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.”



(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.


(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.◻︎