2013 NCAA National Championships

At North Central College, March 8-9th

 

Team Score - Amherst 45th with 3 points

Full Results

 

Amherst Results

800 Matt Melton 6th 1:53.63 (1:52.83 in Qualifying Heat)

Mile Patrick Grimes 11th 4:16.77 (5th in Qualifying Heat but did not advance to final)

 

 

Meet Recap:

Pat Grimes and Matt Melton qualified for this year's National Championships, hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Both would compete in the qualifying rounds on Friday - Grimey in the Mile, and Melton in the 800 - with the Top 3 in Mile, and Top 2 advancing automatically in the800 and then the next 4 fastest times also advancing on to the finals held on Saturday. The mile was the first event, and Grimey was in the 1st of 2 heats. After an opening 400 in about 63 seconds and in perfect position - just off the shoulder of the leader - a runner from Bates opened a gap on the pack, and when the pack was content to let him go, he opened it up even more and the race seemed to be 2 races - 1 with the leader, and then way back was everyone else. Grimey now found himself leading the chase pack of 6 runners - all who were content to let the Bates runner have one of the spot - and everyone sat on Grimes shoulder while he led them around the track. The pace slowed considerably, setting up for a fast last 400, and after hitting the 1200 mark in 3:19, things started to pick up and unfortunately, those who had been stalking Grimey, made their moves and as has been the case in the past, when he runs at the front, it has been difficult to make a strong finishing move instantly, and the lapse in reaction time, was just enough to be in a position where he was chasing without momentum, and a frantic homestretch drive came up just short of being in the Top 4 who would advance. With the 2nd heat having the benefit of watching the slow pace, all they had to do was make sure they ran a little quicker and would ensure they all moved on - which is what happened, and Grimey found himself 1 spot out of the qualifying with his 4:16.77. Matt would line up next, in the 2nd heat of the 800 - after watching the first heat go through in 1:52 with the first couple of potential time qualifiers having been right at 1:53. As the runners got to the break, matt was in the middle of the pack and he hit the 200 in 28.3, and over the next lap was looking for running room in the tight pack as they went through 56.8 for the 400 - a bit slower then the first section. A slower pace early, usually means that things start to pick up, and position is key and as the pace started to heat up, Matt was still not getting the room he was hoping for and as they hit the bell, he was at the back of the pack. After several attempts to come inside - only to find it blocked off - he finally realized that the outside was going to be the only option, and off the final turn, swung wide to lane 4 and was able to kick down 2 runners to finish 4th in 1:52.83 and advance on time. In Saturday's final, he got out well, sitting on the shoulder of a UW Lacrosse runner in 3rd or 4th, and just beyond the leading pair of runners from Bates and Wabash. After going through the 200 in 27.2, the front pair put a little surge in and opened a gap on Matt, who was still on the outside of the Lax runner, and would remain there for the next 2 laps hitting the 400 in 55 and 600 in 1:23. At the bell, as Matt was starting to make his move, and use that patented big kick, 2 runners came up on the outside and he found himself boxed in and seemed to come to a stop while the others were starting their kicks, and the pause in momentum was just enough to let them open the gap on him and make it tough to get caught. Coming home in 6th - in a time of 1;53.63 - Matt grabbed his first individual All-American honor to go along with the award he won as a freshmen as part of the 4x400 relay that placed 6th. By virtue of his 6th place, the team earned 3 points to finish in 45th place overall.