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Rooting For Vince

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Greetings from The Booth!

If you want to root for an athlete with local ties tomorrow (Monday) night, look no further than Vince Ciattei, who has made his way through his opening heat and the semifinals and will run in 1500 meter final at the Olympic Trials. If the last name is familiar to you, it should be. Vince’s uncle is Nick Ciattei, who was a mainstay of local radio for years, and now runs Mid Atlantic Golf Getaways. Nick also joins me on The Sports Dogs Podcast on the week’s of golf’s major tournaments for analysis and predictions.

Vince, who now calls Flagstaff, Arizona home, has an impressive running resume. At Virginia Tech, Ciattei was the NCAA 1500 meter and indoor mile runner-up in 2018. Vince, a 2013 grad of Perry Hall in Baltimore, was also a member of the Hokies’ NCAA-winning Distance Medley relay team. In 2021, he was a 1500 meter finalist in the Olympic Trials, and in 2023 finished 4th in the prestigious New Balance 5th Avenue Mile. This year, Vince won the Trials of Miles race in a personal-best 3:50.3, and captured his second USA Road Mile title at the Grand Blue Mile, setting a course record in the process.

But at 29, Ciattei is getting long in the tooth in “miler years,” and this may be his last shot at Olympic glory. His personal best in the 1500 meters is 3:34.57, set in 2021, and with runners like Yared Nuguse in the finals field, Vince will need to run the race of his life. “The Goose” is the North American outdoor record holder in the mile and 1500, and the North American indoor record holder in the mile, 1500, and 3000 meters.

Nuguse, who ran a 3:34.09 in the semis, will be joined in the finals by Cole Hocker, who easily won his semifinal in 3:37.89, setting up a much-anticipated Nuguse-Hocker matchup tomorrow night. For Ciattei to make Team USA, he will need to keep the front-running Nuguse in his sights, and then rely on his typical strong finish to finish in the top 3.

Vince will be an underdog, for sure. But on a given night, even the world’s best runners can have an off-night, setting the stage for some unexpected heroics. All the years of training, toil, and heartache have come down to one night for Vince Ciattei. A trip to Paris is just 1500 meters away.

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO VINCE!


Note: Tomorrow’s Olympic Trials can be seen on NBC, starting at 8:45 pm, and on Peacock from 1-3 pm and from 8-11 pm. Credit to¬† and Nick for the info on Vince.

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