The Track Meet — The American Track League Kicks Off

Matthew Centrowitz cranked off his fastest 1500 since the ’19 World Championships. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, May 14-15 — Veteran comebacks continued at the year’s first stop of the 10-meet American Track League. Positioned by promoters Sound Running as “The Track Meet,” the 2-day affair saw reigning Olympic 1500 gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz and former World Indoor 60 champ Trayvon Bromell taking big strides in their quests of making the Tokyo team.

Nagging injuries had plagued Centrowitz in his attempt to repeat as Olympic champion and after a couple of subpar 2021 performances (a 1:50.97 in March and a 3:40.31 in April), some had to wonder if he would be able to get back to an elite level. Against a solid 15-man field that included the likes of Canada’s Moh Ahmed, Johnny Gregorek, Josh Thompson and Brit Jake Heyward, Centrowitz would definitely have his work cut out for him.

Some jostling occurred a few meters after the gun, sending Ahmed and Eric Avila to the ground and out of the race. The rest continued as pacesetter Blake Haney passed the 400 in 57 seconds, with Centrowitz settling comfortably behind Heyward and Gregorek. The lead positions remained unchanged through 800m in 1:56 and at the bell it was still anybody’s game.

Crossing the 1200 in 2:55 and change, Centrowitz passed Gregorek and with 200m left turned up the heat and took the lead from Heyward. He extended his margin to 5m as they entered the homestretch and never looked back. After a 54.24 final circuit Centrowitz broke the tape in 3:35.26, his fastest time since his 3:32.81 from the Doha WC in ’19. Heyward finished 2nd in a PR 3:36.24, just ahead of compatriot Marc Scott (3:36.28) and Grant Fischer (3:36.52).

Centrowitz told interviewer Andrew Wheating (his former Duck teammate), “Last year was obviously a weird year for a lot of people. Timing couldn’t be any better right now. I had some injuries last year so the Olympics being postponed obviously was a blessing in disguise. Feel like I’m coming around in good form right now. I’ve still got to be a lot better than I was today, and that’s what I plan on doing the next few weeks.”

Because of his fall and DNF, Ahmed entered the 5000 in the evening session and won by nearly 2 seconds over Britain’s Andrew Butchart, 13:18.49–13:20.39.

Bromell, on the other hand, has had his foot on the pedal since the indoor season and began his outdoor campaign with a pair of 10.01s in Eugene and a 9.88 in Florida. Known for his start, Bromell took command from the gun and won going away in 9.92, winning by a whopping 0.30 over Chris Royster.

Always grateful regarding his resurgence, Bromell said, “I’m just trying to do what God wants me to do, just work hard day in and day out. My teammates, we motivate each other and just the work ethic the last few weeks has been [at a] crazy high level. This week has been a real hard week for me in terms of training so for me to come out here and run these kind of times, I know we are moving in the right direction towards Trials.”

The women’s 1500 was a thriller, with Briton Katie Snowden outrunning Kate Grace with her 62.40 final 400 in a PR 4:02.98, notching her a Tokyo Q-standard. Grace won the battle for 2nd in 4:03.54, as the next 5 were all under 4:05, with Australia’s Jessica Hull 3rd in 4:04.16, followed by Emma Coburn (4:04.28), Canadian Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (4:04.42), Heather McLean (4:04.85) and Dani Jones (4:04.86). Brit Jemma Reekie was 8th in 4:05.09.

Jamaican Olympic champ Omar McLeod looked ready in his 110H opener, his 13.11 prevailing over Americans Devon Allen (13.26 for his fastest since June of ’18) and Daniel Roberts (13.30). London Olympic champion Aries Merritt still has a ways to go in his comeback attempt, finishing 6th in 13.90.

Laura Muir continued her fine form, winning the women’s 800 in 1:58.71, ahead of Allie Wilson’s PR 1:59.71, Brit Adelle Tracey (1:59.84), Hanna Green (1:59.88) and Elle Purrier just ducking under 2:00 in a lifetime best 1:59.99.

Said Muir, “Yeah, it was just to kind of to sit in, practice to race a little more tactically and I just got to be strong over the last 200 and I thought I’d just go for it now and try and hold it. Yeah, I was really pleased.”

