The track has long been a safe haven for Leo Manzano, a place where he has excelled to the point that he captured the first American Olympic medal in the 1500 meters in more than four decades. But since that memorable August night in London nearly two years ago the momentum slowed. A disappointing 5th place finish at the US Indoor Championships in February left “The Lion” at a crossroads. No coach, no sponsor and no agent were not exactly the makings of a sustainable running career.
Yet on a calm night in his home city on a track he has run thousands of laps around dating back to high school in the early 2000’s, Manzano recaptured that glory and possibly steered his career back on course. With a time of 1:47.34 he broke his own meet and stadium record of 1:47.65, electrifying the crowd and capturing the attention of America’s current top 800 meter runner.
— Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds) March 28, 2014
“I was really excited to come back here,” Manzano said. “Of course, you are always a little nervous because you never know how the race is going to unfold, and it is the first one of the season as well. So, I was really excited to come out and perform today. I give special thanks to [Texas coach] Mario Sategna and The University of Texas for all of their support.”
— David Fuentes (@davidfuent) March 28, 2014
In other Texas Relays news, UT Junior Mark Pinales took the men’s collegiate 1500 meters 14:25. It marked a new personal best for the former Round Rock High standout. His teammate Olivia Mickle doubled up on the women’s side, taking first with a 16:35.
There are two days remaining at the 87th annual Relays, getting underway at 9:30 AM today.