Indiana’s Bayer wins 1,500 meter national title

Andy Bayer knew when he approached the finish line of the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa that he had a lead on Miles Batty from Brigham Young but that it was frighteningly minimal. It wasn’t even half a step, and that meant the Indiana junior had to prepared to fend off any move Batty would make.

Just at the end, Bayer realized Batty was going to dive at the line, so Bayer dove too.

Head first. On to the ground. Like he was stealing third base.

After skidding across the track at the finish line, Bayer got up believing that he had won, but there was no certainty in that for approximately 10 seconds This was the sort of finish that was the reason automated timing systems with video replay were invented, and officials needed to know whose chest crossed the line first.

Eventually that replay confirmed his initial instinct. Andy Bayer was the NCAA champion for the first time in the 1,500 meters, finishing in 3 minutes, 43.82 seconds. He became the first Indiana individual to win an outdoor national championship in a running event since 1993.

“I was pretty ecstatic after that,” Bayer said. “…It’s been the goal all year. It was pretty cool and definitely, I’m really pumped.”

Bayer, who had run the second best qualifying time in Thursday’s semifinal at 3:39.95, said the race took a relatively slow pace throughout the first three laps with each of the runners sitting back and waiting to see who might make a move. Bayer was comfortably positioned in second throughout most of it, and had plenty of life left in his legs for a kick in the last 200 meters, but so did just about everyone else,

“The whole field was still there,” Bayer said. “It was kind of a slow pace early on and I was in second, but I could tell there were still a lot of guys right behind me. I was a little nervous because everyone was still in it.”

He was still in second going into the final turn when Batty made a move around the outside with Bayer holding inside position, Bayer was somewhat pinned, but then made his move back out around Bayer and were neck-and-neck through the final 30 meters. Bayer just barely had an edge, which Batty tried to take from him by diving, but Bayer hit the ground to maintain his edge.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Bayer said.

Bayer’s victory was the highlight in a slightly disappointing weekend for Indiana. High jumper Derek Drouin had the next best finish for the Hoosiers with a second place in that event, but he was hoping for a fourth national championship in the event after winning the indoor title in 2010 and 2011 and the outdoor title in 2010. Drouin leaped 7 feet, 7 inches, but Kansas State junior Erik Kynard won with a leap of 7-8.

Senior De’Sean Turner placed seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:46.04, earning All-American honors for the third straight time. However, he was the only other Hoosier to score, and Indiana finished in 11th place with 20 points after coming into the event as the third-ranked program in the country. Senior steeplechaser Andrew Poore had the toughest luck, suffering an ankle injury on one of the water jumps after coming in as one of the top-ranked competitors in the event. He gritted out the race, but finished in 9:25.95, finishing in last by almost 22 seconds. He had finished in 8:42.50 in his qualifying heat earlier in the week.

Junior Zach Mayhew finished in 14th place in the 10,000 meters to earn All-American honors, but that wasn’t good enough to score. Triple jumpers Rex Parker and Olu Olamigoke finished 13th and 14th respectively, which was also good enough for All-American honors but not for points.

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  • Jay Gregg says:

    The IU website has pictures. Both runners gave the maximum effort. Congratulations to Andy and all of the All-Americans!

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Great, great job Hoosiers! You deserve our admiration. Great to be a high level national program. Congratulations to all.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Posting this here because there is life after basketball (I think). Did anyone watch the Argentina vs Brazil soccer game in New York earlier today?

    That’s what soccer well played looks like and that’s why it is the most watched game on Earth. Lionel Messi has actually passed both Pele and Maradona as the greatest ever. He was spectacular today, three goals. The game was up and down, attack and hold on for the counterattack.

    Argentina won 4-3 (could have been 8-7 just as easy), but the score did not matter in the end. The winner were the 85,000+ or so in Giants Stadium (has a different name now).

    It was…the Beautiful Game!

    (BTW, one of the Argentine defenders is named Zabaleta…any family connection?)

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    TTG, Glad you enjoy soccer and the game you referenced. On the other hand I fall in the group who thinks soccer is rather boring. Even when my kids played as youngsters soccer was only entertaining because they were competing and was more than pleased when they switched to other sports. I would much prefer to watch a track meet in lieu of soccer. I will give it it’s due in that you do not have to be 7′ tall or 7′ wide to be a star, it is relatively cheap to gear up to play and you have to be in shape or you’ll puke.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    HC…some feel as I do, some as you. Funny enough, while I love soccer, I absolutely can not sit through two minutes of a hockey game. Then too, soccer for me is great when the players are highly skilled. As much as I love it, a bad game as is the case with 85% of the college games puts me to sleep but I could say the same about a badly played game of basketball. (I once fell asleep high up on the seats of Memorial Stadium and had to ask a cop to let me out when I wole up-the gates were all closed).