Sifan Hassan took control of the women’s 5000 from the get go and was never pressed, running a world-leading 14:35.34. Josette Norris claimed 2nd in 14:51.42 (a PR by almost 30 seconds) with Rachel Schneider 3rd in 14:52.04 and Emily Sisson 4th in 14:53.84, all setting lifetime bests.

The brief Friday session saw Andrea Seccafien smash the Canadian Record in the 10,000 by more than 27 seconds and bettered Olympic qualifying standard of 31:25.00 by finishing in 31:13.94 after pulling away over the last 800 from Americans Ednah Kurgat (31:21.65) and Sarah Hall (31:21.90), both of whom also bettered the standard.

Other notable performances included Kendall Ellis showing terrific form in the women’s 400m, winning in a season’s best 50.30, Brittney Reese’s 22-3¾ (6.80) in the women’s long jump (with an abbreviated runup) and Payton Otterdahl taking the men’s shot over Nick Ponzio 70-7¾ (21.53) to 70-2½ (21.40).


THE TRACK MEET MEN’S RESULTS

100(1.5): 1. Trayvon Bromell (NBal) 9.92; 2. Chris Royster (Altis) 10.22; 3. Bismark Boateng’ (Can) 10.28; 4. Davon DeMoss (unat) 10.30; 5. Remontay McLain (adi) 10.32; 6. Gavin Schurr (CoHS) 10.40.

800: 1. Jesús López’ (Mex) 1:46.59; 2. Kyle Langford’ (GB) 1:47.00; 3. Brannon Kidder (BrkB) 1:47.70; 4. Guy Learmonth’ (GB) 1:47.90; 5. Drew Windle (BrkB) 1:48.55; 6. Charlie Grice’ (GB) 1:49.26.

1500: I–1. Matthew Centrowitz (NikBowTC) 3:35.26 (54.23); 2. Jake Heyward’ (GB) 3:36.24 (55.66); 3. Marc Scott’ (GB) 3:36.28 (54.51); 4. Grant Fisher (NikBowTC) 3:36.52 (55.00); 5. Josh Thompson (NikBowTC) 3:37.17 (55.91); 6. Johnny Gregorek (Asics) 3:37.24; 7. Vince Ciattei (OTC) 3:37.37; 8. Will Paulson’ (Can) 3:37.57; 9. George Mills’ (GB) 3:40.11; 10. Henry Wynne (BrkB) 3:44.00;… dnf—Eric Avila (adi), Moh Ahmed’ (Can).

5000: 1. Ahmed’ 13:18.49 (60.86); 2. Andrew Butchart’ (GB) 13:20.39 (60.14); 3. Eric Speakman’ (NZ) 13:22.08; 4. Sam Parsons’ (Ger) 13:23.30; 5. Josh Kerr’ (GB) 13:23.78; 6. Garrett Heath (BrkB) 13:25.72; 7. Ben True (unat) 13:26.88; 8. Willy Fink (UArmDist) 13:29.58; 9. Reid Buchanan (OnR) 13:29.64; 10. Casey Clinger (BYU) 13:30.34.

10,000: 1. Zouhair Talbi’ (Mor) 27:20.61 (59.41); 2. Emmanuel Bor (USAr) 27:22.80 (61.35); 3. Joe Klecker (OnAC) 27:23.44 (59.92);

4. Conner Mantz (BYU) 27:41.16 (CL) (6, x AmC) (62.16);

5. Sam Chelanga (USAr) 27:42.02; 6. Frank Lara (RootsRP) 27:43.13; 7. Ben Flanagan’ (Can) 27:49.09; 8. Dillon Maggard (Hoka) 27:54.89; 9. Marty Hehir (ReebB) 27:57.52; 10. Morgan McDonald’ (Aus) 27:58.75; 11. Biya Simbassa (unat) 28:01.15; 12. Zach Panning (HansB) 28:01.80; 13. Colin Bennie (ReebB) 28:04.25; 14. Jacob Thompson (BAA) 28:09.39; 15. Leonard Korir (USAr) 28:20.23.

110H(1.4): 1. Omar McLeod’ (Jam) 13.11; 2. Devon Allen (Nik) 13.26; 3. Daniel Roberts (Nik) 13.30; 4. Aaron Mallet (Nik) 13.46; 5. Jarret Eaton (WEx) 13.58; 6. Aries Merritt (Nik) 13.90.

