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Walker's Run - Oregon Cross Country, Track and Field Blog

Walker's Pace: Centro Survives 1,500 Semi

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oregon alum Matthew Centrowitz avoided a falling runner for the second race in a row and finished strong to advance to his first Olympic final in the men's 1,500 meters.

Sunday in semifinal heat two at the London Olympics, Centrowitz ran among the leaders holding tight to the rail for virtually the entire race, until the frontrunners made their break on the final lap. Centrowitz, the 2011 NCAA and Pac-12 champion, was poised to go with them but had to deftly avoid a falling competitor on his right before accelerating with the lead pack.

He finished safely in fifth in a season-best 3:34.90 to automatically advance to Tuesday's final. With fellow American Leo Manzano advancing out of heat one, The U.S.A. will have two 1,500 meter finalists for the first time since 1988.

Centrowitz is the first Duck to qualify for the Olympic 1,500 meter final since Dyrol Burleson took fifth in 1964.

Fellow Oregon alum Andrew Wheating finished ninth in heat one in 3:44.88 and did not advance.

Monday, former Ducks in competition include Becky Holliday in the finals of the women's pole vault and Zoe Buckman, running for Australia, in the opening rounds of the women's 1,500 meters.

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