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¶ ’21 wNCAA 800: Michaela Meyer (Virginia) 2:00.28

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  • ¶ ’21 wNCAA 800: Michaela Meyer (Virginia) 2:00.28

    T&FN formchart:

    1. Michaela Meyer (Virginia)........................................ .............. Sr
    2. Aaliyah Miller (Baylor).......................................... .................. Sr
    3. Laurie Barton (Clemson)......................................... .............. Sr
    4. Sarah Hendrick (Kennesaw State)....................................... So
    5. Shafiqua Maloney’ (Arkansas)........................................ ...... Sr
    6. McKenna Keegan (Villanova)....................................... ......... Sr
    7. Gabrielle Wilkinson (Florida)......................................... ........ So
    8. Lindsey Butler (Virginia Tech)............................................. .. So
    9. Aurora Rynda’ (Michigan)........................................ ............. So
    10. Kayla Johnson (Miami)........................................... ............. Jr
    Last edited by gh; 06-13-2021, 05:12 PM.

  • #2
    These will probably be the fastest women's 800 semis in NCAA history. The fastest 800 semifinal time ever to not make the final was UNLV's Avi'Tal Wilson-Perteete's 2:03.53 in 2018. This year it looks like a bunch of women will run faster than that and still not make the final. How fast will the fastest non-qualifier be? (Ironically, Wilson-Perteete could be the one to break her own record.)

    In fact, I think that several women will run under the Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:02.50 and still not qualify for the final. How often does that happen?

    My picks for the 2 auto qualifiers in each of the 3 semis:

    Semi 1 - Laurie Barton (Clemson) and Amber Tanner (Georgia). - Barton is in great shape and finishes strong. Tanner, who starts in lane 2, will probably grab the rail right at 100m, try to front run the whole race, and dare everyone to catch her. I think Tanner can finish top 2 if she doesn't go out faster than 58.5

    It will be interesting to see if Shafiqua Maloney (Arkansas) tries to stay with Tanner like she did in April at the Tom Jones Invitational when they went out in a crazy 57 flat.


    Semi 2 - Sarah Hendrick (Kennesaw State) and Lindsey Butler (Virginia Tech). - Kayla Johnson (Miami) and Avi'Tal Wilson-Perteete (UNLV) will probably fight for the early lead and take it out quick. But can they hold off Hendrick and Butler in the last 200? Two good front runners vs two good kickers make for a very interesting race. Hendrick and Butler are the 2 picks here because they have been more consistent this year than Johnson and Wilson-Perteete.

    Earlier this year Johnson often went out quick and then faded in the last 100 meters, but she finished much better at Regionals. Can she also finish strong at Nationals?

    Wilson-Perteete is the top returner from 2019 when she finished 3rd in the final, but she ran only 2:09 this winter. She has been very behind schedule in getting back into top shape. She did run a comfortable looking 2:04.12 at Regionals, but she'll need to run at least 2 seconds faster than that to get an auto qualifier. Can the 2019 NACAC-U23 800 gold medalist dig deep and find some of her 2019 magic?

    Semi 3 - Michaela Meyer (Virginia) and Aaliyah Miller (Baylor). - The two best 800 runners in the NCAA this year. It almost seems unfair to have them in the same semi. Miller often likes to run her qualifying races at a comfortable pace in order to conserve energy, but she won't be able to do that here, because right behind Meyer and Miller is 2:01.25 McKenna Keegan (Villanova), who is just waiting for one of the top two to let their guard down.

    With Keegan and Gabrielle Wilkinson (Florida) pushing them, Meyer and Miller may have to break 2:01 in order to get an auto qualifier. There will be so many quick times in the first 2 heats that Meyer and Miller can't afford to finish 3rd and hope to get in on time. (What if Meyer and Miller try to push each other to a sub 2 time in the semi? Wouldn't that be something? )

    This 3rd semi also has two finalists from 2019 in Kristie Schoffield (Boise State) and Anna Camp (BYU) but it's unlikely that either will finish in the top 3.

    Overall, it will be difficult for the 3 returning 2019 finalists (Wilson-Perteete, Schoffield, and Camp) to qualify for the finals, so it's quite possible that all 9 finalists this year will be new. It's also quite possible that all 9 of them will need to run sub 2:02 in the semis just to make it to the finals.