    Then again, watching baseball for me was great when I wanted to take a Sunday nap. Guaranteed, four minutes and I was in a deep, deep sleep and would wake up around the 7th inning fresh, relaxed, rested. But eventually, I began to appreciate the subtleties of the game and their mix and understand that it really is a complex, intelligent game. Now I’m passionate about it (but, very sadly I’m a Cub fan which means I’m an expert on bad, overpaid limited skill players like Soriano and Soto). (Used to love to watch Maddux pitch his slow, slower pitches and Joe Girardi direct the show from behind the catcher’s mask).

    I absolutely loved track and field when I became knowledgeable as a teenager of records, (4 minute mile with Roger Bannister and John Landry, the 7+ jump, the 26 ft long jump- an IU man Greg Bell, and of course the relative meaning of times and distances- a high sschooler breaking a 48″ 4oo meter, a 1’55” half, a 6’10” high jump by a 5’10” high school kid).

    Same with swimming. I did not know c___p about swimming times but when Charlie Hickox or Mark Spitz swam it, I knew I was getting to see a great performance and got excited. And, I knew the person doing it is/was an uncommon and super human being that could do extraordinary things.

    Not sure what this all means at all. Still when I have a stake in the game…Indiana, my Indiana; my son playing, me coaching, my daughter in Ultimate Frizbee I’m all in. And from Knight, I learned to love the strive for perfection, the struggle of the truly great athlete who works to do something perfect he knows he never will. That’s something.

    That’s why I love the way the game is played as a whole team (and the ability of some to become the not so great player who multiply to make a great team makes me passionate; while the dunk shows themselves remind me of my parents taking me to the circus, it wasn’t as much fun as my parents thought. I mean, there’s no reward for smacking the ball on the top edge of the backboard; but, a 6 foot kid consistently scoring two from 30-40 feet out or working to get the ball to the open man…that’s exciting and art. And consistently keeping him from doing so…that’s exciting as h—l and art too.

    That’s what I love about soccer (basketball, football has its own beauty, baseball and all the individual competition sports that pit one human against another and against himself/herself or an objective determined by time and distance).

    And, I do appreciate the fans like you who understand the art and the seeking of perfection in fans and are able to resist the temptation to turn it all into meaningless numbers that measure everything in terms of the average or the tendency while missing the struggle.

    Wow…yours was a great, great comment. It went right to the heart of the question of why we like some and can’t stand other sports. I think that;s partially why we are Indiana fans…Indiana has always done a good job of looking at the entire realm of human competition. Thanks for making me think about something that is very important.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    HC…an error from force of habit…

    where I said “…but, a 6 foot kid consistently scoring two from 30-40 feet out or working to get the ball to the open man…”, should have read “…but, a 6 foot kid consistently scoring two or three from up to 30-40 feet out or working to get the ball to the open man for the shot…”

  • Chet says:

    Soccer is very popular where I live but I’d rather watch paint dry. I guess I’m just not a cosmopolitan kinda guy. The only thing I could imagine being more boring would be watching golf on the tube. How in the hell did that get to be televised?

    I won’t watch hockey on TV but I really enjoyed the few games I went to. We had a minor league team here in town for a while (goon league) with one Gretzky as coach and another on the ice. Gretzky jerseys for sale in the lobby, of course. The Great One showed up to watch his brothers from time to time.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Not surprised Chet. Sounds like you’ve never seen a good game with 11 players on each side all of whom have great skills. The US is just emerging so the skill issue is still marginal at best and most coaches who coach here did not play the game themselves so their coaching emphasizes what they learn from books. You cant’ say to a kid, ‘do it like the picture’. That’s why it is so important the Todd Yeagleys got into coaching, they were the first generation that grew up with a soccer ball on their foot.

    And, it also sounds like where you live can’t possibly help the development of the game. Any pass that is just a bit long you got to chase it 2 1/2 miles down the hill. There’s nto a whole lot of great soccer players coming from the Andes mountain side of Argentina either.

    As to hockey, people love the fight. Who can follow the puck? They should make it more fan friendly. Strip all that uniform, (paly in shorts) redesign the stick into a hatchet (metal edges), have the coaches coach players to head the puck the puck in the goal and like soccer, substitute only three times total the entire game. Oh…and wire fences would make the fan feel closer to the game. You could then reach out and grab a player as he goes by at 83 mph.

