June 12, 2014
EUGENE, Ore.--Sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) ran one of the strongest races of his collegiate career and advanced to the final of the 1500 meters with a third place finish in his semifinal heat at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field on Friday afternoon. Williamsz registered a time of 3:41.23 and was an automatic qualifier for the national championship race on Saturday afternoon. Junior Elbert Maxwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was also in competition for Villanova on Thursday afternoon and he registered a 21st place in the long jump with a distance of 6.99 meters.
The time of 3:41.23 is the fastest that Williamsz has run in collegiate competition. Eight of the 12 competitors in his heat ran the equivalent of a sub-four minute mile, a feat which Williamsz has now accomplished three times during his career (one sub-four minute mile, two metric equivalents). He is ranked third overall among the 12 qualifiers for Saturday's final.
Williamsz ran in the second of two semifinal heats, with the top five finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advancing. The second heat was the faster of the two and produced the two "on time" qualifiers but Williamsz was never out of contention for one of the top five spots.
The field became strung out almost immediately after the start and by the time the runners had finished the first 400 meters the 12 competitors were virtually single file. Williamsz settled into third place after the first 300 meters of the race and was still in the same position with 800 meters to go.
At that point in the race Grzegorz Kalinowski from Eastern Michigan was pushing him from behind and John Simons from Minnesota was just beginning to make a move to push the front runners. Simons took over third place with 600 meters to go and Williamsz was in fifth place when the bell sounded for the final lap. He was running on the outside and just a few paces off the lead with 400 meters remaining.
Williamsz made a strong push with 250 meters to go and moved into second place coming around the final curve. He pushed Lawi Lalang from Arizona on the final straightaway and was nipped for second place by just five hundredths of a second at the finish line. The top eight finishers in the heat were separated by just two-thirds of a second.
The winning time for Lalang in the heat was 3:41.03, while Grant Pollock from Virginia Tech was second (3:41.18) ahead of Williamsz (3:41.23). Peter Callahan from New Mexico (3:41.52) and Simons (3:41.65) claimed the final two automatic qualifying spots, while Rorey Hunter from Indiana (3:41.66) and Thomas Joyce from California (3:41.67) advanced on time.
Maxwell competed in the second of two flights of the long jump in his first appearance at the NCAA Championships. A cloudy and cool day gave way to light rain and a stiff breeze by the time the second flight started. Maxwell's top jump of 6.99 meters came on his first attempt and he also registered distances of 6.81 meters and 6.94 meters on his second and third tries. The mark of 6.99 meters put Maxwell 11th in his flight and 21st overall in the field for the long jump.
A berth in the national championships wrapped up an outstanding 2013-14 campaign for Maxwell, who was the BIG EAST champion in the long jump both indoors and outdoors. He also was an All-BIG EAST performer in the high jump at both conference meets. At the NCAA East Preliminary two weeks ago Maxwell established a new personal best in the long jump with a mark of 7.52 meters.
Freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) will be the lone Villanova athlete in competition on Friday evening. He will run in the national championship race of the 5000 meters at 9:10 p.m. Eastern time (6:10 p.m. Pacific). The race can be seen live on ESPNU. Williamsz will compete in the final of the 1500 meters on Saturday at 5:18 p.m. Eastern time (2:18 p.m. Pacific) and that race will also air live on ESPNU.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
1500 Meters (National Semifinal - Heat 2 of 2)
Lawi Lalang Arizona 3:41.03 Grant Pollock Virginia Tech 3:41.18 Jordy Williamsz Villanova 3:41.23 Peter Callahan New Mexico 3:41.52 John Simons Minnesota 3:41.65 Rorey Hunter Indiana 3:41.66 Thomas Joyce California 3:41.67 Matt Hillenbrand Kentucky 3:41.69 Grzegorz Kalinowski Eastern Michigan 3:43.18 Jake Hurysz Colorado 3:48.16 Izaic Yorks Washington 3:49.51 Joel Hubbard Syracuse 3:51.62
Long Jump (Flight 2 of 2)
Corey Crawford Rutgers 7.47m Roelf Pienaar Arkansas State 7.41m Patrick Raedler Nebraska 7.36m Hammed Suleman California 7.35m Paul Madzivire Florida State 7.35m Tyler Stepp East Tennessee State 7.35m Ted Hooper UC Riverside 7.30m Cameron Hudson East Carolina 7.26m Kenneth Fisher Bethune-Cookman 7.15m Jonathan Addison North Carolina State 7.07m Elbert Maxwell Villanova 6.99m Jamal Peden Stephen F. Austin 6.67m