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Articles tagged #Matthew Centrowitz
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The TEN Preview: Nico Young Debuts, Alicia Monson Chases AR, and Karissa Schweizer Returns

Saturday night’s races at The TEN in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., will play a significant role in determining who gets to represent the United States in the 10,000 meters at this summer’s Olympics in Paris. The 2024 Olympic auto standards are incredibly tough — only three Americans have ever run under the 27:00.00 men’s standard and only five Americans have hit the 30:40.00 women’s standard — and you can count the number of world-class track 10,000-meter races each year on one hand. That’s why Grant Fisher, Nico Young, Woody Kincaid, Joe Klecker, Abdihamid Nur, Alicia Monson, Karissa Schweizer, Emily Infeld, Weini Kelati, and many more will be heading to SoCal Saturday night.

Since its first edition in 2021, The TEN has become the place for Americans to run a fast 10,000. Fisher set the men’s American record here in 2022 while Monson set the women’s American record here in 2023 and will be looking to repeat the feat in 2024.

To watch the main events, you’ll have to stay up late — the top heat of the women’s 10,000 does not start until 11:58 p.m. ET with the men to follow at 12:35 a.m. ET. Before then, we’ll get appetizer with the men’s 1500 (10:05 p.m. ET), which features Olympic medalists Matthew Centrowitz and Evan Jager kicking off their 2024 seasons.

Matthew Centrowitz and Evan Jager have seen it all in running. They both graduated from high school in 2007 and made their first US teams as young guns — Jager as a 20-year-old in 2009, Centro at 21 in 2011. For much of the 2010s, they were among the very best in the world in their events, with Centro bringing home a gold medal from the 2016 Olympics and Jager a silver. Now Centro (34) and Jager (35) are the elder statesmen, trying to fend off a host of younger rivals and make one last Olympic team in Paris.

Both men will run their 2024 outdoor openers in the 1500 on Saturday (Centro did run a 3:59 indoor mile on January 27 while Jager ran the first 4k of a 5k in Boston on February 16 before dropping out). Which means it’s time for one of our favorite games: how fast (or slow) will Centro run?

Throughout his career, Centrowitz has established himself as one of America’s greatest ever milers by delivering when it counts. He made every US team from 2011 through 2021 and won three outdoor medals as well as the 2016 World Indoor title. Yet in the latter years of his career, Centro thrown out some stinkers to begin his seasons before working his way into shape. In 2021, he opened with a 3:40 1500 on March 6 followed by a 1:50 800 on April 10 but ended the year running a 3:49 mile and making the Olympic team. Last year, he went to Australia and ran 1:56 for 800 on February 11 and 4:06 for the mile on February 23 but was running 3:36 for 1500 by May and eventually made the US final (though he only finished 10th).

So if Centro runs poorly here, it’s not cause for total panic. Heck, the fact that both he and Jager — who missed most of the 2023 campaign with a foot injury — are healthy enough to be racing is a promising sign. But the American 1500 scene is also more competitive than when Centro last made a team in 2021. Tactically, there is no better US racer than Centro, but he’s up against a group of young studs that includes three medalists from this year’s World Indoors (Yared Nuguse, Cole Hocker, Hobbs Kessler) and a trio of NCAA champions from the University of Washington (Luke Houser, Joe Waskom, Nathan Green). Nuguse is the oldest of that group at 24 — a full decade younger than Centro. Centrowitz is facing an uphill battle to make Olympic team #4 but if he can run 3:36 or 3:37 here and stay healthy for the next three months, he could still have a shot.

As far as the man most likely to win here, Sweden’s Samuel Pihlström ran 3:35 in February and just finished 8th at World Indoors.

Women’s 10,000 (11:58 p.m. ET): Alicia Monson tries to become the first US woman under 30:00 as Karissa Schweizer returns.

Unlike almost every other athlete in this meet, Alicia Monson already has the Olympic standard thanks to the 30:03 American record she ran here last year. So why is she back for another crack?

Monson laid it all out in an interview with LetsRun.com back in December:

Basically, it was just what can we do that would make me feel the most ready for the Olympics? And I feel like that’s running a sub-30:00 10k. I guess the plan would be to break the American record again, but really it’s how fast can I run to feel the most prepared? Because obviously I’m running against people who can run very fast and [I need to] be prepared to run at a pace that feels easy to them and then kick off of it.

Monson was still with the leaders at the bell at last year’s World Championships and her 5th-place finish was the best of her career in a global final. But she finished nearly four seconds out of the medals and the competition will be fierce in Paris. The last three global 10k champions — Sifan Hassan (29:06 pb), Letesenbet Gidey (29:01 pb), and Gudaf Tsegay (29:29 pb) — occupy three of the top four spots on the all-time 10,000m list. The slowest of them, Tsegay, still has a pb 34 seconds faster than Monson’s.

(03/15/2024) Views: 340 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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The Ten

The Ten

The world's fastest 10,000m races each year have taken place in a sleepy little coastal town in southern California. More national records were broken in 2022 than any other race on the planet as the best in the western hemisphere launched into rarified zones of time and space. The best return to San Juan Capistrano this year to cap off...

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Yared Nuguse will run 2024 Millrose Games and says mile World Record is a very real possibility

U.S. outdoor mile record holder Yared Nuguse will return to the Armory Track and Field Center in New York City for the 116th Millrose Games as he looks to defend his men’s Wanamaker Mile title.

Here’s what you need to know:

– The Wanamaker Mile has been contested at the Millrose Games since 1926.

– Last year, Nuguse made his Millrose Games debut and won and set a U.S. indoor mile record of 3:47.38. He barely missed the world record of 3:47.01 set by Yomif Kejelcha in 2019.

– Nuguse put together a career year in 2023 with: a 7:28.23 for 3000m indoors (American record); a personal best of 3:29.02 for 1500m (the fastest performance by an American-born runner); 3:43.97 outdoor mile (an American record and the fourth-fastest performance in history; a victory at the London Diamond League 1500m and a fifth place finish in the 1500m final at the World Championships. Most recently, he ran 3:56.58 at the Merrie Mile in Honolulu to come just .45 seconds shy of breaking the road mile world record.

– Nuguse was the first American to win since Eric Jenkins’ 2017 victory. Nuguse will look to become the first man to win back-to-back Wanamaker Mile titles since Matthew Centrowitz’s 2016 and 2015 victories.

The Millrose Games is the sixth stop on the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold calendar.

Livestream and television broadcast details will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more Millrose Games athlete announcements as the pro fields come together.

Tickets to the 116th Millrose Games can be purchased online at millrosegames.org. For more information on all Armory Track events, visit armorytrack.com.

 

(12/21/2023) Views: 401 ⚡AMP
by Chris Chavez
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Olympians and national champions to headline stacked professional athlete field at 2023 USATF 5K Championships

Weini Kelati, Courtney Frerichs, Keira D’Amato, Woody Kincaid, and Zach Panning to race for world’s largest 5K prize purse; Nearly 10,000 runners to follow in footsteps of pros by racing Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Five Olympians, one Paralympian, and four athletes who competed at this year’s World Athletics Championships will race in the 2023 USA Track & Field (USATF) 5K Championships at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K on Saturday, November 4. The event will take place in Midtown Manhattan the day prior to the TCS New York City Marathon and will be broadcast live on USATF.TV. Abbott will return as the title partner of the event which features a $79,500 prize purse – the largest of any 5K race in the world.

In the women’s race, two-time NCAA champion Weini Kelati will return in search of her third consecutive title in the event. Each of the last two years she has smashed the event record, taking the tape in 15:18 in 2021 and 15:15 in 2022. She will be challenged for the top spot on the podium this year by three-time national champion Keira D’Amato, 2023 U.S. cross-country champion Ednah Kurgat, and U.S. Olympians Abbey Cooper, Courtney Frerichs, Colleen Quigley, and Rachel Smith.

“Doing the Abbott Dash 5K is becoming a little bit of a early season tradition for me,” Kelati said. “Although my fall season looked a little bit different this year because of the opportunity I had to represent Team USA at the World Road Running Championships in Latvia, I’m really happy I get to come back to New York to try for my third straight 5K national title.”

Woody Kincaid, the U.S. 10,000-meter champion and American record-holder in the indoor 5,000 meters, will lead the men’s field. Lining up against him will be Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, the top American finisher at the World Athletics Championships marathon this year Zach Panning, 2023 B.A.A. 5K champion Morgan Beadlescomb, and last year’s fourth through sixth-place finishers in New York, Ahmed Muhumed, Alec Basten, and Brian Barraza.

“I still see my career being mostly on the track for the next few years, but I like the idea of throwing in some more road races when it makes sense,” Kincaid said. “As I look towards the Paris Games, the Abbott Dash will be a nice jump-start to my 2024 training, and it will be cool to be in the middle of the big city marathon hoopla without having to go the full 26.2.”

Following in the footsteps of the professional athletes, nearly 10,000 runners will participate in the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K, including top local athletes and many runners in the marathon on November 5.

Abbott, the title sponsor of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, is the sponsor of the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K for the seventh time. Abbott, a global healthcare leader, helps people live more fully with life-changing technology and celebrate what’s possible with good health.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K annually provides TCS New York City Marathon supporters, friends, and families the opportunity to join in on the thrill of marathon race week. The course begins on Manhattan’s east side by the United Nations, then takes runners along 42nd Street past historic Grand Central Terminal and up the world-famous Avenue of the Americas past Radio City Music Hall. It then passes through the rolling hills of Central Park before finishing at the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships will be broadcast live via USATF.TV. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8:20 a.m. ET with the first race starting at 8:30 a.m. ET.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.

 

(10/27/2023) Views: 436 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Dash to the Finish Line

Dash to the Finish Line

Be a part of the world-famous TCS New York City Marathon excitement, run through the streets of Manhattan, and finish at the famed Marathon finish line in Central Park—without running 26.2 miles! On TCS New York City Marathon Saturday, our NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K (3.1 miles) will take place for all runners who want to join in...

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Obiri, Sisson to Face Off in ASICS Falmouth Road Race

Two high-profile and highly-competitive women in distance running will headline the international elite field at next week’s ASICS Falmouth Road Race. Hellen Obiri and Emily Sisson, both making their Falmouth debut, will face off on the roads for the third time this year when they line up for the seven-mile race on Sunday, Aug. 20.

This year, Obiri has won half marathons in the United Arab Emirates and New York City before winning the Boston Marathon in April. Since her Boston victory, Obiri has also won the B.A.A 10K and was runner-up in the Mastercard New York Mini 10K. Last weekend, she won the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine.

“The roads and the people of Massachusetts have been good to me so far this year,” said Obiri, a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist for Kenya. “I know it will not be easy, but I hope I can keep my record going. It will be nice to test myself before I get back into my preparations for an autumn marathon.”

For Sisson, Falmouth is part of the build up to this fall’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon where she will attempt to lower her own American record of 2:18:29 in the event. This past January, she also set the American record in the half-marathon (since broken by Kiera D’Amato) and won the USATF 15km title for the third consecutive year.

“I have not had the chance to race Falmouth before, but I have wanted to ever since I started spending summers in New England,” said Sisson, a graduate of Providence College. “I’m excited for my first Falmouth Road Race to be in the build up to Chicago. I cannot wait to line up in a few weeks time!”

Other top contenders include 2021 Falmouth champion and last year’s runner-up Edna Kiplagat, U.S. 5K Champion Weini Kelati and reigning U.S. 10 Mile champion Fiona O’Keeffe.

Fresh off a victory at last week’s Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine, Addisu Yihune will attempt back-to-back New England wins. The 20-year-old Ethiopian leads the men’s field.

Last year’s third place finisher, David Bett is returning in 2023. Other contenders include 2022 Los Angeles Marathon champion John Korir, two-time Pittsburgh Half Marathon winner Wesley Kiptoo and 2019 NCAA Cross Country Champion Edwin Kurgat.

In the Wheelchair Division, sponsored by Spaulding Rehabilitation, Daniel Romachuk, who set the course record in 2019, will chase his fifth Falmouth win. He championed last year’s race by three and a half minutes over Hermin Garic, the 2021 Falmouth winner who is also returning this year.

In the women’s race, 2022 champion and course record holder Susannah Scaroni will defend her title. Scaroni has dominated the road circuit in 2023 winning the Boston Marathon, New York Mini 10K and AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. Scaroni will face 2021 women’s champion Emelia Perry and 2022 third place finisher Yen Hoang who won the B.A.A. 10K earlier this year.

The 51st running of the ASICS Falmouth Road Race is the culmination of an entire weekend of running that kicks off with the Falmouth Elite Mile, held this year on Friday evening for the first time. The women’s field is led by former Oregon standout Susan Ejore of Kenya and three-time NCAA Champion Dani Jones. It also includes Belmont, Massachusetts high school phenom Ellie Shea.

