Throwing It Down to Win


I don’t know why people are surprised at who won the Flotrack Throwdown Mile on Saturday.  I mean after all, you DO have Peter Callahan in the race – a man who has used his phenomenal kick to take down some of the Ivy and national greats and win national titles.

But I guess if you’re entered in a race where your competitors are Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (who’s run a 3:50 indoor mile) and David Torrence (a 3:52 miler), you’re bound to be overlooked.

I think Callahan thrives on being the underdog, as his kick can surprise the field.  It did on Saturday.  Callahan was with the field at the bell, and after Colby Alexander made his move with 300m to go, Callahan began to bring on the speed.  He passed Alexander going into the final stretch and powered to the win in 3:58.43 with a a 56 second final 440yd lap.  Alexander held on for second place in 3:59.19, while Rupp and Torrence were back in 4th (4:00.45) and 6th (4:00.51), respectively.  You would not have guessed Callahan was recovering from jetlag (he ran a 3:37.88 personal best 1,500m to win in Oordegem, Belgium last Tuesday, after running a 3:39 1,500m win in Ninove, Belgium on August 1st) or was slightly nervous because of the quality of the competition, but he was.

But this was a big win, regardless.  Right now, he’s unsponsored but hopefully he can get a contract from someone soon.

Raleigh, N.C. hosted its own mile battle on the East Coast on Friday night where the top 5 male finishers went sub-4 in front of 2,000 spectators.  One of them was Kyle Merber.  At the Sir Walter Miler event, Merber was in the middle of the racing pack through the first part of the race, but come the bell lap, he was among the mix with Robby Andrews.  In the end, Andrews just proved to have the better kick as he took the win in 3:57.38 while Merber was a few steps back in second place with 3:57.97.  Joe Stilin finished 11th in the race with 4:08.05.  Morgan Uceny was the lone Ivy female to compete at this meet.  She was 4th by the end of the first lap, a mere 2 steps back from the top 3, but the top 3 women pulled ahead and went sub-4:30.  Uceny finished in 4th place with 4:34.02.

In other racing news, Ashley Higginson won her second regional title this summer as she won the steeplechase gold at the NACAC Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica.  In the four person event, Higginson led another Team USA 1-2 finish in the steeplechase, as she and Shalaya Kipp repeated their Pan Am finish, running 9:56.75 and 10:03.91, respectively.  Higginson’s gold was one of 27 gold medals that Team USA won at the championships.  Samyr Laine missed getting a medal for Haiti as he finished in 4th place in the men’s triple jump.  His best distance was a wind-aided 16.38 meters, missing the bronze medal by 15 centimeters.  Other NACAC competitors included Jamaica’s Nicky Grant in the hammer throw (7th with 56.82 meters) and US Virgin Island’s Muhammad Halim in the long jump (9th with 7.36 meters).

photo by Thomas Boyd

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