Penn State's Danae Rivers (Narrowly) and Kansas's Bryce Hoppel (Kansas) (convincing) win the 800 NCAA Indoor 800 titles in 2019


March 9, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Penn State Danae RiversUniversity record holder at 1000, went from 5th to 1st place in the last 50 meters and crushed Penn's Nia Akins just before the finish line to win the women's 800m tonight at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Rivers won in 2: 03.69 while Akins, who took the lead with an inside pass at the start of the last lap, ran in 2: 03.74.

Watch the final round of the women's race below:

In the men's race, Kansas & # 39; Bryce Hoppel remained undefeated this year as he was convincingly separating from the Canadian champion Marco Arop in the final state to win the match in 1: 46.46, with Arop finishing second in his second consecutive victory in 1: 47.00. Texas A & M's Devin Dixon, the US record holder, never competed for the victory in the last lap and finished fourth in 1: 47.54 after leading early. The key to Hoppel's victory was his last lap in 26.57 seconds, almost a second faster than everyone else on the field (Georgetown's time Joseph White was next best at 27.49).

Look below for the last 17 seconds of the men's race:

Women's Results * Turn-based splits
1 Danae RIVERS JR Penn State 2: 03.69
2 Nia AKINS JR PENN 2: 03.74 PB
3 Rachel POCRATSKY SR Virginia Tech 2: 04.04
4 Allie WILSON SR Monmouth 2: 04.12
5 Martha BISSAH JR State of Norfolk 2: 04.48
6 Susan ANENO SR Connecticut 2: 05.86
7 Kelsey HARRIS SR Indiana 2: 06.99
8 Jazmine FRAY SR Texas A & M 2: 07.55Men's Results * Round by Round
1 Bryce HOPPEL JR Kansas 1: 46.46 PB EN
2 Marco AROP SO Miss 1 condition: 47.00
3 Robert HEPPENSTALL SR Wake Forest 1: 47.45
4 Devin DIXON JR Texas A & M 1: 47.54
5 Cooper WILLIAMS SO Indiana 1: 47.69
6 Joseph WHITE SR Georgetown 1: 48.19
7 Isaiah JEWETT JR USC 1: 48.47
8 Michael RHOADS JR Air Force 1: 48,49
9 Domenic PERRETTA JR State of Penn 1: 48.81

Quick catch: Bryce Hoppel finally managed his shot against the big boys, and he took it

Dixon and Arop absorbed a lot of attention in the competition after the two men broke 1:46 this year, but Hoppel, 4th in the NCAA outdoors, had not lost a race all season and waiting for his time, waiting for a chance to face the best of the country. He had this chance today and took the opportunity to do a good tactical race to win the victory.

"I see these guys running incredible times in the beginning [of the season] and I feel a bit left out, "said Hoppel. "I can not attend these competitions and run alongside them. But I knew I would have a chance at the end and that's what happened. "

Hoppel is the first Kansas athlete to win an NCAA 800 title. If you watched the ESPN show, they said Jim Ryun won a 800 title, but that's not true.

Quick Shot: Devin Dixon and Marco Arop had good race shots, they have just been overtaken by Hoppel

Dixon knew that his best chance of winning was to take that race in front, and he did it by taking the lead 200 and reaching 400 in 51.20. It's fast, but not ridiculously fast. It is therefore a surprise to see Dixon slow down to 28.58 and be overtaken in the third round, after which he was never taken into account. This is not a bad plan, but not a good result considering the fact that he entered the competition as the third middle school student of all time.

In the third round, Arop made some tough moves in the preliminary stages of the SEC and yesterday, and neither of them worked very well. Today, he has progressed further in the third round, but he has measured it a lot better, keeping his head up to the home straight. Although he must settle for a second place, he can not be unhappy with the way he ran.

And in the end, we have to give credit to Hoppel, who had a lot more to lose in the tank on the last lap. Closing in 26.57 in an indoor 800 is hard to beat.

Quick Shot: Danae Rivers has never lost her cool this weekend, despite her 5th place in the final straight

Yesterday, Rivers looked a little shaky in his preliminary round, finishing 4th and having to rely on a qualification for the final. But she later said she was not worried because she had to rely on qualifying qualifications in the past.

And today, she has once again relied on her experience to keep her wit and win her first national title.

"I was like fourth, fifth? I do not know, "said Rivers. "I was in that position before, so I'm as if, if I'm here, and my coach tells me that everyone could shut up the same, so I'm like, I can close the same thing too, let's go. "

Like Hoppel in the men's race, Rivers recorded the fastest 200 final of the race (31.35). In fact, she was even faster than that, as she had to make most of the last lap in lane 2 to pass.

Fast take: The Ivy Leaguer Nia Akins has won almost everything as the 10th seed

Akins did not make the announcement, but she ran a brilliant tactical race and almost became a national champion thanks to an inside pass on the ramp of two people heading to the last 100.

If you had never heard of Akins before tonight, we can understand, since it was his first final in the NCAA. Akins was a performer of 2: 08.91 in HS in California. In first year at Penn, she modestly advanced to 2: 08.09 before finding her pace in her second year while running in 2: 04.97 at the NCAA regional to qualify for the NCAAs (No. was not finalist). This year, inside, she ran on February 15 at 2: 04.74 to consolidate her place at NCAAs before starting in the 2: 03 today.

Quick Shot: How was Nia Akins able to exceed three people inside in the last 150 meters?

It's crazy for us that in an indoor 800, where positioning is essential, several people would give Akins the space to overtake them inside track 1 on the last lap. But that's what happened when Akins went from fourth to first in a few seconds, passing through UConn Susan Aneno and Monmouth Allie Wilson kissing the rail.

One of the great benefits of being ahead of an indoor competitor is that it can be difficult for others to pass – straight lines are not long and passing at the turn requires extra distance. To give up this advantage by allowing someone to double you is disconcerting.


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MB: Official Discussion of Day 2 of the NCAA 2019 indoors

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