The men’s race will welcome the deepest men’s field in its history. Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz will make his first trip to Falmouth to toe the start line with some of the nation’s top middle-distance runners. Past winner Craig Engels also returns this year as does Seekonk, MA native Johnny Gregorek, a World Championship qualifier who won the Guardian Mile in Cleveland last month and Vince Ciattei who won last weekend’s Beale Street Mile in Memphis.

In the Wheelchair division, both Romanchuk and Garic will also compete as will Scaroni, Perry and Hoang in the women’s race.

“From the track to the roads, there is going to be exciting racing to witness all weekend in Falmouth,” said Jennifer Edwards, Executive Director of Falmouth Road Race, Inc. “It’s an honor to welcome so many legends and future legends of the sport who will lead our field of 10,000 to the finish line.”

The Falmouth Track Festival which includes the Falmouth Elite Mile will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 at Falmouth High School. The ASICS Falmouth Road Race gets underway at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20 with athletes running the traditional course starting in Woods Hole and ending at Falmouth Heights Beach.

(08/11/2023) Views: 594 ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for all in...

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This 33-year-old steeplechase specialist had a bumpy four years until placing sixth at the World Athletics Championships on July 18

If you told Evan Jager in April that he would place sixth in the World Athletics Championships men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in just a few months, he would have been ecstatic. 

After all, the 2016 Olympic silver medalisthad only ran 8:34.89 at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 14, which is almost 13 seconds off the world’s standard time of 8:22.00. Though Jager had better steeplechase showings at the USATF Distance Classic on May 19 and the Portland Track Festival on June 10, it looked like the 33-year-old distance runner was still a far from being his former self. 

Things finally clicked at the USATF Outdoor Championships on June 25, when he ran 8:17.25 in the final to place second, earning him the world championships standard and a spot on Team USA for the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. 

“Once you reach a certain point, you’ve got to set the bar higher,” Jager told Runner’s World.“I probably didn’t start thinking about realistically making the World Championship final until the prelim at USAs, I felt really good coming off of that.”

With momentum on his side, Jager’s expectations grew. The Bowerman Track Club athlete looked strong in his world championships preliminary heat, qualifying automatically for the final with his second-place finish. But in a tactical and physical final, Jager couldn’t keep up with defending Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali, Olympic silver medalist Lamecha Girma, and defending world champion Conseslus Kipruto over the final lap. 

“After the prelim, I felt like my fitness was up there with just about anyone besides El Bakkali and Girma if it was a hard race from the get-go,” Jager said. “Team USA was having such an unbelievable and magical meet that I was letting myself believe that I could let the home crowd carry me to a magical performance. I think I probably would have fared better in a faster race.”

Regardless, the achievement is impressive for a runner who has been absent from the track & field circuit for the last four years. A lot has changed, especially with his training group. In 2018, Jager and Canadian 5,000- and 10,000-meter runner Mo Ahmed were the top dogs on the Bowerman Track Club, challenging the best in the world for medals. But Jager got hurt that year, and spent most of 2019 trying to get fit again while dealing with other injuries. When Jager returned to training, the team dynamic changed completely. Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz joined the group, who along with Woody Kincaid and Lopez Lomong all ran around 13 minutes in the 5,000 meters that summer. Then, NCAA champions Sean McGorty and Grant Fisher trickled in after using up their eligibility.

“I went from being on top … to being literally the worst guy on the team,” said Jager. “Every day was a grind.” Jager tried to keep up with the new members while also battling injuries, but had a hard time getting through even half of team workouts. “They were just on another level. I never felt like I was within myself in training for three and a half years up until this spring.” 

So what changed in those three and a half years? Jager credits the team physical therapist, Colleen Little, who started working with Bowerman in January 2021. His problem wasn’t simply one big injury, like the stress fracture in his foot that ended his 2018 season. It was a snowball effect of one injury leading to overcompensation and imbalances in other parts of his body. So Jager and Little saw each other once or twice a week, every week, to manage the different aches and pains.

Next year will bring even more changes for Jager. His coach, Jerry Schumacher, is moving to Eugene to take the helm of the University of Oregon track & field program. The Bowerman Track Club’s athletes will relocate from their current base in Portland.

“I think it’s an incredible move for the group,” Jager said. “Change is always good. I’ve been in Portland for 14 years now, so it’s probably a good thing for me.”

Besides that, Jager said being stubborn kept him in the game. “I could have done a lot better being positive and working on mental health [the last few years],” he said. “I just believed that if I got healthy, I would get back here. If I can get to the final off of feeling healthy for four months, then I’m excited for next year.”

(07/19/2022) Views: 849 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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Woody Kincaid eyes redemption at USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships

Woody Kincaid’s last visit to Hayward Field didn’t go as planned.

So, Kincaid has something extra riding on the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, which begin a four-day run at Hayward Field in Eugene on Thursday.

The USATF 10,000-meter final took place at Hayward last month in conjunction with the Prefontaine Classic. Kincaid, the Olympian who trains with the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club, was defending his USATF title.

It was a slow pace and headed toward a kicker’s finish -- Kincaid’s kind race -- when a sharp pain in his side almost doubled him over 6,600 meters in.

Buchanan, who would finish ninth, trains with the California-based Mammoth Track Club. The two UP grads weren’t working together. It just … happened.

(First photo): Woody Kincaid and Grant Fisher react after finishing first and second place in the men's 10,000 meters during Day 1 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 18, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon.

Kincaid remembers thinking, “‘Damn. That’s Reid Buchanan. And this is the Olympic trials.’ It was pretty surreal.”

In the final lap, it became outrageous. Kincaid covered the final 400 in 53.47 seconds, the final 200 in 25.51.

“A lot of people can’t do that,” says UP coach Rob Conner, who nurtured Kincaid through five up-and-down, injury-troubled years on The Bluff.

Staggered, Kincaid couldn’t go on. He was on the sideline when Joe Klecker, Grant Fisher and Sean McGorty went 1-2-3 to claim the spots on Team USA for the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships next month in Eugene.

“It wasn’t a hard effort,” Kincaid says, trying to make sense of what caused the stitch. “It was a slow pack, 4:52 mile pace. So, it wasn’t like I was hanging on or anything. It’s never happened before.”

Kincaid says it’s been diagnosed as a diaphragm cramp. He has been checked out. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong medically.

“One of those things,” he says.

And ready to be discarded like yesterday’s news. Kincaid is entered in Sunday’s 5,000 in the main portion of the USATF Outdoor Championships. He will be running to win.

Kincaid was third in the 5,000 at last year’s Olympic trials. He went on to represent the U.S. in both events in Tokyo, placing 14th in the 5,000 and 15th in the 10,000.

“I was glad I made the team in the ‘5,’” Kincaid says of last year’s Olympic trials. “But there still is a little bit of ‘Damn, I should have gotten the ‘5′ too.’ I still want a national title in the ‘5.’”

Last year’s Olympic trials was a breakthrough for the former University of Portland star who seemed to spend his first four years as a professional either hurt or trying to come back from injury.

It all clicked last summer on the first day of the trials at Hayward Field when Kincaid positioned himself perfectly in the 10,000 with two laps to go.

He wasn’t quite ready to make his move when former UP teammate Reid Buchanan obliged by going to the front.

It was a Hollywood finish in more ways than one. As Kincaid took his victory lap, his father, Mike, met him at along the rail. Mike was in a fight with mesothelioma that he would lose five months later.

Father and son both knew the score, which made for a poignant moment.

“We were both like in shock, like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that just happened,’” Kincaid says. “My dad couldn’t speak. We were super close. I don’t think he had anything to say.”

Kincaid’s BTC teammates took a photo of the scene and blew it up to poster size.

“Best race I’ve ever run,” Kincaid says. “That was special.”

Shocking as it might have been to fans, it wasn’t totally unexpected by those close to him.

BTC coach Jerry Schumacher believes Kincaid actually arrived at the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships, when he survived a wicked pace set by Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo in the 5,000, stayed at the front and finished third.

“That got me excited,” Schumacher says.

That September, Kincaid and teammates Lopez Lomong and Matthew Centrowitz ran a 5,000-meter time trial on the Nike campus.

Kincaid bolted past Lomong in the race’s final 120 to finish first in 12:58.10. Even Kincaid did a double take at the sub-13 time.

COVID scrubbed most of the 2020 outdoor season, leaving Kincaid something of a question mark heading into last summer’s Olympic trials.

“People kind of missed on him,” Schumacher says. “We got to see him at practice. We got to see how he trained and worked out. He was determined. He had everything you would want to see in an athlete going into the Olympic trials.

“For us, it wasn’t a huge surprise. He’d basically been at that level for two full years, and 2021 was the first time he got to showcase it.”

He is a known commodity now, and an acknowledged threat in the USATF 5,000 final. A totally focused and injury-free Kincaid will be tough to beat, particularly if the race comes down to a kick.

“He’ll get the job done,” Conner says. “I’m 100 percent confident of that.”

(06/21/2022) Views: 680 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe (OregonLive)
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Five high school boys have combined to break the four-minute barrier seven times in 2022 and no one has enjoyed it more than Jim Ryun

Jim Ryun was the first high school boy to break the four-minute barrier in the mile as a Kansas 17-year-old in 1964 and went on to a legendary track and field career that included three Olympic appearances in the 1,500m, a silver medal in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and numerous American and world records. 

Ryun’s name always surfaces when a high schooler dips under 4 minutes in the mile. And in 2022, his name has been coming up a lot. 

Ryun’s career was also in the spotlight earlier this month when he was one of 30 former college track and field athletes inducted into the inaugural class of the USTFCCCA’s Athlete Hall of Fame in conjunction with the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. 

The original 4-minute high school barrier breaker celebrates the resurgence of American high school distance running and says for too long runners were held back in fear of what would happen if they ran under 4 minutes for the mile. 

“I think they realize it’s not a barrier that can’t be broken, it’s more of a matter that if you break it,” Ryun said, “will you go on from there, which you can because we’re seeing more and more of them that are doing that.  

“It’s not the barrier that it once was, should never have been there. For a long time, there were three of us. Myself, Marty Liquori and Tim Danielson. We were the only (sub) 4-minute milers from high school for years and I think it was the result of people being afraid of that, and coaches saying if you run too fast, too soon you’ll never make it very far.” 

Growing up, Ryun often wondered if he would ever be successful in an athletic endeavor. He tried basketball and football and was cut from his church baseball team. At a high school assembly, Bob Timmons, the school’s track and field and cross country coach, encouraged students to run on his cross country team in the fall. 

Ryun had never run more than one lap around a track before joining the cross country team, but in one season at Wichita East High School, he went from the last runner on the third-string team to a sixth-place finish at the Kansas state meet. 

“Running was so new to me, I didn’t know who the heroes were,” Ryun recalled. “In fact, my first thought was I wanted to be a baseball, football, basketball player. Running, what’s that? So, it took a while. The first book Coach Timmons gave to me was about Emil Zatopek, the great Olympian, so I read that, and it began helping me understand about the sport.” 

Ryun said Timmons was convinced he could be the first high school runner to break 4 minutes in the mile. That came true on June 5, 1964, when Ryun ran 3 minutes, 59.0 seconds to finish eighth at the Compton Invitational in Los Angeles. 

“The goal originally was my coach’s because I was the kid that got cut from the church baseball team, didn’t have great talent and when I started running, I was looking for direction,” Ryun said. "And he began basically teaching me about goals, how to reach goals, and gave me workouts to get there. The night that I ran 4 minutes, 3:59.0, I didn’t sleep that night (before) because I realized that it was his goal. 

“But my thought was, what happens if I take ownership, ownership being there’s certain things you as an athlete know you could do like maybe a little extra weightlifting, better eating. It was a transformational moment, because I mean when you finish eighth in a race and become the first kid to run under 4 minutes, that has to change your life – and it did.” 

Ryun’s running career took off from there. He made the 1964 U.S. Olympic team in the 1,500m that went to Tokyo and was the last U.S. high school men’s track and field athlete to make the U.S. Olympic team until teenager Erriyon Knighton qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the 200m and finished fourth there. 

As a high school senior, Ryun broke 4 minutes four more times. His time of 3:58.3 at the 1965 Kansas state meet was the first time 4 minutes was broken in a high school-only meet. On June 4, 1965, Ryun returned to the Compton Relays, the site of his first sub-4-minute mile and ran 3:56.8. A little over three weeks later, he ran 3:55.3 at the U.S. AAU Championships in San Diego and beat New Zealand’s Peter Snell, the 1964 Olympic champion in the 800m and 1,500m. 

Ryun, who would stay close to home and attend Kansas University after graduating from high school in 1965, roomed with a former Jayhawks great, Billy Mills, during U.S. training camps leading up to the 1964 Olympics. In Tokyo, Mills stunned the world by becoming the only U.S. athlete to ever win the Olympic 10,000m. 

