Rich Peters produced perhaps the best performance of his career when he only narrowly failed to win the Mile title at the prestigious US NCAA championships in Nampa, Idaho. His silver medal-winning effort was all the more impressive as he had only qualified for the final as the slower of the two fastest losers after finishing only 5th in his heat, albeit just half a second behind the winner.
In the final, feeling much better, he made sure he was well positioned from the start in third place and got a reasonable run all the way round the inside. Had he taken closer order at the bell, where he was relegated to 4th, he could have won as he covered the last lap faster than anyone (26.7) , surging through on the inside off the final bend to pass the winner of his heat Sam McNally (Villanova) and finally the reigning champion and NCAA record-holder Miles Batty (Brigham Young) almost on the line to finish just a stride behind the winner Chris O’Hare (Tulsa) who had bravely set his stall out from the start to lead from gun to tape.
In a typically slow run championship race – the first half mile was covered in outside 2:06 – the last quarter was covered in just over 55secs, with O’Hare’s winning time 4:01.66 ahead of Rich (4:01.78) and the hot favourite Batty (4:01.91). Rich was described by the local interviewer as a relative unknown and had been predicted to finish no higher than 7th as he was one of the slowest on time in the field, all of whom had to have run under 3:58 to enter!!
Mike Down Reports.