Cal State Stanislaus' Abraham Alvarado just ran out of room to chase down the front-runner as he used a late charge in the final lap to narrowly finish second in the 800-meter race at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday.
The Warrior sophomore started out, and was stuck, in the middle of the pack, until halfway through the second and final lap as Alvarado made a late charge. Carrying the top qualifying time from Friday's prelims, Alvarado kicked it in and passed five runners in the back stretch and was within steps of winner Drew Windle of Ashland. Windle led from the start, then at the final turn, he realized he had to hold-off Alvarado to race to the finish line.
Windle, the top ranked runner in the event this season, won in 1:48.89 while Alvarado clocked 1:49.29 for the second spot on the All-American podium. Alvarado ranked second entering the meet behind Windle.
Alvarado continued the Warriors' tradition of having at least one All-American finisher, male or female, at the outdoor championships since 1999. The last 800-meter All-American Warrior was Terrence Ellis in 2013, a status he also achieved in 2012.
Alvarado was looking to became the first Cal State Stanislaus male to win a national championship on the track since Geoff Bradshaw did so in the decathlon in 1994. Kasey Burlingham had won a title in the men's pole vault in 2009. Last year, Courtney Anderson became the first female to win a national title since Chanute Mitchell's back-to-back wins in pole vault in 2004-05.
Gary Randolph completed his three-day, three-event national championship meet debut earlier on Saturday as he placed 14th in men's shot put. Randolph threw 54 feet, 9 1/2 inches. Randolph, whose in his first year as a Warrior after transferring from Santa Rosa JC, had competed in the hammer throw on Thursday and discus on Friday.