In 1966, Tim Danielson became the second American high schooler to break 4 minutes when he ran 3:59.4. A year later, Marty Liquori ran 3:59.8 to become the third high schooler under 4 minutes. 

Ryun and Liquori had illustrious careers after high school, particularly Ryun. At age 19 in 1966, Ryun set two world records, first in the 800m (1:44.9), and then the mile (3:51.3). He was the NCAA indoor mile champion for Kansas in 1967, 1968 and 1969, and the 1967 outdoor NCAA mile champion. In 1967, he set a 1,500m world record of 3:33.1 that stood for seven years.

That same year, he lowered his mile world record to 3:51.1., a mark that stood for almost eight years. Ryun was the last American man to hold the mile world record. He still holds American junior records for the mile (3:51.3) and 2-mile (8:25.1), and his 800m American junior record of 1:44.9 stood for exactly 50 years. 

In 2003, ESPN.com ranked Ryun as the greatest U.S. high school athlete of the 20th century, ahead of Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Wilt Chamberlain, Marion Jones, and others.

After Ryun, Danielson, and Liquori, the 4-minute mile wasn’t broken by a prep athlete again for more than 32 years until Alan Webb ran 3:59.86 at the New Balance Games in New York on Jan. 20, 2001. Sensing something special in Webb, the promoters of the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., invited him to run in the Bowerman Mile, the signature event of the meet that has since become a Diamond League event, on May 27, 2001. 

Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj, still the world record-holder in the 1,500m and mile, won the event in 3:49.92, followed by Kevin Sullivan of Canada and Bernard Lagat, then of Kenya, who later ran for the U.S. They helped pull Webb to a fifth-place finish in 3:53.43, breaking Ryun’s 36-year-old high school record. 

“I thought he would. I just didn’t know how much he would break it by," Ryun said. “It was one of those moments in time where he had run well, but he needed somebody to help him get over that finish line, just as I did running under 4 minutes for the first time. You need someone to help set the pace. You can relax a little bit, and he was able to take advantage of that.  

“So, there was no real surprise to me. The biggest surprise was that there weren’t more high school boys running under 4 minutes.” 

It would be another 10 years before a high schooler would break 4 minutes in the mile. In 2015, Matthew Maton and Grant Fisher, now the U.S. record-holder in the men’s 10,000m, both ran 3:59.38 about one month apart. In 2016, two runners broke 4 minutes, including Drew Hunter, who did it twice in a 15-day span in February indoors, both times in New York. 

The 4-minute barrier was broken by high schoolers once in 2017 and again in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Hobbs Kessler ran the fastest high school mile since Webb when he ran 3:57.66 indoors. Kessler later that year broke Ryun’s 1,500m American junior record of 3:36.1 that stood for almost 55 years. 

The lack of American high school runners breaking 4 minutes in the mile for decades might be a big reason why U.S. men haven’t enjoyed much Olympic or international success until recently. When Matthew Centrowitz won the men’s 1,500m at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, he was the first American man to do so since 1908. At the same Olympics, Clayton Murphy won the bronze medal in the 800m, the first American man to medal in the event since 1992. 

And when the World Athletics Championships are hosted on U.S. soil for the first time next month in Eugene, Ore., the defending 800m men’s champion is American Donavan Brazier. 

“If you look back in history, you’d see there was a dominance maybe by a country for a time like Great Britain had all those great runners. America at one time was dominant in that area as well,” Ryun said. “So, I think it’s a matter of floating from place to place, and I think it comes down to motivation. How motivated are you?  

“Over time you start realizing that motivation has to come down to you be willing to get up, run in all kinds of weather, race all over the world and let those talents be developed that God’s given you. So, it takes time. I think America can come back with dominance, but it also comes down to how motivated you are. I see the Kenyans as very motivated, and America can be just as motivated as you see with these new young runners that are developing quickly.” 

That has proven to be the case this season. Seventeen high school runners have broken the 4-minute barrier, and 2022 has been the banner season for it so far with five runners breaking the mark seven times. 

“I think a lot of coaches are seeing, too, that kids are just developing a lot faster doesn’t mean you’re going to burn out,” Ryun said. “It means you’ve got great opportunities. Will you decide to keep it going and, in my case, will you take ownership? The coach can only take you so far, but then you have to establish ownership.” 

The owner of the fastest prep mile this year is Colin Sahlman, who ran 3:58.81 indoors in February, and, like Webb, was invited to the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic. In a field that included 2020 Tokyo Olympic 1,500m gold medalist Jackob Ingebrigtsen, defending World Athletics Championships 1,500m gold medalist Timothy Cheruiyot, and defending 1,500m NCAA outdoor champion Cole Hocker, Sahlman finished 13th in 3:56.24. Of the 14 men who finished the race, seven set personal bests and seven set season bests, including Ingebrigtsen, whose time of 3:49.76 is the fastest in the world this year. 

Sahlman’s time moved him to third on the all-time prep list behind Webb and Ryun. Sahlman, who is headed to Northern Arizona University for college, was part of a high school powerhouse at Newbury Park High in Southern California. In 2021, Newbury Park became the first high school team to have four runners break 4:10 for the mile in the same season. 

“That mindset has really evolved and developed over these last three to four years,” Sahlman said in a March article in the Los Angeles Times. “It’s just like it’s transformed into something that we never thought was possible. Now we think anything’s possible.” 

Gary Martin has also broken 4 minutes twice this year, running 3:57.98 on May 14 and 3:57.89 on June 2 in the Festival of Miles in St. Louis. At the Festival of Miles, Connor Burns ran 3:58.83 to become the first high school junior since Ryun to break 4 minutes. It was also the first time two prep runners broke 4 minutes in the same race.

Those two performances gave the Festival of Miles four prep runners who have broken 4 minutes. That’s where Fisher did in 2015, a feat repeated by Reed Brown a year later. 

And one day after Martin and Burns broke 4 minutes, Rheinhardt Harrison ran 3:59.33 in Florida on June 3. On June 15, Simeon Birnbaum added to the list of sub-4 minute runners when he became the second high school junior this season to break the mark with a time of 3:59.51.

Will this high school running resurgence lead to greater U.S. success against international competition and major global championships? Only time will tell.  

(06/20/2022) Views: 1,254 ⚡AMP
by Ashley Conklin (World Athletics)
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Prefontaine Classic promises world record attempts and rich competition despite late losses

It is a measure of Eugene’s Prefontaine Classic meeting - which tomorrow forms the third stop on the Wanda Diamond League tour - that it can lose four Olympic gold medalists at late notice and still remain packed with compelling competition and world record attempts.

The arrangement of all that athletics action was altered today following forecasts of rain and high winds - likely to be blowing into the faces of the sprinters - on Saturday.

Accordingly the men's pole vault, featuring Olympic gold and silver medalists Mondo Duplantis of Sweden and Chris Nilsen of the United States, the women's discus, featuring the US Olympic champion Valarie Allman, and the women's high jump, involving Ukraine's world indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh, have been moved to Friday night's programme, where world record attempts are being made over two miles and 5,000 meters.

The news that the United States' Olympic women’s 800 meters champion Athing Mu will not now race against Britain’s Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson, and that Italy’s men’s 100m champion Marcell Jacobs will not be in a field including the man he beat to gold in Japan, home sprinter Fred Kerley, was disappointing.

Also missing from the planned line-up at the new-look Hayward Field, which will stage this year’s World Athletics Championships, are home talents Matthew Centrowitz, the Rio 2016 1500m gold medalist, Tokyo 2020 and world 400m hurdles silver medalist Rai Benjamin and double world pole vault champion Sam Kendricks.

And South Africa’s double Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, who had planned a first top-level race since 2019, has also withdrawn.

All this means the limelight will shine all the more intensely on stellar performers such as Jamaica’s double Olympic women’s 100 and 200m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who runs over the shorter sprint against a field including the American who missed last year’s Olympics because of a three-month suspension after testing positive for cannabis, Sha’Carri Richardson.

Britain’s world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who last Saturday won the Birmingham Diamond League 100m from which Thompson-Herah had made a late withdrawal, is also in the mix, as is Switzerland’s world indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji and Jamaica’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

Thompson-Herah chose to make a low-key start to her outdoor season, choosing to compete in Kingston, where she clocked 10.94sec despite a strong headwind of -1.8 meters per second.

It was on this track last year that she ran 10.54, putting her second on the all-time list.

The men’s 100m is also loaded given the presence of Kerley and his fellow Americans Trayvon Bromell, who will be keen to restore normal working after his early exit in Birmingham because of a false start, world champion Christian Coleman, world 200m champion Noah Lyles and Canada’s Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse.

And 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who last year became the youngest male athlete to represent the United States since middle distance runner Jim Ryun in 1964 and missed a 200m medal by one place, will seek to break 10sec for the first time.

Knighton already tops this year’s 200m world list with his startling 19.49sec in Baton Rouge last month, which put him fourth on the all-time list.

The women’s 200m will see double Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo taking on Jamaica’s 35-year-old Beijing 2008 and London 2012 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won world gold at this distance in 2013 and took silver at the London 2012 Olympics.

The men’s 400m will see Kirani James of Grenada, the London 2012 champion and Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist, take on home athletes including Michael Cherry, Michael Norman – a major talent currently seeking a performance to do himself justice - Vernon Norwood and Kahmari Montgomery.

The absence of Benjamin from the 400m hurdles will offer Brazil’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Alison Dos Santos - who beat Benjamin in the opening Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha – a perfect chance to shine,

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion takes on the American who took silver behind her in Tokyo, world record holder Kendra Harrison.

The traditional Friday evening distance racing in Eugene will include a women’s two miles and a women’s and men’s 5000m race.

At the latter, which will be followed by an official Diamond League 5,000m on Saturday, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is billed to make an attempt at breaking his own world record of 12min 35.36sec, which he ran in Monaco in August 2020.

On Saturday afternoon the majority of the rivals Cheptegei beat to win Olympic 5,000m gold in Tokyo last year will line up for the Diamond League 5.000m, where Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia, Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, Olympic 5,000m silver Mohammed Ahmed of Canada and two-time Olympic 5,000m medalist Paul Chelimo of the United States are the main contenders.

Friday night will also see Ethiopia’s 24-year-old Letesenbet Gidey aiming to lower the women’s 5000m world record of 14:06.62 that she set in Valencia in October 2020.

Gidey has since lowered the women’s 10,000m world record to 29min 01.03sec and the world half marathon record to 1hr 2min 52sec.

Elsewhere on Friday, the women’s two miles will see Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000m champion, facing Diamond League 5,000m champion Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.

The latter, who was disqualified at the Tokyo 2020 Games, beat Kenya’s double Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon over 3,000m in Doha earlier this month.

The world best of 8:58.58, set by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar in 2007, is sure to be under threat.

Saturday’s middle-distance action will be highlighted by the clash of Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, who renew their rivalry in the Bowerman Mile. 

Ingebrigtsen beat Cheruiyot for the first time in the Olympic final in Tokyo last year but the Kenyan beat his Norwegian rival a few weeks later to win over 1500m at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

Both men will need to be primed, however, to beat Kenya’s Abel Kipsang, who out-kicked Cheruiyot to win in Doha recently and who backed it up with 1500m victory in Birmingham last Sunday.

Kipyegon meanwhile will take on Britain’s Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Laura Muir and Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia in the women’s 1500m.

Hodgkinson faces an 800m field that includes home runner Ajee Wilson, who took the world indoor title earlier this year.

The men’s shot put will involve the respective Tokyo 2020 gold, silver and bronze medalists Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs of the United States and New Zealand’s Tom Walsh.

(05/27/2022) Views: 1,329 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has...

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Pre Classic Hit With Withdrawals: Olympic Champs Athing Mu, Marcell Jacobs and Matthew Centrowitz All Withdraw From Meet

Every year the Prefontaine Classic is an incredible meet. Not only is it the lone Wanda Diamond League meeting in the US, but Nike pretty much mandates that its top athletes compete unless injured.

This year’s meet was shaping up to be totally spectacular as it comes less than two months before Worlds are held on the very same track. However, while the meet is going to be amazing, it’s going to be less than amazing than it was looking like a few days ago as a bunch of big-name stars have been taken off the start lists in recent days.

Reigning Olympic 800 champ Athing Mu is no longer listed in the women’s 800. The same is true for Marcell Jacobs in the men’s 100, which this year is supplanting the Bowerman Mile as the last event on the schedule. However, he has been replaced by Trayvon Bromell –the fastest man in the world in 2021. 2016 Olympic 1500 champ Matthew Centrowitz also is off the start lists, meaning he still hasn’t raced at all in 2022.

