Where Your Dreams Become Reality
The Week That Was May 5- May 11 2008
A good week indeed in the world of distance running as the professional Grand Prix circuit got underway in a big fashion in Doha, Qatar, the US collegiate season really kept its momentum with some great conference action across the land and some super fast performances in Oregon, and the road action was plentiful as usual. And no worries, the soap opera that is known as the anti-drug crusade continued to entertain.
Where to begin?
Oregon Twilight - Mid-d Phenoms Boaz Lalang and Andrew Wheating Shine
Men's 1,500 - Wheating Runs US Leader With 26.1 Final 200
Andrew Wheating 3:38.6:
Just watch the video. Look at the gap he put on the field in the last 150. Simply unbelievable. A thing of beauty.
The race proved one thing. Wheating needs higher goals. He came into the season only hoping to break 1:50 and maybe run sub 4:00. That's the beauty of having gone to a high school that didn't have a track program and not running track until your senior year of high school.
Wheating's college teammate at Oregon, AJ Acosta, summed up Wheating's situation perfectly when he said in a great pre-race profile of Wheating.
Oregon Twilight: Andrew Wheating Blows Away Field Final in 200m to Run 3:38.60 at Oregon Twilight Meet
The Oregon soph's run was super impressive. In our minds he managed to
upstage Boaz Lalang and Barrack Obama. Obama showed up and did a hurdle
in his suit.
Men's 800 - Lalang Runs 1:45 As We Knew He Would
You think if a guy was going for a world junior record that the people out in Oregon could at least provide him with a quality rabbit. We won't complain too much as they do more for track than anyone else in the US but one of the reasons track and field is so great is that it is a global sport. If you are already spending hundreds of thousands on
I guess we'll just have to wait and see how good this young lad truly is. Can he join David Rudisha and Abubaker Kaki and Abel Kiprop as the world's 4th young mid-d phenom? Time will tell.
In addition to appreciating Lalang's victory, we hope everyone will read the great pre-race profile on Lalang (as well as the one on Wheating that we mentioned earlier). Lalang seems like a total class act.
The other big news at the Oregon Twilight meet was the appearance of Presidential Candidate Barrack Obama. Obama brought the meet to a stand still as he shook hands, held babies, and went over a hurdle in his suit, with Vin Lananna nearby throughout.
Obama has one fan for sure in American Olympian 1500m runner Lauren Fleshman. Fleshman won the 1500m and threw up an "O" at the finish. We assumed the "O" was for Oregon, but Fleshman explains in her post-race interview it was for Obama. That has got to be a track and field first.
Doha Super Grand Prix: Who Needs Shoes? Allyson Felix Is Very Fast and So is David Oliver
Qatar wants to host the 2016 Olympics and they have the oil money to make sure they put on a good show (even if no one watches. See the videos below. The attendance looks more like what you might see at say the distance night races at Penn or Mt. Sac).
The performance of the meet was David Oliver's 12.95 in the high hurdles. The world record is Liu Xiang's 12.88 and Oliver's reaction to the gun was a slow .22 seconds. A good start and unbelievably Oliver, whose pr was only 13.08 before the meet, could have had the world record. The pressure and attention will be on Xiang before the hometown fans in Beijing, but he'll have his hands full. Dominque Arnold has run 12.90 and some regard Cuba's Dayron Robles as the top hurdler in the world. Gold is expected of Xiang in Beijing, but a spot not on the podium is a possibility.
Allyson Felix showed she is the best sprinter in the world from 100 to 400 as she picked up double wins in the 100 and 400 and she dipped under the 11 second barrier for the first time in the 100. After Felix's success last year at 400, we figured she'd have a good shot for gold at 400 if she wanted to run it (but the schedule in Beijing is not friendly to the 200-400 double). We never thought the 100 would be a viable option.
Felix should get a big test this weekend at the adidas Track Classic where she's running the 100 and facing the top 4 from last year's World Champs.
In the 800, African teen champ David Rudisha got the win in 1:44.36 as four guys broke the 1:45 barrier. Last week we wrote about the future of the 800 likely being battles between the two teen sensations, Rudisha and World Indoor Champ Sudan's Abubaker Kaki. We can't wait to see them race in 2008.
Performance of the Meet: Augustin Choge
Highlights from the races below. (You may have to watch an ad below before the highlight clip, it seems hit or miss).
Travis Padgett 9.96 100 Meters
Mr. Padgett picked a perfect time to break 10 flat for the first time as the shoe companies are always full of money in the Olympic years.
Continued on Page II of the Week That Was: Brian Sell, Ritz, Paula, Drugs, College News, A High School Championship Won by 1 Girl, and the Thread of the Week
Comments, suggestions? Email us at [email protected]