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    • #3
      Can't wait for the final. Wide open

      Comment


      • #4
        advanced

        1. Michaela Meyer (Virginia)........................................ .............. Sr
        3. Laurie Barton (Clemson)......................................... .............. Sr
        4. Sarah Hendrick (Kennesaw State)....................................... So
        5. Shafiqua Maloney’ (Arkansas)........................................ ...... Sr
        7. Gabrielle Wilkinson (Florida)......................................... ........ So
        8. Lindsey Butler (Virginia Tech)............................................. .. So

        failed to advance
        2. Aaliyah Miller (Baylor).......................................... .................. Sr
        6. McKenna Keegan (Villanova)....................................... ......... Sr
        9. Aurora Rynda’ (Michigan)........................................ ............. So
        10. Kayla Johnson (Miami)........................................... ............. Jr

        Comment


        • #5
          Because she was ruled to have been impeded in her semi, Brooke Fazio (Richmond) was advanced to the final. So there will be 10 women in the final. It's only a 9 lane track, so one lane will have to double up, but I'm not sure which lane they will put 2 runners in because Fazio is listed as "10" which is obviously not a lane. (What would they have done if it was a 100, 200, or 400 final that they had to put 10 runners in? How do you put two starting blocks in one lane?)

          Aaliyah Miller (Baylor) not making the final was the biggest surprise in the semis. T&FN's formchart has Miller listed as a senior, but the NCAA says she is a junior. So instead of it being her final competition, it looks like she still has another year to come back and try to win the big one.

          By advancing to the final, Avi'Tal Wilson-Perteete (UNLV) guarantees herself a top 10 finish at Nationals for the 3rd year in a row. The unusual thing is that she has had a different coach each year, each with a different coaching style. She had an 800 specialist (2018), a distance coach (2019), and now a sprint coach (2021). Maybe if you're so physically talented that you can run 2:01.14 as a freshman, it doesn't matter that much who coaches you?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RunningInCircles View Post
            Because she was ruled to have been impeded in her semi, Brooke Fazio (Richmond) was advanced to the final. So there will be 10 women in the final. It's only a 9 lane track, so one lane will have to double up, but I'm not sure which lane they will put 2 runners in because Fazio is listed as "10" which is obviously not a lane. (What would they have done if it was a 100, 200, or 400 final that they had to put 10 runners in? How do you put two starting blocks in one lane?)
            If they are smart they will double her up with lane 1

            Comment


            • #7
              A lot has changed at the top since the April 27 formchart, when the top 3 were:
              1. Athing Mu (didn't enter the 800)
              2. Aaliyah Miller (didn't make the final)
              3. Avi'Tal Wilson-Perteete (has the slowest SB of everyone in the final)

              Here's my predictions for the top 5 in the final:

              1. Michaele Meyer (Virginia)
              2. Laurie Barton (Clemson)
              3. Amber Tanner (Georgia)
              4. Sarah Hendrick (Kennesaw State)
              5. Gabrielle Wilkinson (Florida)

              Amber Tanner will probably go out quick as usual. But the other four women on my list typically finish very well, and I don't think Tanner can hold all four of them off.

              Michaele Meyer and Laurie Barton have had the best outdoor seasons overall. Even though they only looked good, not great, in the semis, I'll stick with them as finishing 1 and 2.

              Wild Card - Shafiqua Maloney. Can she run a great race like she did at indoor Nationals, when she ran 2:01.22 and got out leaned for 2nd by only .01? Or will she run like she's been running recently, and fade in the last 100 meters?

              Comment


              • #8
                What's under review? Great run for Fazio.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ubiQuitous1 View Post
                  What's under review? Great run for Fazio.
                  Possibly Tanner cutting in on Maloney just after the bell.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ubiQuitous1 View Post
                    What's under review? Great run for Fazio.
                    The only thing I saw that might have caused the review was Amber Tanner cutting in on Shafiqua Maloney at around 610 meters. Although for much of the race the second half of the field wasn't shown, so another infraction could have happened that didn't appear on TV.

                    At the 610 meter mark I'm not sure why Tanner tried to cut Maloney off, and I'm not sure why Maloney was so determined to try to hold off Tanner. They were both just about out of gas at that point. (That's what you get for going through 600 in 1:28.2 .) At that point they both should have been slowing down to conserve energy, in order to finish halfway decently, instead of fighting to be in front.

                    Here's an interesting comparison between the 400 and 600 splits of the leader in this race vs the leader (Ajee Wilson) in the 2019 Doha World Championships final.
                    400 - 57.63 (NCAA) vs 57.96 (WC)
                    600 - 1:28.2 (NCAA) vs 1:28.14 (WC)

                    I'm surprised that a college student went through 600 as fast as the leader in the most recent world championships.

                    Comment

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