SP: 1. Payton Otterdahl (Nik) 70-7¾ (21.53); 2. Nick Ponzio (HVIIIVel) 70-2½ (21.40); 3. Nikolas Skarvelis’ (Gre) 65-6¾ (19.98); 4. Dotun Ogundeji’ (Ngr) 64-5 (19.63); 5. Eldred Henry’ (BVI) 59-4¾ (18.10).

THE TRACK MEET WOMEN’S RESULTS

100(0.6): 1. Daryll Neita’ (GB) 11.12; 2. Hannah Cunliffe (adi) 11.20; 3. Marybeth Sant Price (unat) 11.32; 4. Brittany Brown (Nik) 11.33; 5. Michelle-Lee Ahye’ (Tri) 11.36; 6. Christania Williams’ (Jam) 11.49; 7. Schillonie Calvert-Powell’ (Jam) 11.51; 8. Kristal Awuah’ (GB) 11.69;… dq—Shashalee Forbes’ (Jam).

400: 1. Kendall Ellis (NBal) 50.30; 2. Jodie Williams’ (GB) 51.01; 3. Jaide Stepter Baynes (unat) 51.31; 4. Paola Morán’ (Mex) 51.50; 5. Chloe Abbott (OnAC) 51.93; 6. Courtney Okolo (Nik) 52.67.

800: 1. Laura Muir’ (GB) 1:58.71; 2. Allie Wilson (AtlTC) 1:59.68; 3. Adelle Tracey’ (GB) 1:59.84; 4. Hanna Green (OTC) 1:59.88; 5. Elle Purrier (NBal) 1:59.99;

6. Gabriela DeBues-Stafford’ (Can) 2:00.03; 7. Lindsey Butterworth’ (Can) 2:00.81; 8. Sabrina Southerland (OTC) 2:01.00; 9. Nia Akins (BrkB) 2:03.71; 10. Brenda Martinez (NBal) 2:04.38.

1500: I–1. Katie Snowden’ (GB) 4:02.98; 2. Kate Grace (Nik) 4:03.54; 3. Jessica Hull’ (Aus) 4:04.16; 4. Emma Coburn (NBal) 4:04.28; 5. Melissa Bishop-Nriagu’ (Can) 4:04.42; 6. Heather MacLean (NBal) 4:04.85; 7. Dani Jones (NBal) 4:04.86; 8. Jemma Reekie’ (GB) 4:05.09; 9. Lucia Stafford’ (Can) 4:07.28; 10. Rebecca Mehra (OisLWA) 4:07.76; 11. Shannon Rowbury (Nik) 4:09.70; 12. Cory McGee (NBal) 4:10.43; 13. Holly Archer’ (GB) 4:11.98; 14. Sinclaire Johnson (NikBowTC) 4:12.76.

II–1. Natalia Hawthorn’ (Can) 4:07.12; 2. Sara Vaughn (unat) 4:07.64; 3. Alicia Monson (OnAC) 4:08.02; 4. Karisa Nelson (BrkB) 4:08.95; 5. Mariah Kelly’ (Can) 4:09.05;

6. Allie Buchalski (BrkB) 4:09.86; 7. Heather Kampf (AsicsMDE) 4:10.19; 8. Olivia Hoj (BYU) 4:10.90; 9. Abbe Goldstein (unat) 4:10.94; 10. Aisha Praught-Leer’ (Jam) 4:11.62; 11. Amanda Eccleston (Brk) 4:11.87; 12. Amanda Rego (CSTC) 4:12.20; 13. Angel Piccirillo (OisLWA) 4:13.06; 14. Raevyn Rogers (Nik) 4:14.25.

