Fast 1,500 Highlights Last Chance Meet At Swarthmore College

Nick Willis, shown here competing in the 2008 Olympic Games, led 11 runners to personal bests on Monday night at Swarthmore College. Photo:

Eleven athletes achieved personal bests while chasing Olympic standards. 

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

With Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis as pacemaker, 11 athletes achieved personal best times over 1500m at the Swarthmore College Last Chance meeting in Philadelphia on Monday night, led by Columbia University’s Kyle Merber who clocked 3:35.59.  Twelve men broke 3:40.00 despite the lack of appearance fees or prize money.

However, no athlete was able to achieve the Olympic Games “A” standard of 3:35.50, partially due to unsettled weather.

“The weather wasn’t all that nice, but down on the track it was still,” Willis reported on his Twitter feed after running 1300 meters of the race.

Behind Merber, Australia’s Jordy Williamsz was second (3:36.74 PB), followed by Candian Olympian Nate Brannen (3:36.77), Villanova’s Sam McEntee (3:36.81 PB), and New York/New Jersey Track Club’s Liam Boylan-Pett (3:37.05 PB).  Merber, Boylan-Pett, Craig Miller (3:37.13 PB), Dan Huling (3:37.53 PB), and Brian Gagnon (3:38.36 PB) all got USA Olympic Trials “A” qualifying marks (3:39.00) assuring them of entry into that meet in Eugene, Ore., next month.

Willis, who was a University of Michigan teammate of Brannen’s, urged the athletes after the race to keep the faith and that their qualifying times would come.

“Olympic years bring out an array of emotions after every race,” he tweeted.  “Keep the course runners, stick to your plans and the times will come.”

In the top section of the women’s 1500m, the results were more modest. Canadians Sheila Reid (4:14.27) and Carmen Douma-Hussar (4:15.57) finished 1-2.  IAAF World Youth Championships gold medalist Ajee’ Wilson ran the fastest women’s 800m (2:05.19), and Columbia University’s Harry McFann won the men’s two-lap contest in 1:48.14, a personal best.

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