A 21-year-old who won the NCAA title at 1,500 meters for Akron three weeks ago before turning pro with Nike, Murphy used Hayward Field’s curve like a slingshot to move into second and run down his first U.S. title at the tape in 1 minute, 44.76 seconds. Berian, the world indoor champion, was 0.16 behind.
Both are headed to the Rio Olympics, joined by Oregon Track Club Elite’s Charles Jock, whose third-place finish in 1:45.48 officially buried his disappointment from fading four years ago in the same final.
Harun Abda of OTC Elite was seventh in 1:47.05.
In a race of contrasting styles — Murphy turns it on late, while Berian leads early — the kick won.
“I wasn’t sure if I was able to get him with 30 meters to go,” said Murphy, who is undefeated in finals this year. “I just wanted to keep pushing to the line and i was able to get him in the last couple steps.”
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