“Matthew has a knee injury and is unable to race this weekend. Hopefully, he will be back in action soon,” texted Ricky Simms, the agent for Centrowitz, when asked for comment by LetsRun.com.

The Italian federation said that Jacobs picked up a muscle injury during his race in Savona last week and has been told to take 10 days off. No reasons have been given for Mu’s withdrawal and Wes Felix, her agent, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Friday night, the US 10,000 meter champs will be held plus there will be world record attempts in the women’s 2 mile with Francine Niyonsaba and Sifan Hassan as well as 5000s with Letesenbet Gidey and Joshua Cheptegei. Then on Saturday, the normal meet will be held.

(05/26/2022) Views: 1,007 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has...

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National Champions and olympic medalists will Headline 2021 USATF 5K Championships at Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K

The 2021 Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USA Track & Field (USATF) 5K Championships on Saturday, November 6, will feature five Olympians and 28 athletes who competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The event will take place in Midtown Manhattan the day prior to the TCS New York City Marathon and will be broadcast live on USATF.TV. Abbott will return as the title partner of the event which features a $60,000 prize purse – the largest of any 5K race in the world.

The men’s field will be led by two-time Olympic medalist and eight-time national champion Paul Chelimo and Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist and seven-time national champion Matthew Centrowitz. Chelimo, who won an Olympic 5,000-meter silver in 2016 and bronze in 2021, won the 2018 USATF 5K Championships in New York in a course-record time of 13:45. They will be challenged by 2021 national champions Eric Avila (mile), Sam Chelanga (10K), and Biya Simbassa (10 mile and 25K).

“I learned a lot in my experience racing in NYC at the Fifth Avenue Mile earlier this fall, but the 5K is my event, and as the course-record holder at the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K the way I see it, all these other guys are coming into my house,” Chelimo said. “I look forward to the challenge and will run my heart out for another USATF 5K title. Go hard or suffer for the rest of your life!”

Two-time NCAA champion Weini Kelati and two-time U.S. champion Erika Kemp will headline the women’s field. They will be joined by Rio 2016 Olympic triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen, who won the Dash to the Finish Line 5K in 2014, and two-time Olympian and Team New Balance athlete Kim Conley.

“Winning the 10K for Women in Boston earlier this month gave me a huge confidence boost as I get ready for the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships,” Kelati said. “That I broke Molly Huddle’s event record, who won the USA 5K Championships six times, makes me believe that I can compete against the very best and add my name to that list of national champions. I can’t wait to run my first New York City road race.”

Following in the footsteps of the professional athletes will be more than 7,000 runners participating in the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K, including top local athletes and many runners participating in the marathon the following day.

Abbott, the title sponsor of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will be the sponsor of the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K for the fifth time. Abbott, a global healthcare company, helps people live fully with life-changing technology and celebrates what’s possible with good health.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K annually provides TCS New York City Marathon supporters, friends and families the opportunity to join in on the thrill of marathon race week. The course begins on Manhattan’s east side by the United Nations, then takes runners along 42nd Street past historic Grand Central Terminal and up the world-famous Avenue of the Americas past Radio City Music Hall. It then passes through the rolling hills of Central Park before finishing at the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5K Championships will be broadcast live via USATF.TV. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8:20am ET with the first race starting at 8:30am ET.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.

(10/29/2021) Views: 1,256 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Dash to the Finish Line

Dash to the Finish Line

Be a part of the world-famous TCS New York City Marathon excitement, run through the streets of Manhattan, and finish at the famed Marathon finish line in Central Park—without running 26.2 miles! On TCS New York City Marathon Saturday, our NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K (3.1 miles) will take place for all runners who want to join in...

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1500m Star Cole Hocker Turns Professional, Signs With Nike

After a season in which he won three NCAA titles and a US title and finished sixth in the Olympic 1500-meter final, star American miler Cole Hocker announced on Monday that he has forfeited the remainder of his NCAA eligibility and signed a professional contract with Nike. Hocker will be represented by agent Ray Flynn.

The 20-year-old Hocker, the 2018 Foot Locker Cross Country champion as a high schooler, burst onto the scene in 2021 during his second season at the University of Oregon. Indoors, he ran 3:50.55 for the mile — #2 all-time by a collegian — and won NCAA titles in the mile and 3000 meters in the span of an hour, setting a meet record of 3:53.71 in the former. Hocker was even better outdoors, winning the NCAA outdoor title at 1500 meters on his home track in Eugene. Sixteen days later, he returned to Hayward Field and won the US 1500-meter title in a memorable duel with 2016 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz. Then, in his first Olympics, Hocker ran personal bests in the semifinal (3:33.87) and final (3:31.40) to finish sixth overall.

(09/18/2021) Views: 1,076 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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CAS releases official report on Salazar ban

Reports on Wednesday announced the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the four-year suspension imposed on former Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and former team endocrinologist, Dr. Jeffrey Brown for doping violations, and less than 24 hours later the official CAS report has been released.

In its report, the CAS ruled that Salazar had committed three anti-doping rule violations, including possession of testosterone, complicity in Brown’s administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process with respect to the issue of L-carnitine infusions/syringes. Similarly, Brown was charged with four violations, including complicity in Salazar’s possession of testosterone, trafficking of testosterone to Salazar, administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process.

The investigation into Salazar and the NOP began in 2015 when a BBC Panorama documentary entitled “Catch Me If You Can” alleged the coach used prescription drugs and therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to push the boundaries of performance.

The film interviewed former NOP athlete Kara Goucher and former coach Steve Magness, who described the experiments Salazar performed to determine exactly how much testosterone cream could be applied to an athlete’s skin without triggering a positive test. An experiment was also done to test a rapid-acting (and illegal, under WADA rules) infusion of a supplement known to boost the body’s L-carnitine levels, which in turn helps the body convert fat to energy.

In 2017, a leaked  U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report from 2016 indicated that Salazar had been giving his athletes, including Sir Mo Farah, the amino acid L-carnitine, via an IV drip. L-carnitine is not a banned substance, but infusions of more than 50 mL in the span of six hours are prohibited, and reports claimed the coach “almost certainly” broke those rules.

Throughout the process, Salazar has continued to deny the allegations, and none of his former athletes, including Farah, Galen Rupp, Sifan Hassan, Matthew Centrowitz and Canada’s Cam Levins have ever tested positive for illegal substances, which the CAS notes in its report.

It also acknowledged that the way in which USADA’s  investigation was conducted was “out of proportion and excessive when compared to the severity and consequences of the ADRVs [anti-doping rule violations] that have been established,” yet it still upheld the bans: “the Panel was satisfied that the rules have been properly applied, and that, on the basis of the ADRV’s found by the CAS Panel, the sanctions have been determined in accordance with the relevant version of the WADC.”

(09/17/2021) Views: 1,111 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Scottish runners Jemma Reekie and Jake Wightman win 5th Avenue Mile

Athletes took to the streets of New York City on Sunday morning for the 5th Avenue Mile, one of the final races of the summer racing season.

It was the two Scottish runners who took the win, with Jemma Reekie taking the women’s race in 4:21.6 and Jake Wightman winning the men’s race in 3:49.6.

The women’s race

Alicia Monson took the lead early in the women’s race, gapping the field by several metres in the first half. The pack eventually reeled her in, and with one minute to go, Reekie, Hiltz and Van Buskirk began making a push for the finish.

With only a few metres left in the race, Reekie took over the lead, and after finishing 4th in Tokyo and 4th in the Diamond League final, she finally got her win. Hiltz finished in second place in 4:23.0 and Shannon Osika came third in 4:23.3. After making a strong push for a podium spot, Van Buskirk crossed the line in fourth in 4:23.9. Monson ended up in sixth in 4:25.4. Canada’s Julie-Anne Staehli finished in 11th in 4:29.1.

The men’s race

Wightman was the winner in a hotly-contested men’s race, where there was plenty of jostling for the lead over the 20-block race. Australia’s Oliver Hoare led in the early stages, but the rest of the pack were right on his heels. At about the 800m mark, Matthew Centrowitz made an aggressive move and created a sizeable gap on the field, but was unable to hold onto the lead.

Wightman cranked the pace up in the final meters of the race to take the win, followed by Hoare and Jake Heyward, also from the U.K., both in 3:50.4. Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot finished ninth in 3:53.2, and Centrowitz ended up in 14th in 3:56.4.

(09/13/2021) Views: 1,374 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Time for Shelby Houlihan to come clean

Two things ought to happen now that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued a technically detailed but, in the end, common-sense ruling in the matter of Shelby Houlihan, the American distance runner, banning her for four years for nandrolone — through January 2025 — while thoroughly rejecting the ridiculous burrito defense.

One, Houlihan ought to come clean.

What most likely happened?

We don’t and won’t know until Houlihan admits whatever it was. But, see paragraph 128 of this very thorough 44-page ruling, citing the head of the Montreal anti-doping lab, Christiane Ayotte, who notes that oral precursors of nandrolone can readily be bought on the internet, even on Amazon, and that a chemical signature very much like the one Houlihan tested for was obtained five years ago when that very lab tested a product it had bought called “Nor-Andro Max.”

Two, all the journalistic sheep who wanted to believe, who maybe still want to believe despite the overwhelming evidence against Houlihan, that there was no way, just no way, a white American distance runner affiliated with the Bowerman Track Club could test positive — all these people, and the readers they misled, ought to take a crash course in Doping 101 and the things people will say and do, meaning anything and everything, to avoid getting busted.

This entire saga, truthfully, has been pathetic.

This burrito defense has, from the get-go, stretched the bounds of credulity, and anyone who bought it — even for a second — needs to undergo a real-world moron test.

Do you also believe pigs can fly? (‘Pigs’ used advisedly here.) Do you think Abraham Lincoln is a vampire slayer? Are you super-confident you can beat up a grizzly bear?

Almost every single facet of Houlihan’s defense was — is — absurd.

To be clear: not blaming Houlihan’s lawyers for aggressively scheming up any and every avenue possible. That’s what they’re there for.

But the three-judge panel went to great length — again, 44 pages — to refute, carefully, virtually everything about it.

For instance:

Houlihan took a lie detector test.

She was asked, did you at any time knowingly ingest nandrolone? And answered no. She was also asked, did you intentionally ingest the drug nandrolone? And said, no.

But as the panel pointed out, here’s what she wasn’t asked: did you take doping substances at the material time?

Houlihan also submitted to hair analysis. All involved agreed that it proved that nandrolone injections could be excluded. But, the panel found, that analysis failed to take into account oral (so we’re all on the same page here, something you eat or drink) precursors of nandrolone, such as “19-nor-DHEA” and “nor-Andro.”

Which is why it boggles the mind, truly, that an outlet such as Women’s Running would, in the second paragraph of its account of this ruling, prattle on this way:

“CAS decided that although Houlihan was a credible witness and brought ‘compelling character witness evidence in support of her defense,’ she failed to establish the source of the nandrolone that was detected in her urine.”

This is the second paragraph?!

Who cares if Shelby Houlihan is or is not a nice person and can or cannot get through a lie detector when asked certain questions? That’s all but irrelevant when it comes to the science in this case. As for her “compelling character witness evidence?” Ha! That’s a complete misread of what is what. Offering statements or testifying on her behalf were, among others, her former boyfriend, Matthew Centrowitz, gold medalist in the men’s 1500 at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Courtney Frerichs, the surprise silver medalist in the women’s steeplechase a few weeks ago in Tokyo, and Karissa Schweizer, who competed in Tokyo in both the women’s 5k (11th) and 10k (12th), and if you don’t think the Athletics Integrity Unit took careful observation of who was in Houlihan’s inner circle, maybe you seriously do believe pigs can fly.

The first paragraph of the Women’s Running story, what in journalism circles is called the lede, also noted — accurately — the CAS observation that Houlihan’s explanation was “possible but unlikely.”

As if that were justification.

Everything in life is possible.

But here’s what CAS also said, and be mindful that the burden of proof in this matter was on Houlihan, and so if this were a math contest, she had to get to 50.1, but instead her defense “presupposes a cascade of factual and scientific improbabilities, which means that its composite probability is (very) close to zero.”

Herewith the cascade:

— Houlihan ordered a carne asada — that is, a steak — burrito at a food truck in Beaverton, Oregon, near Portland. For her defense to work, she would have had to have been served and eaten pork.

The entire defense rests on this premise. A wrong order. Which she then ate. But that’s not all.

— Because the pork would have not been ‘normal’ pork but, per the Houlihan defense, uncastrated boar.

— Except uncastrated boar gets into the U.S. food chain through completely different channels than pork. So for uncastrated boar to end up in the normal pork food chain, the boar must have been a specimen with undescended testicles. This is called ‘cryptorchid.’

At this point, this is already verging on bizarre if not crazy stupid. Undescended testicled boar. OK.

