Centrowitz and Acosta Go 1-2 in Pan Am Junior

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Incoming University of Oregon freshman Matthew Centrowitz and freshman A.J. Acosta staged a thrilling finish Sunday in the 1,500m in third and final day action in the Pan American Junior Championships.

Centrowitz won the race by .01 seconds (3:56.63) over Acosta (second, 3:56.64), and the Duck duo were followed closely by Diego Borrego of Mexico (third, 3:56.87), and Matthew Leeder (fourth, 3:57.62) and Justin Ducan (fifth, 3:57.69) of Canada.

Acosta had led the field through 400m and 1,200m splits of 66.1 and 3:15.5, and the leader's 800m split was 2:13.7.

Acosta and Centrowitz had reversed places two weeks ago in the USA Junior Championships and had coincidentally finished .01 seconds apart in first (3:49.53) and second places (3:49.54) in the Indianapolis-hosted meet. Acosta was the returning U.S. junior champion from '06 (3:45.95) and competed last August in the World Junior Championships (18th, 3:50.11).

This season, Acosta led the Ducks in the 1,500m (3:42.40) and was an NCAA qualifier and Pac-10 scorer (fifth) in the event. Indoors, he was the faster collegiate freshman miler in '07 (4:00.37) and UO's third fastest ever overall, and an All-American in the NCAA Indoor Championships mile (13th).

Centrowitz polished off an amazing prep senior campaign that included a win in mid-June's Nike Outdoor Nationals 2-Mile (8:41.55) – the prep season leader and third-fastest high school time ever. In weeks prior, the Arnold, Md., native ran a mile best (4:03.40) in the post-collegiate heavy Reebok Grand Prix in New York and broke the state meet record in the 1,600m title (4:04.09). He was also a three-time state cross country champion and a 2006 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships finisher (eighth). His father Matt Centrowitz was a two-time Olympian and All-America distance runner for Oregon.

UO's win Sunday was its fourth of the meet after previous wins by freshmen Nicole Blood (3,000m, 9:22.35) and Kenny Klotz (10,000m, 31:04.57) and incoming freshman Jamesha Youngblood (long jump, personal best 21-0, 6.40m, w:0.9).

The U.S. team also included Duck freshman Ashton Eaton (long jump, 11th, 22-5 3/4, w:-0.2).

More Pan American Junior Championships meet information and results are located at the meet organizer's http://cbat.org.br/competicoes/pan_juvenil/resultado.asp website.



Men's 1,500 meters
1 267 Matthew Centrowitz 18|10|1989 USA 3.56.63
2 266 Andrew Acosta 13|04|1988 USA 3.56.64
3 376 Diego Borrego 09|01|1988 MEX 3.56.87
4 135 Matthew Leeder 19|12|1989 CAN 3.57.62
5 134 Justin Ducan 21|06|1988 CAN 3.57.69
6 64 Fábio de Teixeira A. V. R. Queirós 08|03|1988 BRA 3.57.84
7 412 Adrian Rodriguez PUR 4.01.26
8 15 Luciano Almirin 16|06|1988 ARG 4.01.81
9 63 Lutimar Abreu Paes 14|12|1988 BRA 4.02.23
10 458 Eduardo Gregorio 04|01|1989 URU 4.05.09
11 431 Masai Jeffers 24|06|1989 SKN 4.20.52
12 333 Dennis Horatio 25|08|1988 GUY 4.20.55
13 419 Confesor De La Rosa 07|09|1988 DOM 4.20.98
14 332 Tyshon Bentiem 25|06|1991 GUY 4.32.56

Race Splits - Leader / Time
400m Acosta 1.06.1
800m Rodriguez 2.13.7
1200m Acosta 3.15.5

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