    (Talk about colorful…imagine the ice turning red over an entire game…God that’s sexy!)

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    TTG, I much enjoyed post #5. It means almost nothing but for what it is worth I have a cousin who won the Indiana State high jump title, circa 1965. I believe he cleared 6’5 7/8″. Earned a scholarship to PUke and after 1 semester was so homesick returned home to raise cattle, which he still does to this day. He knew what he wanted to do early on. If all the state champions of Indiana had their end games collectively gathered in 1 book it would make quite a read. Sometimes I wonder about some of those past T&F champions, Jerry Saffel(hurdler)who regularly broke starting blocks and hurdles if need be, Bernie Rivers(sprinter)who ran to win never worried about racing times or training for them, Clyde Peach(sprinter)who would have been a good match race for Rivers and Lloyd “Hoppy” Thompson(miler)who never made it to the state finals for a myriad of reasons, came from a very broken family, never trained, many days did not make it to school on time or at all but in at his Senior sectional ran a 4:19 mile(I was there)to beat a state favorite, he simply out-gutted his opponent in his last race. He graduated and joined the Army. One day after a PT test he was informed by a DI that if he had run his test mile 6 seconds faster he could have earned a chance to qualify for the Army T & F team. He near begged them to allow him to run another mile immediately after running the first one but to know avail. He said he had jogged in fatigues and boots a 4:41 mile. What stories there are out there.

  • Geoff says:

    Be careful talking to Tsao about kids that leave college early to pursue their wants….

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Why? Does he know my address?

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    HC…God you are exactly right…the history of Indiana HS track is just incredible and I’m going back to the period between 1958 and later. Let me try my memory without checking, Bernie Rivers I think was an East Chicago kid or thereabout, Saffel from Ft. Wayne, Clyde Peach definetly Ben Davis in Indy and, of course, with CLyde and Bernie you have to add Larry Highbaugh who came within .02 of the national 100 yard record and then ran at Indiana. I believe Highbaugh is related to one of our football players now, perhaps Robertson. Jim Lavery and Bill Perrin ran one great program at IU.

    The one who stumps me inThompson. Don’t remember him, but a great high school buddy of mine, John Knapp was a great half miler (1:54-1:56) and ran the mile also around 4:20. The mile relay had 5 sub .50 quarter milers. We used to go all over the state to the big meets, Anderson, Kokomo,Lafayette Jeff, Richmond, Fort Wayne, Jeffersonville, New Albany and once a year venture into the region where Gary Roosevelt, Gary West, East Chicago Washington were constantly turning out national level runner. The amazing thing is that because of the weather, there was little to do until March except run the school halls and still could practically match California and Arizona for national level runners.

    Great memories…just great memories. My happies moments were traveling on the school bus (we considered ourselves a big deal because the school actually leased a big over-the-road bus rather than embarrass us with a yellow one.

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    HC- add…who can forget the great, great day (or regionals and semi-state) that was the state meet at Indianapolis Tech? Wow!!

  • TsaoTsuG says:

    Chet, was there a kid named Hurd, a quartermiler at Jeffersonville or New Albany? This guy was an international level mid sprints, int the 40’s for the 400.

  • Chet says:

    Don’t know about him but at one time when I was in hs we had the fastest male and female quartermilers in the country at the same time, Tommy Hughes and Cindy Sedgwick. I don’t know where Tommy ended up but his brother, Dickie, was a hurdler for the Hoosiers.

    Years later my wife met Dickie at a reunion and he was a mountain of a man, probably 6’5″ maybe 265. My wife just looked at him and said, “You were a hurdler?”

    Jeffersonville has a long and storied history. The city was founded by George Rodgers Clark and, in the library, is the original layout of the city drawn by Thomas Jefferson.

    The Falls of the Ohio made it a natural stopping point for much a the westward expansion. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of Discovery trained near there for a year before setting out. Aaron Burr plotted his overthrow of the government from there.

    They have a long history of shipbuilding. In fact, if you see a paddle wheeled ship built in the past 100 years it was probably built in Jeff.

    The high school was founded in 1882 and their football rivalry with New Albany goes back 108 years. I’d guess it’s the oldest such rivalry in Indiana.

    While things have gone in cycles I was happy to see, on my last visit, that they have beautified the riverfront and restored many of the old river homes to their past glory.

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    Chet, Pretty good stuff about Jeffersonville. History is deep down there and I love it.

