Track and Field | Monday, June 25, 2012
Symmonds Wins 800-Meter Title in 1:43.92, Qualifies for London Olympics
Former Bearcat Runner Earns 5th Straight U.S. Championship, Second Olympic Berth
EUGENE, ORE. -- Nick Symmonds ('06) won his fifth straight national championship in the 800-meter run at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trails on Monday, June 25 with a time of 1:43.92, as the former Willamette University track and field runner qualified for the London Olympics later this summer.
Symmonds, who runs for Nike/Oregon Track Club Elite, has qualified for his second consecutive berth in the Olympics. He reached the semifinals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
On Monday night, Symmonds' signature kick made the difference. He was in fifth or sixth for much of the race, but started to surge past runners with about 200-meters to go. After completing the final turn, he pulled into the lead and maintained his advantage to the finish line.
The winning time for Symmonds was the fastest time by an American in the 800 this year and was just 0.16 away from his personal record of 1:43.76, set in Italy in 2010.
Khadevis Robinson of Nike edged out Duane Solomon, Jr. of Saucony for second place, as they concluded the race at nearly the exact same time while running side-by-side. Robinson was timed at 1:44.64, while Solomon was credited with a time of 1:44.65. Robinson and Solomon both earned berths in the London Olympics.
Ryan Martin from the University of California-Santa Barbara was fourth in 1:44.90.
Symmonds was one of three runners in the race with significant ties to the State of Oregon. Tyler Mulder, a former University of Northern Iowa runner who trains with Symmonds in Eugene for OTC Elite, placed fifth in 1:45.02. Current University of Oregon athlete Elijah Greer finished sixth in 1:45.40.
Rounding out the eight competitors on the 800-meter finals were Mark Wieczorek, competing unattached, and Charles Jock of Nike. Wieczorek was seventh at 1:45.62 and Jock was eighth at 1:49.02.
During the London Olympics, Symmonds will be competing at his fifth international championship event.
Symmonds advanced to the semifinals of the IAAF World Championships in 2007 before reaching the semifinals of the Beijing Olympics a year later. He took sixth place at the World Championships in 2009 and earned fifth place at the World Championships in 2011.
As a runner at Willamette, Symmonds achieved seven NCAA national titles from the 2003 season through 2006. He earned four NCAA championships in the 800-meter run and attained three NCAA championships in the 1,500-meter run.