June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Ore.--In the national semifinals of the 800 meters, senior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa) recorded a time of 1:51.07 and came in eighth in his heat in the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field on Wednesday afternoon. Ellison concluded a stellar senior season with his third straight appearance at the outdoor national championships.
The top two runners in each heat and the next two fastest times advanced to Friday night's championship. After the first two heats went out at slow paces, especially in the first 400 meters, the runners in Ellison's heat went out hard with both "on time" qualifying spots seemingly up for grabs.
Ellison was in fourth place after the first 400 meters and had a split of 52.18 on his first lap, with reigning indoor national champion Brandon McBride from Mississippi State in the lead at that point with a split of 51.83. Ellison remained in fourth place with just over 100 meters to go as all eight runners struggled to maintain a fast pace. The eventual top finishers pulled away at the beginning of the final straightaway.
The two automatic qualifiers from the third heat were McBridge (1:48.09) and Patrick Rono from Arkansas (1:48.20), while Luke Lefebure from Stanford (1:48.46) and Eliud Rutto from Middle Tennesee Sttate (1:48.57) each advanced on time. The other finishers in the head included Tomas Squella from Arkansas (1:49.52), Otniel Teixeira from Florida State (1:49.59) and Henry Tufnell from Brown (1:50.33).
Ellison qualified for the national championships in the 800 meters for the third consecutive season. He was an automatic qualifier during each of the first two rounds of the event at the NCAA East Preliminary two weeks ago. Ellison was also the BIG EAST runner-up in the 800 meters and anchored Villanova to a conference title in the 4x400 meter relay.
During the indoor season Ellison was a first team All-American in the 800 meters and a second team All-American as part of the Wildcats distance medley relay squad. He was also the BIG EAST champion in the 500 meters.
Villanova will have two men's athletes in competition on Thursday afternoon. Junior Elbert Maxwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.) gets underway in the long jump at 7:30 Eastern time/4:30 Pacific time, while sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) runs in the national semifinals of the 1500 meters at the same time.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
800 Meters (National Semifinal - Heat 3 of 3)
Brandon McBride Mississippi State 1:48.09 Patrick Rono Arkansas 1:48.20 Luke Lefebure Stanford 1:48.46 Eliud Rutto Middle Tennessee State 1:48.57 Tomas Squella Arkansas 1:49.52 Otniel Teixeira Florida State 1:49.59 Henry Tufnell Brown 1:50.33 Samuel Ellison Villanova 1:51.07