    TTG, Saffel was from LaPorte and wanted to qualify for the 400 intermediates of the “64” Olympics. After graduating he went to Wyoming on a FB scholarship as a TE(he was 6’1″-190lb. with speed and stamina)and was injured at the time of the O trials training period. I won’t bet big money but I thought Peach was from Brebeuf. Thompson was a local phenom from LaPorte County. I knew him personally. He was a competitor when the chips were down.

  • Chet says:

    Regarding the Jeffersonville-New Albany football rivalry, at one point New Albany held a 68 year streak without a loss. I played on the team that won the first in the series for Jeffersonville (I believe we won 34-0) in front of an estimated 20,000 fans on New Albany’s field.

    Since that time Jeffersonville has dominated the series.

  • Reggie says:

    Anybody been watching the Euro Cup? Spain, Italy was an awesome match. Soccer or Futbol is the world’s most popular sport. I’d rather watch paint dry than watch baseball. Wow, Tsao you should have concentrated on soccer as a kid and you could have played at IU! I respect the people that play a boatload of sports but I only play 2 myself. I really love basketball but I’m starting to get D3 and NAIA interest in soccer at my high school. Most kids in high school who want to play a particular sport in the NCAA need to put all their time and effort in that one sport.

  • Chet says:

    MLB is their own worst enemy. They start playoff and World Series games at 9:00pm on a week night and then they wonder why a generation of young people don’t care about baseball.

    They are so resistant to change. Meanwhile the NFL is a juggernaut constantly changing with the times.

  • By that rationale, Chet, isn’t their problem that they change too much? Obviously, they didn’t always play postseason games at 9 p.m. and they changed in order to accommodate West Coast viewers. Or really everyone. I think everyone in my generation heard stories from our parents about bringing transistor radios to school to listen to the World Series during class.
    Football (and actually now that I think about it, European soccer as well) have, in terms of perception, an intrinsic advantage over the rest of the major sports because they only play once a week and every game is an event. If you’re going to play every day, you have to account for the fact that you live in a country in which there are four time zones and the two biggest cities in terms of population are seprated by 3,000 miles and a three-hour time difference. You have to make a decision about what half of the country you’re going to tick off. The NFL doesn’t have to worry about what time people get off work. The MLB and NBA know that starting too early costs you the vast majority of the west coast viewership and that Eastern time zone dads can absolutely be talked into letting their kids stay up until midnight to watch baseball playoffs. (Or at least my dad could. Particularly when the Pirates were in it once upon a time. Those games were sacred.) Better to hope they begrudgingly watch while complaining than to lose the West Coast altogether.

  • Chet says:

    I did choose the one example of how they have changed, didn’t I?
    Let me ask you this, what do you think the proportion of serious baseball fans reside west of St. Louis? Those rabid Mariner, Padre, Rockies, Royals fans.

    Which do you think is more likely, a west coast fan turning on a game at 5pm or an east coast fan staying tuned until 1:00am on a work/school night.

    It has nothing to do with placating the fans, anyway. It is entirely because the networks cannot charge prime time rates at 5:00 in the afternoon. They simply want to air the game where they can get the most prime time revenue in the most cities.

    Follow the money.

    The Pirates used to be really good back in the day. Willie Stargell played his Class A ball in Asheville.

  • Chet says:

    I can remember the teachers letting us watch the ’67 Series between Boston and St. Louis on television.

    That was back when people actually cared about baseball.

  • You did, of course, conspicuously leave out Dodgers and Giants fans from that list. Obviously, Dodger fans tend to bail out of Chavez Ravine early, but there’s still an interest.
    Obviously, it’s all about money. It always is. But isn’t that how people measure whether or not they’re changing with the times? People and industries don’t decide they’re not properly changing with the times until the bottom line tells them they aren’t. Once the money flow slows, they adapt until it speeds up again.

  • Chet says:

    The Dodgers can’t give away tickets when they don’t have a contender.

    I did spent a sunny afternoon watching the A’s host the Brewers once. Third row behind home plate. Billy Martin at the helm. Great fun.

    Baseball is best when played in the sunshine.

    I know one person that I would consider a baseball fan on the level that most people I know follow NFL football or college basketball.

  • Reggie says:

    I know for a fact that jr. high and high school kids around central Indiana will stay up until midnight to watch Sunday night football. Baseball, not so much. Of course most people in Indiana will watch the NBA Finals regardless of the day and time. Most people in Indiana are bandwagon fans. I think schedules in almost any pro sport are going to favor the west coast though.

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