Two weeks ago Andy Bayer won the NCAA Championship in the 1,500-meter run by one-thousandth’s of a second. Thursday, he was nearly eliminated from The U.S. Olympic Trials by the same fraction of time.
Bayer, a 2008 Leo High School graduate and current Indiana University All-American distance runner, raced to spot in today’s semi-finals of the 1,500-meter run. Bayer ran the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 42.14 seconds, literally tying Jack Bolas for the sixth and final advancing spot in the first of three heats. It wasn’t until all three heats were run that Bayer learned that he had advanced to today’s semifinals. He’ll run at 7:25 p.m. EDT with the top finishers advancing to Sunday’s final and a shot at representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Bayer tried to stay out of trouble and relax through the early part of Thursday’s race but as the race wound down, found himself in a bad position.
“I figured I could find a way out,” Bayer said of running on the inside lane 1 the first three laps of the race. “But then going down the backstretch (of lap four), I couldn’t get out. Finally I did but I had to go to lane four. And then everyone was sprinting.”
Bayer had enough speed to stay with the front pack, but places one through seven (Bayer) were separated by a half-second.
“I’m kind of frustrated because I felt great today but put myself in a bad position,” Bayer said.
Of the 30 runners in the 1,500 on Thursday, 24 advanced and Bayer’s time was 23rd. Of course, all times are wiped out heading into today’s semifinals.
Bayer knows this.
“Now I just need to be ready and put myself in a better position,” Bayer said Thursday. “This is a great experience, racing for an Olympic spot.”