— Except there’s more. The cryptorchid is (or was) of a “small minority of uncastrated boars that — in addition — must have had elevated androgen levels.” That would be “abnormal” for 6-month-old pigs.

— More still. The pork product Houlihan allegedly ate, despite ordering steak, is pork stomach. Follow along here because this gets into butcher-level stuff. When people eat pork stomach, that stomach is stripped of the inner layer; only the outer muscle remains. Houlihan’s assertion was that uncastrated boars have elevated androgen levels. Except those are not found in the muscle. Those levels are found only in specific parts — the kidneys, testes or liver. Pork stomach, the panel said, has one of the lowest androgen levels.

— More science. The nandrolone metabolite levels in Houlihan’s urine were two to three times higher than the highest values in the literature after eating much more significant quantities of mature (uncastrated) boar — a product different from the alleged cryptorchid in question, which would have been slaughtered at six months.

— Agriculturally speaking, the carbon isotope signature of the metabolite in her urine was “fundamentally inconsistent” with the largely corn-based diet of commercial pigs in the United States.

— Finally, an expert witness said the chance of a cryptorchid ending up in the normal supply chain in the United States is “far less” than one in 10,000.

Beyond which, see paragraph 104 on page 30, and come on now, there’s this:

“The fact that IBP/Tyson (the plant where the food truck in Beaverton bought the pork meat from) does not operate a boar kill plant. Thus, it is ‘near zero chance’ that any boar meat would get mixed with conventional fresh pork products.”

All this leaves the obvious question, doesn’t it:

if the slaughterhouse doesn’t operate a boar kill plant, and thus there’s essentially no chance of boar meat getting in the food chain with pork other than, hmm, aliens dropping in from Galaxy Starchaser Nebula X9 to surreptitiously teleport it in there and so the food truck had a “near zero” chance of having boar meat on the night in question and, besides, Houlihan ordered a steak burrito, anyway — what really happened here?

Time for Shelby Houlihan to come clean.

She likely will dodge this opportunity until after the Swiss Federal Tribunal issues the final no-go — understand that the SFT takes up procedural matters, not substantive, so her chance of success there is, again, “near zero” — but she would do the right thing, now, by coming clean.

Time, too, for her supporters, defenders and enablers to see the light. It’s tough when your purported heroes get tagged for doping. But before all of you go out and buy Floyd Landis’ book about how he didn’t cheat to win the Tour de France — oops.

Some of us have been down this road before. This burrito defense — this was creative, indeed. But that didn’t make it any smarter, or better.

Pigs don’t fly. That’s the truth.

(09/11/2021) Views: 1,164 ⚡AMP
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Olympians and Past Champions will Headline New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday

To close out their seasons, 15 Tokyo Olympians, three Olympic medalists, and two past event champions will race down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare in the professional athlete heats at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 12.

The 40th running of the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile – the world’s most iconic road mile race since 1981 – stretches 20 blocks along the east side of Central Park. In addition to age-group heats, there will be an NYPD/FDNY heat taking place to mark the 20th anniversary weekend of 9/11, a Back to School Mile for youth ages 12-18, a George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors and NYRR Road Mile Championship heats.

“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is an iconic race which invites people of all ages and abilities to run down one of the most famous streets in New York City,” said Ted Metellus, Vice President of Events, NYRR and Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon. “This year will be incredibly exciting with a number of Olympians joining us after their top performances in Tokyo, and we are looking forward to showcasing the city’s resiliency and honoring the work of those participating in the FDNY/NYPD heat to mark 20 years since 9/11.” 

The NYRR Road Mile Championships and professional athlete races will be live streamed on USATF.TV free beginning at 11:35 a.m. ET, with a webcast replay for on-demand-viewing available on USATF.TV+.

Leading the way in the professional men’s race will be three-time U.S. Olympian Matthew Centrowitz who won Rio 2016 Olympic gold in the 1,500 meters and the 5th Avenue Mile in 2012, and two-time U.S. Olympian Paul Chelimo, who won bronze in Tokyo and silver in Rio in the 5,000 meters.

“I’m excited to return to New York for my sixth race down 5th Avenue, a race I first won nine years ago,” Centrowitz said. “Heading back East and ending my season there is like a great end-of-summer tradition, and I’m looking to show the rest of the guys I’ve still got a step or two left in 2021.”

“I’ve already run a 5K and half marathon in New York, so now I just need to check the mile and the marathon off my list,” Chelimo said. “Running a straight line down 5th Avenue is very different than running laps on a track, and I’ve got more road racing experience than the other guys in this field. I’m confident in my finish, so if I can keep it close through halfway, I think I can beat the milers at their own game. Go hard or suffer for the rest of your life."

Challenging them will be two-time U.S. Olympian and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the 800 meters Clayton Murphy, Olympian and 2018 event champion Jake Wightman, and Olympian and European Indoor Championships gold medalist Adel Mechaal.

A trio of other Americans to watch will be Tokyo Olympians Joe Klecker, Mason Ferlic, and Hilary Bor, with Ferlic racing the event for the third time and Klecker and Bor making their debuts in the event after competing in Tokyo earlier this year.

The professional women’s race will see a first-time winner, with top contenders including USATF Road Mile Championships runner-up Shannon Osika, British indoor record-holder and Olympian Jemma Reekie, and European Indoor Championships gold medalist Amy-Eloise Markovc.

About New York Road Runners (NYRR)

NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, virtual races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features a wide population of runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.

(09/08/2021) Views: 1,283 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Matthew Centrowitz runs a 3:49.26 mile

Running entirely solamente over the final 600 meters, your defending Olympic metric mile champion, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. ground out a hardscrabble 3:49.26 over the imperial one mile distance last night up in Portlandia.

In addition to setting a lifetime PB, that is THE fastest mile ever contested on U.S. soil by an American. 

The previous such mark was the 3:49.89 run indoors by Bernard Lagat at the University of Arkansas oval back in February of 2005.

Solid. ✊

(07/25/2021) Views: 1,075 ⚡AMP
by Mike Fanelli
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130 athletes named on the team to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympic Games

World outdoor record-holders Sydney McLaughlin, Ryan Crouser and Keni Harrison are among the 130 athletes named on the team to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The squad includes 13 medalists from the 2016 Games in Rio and six defending world champions from Doha. Experienced headliners include five-time Olympians Allyson Felix in the 400m and Abdi Abdirahman in the marathon, while the youngest athlete on the team is 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, who twice broke the world U20 200m record last month at the US Olympic Trials.

JuVaughn Harrison won both the long jump and high jump at the Trials in Eugene and he will be among the athletes contesting two events in Tokyo as he has been selected for both disciplines.

Other athletes announced on the team include world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, who was just 0.01 shy of breaking Aries Merritt’s world 110m hurdles record of 12.80 in Eugene, plus former world 400m hurdles record-holder Dalilah Muhammad, the second-fastest ever 200m sprinter Gabby Thomas and multiple global long jump gold medalist Brittney Reese.

USA team for Tokyo 

WOMEN

100m: Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver, Jenna Prandini

200m: Anavia  Battle, Jenna Prandini, Gabby Thomas

400m: Allyson Felix, Quanera Hayes, Wadeline Jonathas

800m: Athing Mu, Raevyn Rogers, Ajee' Wilson

1500m: Heather MacLean, Cory McGee, Elle Purrier

5000m: Elise Cranny, Rachel Schneider, Karissa Schweizer

10,000m: Alicia Monson, Karissa Schweizer, Emily Sisson

Marathon: Sally Kipyego, Molly Seidel, Aliphine Tuliamuk

3000m steeplechase: Emma Coburn, Val Constien, Courtney Frerichs

100m hurdles: Christina Clemons, Gabbi Cunningham, Keni Harrison

400m hurdles: Anna Cockrell, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad

20km race walk: Robyn Stevens

High jump: Tynita Butts-Townsend, Vashti Cunningham, Rachel McCoy

Pole vault: Morgann LeLeux, Katie Nageotte, Sandi Morris

Long jump: Quanesha Burks, Tara Davis, Brittney Reese

Triple jump: Tori Franklin, Jasmine Moore, Keturah Orji

Shot put: Adelaide Aquilla, Jessica Ramsey, Raven Saunders

Discus: Valarie Allman, Kelsey Card, Rachel Dincoff

Hammer: Brooke Andersen, Gwen Berry, DeAnna Price

Javelin: Ariana Ince, Maggie Malone, Kara Winger

Heptathlon: Erica Bougard, Annie Kunz, Kendell Williams

4x100m: English Gardner, Aleia Hobbs, Gabby Thomas (plus others selected in individual events)

4x400m: Kendall Ellis, Lynna Irby, Kaylin Whitney (plus others selected in individual events)

MEN

100m: Ronnie Baker, Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley

200m: Kenny Bednarek, Erriyon Knighton, Noah Lyles

400m: Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Randolph Ross

800m: Bryce Hoppel, Isaiah Jewett, Clayton Murphy

1500m: Matthew Centrowitz, Cole Hocker, Yared Nuguse

5000m: Paul Chelimo, Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid

10,000m: Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid, Joe Klecker

Marathon: Abdi Abdirahman, Jake Riley, Galen Rupp

3000m steeplechase: Hillary Bor, Mason Ferlic, Benard Keter

110m hurdles: Devon Allen, Grant Holloway, Daniel Roberts

400m hurdles: Rai Benjamin, David Kendziera, Kenny Selmon

20km race walk: Nick Christie

High jump: JuVaughn Harrison, Shelby McEwen, Darryl Sullivan

Pole vault: Sam Kendricks, KC Lightfoot, Chris Nilsen

Long jump: Marquis Dendy, JuVaughn Harrison, Steffin McCarter

Triple jump: Chris Benard, Will Claye, Donald Scott

Shot put: Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Payton Otterdahl

Discus: Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers, Sam Mattis

Hammer: Daniel Haugh, Rudy Winkler, Alex Young

Javelin: Michael Shuey, Curtis Thompson

Decathlon: Steven Bastien, Garrett Scantling, Zach Ziemek

4x100m: Kenny Bednarek, Cravon Gillespie, Micah Williams (plus others selected in individual events)

4x400m: Elija Godwin, Vernon Norwood, Trevor Stewart (plus others selected in individual events)

MIXED

4x400m: Shae Anderson, Bryce Deadmon, Wil London, Taylor Manson (plus others selected in individual events).

(07/07/2021) Views: 1,562 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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McLaughlin smashes world 400m hurdles record in Eugene with 51.90 and other highlights

In a culture saturated by so many other sports, those in the USA fret about who can be the face of athletics.

Who can be featured on television news? Who can be a crossover figure like gymnast Simone Biles? Who can be a Carl Lewis or a Jackie Joyner-Kersee?

As the 10-day US Olympic Trials closed on Sunday night (27) in Eugene, Oregon, there was a deep reservoir of young candidates – none more so than Sydney McLaughlin. The 21-year-old became the first woman to break the 52-second barrier in the 400m hurdles.

Record temperatures approaching 44C delayed the programme by five hours, but there was no delaying the inevitable: McLaughlin was going to break the world record, and she did so with her time of 51.90.

“I definitely saw it coming,” said Dalilah Muhammad, the world and Olympic champion. “She looked so good in the rounds.”

McLaughlin’s time broke the record of 52.16 set by Muhammad at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. McLaughlin, second in that race in 52.23, pulled away from Muhammad over the final two hurdles in Eugene.

Even with 2020 lost to the pandemic, the world record has been broken three times in 23 months – twice by Muhammad, once by McLaughlin.

That was the highlight of another historic day of young record-breakers. The trials ended with 11 world-leading marks, five by men and six by women.

Athing Mu, 19, set a trials record in the 800m; Cole Hocker, 20, became the youngest men’s 1500m champion in 110 years; JuVaughn Harrison, 22, became the first to make the US team in the high jump and long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912; Noah Lyles, 23, ran a world-leading 200m, and Erriyon Knighton, 17, again lowered the world U20 record in the 200m.

McLaughlin has been projected as the sport’s face in the United States since she made an Olympic team at age 16. After one college season at Kentucky, she turned professional.

“I was growing into my own person,” she said. “My faith is the biggest change. Trusting God and knowing He will carry me through.”

Her record-setting might not be over. Not only could McLaughlin lower her world record at the Tokyo Olympics, she should be named to the 4x400m relay team that could set one – though that mark (3:15.17) is arguably a much bigger ask.

McLaughlin trains in Los Angeles under Bobby Kersee, who also coached Joyner-Kersee.

“Bobby knows how to put things together when the time comes,” McLaughlin said.

Muhammad, who over the past 12 months has had to contend with injuries and a bout of Covid-19, finished second in 52.42, the third-fastest time of her career. NCAA champion Anna Cockrell took the third spot in 53.70, nearly a full second faster than her previous PB, in beating Shamier Little (53.85). Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Spencer stumbled over an early hurdle and finished seventh.

