USATF Men’s 1500 — Teare Best In “Tactical” Race

Cooper Teare had hoped for a faster race but was quite happy with a slow win. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

DIDN’T MATTER THAT 12 lined up at the start of the 1500 final. By the time Illinois’s Jonathan Davis led around the first turn, covering that 100 in a lackadaisical 17.58, passing 200 in 31.39, the battle for team spots had boiled down to the few who had already met the Q-standard of 3:35.00, and a few others who potentially stood high enough in the WA rankings. Missing from the mix was formchart favorite Cole Hocker, who failed to get out of the first round; his agent later revealed he had been training on a bike for 12 days because of injury.

By choosing not to run hard, had the other 7 reduced their efforts to an exercise in futility? Or had they avoided sacrificing themselves for an “honest” pace?

Reed Brown went to the front but kept the parking brake on, passing 400 in 65.57, with favored former Oregon teammate Cooper Teare off his shoulder. The two stayed in that order for another lap, passing 800 in 2:08.04.

Not till after the kilo did anyone threw down a challenge, several jockeying for prime position as they approached the bell. Sam Prakel won that race-within-the-race, leading Teare and Davis into the penultimate turn. Eric Holt wasn’t far behind, and surged past the crowded pack into the lead, passing 1200 in 3:07.69. Then Johnny Gregorek flew by, blitzing the backstretch 100 in 12.6.

With 200 to go, 5 were bunched within 0.32 of each other. By the time they came off the turn, it was Prakel with the faintest of leads over Holt, Gregorek, Teare and Henry Wynne.

But everything changed on the run-in, as Teare found his top gear in the last 100 (12.40) to pull ahead for the win in 3:45.86. Davis closed even faster, 12.28, to move from 6th to 2nd on the stretch. His 3:46.01 edged Josh Thompson’s 3:46.07 for runner-up. Holt (3:46.15) and Brown (3:46.28) crossed next.

Who actually made the team? That took a bit longer to sort out. Yes for Teare, the winner with the standard. Third-placer Thompson scored with a solid world ranking. That left the third team spot to 6th-placer Gregorek, another standard holder.

Teare, the ’21 NCAA 5000 champ, 4th in the Trials 5K, celebrated his successful move to the 1500, but admitted he wanted more. “I like running fast. At Hayward you always want to run fast.

“I’m not here to just win races. I want to also have the times to go along with it. So our plan was to make it a little faster and that’s just not how it went today. I got boxed in pretty much right away. But with that said, it’s a big confidence-booster knowing I can win both types of races, a fast and a little bit slower one where you just close really hard. I felt really good coming around that last 100.”


MEN’S 1500 RESULTS

FINAL (June 25)

1. Cooper Teare (Nik) 3:45.86 (49.39, 63.47 [1:52.86], 61.13 [2:53.99], 51.87) (51.87, 1:53.00, 2:56.47);

2. Jonathan Davis (Il) 3:46.01 (52.07, 1:52.88, 2:56.45);

3. Josh Thompson (NikBow) 3:46.07 (51.70, 1:52.34, 2:55.97);

4. Eric Holt (Empire) 3:46.15 (52.01, 1:53.13, 2:56.63);

5. Reed Brown (Or) 3:46.28 (52.11, 1:53.54, 2:56.97);

6. Johnny Gregorek (Asics) 3:46.36 (52.36, 1:53.21, 2:56.77);

7. Brett Meyer (Tracksm) 3:46.38 (51.82, 1:52.89, 2:56.42);

8. Sam Prakel (adi) 3:46.49 (52.58, 1:52.98, 2:56.56);

9. Paul Ryan (adi) 3:46.60 (52.25, 1:53.28, 2:56.86);

10. Isaac Basten (Drake) 3:47.19;

11. Yared Nuguse (OnAC) 3:47.46;

12. Henry Wynne (Brk) 3:48.03.

HEATS (June 23)

I–1. Nuguse 3:38.99; 2. Holt 3:39.00; 3. Brown 3:39.04; 4. Meyer 3:39.14; 5. Vincent Ciattei (Nik) 3:39.34; 6. Cole Hocker (Nik) 3:39.57; 7. Cruz Culpepper (Ms) 3:41.20; 8. Nick Foster (Mi) 3:42.82; 9. Eric Jenkins (Nik) 3:43.21; 10. Jack Yearian (Or) 3:43.26; 11. Waleed Suliman (Brk) 3:43.72; 12. Benjamin Allen (Empire) 3:45.91.

II–1. Prakel 3:40.91; 2. Teare 3:41.27; 3. Ryan 3:41.29; 4. Colby Alexander (adi) 3:42.31; 5. Hobbs Kessler (adi) 3:42.56; 6. Ben Blankenship (Nik) 3:42.59; 7. Jack Salisbury (Gtn) 3:42.97; 8. Zach Stallings (Wa) 3:43.19; 9. AJ Ernst (unat) 3:43.35; 10. Kasey Knevelbaard (UArm) 3:43.88; 11. Luke Houser (Wa) 3:44.94.

III–1. Basten 3:38.92 PR; 2. Gregorek 3:38.95; 3. Davis 3:39.02; 4. Wynne 3:39.17; 5. Thompson 3:39.25; 6. Christian Noble (NBal) 3:39.37; 7. Drew Hunter (adi) 3:39.55; 8. David Ribich (Brk) 3:39.89; 9. Matt Wisner (unat) 3:41.54; 10. Sean Peterson (Youngs) 3:41.96; 11. Sam Ellis (Prin) 3:45.11; 12. Matthew Payamps (Gtn) 3:46.49.

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