The men’s 1500m final at USAs today was all over the place. It was a parade of one shocking, unexpected development after the other as Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz led for a good portion of the race before a big move by Ben Blankenship. With a lap to go, the contenders were Andrews, Centrowitz, Blankenship and Engels. With only 200m to go, those four had separated themselves even more from the rest of the pack. Andrews was closing in, looking like he would snatch the win from Centrowitz, but the biggest surprise was still brewing on the track. Johnny Gregorek had come through in 10th place at the bell before unleashing a monster kick onto the final home stretch. He streaked past the chase pack into fourth place, but DID NOT STOP. He gunned for Craig Engels, who was racing to the line in third place. Gregorek ate up the final meters and crossed the line two tenths of a second ahead of Engels in a photo finish.
Not technically an actual Rhode Islander, but basically a defacto state favorite, the Massachusetts-native, Columbia and Oregon-grad instantly had Twitter a-buzz. To emphasize his incredible finish, let’s go to the USATF live results stats for a second and relish in this- JG came from 10th place at 1100 meters, to finish third and make his first Worlds team.
The running community on Twitter lost its mind:
— Kyle Merber (@TheRealMerb) June 24, 2017
@JohnnyGregorek makes a US world team?!?! WHAT IS THIS!??!!!
— Jonathan Wolfson (@jrwolfson) June 24, 2017
Six years ago @JohnnyGregorek was showing me around Columbia. Now he is going to the World Championships in the 1500.
— Ben Eversole (@Everswoll) June 24, 2017
JOHNNY EFFIN GREGOREK, SEEKONK, RI NATIVE THAT IS MY BOYYYYYYYYYYY
— Jeanne Mack (@JMMackattack) June 24, 2017
— Will B-P (@Will_BP) June 24, 2017
— Molly Huddle (@MollyHuddle) June 24, 2017
My heart rate is just coming down now @JohnnyGregorek!
— Kyle Cooke (@KCooke321) June 24, 2017
Holy shit @JohnnyGregorek
— Colby Alexander (@okaycolby) June 24, 2017
— Joe Stilin (@StilinIt) June 24, 2017
Woo @JohnnyGregorek !
— Andy Bayer (@TeddyBayer1500) June 24, 2017
— Forrest Misenti (@FORRE5T) June 24, 2017
I NEED MORE @JohnnyGregorek TWEETS!!!!! WOOOOO
— Ford Palmer (@GoFordPalmer) June 24, 2017
True American Hero. Johnny Gregorek!!!
— Chris Giesting (@the_geese) June 24, 2017
I don't know @JohnnyGregorek "well", but I do know this is very good for America.
— Stephen Kersh (@StephenKersh) June 24, 2017