Willis sets record at TC 1-mile

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 10, 2013 - 1:18 AM

The New Zealand Olympian led an elite field to the finish line.

view larger photos

  

Nick Willis, then running for Michigan, came to Minneapolis and won the 1,500 title at the Big Ten Conference track championships 10 years ago, almost to the day.

So there was some history here.

Willis won the ninth annual TC 1-mile race in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday in record time. He took the lead for good with a little more than 400 meters left and came home in 3 minutes, 56.2 seconds.

For Willis, the silver medalist for New Zealand in the 1,500 at the 2008 Olympics, it was his eighth consecutive victory. As he came down to the finish he knew he was in a good position to break the record, which gave him a $10,000 bonus on top of the $5,000 prize money.

“I saw I was comfortably under,” Willis said. “So I didn’t want to push it too hard, in case I want to come back in future years and try to get it again.”

In cool temperatures and with a significant tail wind — especially at the start of the race — the top three men in the race all beat the existing record. Garrett Heath, a Winona native, finished second in 3:57.3. Macklin Chaffee, from Boulder, Colo, finished third in 3:58.1.

Sarah Brown, from Atlanta, Ga., outdueled Canadian Nicole Sifuentes in the women’s race, surging at the end to win in a photo finish. Brown won in 4:33.3, a tenth of a second ahead of Sifuentes.

Brown, then Sarah Bowman, came to the race in 2010 and finished second. More importantly, she met her future husband, runner Darren Brown.

“Coming back here was very nostalgic for me,” Brown said. “It brings back such great memories because of that.”

Brown, who has been prepping for next week’s Oxy High Performance meet in Los Angeles, came here from San Diego, where she took part in an 800 race to get some speed work in. It paid off. As the runners came around the slight turn for the final 200 or so meters of the race Brown wasn’t sure she could catch Sifuentes. Indeed, Brown didn’t know whether or not she had until well after the race ended and the results came in.

Willis hung back for much of his race, letting training partner William Leer set the pace.

“I wanted to help him out a little bit and then slowly wind it up,” said Willis, who was the New Zealand flag bearer at the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics before finishing ninth in the 1,500. “There is a little bit of a slide uphill in the last 50 meters so I wanted to save something for that if I needed it.’’

  • related content

  • Nick Willis, a former Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500 meters, led the field at the TC 1-mile down Nicollet Mall on Thursday night.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close