On a beautiful spring evening on the campus of Occidental College distance runners took to the track at the USATF Distance Classic looking to hit a new gear as the USATF Outdoor Championships quickly approach.
Craig Engels, the 2018 World Indoor 800m finalist, came from behind to defeat a stacked men’s 800m field in 1:47.40. Carter Lily took second crossing the line in 1:47.54 and Harun Abda was third in 1:47.87. Olympic 1500m gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz finished fifth with a season best 1:48.36. In his outdoor season debut, 2017 World Indoor Champion Boris Berian returned to the track from an achilles injury to finish in 1:50.70.
The four fastest men’s 1500m times came out of heat one with John Gregorek winning in 3:36.95, Jordan Gusman finished second with a time of 3:37.52, Hassan Mead crossed the line in 3:38.32 and Edward Crawford clocked 3:38.67. Centrowitz returned an hour after the 800m to win section two of the 1500m, holding off Kyle Merber for a time of 3.38.99. Merber clocked 3:39.15 and Colby Alexander finished in third in section two in 3:39.74.
In the women’s 800m, Ce’Aira Brown out kicked Hanna Green and Brenda Martinez in the final 100m, missing a new personal best by less than a second with a time of 2:00.38. Green clocked 2:01.40 for second place while Martinez, the meet and stadium record holder finished third with a time of 2:02.03.
Shalaya Kipp won the women’s 3000m Steeplechase in 9:44.34 and M.J. Erb won on the men’s side in 8:32.78.
In a tight battle in the 5000m, Lauren Paquette edged out Rachel Cliff in 15:19.17. Cliff crossed the line in 15:20.66. To close out the night, Reid Buchanan clocked 13:33.38 to defeat George Parsons.