Likely to join McLaughlin in that 4x400m team is Mu, considering earlier this month she set a collegiate record of 49.57 – faster than the winning mark at the USA Trials.

Mu ran a world-leading 1:56.07 to win the 800m, breaking her own North American U20 record. World silver medallist Raevyn Rogers was second in a PB of 1:57.66 and US record-holder Ajee Wilson third in 1:58.39. Not until late did Wilson overtake Michaela Meyer, who was fourth in 1:58.55.

Mu sat in the pack for the first lap, passing through 200m in 27.54 and 400m in a swift 57.53. She then made her move on the second lap, positioning herself at the front with 200 metres to go. She kicked hard as she came off the final bend and, having covered the final lap in 58.54, crossed the line almost two seconds ahead of her nearest opponent.

In the men's 1500m, Hocker was in sixth place with about 150 metres left but used a closing rush to overtake Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, 3:35.28 to 3:35.34.

Yared Nuguse, 22, was third in 3:36.19, overtaking the most recent national champion, Craig Engels, who is also this year’s fastest US man (3:33.64).

Hocker put a finger to his lips past the finish as if to shush critics. An “in-the-moment thing”, he said.

“Last year I wasn’t at this level. I was nowhere near this level,” he said. “This whole year, I felt like I was proving myself to the world, but also proving my talent to myself. There’s a lot of negative talk out there, and I wanted to silence everyone.”

Hocker has not met the 3:35 Olympic standard but has a world ranking that looks sufficient to secure his spot on the US team.

He is the youngest US Olympian in the men’s 1500m since Marty Liquori, then 19, in 1968. And he is the youngest national champion in the men’s 1500 or mile since 1911, when Abel Kiviat won a few days after turning 19.

Hocker has run 23 races since 29 January. Thirteen were PBs. Of the 10 others, eight were prelims and one an NCAA indoor title.

“I’m impressed that he’s been able to do that since January and is showing no signs of letting up,” said Centrowitz.

Harrison won the high jump at 2.33m, beating Darryl Sullivan on countback. Olympic medallist Erik Kynard was fourth.

The delay allowed Harrison more rest for the long jump, in which he jumped a PB of 8.47m, completing the best ever one-day jumps double.

“It just gave my legs more time to recover and gave me a chance to eat something,” Harrison said. “I was ready to go earlier, even though they said it was too hot.”

Marquis Dendy, the 2016 world indoor champion, was second at 8.38m and Steffin McCarter third with 8.26m. Olympic champion Jeff Henderson was sixth with 8.08m, meaning he won’t defend his title in Tokyo.

In a competition that showcased newcomers, it was appropriate that the last athlete to secure an Olympic berth was Knighton. He is the youngest man on the US team since Jim Ryun in 1964.

World champion Lyles won the 200m in a world-leading 19.74, followed by Kenny Bednarek, 19.78, and Knighton, 19.84. Knighton broke his own world U20 record of 19.88 from Saturday’s semifinals. He set a world U18 record of 20.04 in Friday’s first round, then twice broke that.

Lyles was fourth in the 200m at the 2016 trials as an 18-year-old.

“Ever since then, the mind-set of being an Olympian has been on my mind,” said Lyles. “Having the pause on 2020 has probably been my hardest yet. I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the lion you have to slay at the Olympic Trials.”

In the heptathlon, the year’s top three scores were posted by Annie Kunz (6703), Kendall Williams (6683) and Erica Bougard (6667). Kunz, whose previous best was 6153, did not have the Olympic standard until this week.

Kunz broke or was close to her PBs in all seven disciplines. She started with a marginally wind-assisted 12.95 in the 100m hurdles and followed it with 1.81m in the high jump, an outdoor PB. She then threw 15.73m in the shot put, which moved her into the lead overall – a position she maintained after clocking a PB of 23.71 in the 200m to end the first day at the top of the leader board.

She started the second day with a huge PB of 6.50m in the long jump, but briefly relinquished her lead after the javelin (45.06m). Kendell Williams, who ended the first day in third place, was having a strong second day with marks of 6.73m in the long jump and 47.41m in the javelin. It meant Williams went into the final event with a two-point lead over Kunz.

But Kunz ensured she stayed ahead of Williams in the 800m, eventually clocking 2:15.24 to retake the lead with a score of 6703, moving to fifth on the US all-time list. Williams, who finished second with a PB of 6683, is now sixth on that list.

Taliyah Brooks, in fourth place through five events, had to withdraw because of the heat.

“I have grown immensely since 2019,” said Kunz, who finished 13th at the 2019 World Championships. “It feels like the sky’s the limit now.”

The men’s 5000m, held in the morning to escape the worst of the heat, was won by Olympic silver medallist Paul Chelimo. He gradually veered from the rail to inside of lane four to force out Bowerman Track Club’s Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid.

Chelimo was first in 13:26.82, followed by Fisher (13:27.01) and Kincaid (13:27.13). Their respective closing laps were 52.83, 52.99 and 52.74. Cooper Teare was fourth in 13:28.08 off a 53.97 last lap.

Fisher and Kincaid became the first pair to finish in the top three of 5000m and 10,000m at the same US Trials. Qualifying in both had been done previously, but never two at the same trials.

(06/28/2021) Views: 1,036 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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What to Watch For in the U.S.A. Track & Field Olympic Trials

For months, they have trained in relative isolation. They have triple jumped in empty stadiums and chased qualifying standards on high school tracks. You may have heard this before, but the pandemic created challenges for American track and field athletes.

For those who managed to push through the long delay, a meet five years in the making has finally arrived: The U.S. Olympic track and field trials are set to start on Friday afternoon at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, a freshly renovated stadium that — barring something else unforeseen — will also host the world championships next year.

But first come the trials. As athletes from across the country bid to compete at the Tokyo Games this summer, here is a look at what to watch over the coming days:

What’s the schedule?

Glad you asked. It is a long meet — 10 days, with two rest days built in the middle — running from Friday through June 27. There are 40 events in all (20 for the women, 20 for the men), with preliminary rounds for most of them. On Friday, for example, there are preliminary rounds in events ranging from the women’s discus to the men’s 800 meters. There are also two finals scheduled for the first day, in the men’s shot put and the men’s 10,000. On Sunday, eight more champions will be crowned, including in the men’s 100. (More on that later.)

So who gets to go to the Olympics?

The top three finishers in each event qualify, provided they have reached the Olympic standard. If not, they have until July 1 to attain it.

Who are some of the most compelling athletes to watch?

Any list like this has to start with Allyson Felix, the nine-time Olympic medalist who is aiming to compete in her fifth and final Olympic Games. A onetime prodigy who is entered in the 200 and 400 meters, Felix, 35, long ago secured her place as one of the sport’s most revered and respected figures. She has advocated for gender equality since giving birth to her first child in 2018.

Felix’s retirement will leave a void among the American women, and Sha’Carri Richardsonseems prepared to help fill it. In April, she ran the sixth-fastest 100 in history. Richardson, just 21, is unapologetically brash while consistently coming through with fast times and big performances. She is easy to spot, too: Just look for her colorful hair.

In the women’s 1,500 meters, Elle Purrier St. Pierre is the favorite after a string of convincing victories this season. She grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, where she would train by running to the Quebec border and back. Her sponsors include Cabot Cheese.

Donavan Brazier is the American record-holder and reigning world champion in the men’s 800. He seems determined after failing to qualify for the Olympics in 2016.

And Sam Kendricks, who has won back-to-back world men’s pole vault championships, is the heavy favorite in Oregon. His toughest competition figures to be in Tokyo, where Mondo Duplantis, who grew up in Louisianabut competes for Sweden, will be waiting. Duplantis, 21, already owns the world record but is seeking his first Olympic gold.

How about a few must-see events?

No, we didn’t forget about Noah Lyles, the world champion in the men’s 200 meters. Lyles wants to double in the 100 and 200 meters in Tokyo, and his 100-meter form has been coming along slowly. He will face a loaded 100-meter field in Eugene, Ore., headlined by the likes of Trayvon Bromell, who has run the fastest time in the world this year, and Justin Gatlin, the five-time Olympic medalist who has twice been suspended for doping. Americans have the six fastest 100-meter times in the world this year — and Lyles is not among them.

The field in the men’s 1,500 is also competitive. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic champion, was injured last year and benefited from the postponement. Craig Engels is the 2019 national champion, but he is equally renowned for his mullet. There is also a group of up-and-comers headlined by Cole Hocker, fresh off an N.C.A.A. title at Oregon, and Hobbs Kessler, the fastest high school miler ever.

The most anticipated showdown, though, could materialize in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. At the 2019 world championships, Dalilah Muhammad, 31, had to break her own world record to outrun Sydney McLaughlin, one of the sport’s rising stars. Muhammad, the Olympic champion in Rio, has been working in recent weeks to return to form after injuring her hamstring. McLaughlin, 21, spent much of the spring fine-tuning her speed and technique while competing in the 100-meter hurdles. If both athletes are healthy, their final — held on the final day of the meet — should be a highlight.

Who’s missing?

The trials got a harsh dose of reality this week when Shelby Houlihan, the American record-holder in the women’s 1,500 meters, was suspended from competing for four years after she had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Houlihan has maintained her innocence, claiming she ate tainted pork from a food truck. For about eight hours Thursday, it seemed that Houlihan might still be able to run while she appealed the ban, but ultimately the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee stepped in and said that she could not participate in the trials.

Speaking of suspensions, that deep field in the men’s 100 meters is missing an important name: Christian Coleman, who won the 2019 world championship under a cloud of suspicion, and was subsequently suspended for missing a series of drug tests.

Also absent will be Christian Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion in the men’s triple jump. Taylor ruptured his Achilles’ tendon at a meet last month and underwent surgery. He has vowed to make a comeback in time for next year’s world championships.

On the bright side, several American runners will not be at the trials — but only because they have already punched their tickets for Tokyo. We are referring, of course, to the marathoners, whose trials were staged all the way back in the prepandemic era, in February 2020. Galen Rupp, Jacob Riley and the seemingly ageless Abdi Abdirahman, 44,qualified for the men, while Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyegomade the women’s team. (Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, is expected to compete in the 10,000 on Friday, though he told OregonLive.com last month that he would treat the race as a rigorous training run and appears to have no intention of running the track event in Tokyo.)

Is it on television?

NBC and NBCSN will provide live daily coverage of the meet. 

(06/18/2021) Views: 1,091 ⚡AMP
by Scott Cacciola (NY Times)
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University of Oregon student Cooper Teare clocks 3:50.39 mile in Fayetteville

University of Oregon student Cooper Teare made a huge breakthrough on the first day of the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville on Friday (12), smashing his outright mile PB with 3:50.39 to move into the world indoor all-time top 10.

There were huge PBs across the board as his teammates Cole Hocker (3:50.55) and Charlie Hunter (3:53.49) finished second and third.

In an all-Oregon line-up, Angus Folmi and Reed Brown set the early pace, going through 600m just inside 1:26 and 1000m in 2:24.3. Teare, Hocker and Hunter maintained that tempo for the final two laps with 21-year-old Teare kicking to victory in a collegiate record of 3:50.39. His time ranks him seventh on the world indoor all-time list, just behind fellow US athletes Bernard Lagat and Johnny Gregorek, but ahead of Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz.

Hocker, aged just 19, crossed the line in 3:50.55 – the fastest indoor mile ever recorded by a teenager and good enough for eighth on the world indoor all-time list. Hunter’s 3:53.49, meanwhile, took a second off his own Australian indoor record, set just two weeks prior on the same track.

The en-route 1500m splits of 3:35.46, 3:35.63 and 3:36.94 respectively were also outright PBs for all three men.

Isaac Grimes produced another world-leading mark in Fayetteville. The 23-year-old long jumper went out to 8.04m in round two then improved to a lifetime best of 8.27m in round five. He went even farther in the final round, sailing out to 8.33m. He now ranks just outside the US indoor all-time top 10. JuVaughn Harrison was second with 8.09m.

Elsewhere in Fayetteville, Bryce Deadmon sped to an indoor 400m PB of 45.22, the third-fastest time in the world this year, to win comfortably from Champion Allison (45.99).

The sprint hurdles finals were swift, too, with teenager Grace Stark winning the women’s race in 7.96 from Pan-American Games silver medallist Chanel Brissett (7.98), while former world U20 record-holder Trey Cunningham ran 7.55 to win the men’s event.

Fast 400s were the highlight of the first day of the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson on Friday (12). 20-year-old Randolph Ross won the fastest heat in a PB of 45.21, finishing just ahead of Jacory Patterson (45.24) and Trevor Stewart (45.55). Trinidad and Tobago’s Dwight St Hillaire took the second heat in 45.64 with 400m hurdles specialist Kyron McMaster placing second in 45.92.

