Bingham Advances To 400-Meter Final After Victory In The Semifinals
June 12, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Senior Michael Bingham won his semifinal heat of the men's 400-meter dash and will seek his second national title on Saturday at the 2009 NCAA Track & Field Championships at the University of Arkansas.
Bingham came into the semifinals Friday evening with the 10-best time from the prelims and was slotted in lane three. He broke strong and was able to make up the stagger down the back straight away. As the field came off the final turn, the Bulington, N.C., native found himself with the lead and he held on to that lead down the final straightaway and cruised to the victory in a time of 45.28.
This was Bingham's second-fastest 400-meter race this season and he will bring the second-best time into the finals. The first heat winner, Jonathan Borlee of Florida State, crossed the line in 45.25.
"Michael ran awesome today," said Wake Forest Director of Track & Field Annie Bennett. "He is really focused this week and looks very good out there. He is going to have a tough race tomorrow but I know he is ready for it."
The finals of the men's 400-meter dash will be Saturday afternoon at 1:12 pm EST. Fans can watch the race as part of CBS's live coverage from 1-3 pm.
Bingham is trying to become the fourth-straight 400-meter runner to win both the indoor and outdoor 400-meter national titles in the same season. Andretti Bain of Oral Roberts pulled the double last season while Ricardo Chambers of Florida State accomplished the feat in 2007 and Xavier Carter of LSU did it in 2006.
Sophomore Anne Nosenko finished off a tremendous season Friday night in the finals of the women's 5,000-meter run. She finished 14th in a strong field with a time of 16:59.96.
"I am really proud of Anna," Bennett said. "She did all she could do this week. This was a long season for her and she still finished as one of the top-14 runners in the country. It was also her first time running three seasons with cross country and both the indoor and outdoor seasons so hopefully she can take something with her from this week and use it next year."
The runners started out bunched tightly for the first half of the race and Nosenko was sitting comfortably on the outside of the pack.
With just over a mile to go, the field started to spread out a bit and Nosenko slipped towards the back of the pack. With two laps to go, Angela Bizzarri of Illinois and Nicole Blood of Oregon distanced themselves at the head of the pack and Bizzarri took over with 300-meters to go and cruised home in a time of 16:17.94. Blood came in second at 16:26.58 and the rest of the field filtered in behind them.