Des Moines, Iowa • Miles Batty ran the race he wanted. In the end, however, it wasn't good enough by the slimmest of margins.
Indiana's Andrew Bayer Jr. dived across the finish line Saturday morning, claiming the men's 1,500 championship by the narrowest of margins against BYU's Miles Batty during the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
Bayer won in 3:43.82, while Batty finished in 3:43.83.
"I feel like I did everything I could," Batty said. "I wanted to put it all on the line and go for it. My positioning went really well."
Batty scored eight points to give the Cougars 13 team points, good for a tie for 21st.
"It was an incredible race," BYU coach Mark Robison said. "It couldn't have been much better. What an amazing young man, one of the best we've ever had. He'll have a pro career and do some great things. We're going to miss him."
Batty hung in the middle of the pack for the first three laps before making a charge early in the final lap. He took the lead heading into the last turn and got to the inside for the sprint to the finish. Indiana's Andrew Bayer made a strong push and was able to out-sprint Batty on the final straightaway by 1/100th of a second and win the title in a photo finish.
"Even some of the people looking at the photo couldn't decide," said Batty, who will compete in the upcoming Olympic trials as well as turn professional. "This [race] gives me confidence I need to know I can compete at the highest level."
As a point scorer, Batty will be a lock to earn All-America honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The honor will be his sixth All-America citation in track, all in the past two seasons with four coming indoor and two outdoor. USTFCCCA All-America honors will be announced on Monday.
"I'm super excited; this is what I am going for at every NCAA meet," Bayer said. "I was set up with 200 meters to go and I was like, 'I'm not going to let this go, I'm going to fight to the end.' It worked out."
Batty took a late lead, but couldn't hold on at the end.
"I came back and still pulled it off. I was trying to fight him, but I was just wasting energy doing that so I let him go by and tried to come back on him at the home stretch," Bayer said.