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Saturday, January 28, 2007


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Won and Done for Phillips


Texas runner Duncan Phillips wins only race of indoor season

By Tim Fulton – armorytrack.com

There won’t be an encore performance. His 2007 indoor debut was also a finale. Duncan Phillips, a senior at A&M Consolidated of College Station TX, ended his HS indoor career with a 4:09.20 win at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. He passed Matt Centrowitz with 70m left to win what has become one of the most prestigious races of the indoor campaign. (continued below)


Matt Centrowitz (left) made a move that looked like the winner, but he wound up a strong 2nd after Duncan Phillips winning kick in the last 150. Photos by John Nepolitan

Shenendehowa NY sr Steve Murdock set the early pace, just like he almost always did last year when he wore the blue and white of Saratoga, NY, but this time he couldn’t finish what he started. Craig Forys (Colts Neck, NJ), who Murdock pushed to a new course record at Vanny in a classic dual in October, took the lead after the 800m mark and looked smooth and strong and capable of winning.

The question with Forys coming in was if he was in shape. An apparent injury after Foot Locker Nationals impeded his training and he hadn’t raced since. Forys looked ready for the win before Centrowitz came up and grasped the lead with 350m to go and gapped the field instantly. Everyone in the packed Reggie Lewis Center felt it was his race for the taking as he stormed around the far turn and powered away from the loaded field.

But then it happened. His stride slowed and his pace eased just ever so slightly and Duncan Phillips saw his chance. Phillips had been in the top 3-4 all race long but never really made any distinct moves. He appeared to be just biding his time. Phillips started rolling with about 150m left and everyone’s eyes bounced back and forth between Centrowitz and Phillips. Everyone was watching that lead evaporate and when he finally caught Centro with 70m to go, he passed him with ease and ran to victory. (continued below)


Earlier in the race, Craig Forys made a big move with Sintayehu Taye and Girma Mecheso following and Steve Murdock trying to hang on.  Photo John Nepolitan

Phillips had struggled with back pain in races over 800m as a junior after running 4:10 for the 1600m as a sophomore. The struggles kept him out of the national spotlight at times, despite qualifying for Foot Locker twice, but his star shone bright on this day.

Afterwards he talked about deciding to wait to cover Centrowitz’s move and getting ready for outdoor track. When asked about indoor races he said that this was it. No NSIC. No NIN. He was hoping to keep his tempo runs going and maybe “get out on the track for some 400s.” It was a very rare “won and done” season for the super talented Texas runner.

Centrowitz finished in a huge PR, 4:10.85, for 2nd. Forys wound up 7th and Murcock 9th. Meanwhile, Xaverian MA sr Mark Amirault showed his best form since last spring, finishing 3rd in 4:11.26 and Berkmar GA jr Girma Mecheso, in his first indoor race ever, ran a very strong 4:11.67 PR for 4th.



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