Villanova Runners in NCAA Outdoor Championships – Day One

Haftu Strintzos 19th in Meet Record Setting 10,000 meters and Casey Comber Does Not Advance in 1500 meters

June 9, 2021 –

The first day of competition in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships opened in Eugene, Oregon. Villanova had two participants in the events today. In the final of the 10,000 meters Haftu Strintzos set a personal best finishing 19th in a record setting race in the NCAA Championships. Casey Comber did not qualify for the finals of the 1500 meters to be held on Friday. Take a look at the recap for the Nova duo.

10,000 meters

The race turned out to be a record setter as Tulsa’s Patrick Dever establishes a new meet record of 27:41.87 breaking a 42 year record of Suleiman Nyambui of Texas – El Paso (2:01.30) set on June 1, 1797. Ten finishers in this race ran a time faster than the old meet record. Haftu Strintzos of Villanova placed 19h overall crossing the finish line in 28:51.06, a new personal best for the Wildcat distance runner. Strintzos started the race settling in the top ten. He stayed in touch with the lead pack behind a 3600 meters split of 1:06.10. With 14 laps to go Strintzos began to fade back. With 8 laps to run he lost contact with the leaders.

In a hotly contested race six runners at the bell lap were in position to win. Coming around the last turn Conner Mantz of BYU lead closely followed by Georgetown’s Robert Brandt, Dever, and Abdihamid Nur from Northern Arizona. In a sprint to the finish Dever took control pulling ahead to cross the line first easily beating his personal best by over 40 seconds. Mantz (27:42.46) placed second, followed by Nur (27:42.73), then Brandt (27:43.17).

1500 meters

Casey Comber ran in the semifinal round in the second heat. The top five finishers of each heat and the next two fastest times move on the the final. Comber started the race in the back of the pack off the rail. During the second lap he made a move and got into fifth place with 700 meter split of 1:00.33, a split best. Comber was fourth at the bell, then was fifth at the final turn. Down the stretch Comber was passed by three runners to finish with a time of 3:40.98, seventh in the heat and 17th overall.

Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame turned in the best time overall of 3:37.36. He ran in the first heat. Oregon’s Cole Hocker crossed the line first in the second heat running a 3:38.35, fifth overall.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


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