Jamaica’s 2015 world champion Danielle Williams won the 60m hurdles in 7.87, while Tavarius Wright was the men’s 60m flat winner in 6.57.

At the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock, world U20 silver medallist Twanisha Terry trimmed her 60m PB to 7.13, while Brendon Stewart won the men’s short sprint in 6.58. Teenager Bailey Lear set an outright PB of 51.94 to win the women’s 400m.

(02/13/2021) Views: 1,225 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Cruz Culpepper runs 3:59.53 mile, joins father on list of sub-4 runners

Cruz and Alan Culpepper are just the 13th father-son duo to have both broken the four-minute barrier.

University of Washington freshman Cruz Culpepper opened his collegiate career in impressive style at the UW Indoor Preview on January 30, running a 3:59.53 mile for the first sub-four-minute result of his young career. With the run, Culpepper becomes the 11th UW runner to break four minutes in the mile, and he also joins his father, former U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper, on the elite list. Cruz and Alan are the 13th father-son duo in history to have broken the four-minute barrier.

The Culpeppers:

Alan ran for the University of Colorado in the 90s, and he won the NCAA outdoor 5,000m crown in 1996. He represented the U.S. on the world stage on multiple occasions, and in 2000, he competed in the 10,000m at the Sydney Olympics. Four years later, he won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to secure a spot on the team at the Athens Games, where he ran to a 12th-place finish in 2:15:26. (Alan’s wife and Cruz’s mother, Shayne Culpepper, also ran at the Olympics, competing in the 1,500m in 2000 and 5,000m in 2004.) Alan ran to consecutive top-five results at the Boston Marathon in 2005 and 2006 before retiring a couple of seasons later in 2008. 

Alan’s first sub-four mile came in 1998, when he was 26, at a meet in St. Louis. He posted a blazing-fast time of 3:55.12, which he followed up a month later with another four-minute mile in Massachusetts, where he ran 3:58.47.  

At just 18 years old (he’ll turn 19 in April), Cruz reached the sub-four milestone eight years earlier than his dad. His result comes just under a year since his last run at the UW track, when he came agonizingly close to breaking four minutes, competing as a high schooler, with a final time of 4:00.10. Cruz literally dove across the line in that race last year, giving everything he had in his attempt to go sub-four, but this year he fared much better, staying on his feet right through to the finish.

"It was fun,"  he said after the race. “It’s definitely cool to open up with a sub-four. I felt super comfortable all the way through it. I mean, it was tough, but I knew I could do it. I didn’t have anything slower than sub-four in my head.”

Joining more father-son duos

The website bringbackthemile.com names all 13 father-son duos on this exclusive list of sub-four milers, and it has several names running fans will recognize. Americans Matt Centrowitz Sr. and Matthew Centrowitz Jr. (the latter of whom is the reigning Olympic 1,500m champion) joined the list in 2009, John and Johnny Gregorek were added in 2015 and the Culpeppers are the newest pair to occupy a spot. 

(02/03/2021) Views: 1,118 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Keira D’Amato Is Trying to Break the American 10-Mile Record on Monday. It Could Cost Her Thousands of Dollars.

Since 2011, Keira D’Amato has been part of the race committee for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the famous Washington, D.C. road race held along the banks of the Potomac River. She’s held a few different roles over the years; recently she’s been responsible for coordinating speakers for clinics at the race expo. This year, Molly Huddle was one of the scheduled speakers, and D’Amato told her she believed Huddle could break the women’s-only American record of 52:12, set by Janet Bawcom at Cherry Blossom in 2014 (coincidentally, D’Amato held the finish line tape for that race). After telling Huddle about the record, D’Amato realized something: I can run that fast too.

Over the following six months, as D’Amato has risen from obscurity to one of the best distance runners in the United States, that statement has become blindingly obvious. After running a personal best 2:34:24 to finish 15th at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, the 36-year-old has spent the summer and fall demolishing her pbs, from a 15:04 time trial 5,000 on the track in June to a 32:33 10,000 at the MVMNT Race Series in July to a 68:57 to win the Michigan Pro Half Marathon on October 28.

On Monday, D’Amato will try to back up her claim from the spring: she’s going for Bawcom’s record at the Up Dawg Ten Miler, where she’ll face a five-woman professional field that includes Olympian Molly Seidel. And that leads into one of the oddest statistics of a very odd year.

If D’Amato had broken the record at Cherry Blossom in April (which cancelled its 2020 edition due to COVID-19), she would have earned a $10,000 bonus.

If D’Amato breaks the record on Monday — or even if she doesn’t — she could end up out around $8,000.

That’s because D’Amato is covering most of the costs of the Up Dawg Ten Miler, which will take place in an undisclosed location in the DC area. Even though D’Amato is staging a race for five athletes rather than Cherry Blossom’s typical 17,000, several key expenses remain: getting the course USATF-certified and measured, securing park permits and road closures. It can add up quickly.

And then there is drug testing. USATF rules state drug testing is only required to ratify American records in events for which World Athletics recognizes an official world record. Since 10 miles is a “world best” distance, that means drug testing isn’t required to ratify an American record at the Up Dawg Ten Miler — but D’Amato is leaning toward including it anyway to avoid all doubts. However, based on the quote she received from USADA, it would run her an extra $3,000-$3,500. She hasn’t made a final decision yet.

There is an online store selling race merchandise to help offset the cost of the event. And around 20 members of the CUCB organizing committee have also chipped in a total of $2,000 — and, more importantly, their time — so that D’Amato can chase the record.

“If there was a way to measure intensity per person, this race would be much more intense [than the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run],” says CUCB event director Phil Stewart. “We’re not dealing with getting 17,000 people entered in the race and moving them around or ordering as many porta potties or things like that, but this is a group of special individuals. I’ve spent a lot of time being consumed by making sure that we have all of the conditions set for the record to be accepted if the record is broken. If Keira or anybody breaks the record here, the worst nightmare would be that there was some little USATF rule that I didn’t know about that was required for an American record to be set.”

Stewart knows that feeling all too well; last year, Stanley Kebenei thought he had broken Greg Meyer‘s American 10-mile record at Cherry Blossom, only for it to be revealed that a set of cones had been improperly placed, making the course 240 feet short (CUCB still paid Kebenei the $10,000 bonus).

With no mass race entries to fund the Up Dawg Ten Miler, CUCB will lose money on the event. But it’s worth it to Stewart to support D’Amato, whose meteoric rise he has followed first-hand — Stewart was among a group of CUCB committee members who traveled to Atlanta to support her in the Trials in February.

“One of the things that has been fun about [this event] is that in a time when there’s so much downbeat news, I think a lot of people have gotten excited about working on something that’s upbeat,” Stewart says.

And D’Amato? Well, in keeping with her carefree, laid back demeanor, she’s trying not to think about the cost and electing to focus on the positives. Five fast women (Susanna Sullivan, Bethany Sachtleben, and Emily Durgin round out the field) are gathering on Monday at 8 a.m. to race 10 miles. There will be a free live stream, with commentary, on the CUCB Facebook page. This should be fun, right? No. This will be fun.

“For me, it’s not about the money at all,” D’Amato says. “Right now when everyone’s starving for motivation and opportunity, I felt like this would be a service to the running community. And it fell in line really perfectly with my training too.”

Keira D’Amato’s return to competitive running began with a joke. Which, if you know anything about D’Amato, could not be more fitting.

D’Amato loves all things humor. The name of Monday’s race, Up Dawg, was her idea — a nod to a joke from The Office. When D’Amato joined Strava a few years ago, she began using jokes or puns to title her runs. Sample entry: November 16. My cousin, a magician, decided to incorporate the use of trapdoors in his shows. But I think it’s just a stage he’s going through. She used to rely on her children’s popsicle sticks for material or by asking her Amazon Alexa, “Tell me a joke.” As she amassed Strava followers (she’s over 2,600 now), she began receiving suggestions from fans — which delights her to no end.

“You have no idea how awesome it is that when people hear a funny joke, they think, Oh, I need to send this to Keira,” she says.

D’Amato’s impishness was on display during Christmas 2016, when she decided to gift her husband, Anthony, an entry to the 2017 Shamrock Marathon, held in March in Virginia Beach.

“Who gives someone a gift of a marathon entry?” D’Amato says. “Because that means you have to start training a lot. It’s kind of a backhanded compliment gift, I guess. But then I felt a little bad, so I signed up too.”

D’Amato was no stranger to running. A four-time All-American at American University under coach Matt Centrowitz, she finished 6th at the 2005 NCAA XC champs as a senior, ahead of future stars Amy Cragg, Molly Huddle, and Jenny Simpson. She remains friendly with the Centrowitz family, and is even in a fantasy football league with Olympic 1500 champ Matthew Centrowitz — let’s just say both D’Amato and Centro are better runners than fantasy football managers.

“I think at one point, I was in second-to-last and he was dead last,” D’Amato says. “But I also think Centro does a whole bunch of them, so maybe in his other leagues he’s doing better. But it was either the first or second week, I played him, and I crushed him.”

After graduating in 2006, D’Amato (then known as Keira Carlstrom) spent a few years running for DC Elite, a post-collegiate group coached by Scott Raczko — better known as the coach of Alan Webb. By 2008, she had lowered her 1500 personal best to 4:22, but was in constant pain, beset by a series of stress fractures and ankle pain. Her issues were the result of a condition known as a tarsal coalition — an abnormal bridging of bones in the foot — but the surgery to correct it was not covered by her insurance.

So D’Amato “retired” and got a job at mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Even after undergoing surgery to correct her condition in 2009 (her new job had better insurance), D’Amato ran sparingly for the next seven years. In her first run back after giving birth to her daughter, Quin, in August 2016 (she also has a six-year-old son, Tommy), D’Amato couldn’t make it through a three-minute run without walking. Yet she steadily built up ahead of Shamrock, and despite hail, sleet, and brutal winds on race day, D’Amato blew past her pre-race goal of 3:25.

“I couldn’t run slow enough to do that pace,” says D’Amato, who ran 3:14.

D’Amato felt there was a lot left in the tank, and took her next marathon, in Richmond in November, more seriously. After running 2:47 there — just two minutes off the Olympic Trials standard — she knew it was time to return to serious training. She reunited with Raczko, and steadily dropped her times while balancing running with her career as a realtor. When she ran a pb of 2:34 to finish 15th at the Trials at age 35, it looked like the culmination of a remarkable three-year journey.

In reality, D’Amato was just getting started.

Since the Trials, D’Amato has run personal bests over almost every distance. Her 15:04 5,000 doesn’t officially count because it came in a time trial rather than a race, but it’s faster than the Olympic standard of 15:10 and would have ranked her 6th in the US during the 2020 outdoor season.

Her most impressive performance came in last month’s Michigan Pro Half Marathon, where she clocked 68:57, 47 seconds ahead of runner-up Emma Bates, a 2:25 marathoner who finished 7th at the Olympic Trials. That made D’Amato the second-fastest American half marathoner on the year, behind Sara Hall, and 10th on the US all-time list. She is now in very elite company.

(11/22/2020) Views: 1,187 ⚡AMP
by LetsRun
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Runners sponsored by smaller companies might be in a better position than those who are signed by major brands

Earlier this week, the Swiss running shoe company On announced that it was starting an elite training group in Boulder, Colorado, called the On Athletics Club. It’s safe to say that this doesn’t seem like the most auspicious time to invest in professional running. Even though the Diamond League—the world’s premier track and field competition circuit—is scheduled to begin an abridged summer season on Friday, this year has seen an unprecedented number of race cancellations and it’s difficult to predict when the bleeding will stop.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has already gone on record saying that the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to summer 2021, will not be delayed a second time. If they can’t be staged next August, the Olympics will be canceled outright, thus depriving track athletes of their quadrennial moment in the sun.

According to Steve DeKoker, On’s Global Sports Marketing Manager, the company has long been looking to develop an elite running team and the Boulder-based group represents the most significant move in that direction to date. For now, the On Athletics Club consists of eight runners, all of whom are in their 20s and were standout NCAA athletes (the University of Colorado’s Joe Klecker and the University of Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson are the headliners).

Recently retired Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein will act as coach. It has been disclosed that these athletes will be signing multi-year deals with no reduction clauses (i.e. performance quotas)—a risky move, perhaps, but one that On might currently be well-positioned to make thanks to a potential pandemic-inspired uptick in recreational running.

“Running is kind of experiencing this second boom,” DeKoker told Letsrun.com. “We’ve got all these folks at home who are struggling with different issues, but running is a viable activity for them. Whereas if you’re Nike, and you’re in 50 different verticals, running might be a positive one, but you’ve got a bunch of other sports that are hemorrhaging right now.”

