After a good start Benford moved up throughout the race clipping off 70 second laps...He maneuvered between 5th-8th place throughout the early laps. (Dan Petty photo)
Andrew moved up into position to strike with 800M to go...With 600M remaining he surged into 4th place in his heat race looking like a lock to make finals. (Dan Petty photo)
...then he splashed and completely submerged in the water pit. (Dan Petty photo)
He recovered from this fall extremely well and recovered enough to only slip to 5th place with 100M to go in the race…with the top 6 automatically advancing to finals. (Dan Petty photo)
Men's 3K Steeple Semi-Final Results
As Andrew's coach, I feel terrible for him…He worked extremely hard for over 5 years to get to this moment in time and was ready for the competition. Unfortunately, the last 18 seconds of this race cost him his NCAA dream. A tough pill to swallow here in Des Moines, but also part of our sport…It's also IMO what makes our sport so special and true. It forces each person to line up and prove themselves "mano a mano" each and every time. As athletes and coaches we prepare to be the best...In Andrew's case, he dedicated himself to achieve the highest level of success both in the classroom and the track. With a remarkable career for the Spiders he will move onto many more successes greater than those he has achieved in the past 5 years. I'm personally looking forward to the next chapter which begins in 2 weeks at the USATF National Championships.