NCAA Men’s Steeple — Fahy Survives Crash & Burn

Despite his last-barrier mishap, Steven Fahy was able to keep his eyes on the prize. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

THEY’RE CALLED pitfalls. Something that we all face in life. It’s just that steeplechasers potentially face so many in a race lasting less than 9:00. After the NCAA final Steven Fahy of Stanford could smile about his, but Indiana’s Daniel Michalski could only shrug his shoulders and be philosophical.

In the final 200, each suffered a similar fate: Michalski fell in the water and Fahy caught a toe on the final barrier and rolled on the track. Fahy, however, was able to scramble back to his feet and still edged Oklahoma State’s Ryan Smeeton, 8:38.46–8:39.10 for Stanford’s first-ever win in the event. “I picked up a lot of speed coming out of that last waterjump,” said Fahy, whose brother Darren was the ’17 runner-up for Georgetown. “I was going too fast and when I went down, I was afraid I had lost it. But when I got up, I felt really strong and the other guys were still behind me.” He sprinted in and the fast-finishing Canadian Smeeton came oh-so-close.

Favored defending champ Obsa Ali of Minnesota, who had surged to the lead with just over 2 laps to go, was out- leaned by Middle Tennessee’s Kigen Chemadi, 8:40.22–8:40.36. Arizona’s Bailey Roth (8:40.92), planted in 3rd for the first 4 laps, finished barely a half-second behind Ali in 5th. The ill-fated Michalski (8:43.48) couldn’t catch Texas’ Alex Rogers (8:43.29).The Longhorn finished 6th. Given the weather, no one managed a PR, and the winning time was the slowest since the meet was here in ’04.

Michalski, the ’17 Div. II champ at Cedarville, had been in 4th for the first 4 laps and followed Ali’s surge with 2 left. Then he decided to gamble with a lap remaining: “My coach and I decided to go for it early,” he said, “with a lap to go. It was aggressive. Approaching the final water jump, I could feel that Fahy was coming. I freaked out a little. I was a little far out and I thought I would long-step it. I guess my trail leg hit the top of the barrier.” He fell awkwardly into the water. “It happened that way—it’s not the end of the world.”


NCAA MEN’S STEEPLE RESULTS

FINAL

(June 07; exterior waterjump)

1. Steven Fahy (Stan) 8:38.46

(66.94, 2:16.25, 3:31.93, 4:47.36);

2. **Ryan Smeeton’ (OkSt) 8:39.10

(66.88, 2:17.51, 3:33.05, 4:48.46);

3. *Kigen Chemadi’ (MTn) 8:40.22

(68.40, 2:17.60, 3:33.72, 4:49.20);

4. Obsa Ali (Mn) 8:40.36

(68.25, 2:18.70, 3:34.00, 4:49.43);

5. Bailey Roth (Az) 8:40.92

(68.60, 2:18.94, 3:34.93, 4:50.34);

6. Alex Rogers (Tx) 8:43.29;

7. Daniel Michalski (In) 8:43.48;

8. **Matt Owens (BYU) 8:45.40;

9. *Nathan Mylenek (Ia) 8:49.40;

10. *Clayson Shumway (BYU) 8:53.45;

11. ***Kenneth Rooks (BYU) 9:00.53;

12. *Jacob Heslington (BYU) 9:02.03.

SEMIS

(June 05)

I–1. Fahy 8:41.60; 2. Michalski 8:41.62; 3. Rogers 8:43.09; 4. Chemadi’ 8:44.79; 5. Roth 8:46.28; 6. Mylenek 8:48.19; 7. Heslington 8:54.21; 8. *John Rice (Tx) 9:03.32; 9. *Stephen Jones (MsSt) 9:21.48; 10. *Colin Daly (Penn) 9:22.96; 11. **Ed Trippas’ (Prin) 9:29.44;… dnf—Johannes Motschmann (Iona).

II–1. Smeeton’ 8:53.71; 2. Ali 8:54.11; 3. Owens 8:54.21; 4. Rooks 8:54.39; 5. Shumway 8:54.45; 6. **Felix Kandie’ (Lib) 8:56.20; 7. **Alec Basten (Mn) 8:56.26; 8. *Albert Kosgei’ (Louis) 8:58.76; 9. Julien Sanchez-Pinto’ (Mem) 9:00.14; 10. *Will Battershill’ (Harv) 9:02.98; 11. **Fitsum Seyoum (VaT) 9:10.96; 12. Emmanuel Rotich’ (Tul) 9:18.20.◻︎