DES MOINES, Iowa – The men's 1,500 meters didn't have any impact on the team title at the NCAA outdoor championships, but it might have been the best race of the meet.
Indiana's Andrew Bayer closed on BYU's Miles Batty down the backstretch, but Batty appeared to hold the slightest of leads as both approached the finish line.
Bayer and Batty leaned hard and tumbled harder, and Bayer leapt up and turned to the scoreboard to learn that his 3:43.82 had bested the still-fallen Batty by 0.01 second.
"I came back and still pulled it off," Bayer, a Leo graduate, said. "I was trying to fight him, but I was just wasting energy doing that so I let him go by and tried to come back on him at the home stretch."
It was Bayer's first NCAA title and IU's first outdoor national champion in a running event since 1993. The Hoosiers men's team finished 11th with 20 points, the team's best outdoor finish since 1993.
"I'm super excited; this is what I am going for at every NCAA meet," Bayer said. "I was set up with 200 meters to go and I was like, 'I'm not going to let this go, I'm going to fight to the end.' It worked out."