There has been some evidence to bear this out. Nike has reported a 38 percent decline in total revenue through May 31. More specifically, last week, the market research company NPD published an article noting that prominent brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) had an overall sales decline in athletic footwear in the first half of 2020, while several running-focused shoe companies had fared conspicuously well.

Hoka One One and On, in particular, saw year-over-year sales increases of 75 and over 50 percent, respectively. (An On representative has confirmed this, and added that the brand had recorded its highest ever sales month in June 2020.) Matt Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of the independent running apparel brand Tracksmith, told me that “there’s been a noticeable uptick in people running over the last few months,” and that Tracksmith was “seeing this trend reflected” in its business.

While the running industry will never be entirely insulated from the state of the overall economy, there is some logic to the notion that the sport is well-suited to weather a financial downturn. To use DeKoker’s term, running is a “viable activity” for many people because it is relatively cheap, accessible, and offers both physical and mental health benefits during times of uncertainty.

The most recent running boom occurred during the years immediately following the Great Recession; starting around 2008, there was a continual increase in running event participation, culminating in 2013, when a record 19 million runners took part in U.S. road races.

Of course, from a running perspective, one of the uniquely cruel aspects of the COVID-19 recession is that the pandemic has precluded the staging of most mass participation events. The New York Road Runners, the largest non-profit running events company in the United States, laid off eleven percent of its employees and furloughed an additional 28 percent in July. Hence, any discussion about how the pandemic might end up “benefiting” the running industry in shoe or apparel sales must be weighed against this freeze of running events.

For professional runners, meanwhile, the cancellation of big-ticket races signifies a loss in prospective appearance fees and prize money. Some athletes might also be contractually obligated to run a pre-set number of races, which, needless to say, has not been so easy in 2020. That’s why this has been the summer of intrasquad competitions, in which training partners take part in de facto time trials that have been spruced up just enough to qualify as official meets. While some of these events have yielded impressive performances—most notably Shelby Houlihan, of the Bowerman Track Club, breaking her own American record in the 5,000-meters—there have also been farcical scenarios where world-class athletes phoned it in, presumably so that they can reach their race quotas. (Last week, reigning Olympic 1,500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz “raced” an 800... and ran 3:08. His personal best in the event is 1:44.)

It’s not a coincidence that the most prominent examples of these sham races have involved Nike athletes. After all, the Oregon-based company sponsors far more runners than any other brand. They have the funds to do it, but casting a wide net might also make it more difficult for Nike to offer elite runners the contractual perks of smaller, running-focused companies like Oiselle, On, and, recently, Tracksmith. For now, reduction clauses still seem to be the norm for the typical Nike track athlete. (A Nike spokesperson told me that the company does not comment on athlete contracts.)

Hawi Keflezighi, an agent whose clients include his brother Meb Keflezighi and recent U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, agreed that this was likely to be the case. “I think Nike deserves credit for all the athletes and events that they sponsor, but at the same time, within that business model, if you have a lot of athletes, you can’t be as flexible as when you only have five or ten athletes on your roster,” Keflezighi, whose brother was a Nike athlete for years before signing with Skechers in 2011, told me. He added that, while it’s typical for companies to reassess which athletes they want to sponsor at the end of an Olympic cycle, the current uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Games, and looming recession, mean that conditions for athletes are even more cutthroat than usual.

“I think the bigger brands definitely have tougher decisions to make, just because they have a bigger investment overall,” Keflezighi says. “The athletes with those brands, especially if they are not medal contenders or in a great position to make the US Olympic team—under this environment, those athletes’ contracts are a little bit more vulnerable. If you have a smaller roster of athletes, you might be able to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Let me give that athlete an extra year or two.”

DeKoker echoed this sentiment. “Obviously, performance is going to be a key element, but it’s not the only element with On,” he says. “I do think that, at some of these other companies, it’s much more of a numbers game and unfortunately some athletes are going to be on the losing end of that.”

What will the “numbers game” look like in a worst case scenario where next year’s Olympics ultimately do get canceled? With any luck, we won’t get to find out.

(09/19/2020) Views: 1,501 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Past Champions and Olympians will Headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile Men’s Field at 113th NYRR Millrose Games

Olympian and 2018 champion Chris O’Hare of Great Britain, 2017 champion Eric Jenkins of the United States, four-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand, and world championship medalist Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway will headline a talented NYRR Wanamaker Mile men’s field at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the fourth consecutive year from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, in addition to streamed live online on NBC Sports Gold.

“Already one of the greatest mile races in the world, the men’s 2020 NYRR Wanamaker Mile is expected to be one of the best with past champions, Olympians, and rising stars all lining up in front of a national audience,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.

O’Hare won the 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile after building an insurmountable lead on the last lap and crossing the line in 3:54.14. In New York, he has also finished as runner-up at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile three times, most recently in 2018. The Scotland native represents Great Britain on the world stage, having won a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the European championships and competing in the event at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“I have always loved having the NYRR Millrose Games and the NYRR Wanamaker Mile in my racing schedule,” O’Hare said. “When you look back at the athletes who have competed in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, it goes to show the nature of the event. It is without a doubt, the most prestigious indoor mile race in the world and I can’t wait to step on the start line and go to battle with my fellow competitors.”

Jenkins won the 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile in a last-lap sprint against Olympic 800-meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. The year prior in New York, he narrowly defeated Olympic 1500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz to win the New Balance 5th Avenue mile by one-tenth of a second. Last year, Jenkins finished third in New York at the USATF 5 km Championships in Central Park.

Willis has finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016), was third twice (2008, 2014) and took sixth last year. As a four-time Olympian, the University of Michigan graduate and Ann Arbor, MI resident won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games. In 2019, he won a record-breaking fifth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile, adding to his previous victories on Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare from 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2018.

Ingebrigtsen coached by his father, Gjert, won the 1500-meter European title in 2016 and a world championship bronze medal in the distance in 2017.

(01/07/2020) Views: 1,926 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Defending champion Emily Sisson and Shannon Rowbury to highlight women’s field at USATF 5 km Championships

The 2019 Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USA Track & Field (USATF) 5 km Championships on Saturday, November 2, will feature seven Olympians and two past champions the day prior to the TCS New York City Marathon and will be broadcast live on USATF.TV as part of the 2019 USATF Running Circuit. Abbott will return as the title partner of the event which features a $60,000 prize purse – the largest of any 5K race in the world.

Emily Sisson is looking to defend her USATF 5 km title after storming to victory last year in a solo run to the finish in 15:38. The two-time United Airlines NYC Half runner-up clocked the fastest-ever debut by an American on a record-eligible course at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, finishing sixth place in 2:23:08.

She will line up in Central Park against three-time Olympian and World Championship medalist Shannon Rowbury and Olympian and World Championship medalist Emily Infeld.

“I loved my experience at the Abbott Dash and USATF 5 km Championships last year,” Sisson said. “There’s no place like New York City on marathon weekend, and I’m excited to help kick everything off by defending my 5K title on the streets of New York.”

In the men’s field, Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir will attempt to reclaim his title after taking second in a photo-finish last year. At the 2017 edition of the event, he won his third national title in 13:57.

He will be challenged by Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist and seven-time national champion Matthew Centrowitz, who has had previous success in New York, winning the NYRR Millrose Games Wanamaker mile three times and the 5th Avenue Mile once. Reid Buchanan, a 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist, and Eric Jenkins, the 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile and 5th Avenue Mile champion, will also line up.

Following in the footsteps of the professional athletes will be more than 10,000 runners participating in the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K, including top local athletes and runners visiting from around the world. The mass race will offer a $13,000 NYRR member prize purse. John Raneri of New Fairfield, CT and Grace Kahura of High Falls, NY won last year’s Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K.

Abbott, the title sponsor of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will be the sponsor of the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K for the fourth consecutive year. Abbott, a global healthcare company, helps people live fully with life-changing technology and celebrates what’s possible with good health.

The Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K annually provides TCS New York City Marathon supporters, friends and families the opportunity to join in on the thrill of marathon race week. The course begins on Manhattan’s east side by the United Nations, then takes runners along 42nd Street past historic Grand Central Terminal and up the world-famous Avenue of the Americas past Radio City Music Hall. It then passes through the rolling hills of Central Park before finishing at the iconic TCS New York City Marathon finish line.

(10/23/2019) Views: 2,114 ⚡AMP
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Dash to the Finish Line

Dash to the Finish Line

Be a part of the world-famous TCS New York City Marathon excitement, run through the streets of Manhattan, and finish at the famed Marathon finish line in Central Park—without running 26.2 miles! On TCS New York City Marathon Saturday, our NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K (3.1 miles) will take place for all runners who want to join in...

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Alberto Salazar has been banned from coaching for four years beginning immediately for doping violations

Alberto Salazar, Nike Oregon Project coach and a Houston endocrinologist who had treated athletes belonging to the Portland-based training group, have been banned for four years for doping violations.

The decision was announced Monday by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and begins immediately. It is the result of a four-year investigation.

In a prepared statement, the USADA wrote that two, three-member arbitration panels had determined Salazar and Dr Jeffrey Brown should be banned for “orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.”

The penalty stemmed from violations that included trafficking in testosterone, tampering with the doping control process and administering improper infusions of L-carnitine, a naturally occurring substance that converts fat into energy, the anti-doping agency said in a statement.

Salazar was notified in 2017 that he had violated doping rules, and he contested the findings by USADA, according to an anti-doping official familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The case was heard in arbitration last year, and the ban was imposed by an independent arbitration panel.

The British Broadcasting Corporation first reported the story.

Salazar is believed to be in Doha, Qatar, where a number of Oregon Project athletes are competing in the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan of the Oregon Project won the world outdoor title in the women’s 5,000 meters and won the women’s 10,000 title on Saturday.

A former University of Oregon track star, Salazar has had a storied coaching career, guiding Olympic gold medalists Mo Farah and Matthew Centrowitz, as well as two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp.

Centrowitz and Farah left the Oregon Project before the ban was announced, Farah in 2017 and Centrowitz last year.

Salazar repeatedly has denied the charges.

(09/30/2019) Views: 2,032 ⚡AMP
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Bowerman Track Club runner Woody Kincaid Burns Up Nike’s Famed Wooded Track with 12:58 PB for 5000 on Tuesday

Woody Kincaid called the atmosphere Tuesday at Nike’s Michael Johnson Track “surreal,” and it was that.

With an estimated 2,500 spectators ringing the track on a cool, damp evening, the track partly in shadow, giant trees in the infield preventing an unobstructed view of the action, Kincaid, Lopez Lomong and Matthew Centrowitz got what they came for.

The three Bowerman Track Club runners crushed the 2020 Olympic standard in the 5,000 meters of 13 minutes, 13.50 seconds in what was billed as the “Portland 5,000.”

Canadian Olympian Mohammed Ahmed kept the pace well under the standard. Kincaid, Lomong and Centrowitz stayed with him.

Kincaid bolted past Lomong in the final 120 to finish first in 12:58.10, obliterating his personal record of 13:12.22. He was followed to the finish line by Lomong in 13:00.13 and Centrowitz in 13:00.39.

Kincaid, who starred collegiately at the University of Portland, was having trouble processing it afterward.

Asked if he felt in 12:58 shape when he arrived at the track. Kincaid looked incredulous and said: “I don’t know if I feel that I’m in 12:58 shape now.”

Of the three, Kincaid’s performance most stood out. Lomong is a two-time Olympian who swept the 5,000 and 10,000 at this summer’s USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships. Centrowitz is the reigning Olympic champ in the 1,500.

Both Centrowitz and Lomong will be part of the U.S. Team for the World Outdoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, which begin Sept. 27. Kincaid finished third in 5,000 at the USATF Outdoor Championships, which would have qualified him for the U.S. team had he met this year’s world championships qualifying standard in the qualifying period. He had not.

It won’t be a problem next year, now that Kincaid has taken care of his Olympic qualifier.

“If you watched the last mile of that race, I lost all form,” Kincaid said. “I lost everything. It was just one step after another. There was nothing left in the tank after that.”

He said the spectators, standing around the track in lane five, in some places three and four deep, pushed him.

“Honestly, if that crowd wasn’t here, I run 13:20,” Kincaid said.

(09/11/2019) Views: 2,911 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) Views: 2,339 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has...

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Three-time World Championships medalist Jenny Simpson and Nick Willis to Race the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

18 Olympians will toe the line in the world’s most iconic road mile race, including Olympians Matthew Centrowitz, Emma Coburn, Lopez Lomong, and Boris Berian; Event to be aired live on NBC and feature 22 heats throughout the day, including Rising New York Road Runners heats for youth and the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors.  Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World Championships medalist Jenny Simpson and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will go for their record-setting seventh and fifth event titles at the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 9. Stretching 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare, the race will draw a professional athlete field from 11 countries. (08/28/2018) Views: 2,451 ⚡AMP
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