USATF Women’s 1500 — Johnson In The Picture

Sinclaire Johnson is hoping for a big return to Eugene in a few weeks. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

WITH JENNY SIMPSON out of the picture, the women’s 1500 in the U.S. is a kaleidoscope, featuring reflections and patterns that are constantly changing.

Simpson, 35, made every major international team from ’07 through ’19, winning 3 WC medals (gold in 2011) and Olympic bronze at Rio 2016. Her ’21 was a difficult one — she failed to make the Olympic team and later fled Colorado wildfires — but has not formally announced a retirement.

To label Sinclaire Johnson as a global contender would have been preposterous 15 months ago, but like we said: it’s always changing, sometimes as fast as Johnson’s kick. She expressed supreme confidence in it.

“So I knew going into the last 180, last 150, I was going to unleash my last gear,” she said. “I think I did that.”

Johnson here ran her last 200 in 29.33, and last lap in 59.27, to pull away to an emphatic victory. Considering the pack dawdled through the first lap in 73 seconds, her time of 4:03.29 was notably quick.

Olympic finalists Cory McGee (4:04.52) and Elle St. Pierre (4:05.14) were 2nd and 3rd, while Karissa Schweizer, already on the team in the 10,000, was 4th in 4:05.40.

St. Pierre is the one who shook the field from lethargy, seizing the lead and holding it through 1200 in 3:19.35. She nearly paid for that action, falling back to 4th, but regathered herself and overtook Schweizer before the finish.

St. Pierre won World Indoor 3000 silver in March but subsequently came down with COVID, delaying her outdoor season.

The 30-year-old McGee ran three Diamond League 1500s this year, including a PR of 4:00.34 in finishing 9th at Pre. She stayed in the top four over the closing 1000, briefly seizing the lead with 200 left.

Then the 24-year-old Johnson took over. All she needed was patience, she said. “I’m feeling like myself, compared to last year. I feel like I’m just getting started.”

Johnson PRed at 3:58.85 for 4th at Pre. To pursue a medal, a miler generally needs a fast time, racing sense and a kick. Johnson, the ’19 NCAA champion for Oklahoma State, has all of that now. She suggested her peers do, too, heading into a Worlds on U.S. soil.

“We really want to show out,” she said. “Hopefully, one of us gets a medal.”


WOMEN’S 1500 RESULTS

FINAL (June 25)

1. Sinclaire Johnson (Nik) 4:03.29 (55.30, 65.67 [2:00.97], 63.05 [3:04.02], 59.27) (59.27, 2:02.32, 3:07.99);

2. Cory McGee (NBal) 4:04.52 (60.59, 2:03.36, 3:08.80);

3. Elle St. Pierre (NBal) 4:05.14 (61.21, 2:04.54, 3:09.75);

4. Karissa Schweizer (NikBow) 4:05.40 (61.58, 2:04.64, 3:10.01);

5. Heather MacLean (NBal) 4:06.40 (62.19, 2:04.56, 3:10.58);

6. Helen Schlachtenhaufen 4:08.05 (63.76); 7. Emily Mackay (NBal) 4:09.44 (62.82); 8. Dani Jones (NBal) 4:09.86 (65.08); 9. Josette Norris (ReebBo) 4:10.15 (65.47); 10. Nikki Hiltz (lulu) 4:10.97; 11. Lauren Gregory (Ar) 4:12.04; 12. Taryn Rawlings (adi) 4:18.22.

HEATS (June 23)

I–1. MacLean 4:07.96; 2. St. Pierre 4:08.52; 3. Schlachtenhaufen 4:08.52; 4. Mackay 4:08.97 PR; 5. Jones 4:10.13; 6. Gregory 4:10.30; 7. Julia Heymach (Brk) 4:11.68; 8. Jenn Randall (Tracksm) 4:16.93; 9. Amaris Tyynismaa (Al) 4:19.54.

II–1. Johnson 4:14.43; 2. Schweizer 4:14.80; 3. Hiltz 4:15.05; 4. Micaela Degenero (Co) 4:16.19; 5. Christina Aragon (Stan) 4:16.57; 6. Rebecca Mehra (OisLW) 4:17.85; 7. Maddy Berkson (Tracksm/RITC) 4:19.10; 8. Tracee Van Der Wyk (unat) 4:21.66; 9. Dani Aragon (Empire) 4:22.78.

III–1. McGee 4:10.39; 2. Norris 4:10.47; 3. Rawlings 4:10.57; 4. Katie Camarena (unat) 4:11.00; 5. Eleanor Fulton (unat) 4:11.50; 6. Anna Gibson (Wa) 4:13.86; 7. Molly Sughroue (Tracksm) 4:15.89; 8. Michaela Meyer (Nik) 4:19.48; 9. Lauren Johnson (unat) 4:20.04; 10. Kristlin Gear (Ar) 4:20.04; 11. Allie Schadler (unat) 4:20.47; 12. Karisa Nelson (AtaNYC) 4:22.91. ◻︎

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