Exciting 1500 meter races close out U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials
Women's 1500m top 3 strongest in U.S. Olympic team history; Blankenship, Andrews and Martinez celebrate first Olympic berths; Centrowitz breaks Steve Scott's Olympic Trials meet record.
By Chris Chavez, Sports Illustrated
Less than half a second separated the third and fourth place finishers in the men’s and women’s 1500 meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, which resulted in two new U.S. Olympians in Ben Blankenship and Brenda Martinez.
Former Oregon Duck Matthew Centrowitz is headed to his second Olympics after a 3:34.09 victory was sealed with a 53-second last lap to win the men’s 1500m final to close out the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials on Sunday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. Robby Andrews of New Jersey took second place in 3:34.88, while Blankenship battled against 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano for the last berth to Rio de Janeiro.
At the 2015 U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Blankenship was out-leaned at the finish line by Manzano by .02 seconds. Coming down the final 100 meters, it was “deja vu,” but this time with a better ending for Blankenship. Blankenship’s 3:36.18 was just .44 seconds better than Manzano, who misses his first U.S. national team since 2005.
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