Friday, March 07, 2014

Grunewald, Leer, Kampf Qualify

Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf led from the front and finished in second to automatically qualify for the 1500 final.  "I believe I have good strength for the 1500 and a kick too," Kampf told the IAAF radio interviewer after the race. Kampf said of the front running tactics noting that she was the alternate on  the US team, so "I feel I have something to prove."

Prove it she did, leading from the gun with splits of 67.09 at 400, 2:16.03 800, 3:23.79 1200, and a new indoor PB of 4:11.27.Race results with splits HERE. Kampf's US World's team teammate Treniere Moser also qualified for the final, winning the final heat.  "Heather ran great," said Moser.  "She sort of gave me inspiration to go through."

Kamf's Team USA Minnesota teammate Gabe Grunewald and Minnetonka grad Will Leer both qualified for the finals in their respective events on Friday at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot.  Both qualified on time as only the top two in each heat of the 1500 and top four in the 3K automatically made the finals.  Heather Kampf runs in the women's 1500 heats later today in the evening program.

Leer finished third in the third and fastest heat of the 1500 in 3:38.02.  Results of each of the heats, plus splits are HERE.  As usual indoors, the races featured plenty of contact among the runners and Grunewald came away with spike wounds, but, more importantly, a place in the women's 3K final by finishing sixth in the second and fastest heat in 8:58.10. Results of the 3K are HERE.

IAAF summary of the men's 1500 is HERE.  IAAF article on Gabe is HERE.  Videos of the races are available HERE. YouTube copy of women's 1500 heat video is HERE.

Morning session quotes:
 “You always want to conserve a little energy to be ready for Sunday and I did that. There was a lot of pushing and I got pushed pretty hard from behind. The pack got a little frantic and that was when I wanted to make my move so it threw me off for a lap. After something like that happens, you have to collect yourself and finish the race. I kind of knew we’d be okay if we finished strong the last 1,000m. We started a little slow but I knew it’d pick up. I’m happy with my time; it’s the second-fastest indoor 3000m this season. I’m okay taking a time qualifer because it means I have five seconds more in the tank on Sunday.”--Gabe Grunewald.

“I had an idea that those guys were going to take it from the gun. We had the advantage of knowing what everyone else did. The announcer was extra super nice and let the crowd know the bubble time, so he told us too. I sat back, bided my time, and I don’t feel fantastic so I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow I hope.”--Will Leer

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