June 8, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa--For the second time in his last three races sophomore Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) ran a personal best time in the 800 meters and he finished in eighth place in the national championship race at Drake Stadium on Friday evening. Ellison crossed the finish line in 1:47.62 to wrap up an incredible sophomore campaign.
Leading up to the final race at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships tonight Ellison had been an automatic qualifier in every stage during the postseason, beginning with the national first round and quarterfinals at the NCAA East Regional and continuing in his semifinal heat at Drake on Wednesday evening.
In the finals on Friday night Ellison went out hard and was in fifth place after one lap around the track. He maintained his standing in fifth place until the final 200 meters before crossing the finish line with a mark that is nearly four seconds faster than where his previous personal best stood at the end of his freshman year. He lowered that time on four separate occasions this season, including three times during the outdoor season alone.
"Running in the finals today was a great experience for Sam," Villanova head coach Marcus O'Sullivan said. "He finished this season very well and it sets him up for big things in the future."
Charles Jock of UC Irvine won the individual national championship in the 800 meters with a time of 1:45.59, edging out runner-up Erik Sowinski of Iowa (1:45.90) by just over three-tenths of a second. Elijah Greer of Oregon finished third (1:46.05) and was followed by Ryan Martin of UC Santa Barbara (1:46.191), Edward Kemboi of Iowa State (1:46.198), Ricky West of Missouri (1:46.47), Aaron Evans of Georgia (1:46.66) and Ellison.
800 METERS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
Charles Jock, UC Irvine - 1:45.59
Erik Sowinski, Iowa - 1:45.90
Elijah Greer, Oregon - 1:46.05
Ryan Martin, UC Santa Barbara - 1:46.20 (1:46.191)
Edward Kemboi, Iowa State - 1:46.20 (1:46.198)
Ricky West, Missouri - 1:46.47
Aaron Evans, Georgia - 1:46.66
Samuel Ellison, Villanova - 1:47.62
Samuel Ellison 2011-12 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
- All-American in the distance medley relay
- BIG EAST champion in the 4x800 meter relay
- BIG EAST runner-up and All-BIG EAST in the 500 meters
- Advanced to national championship finals in 800 meters
- Individual BIG EAST champion in the 800 meters
- Anchored the Villanova 4x800 meter relay at Penn Relays; ran third leg of distance medley relay