5000: I–1. Sifan Hassan’ (Neth) 14:35.34 (WL); 2. Josette Norris (ReebB) 14:51.42 (AL) (10, x A);

3. Rachel Schneider (UArmDS) 14:52.04; 4. Emily Sisson (NBal) 14:53.84; 5. Kate Van Buskirk’ (Can) 14:59.80;

6. Julie-Anne Staehli’ (Can) 15:01.85; 7. Hanna Klein’ (Ger) 15:01.99; 8. Verity Ockenden’ (GB) 15:03.51; 9. Natosha Rogers (HansB) 15:04.95;

10. Whittni Orton (BYU) 15:12.91 (CL) (8, 9 C; 5, 6 AmC);

11. Heidi See’ (Aus) 15:18.24; 12. Taylor Werner (Puma) 15:18.70; 13. Mel Lawrence (OisLWA) 15:18.72; 14. Alli Cash (OisVol) 15:19.00; 15. Stephanie Bruce (HokaNnAz) 15:20.70; 16. Erika Kemp (BAA) 15:26.18; 17. Olivia Pratt (HansB) 15:26.85; 18. Gwen Jorgensen (NikBowTC) 15:29.53; 19. Kim Conley (NBal) 15:32.51; 20. Sarah Pagano (adi) 15:33.48; 21. Lauren Paquette (HokaNnAz) 15:33.77; 22. Elaina Tabb (BAA) 15:34.00; 23. Vanessa Fraser (NikBowTC) 15:44.41; 24. Marielle Hall (NikBowTC) 16:04.06.

II–1. Grace Barnett (MammTC) 15:12.17; 2. Sarah Lancaster (Paras360) 15:13.56; 3. Millie Paladino (NBalB) 15:14.41; 4. Courtney Wayment (BYU) 15:17.58;

5. Allie Ostrander (BrkB) 15:18.45.

10,000: 1. Andrea Seccafien’ (Can) 31:13.94 NR; 2. Ednah Kurgat (USAr) 31:21.65; 3. Sara Hall (Asics) 31:21.90; 4. Makena Morley (Asics) 31:25.19; 5. Amy-Eloise Markovc’ (GB) 31:25.91; 6. Jessica Judd’ (GB) 31:25.98; 7. Laura Galván’ (Mex) 31:29.93; 8. Sally Kipyego (OTC) 31:30.25; 9. Dominique Scott’ (SA) 31:41.16; 10. Paige Stoner (ReebB) 31:53.89; 11. Katrina Coogan (NBal) 31:56.59; 12. Risper Gesabwa’ (Mex) 32:01.13; 13. Anne-Marie Blaney (HansB) 32:03.79; 14. Lindsay Flanagan (Asics) 32:04.39; 15. Emma Bates (Asics) 32:04.59; 16. Nell Rojas (unat) 32:11.61; 17. Hannah Everson (USAF) 32:17.60; 18. Elvin Kibet (USAr) 32:20.23; 19. Maya Weigel (PenDC) 32:21.04; 20. Laura Thweatt (Sauc) 32:22.41; 21. Jaci Smith (USAF) 32:45.82; 22. Diane Nukuri (Asics) 32:51.13; 23. Allie Kieffer (US) 32:56.57; 24. Katja Goldring (unat) 33:12.84; 25. Jennifer Bergman (RootsRP) 33:13.22; 26. Brenda Flores’ (Mex) 33:20.41; 27. Stephanie Twell’ (GB) 33:25.15; 28. Madison Offstein (unat) 33:28.05; 29. Bria Wetsch (BouU) 33:33.11; 30. Sarah Pease (Ois) 33:38.60.

100H(2.1): 1. Britany Anderson’ (Jam) 12.69w; 2. Devynne Charlton’ (Bah) 12.74w; 3. Tia Jones (adi) 12.95w; 4. Pedrya Seymour’ (Bah) 12.96w; 5. Dior Hall (unat) 13.11w; 6. Isabelle Pedersen’ (Nor) 13.15w;… 8. Kristi Castlin (unat) 14.72.

400H: 1. Ronda Whyte’ (Jam) 55.11; 2. Leah Nugent’ (Jam) 56.12; 3. Sparkle McKnight’ (Tri) 56.54; 4. Kiah Seymour (Tracksm) 56.89; 5. Tia-Adana Belle’ (Bar) 57.31; 6. Noelle Montcalm’ (Can) 57.49; 7. Kylee O’Connor (SBTC) 58.93.

LJ: 1. Brittney Reese (Nik) 22-3¾ (6.80); 2. Ese Brume’ (Ngr) 21-8 (6.60); 3. Malaina Payton (Ois) 21-1¼ (6.43); 4. Shara Proctor’ (GB) 20-9¾ (6.34); 5. Jazmin Sawyers’ (GB) 20-9¼ (6.33); 6. Alexandra Wester’ (Ger) 20-¼ (6.10).

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