Andy Bayer, Indiana University, Leo, 1,500 meters (qualifying today)
Lauren Johnson, Huntington University, Huntington North, 1,500 meters (qualifying today)
FORT WAYNE — Andy Bayer hasn’t had much time to rest.
And he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Bayer, a Leo graduate and standout for the Indiana University track and field team, will be participating in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. The qualifying round is today, the semifinal is Friday and the final is Sunday.
“There hasn’t been a lot of down time, but it’s been good,” Bayer said in a phone interview last week. “There have been a lot of good supporters out there that have been nice about it, giving me a lot of nice messages. It’s been good.
“I’m going to try do it exactly like NCAA, try to be patient and not force anything.”
That strategy paid off with an NCAA championship in the 1,500 on June 9. Bayer won the event with a time of 3:43.82, topping BYU’s Miles Batty by 0.01 second.
“It basically took the whole way down the home stretch for me to get even. And with about two steps left I got about an inch on him and he started diving toward the finish line and kind of reacted and dove as well,” Bayer said.
“I wasn’t sure completely (I’d won). I thought I had maybe won. And then my time came up in the first start. I kind of then went crazy.”
Bayer became Indiana’s first outdoor national champion in a running event since 1993 and the 45th NCAA champion in the history of IU track and field. Bayer is Indiana’s 141st NCAA individual champion, regardless of sport. On Monday, IU named him its male athlete of the year. Bayer then set his sights on the trials.
Bayer qualified for the Olympic trials by posting a time of 3:38.07 at the Bloomington Twilight on June 17. Bayer had to get under the Olympic Trials “A” standard of 3:39.00.
Up next is trying to get to the London Olympics.
“I just want to place as high as I can and to do that, I’ll probably race the way I have been in most of my championship races this year,” Bayer said. “Bide my time and wait until I feel like I can make the last move to do what I need to do.”