute.
In the women's 500, Kristyn Williams of Stanford emerged out of the college division to post the fastest time of the day: 1:13.39.
Brianna Rollins of Clemson, the NCAA record holder, broke the meet record twice on the way to victory in the 60 hurdles (7.93).
Christina Hillman of Iowa State won the shot put handily with 55-9. Andrea Geubelle of Kansas broke the meet record with 21-11 1/2 to win the long jump. (She was less than two and a half inches from the Armory record). And Natalia Bartnovskaya, also of Kansas, won the pole vault at 14-1 1/4.
For the men, Iowa State's Edward Kemboi ran 2:21.89 to win the 1,000. Samuel Ellison of Villanova won a photo finish with Kyle Clemons of Kansas in the 500, 1:01.31 to 1:01.32.
Ty McCormack of Clemson won the 5,000 in 14:14.00. His teammate, Spencer Adams, won the 60 hurdles in 7.59 seconds.
In field event action, Texas' Hayden Baillio bookended his college career with an ACI title, taking the shot put with 63-7 3/4. He also won it in 2010.
Damar Forbes of LSU won the long jump with a best of 25-10 1/4.