May 16, 2014
Below we recap the women’s action at the 2014 USATF High Performance Distance Classic which took place late Thursday night in LA.
Women’s 800: Brenda Martinez Edges Maggie Vessey At The Line – Both Break 2:00.00
2013 world championship silver medallist Brenda Martinez won her season opener at 800 Thursday night at the 2014 USATF High Performance Meet at Occidental College as expected, but she had to really work for it.
A resurgent 32-year old Maggie Vessey nearly captured this as Martinez only won this with a late surge and then lean at the line.
Martinez won in a negative split 1:59.91 to Vessey’s 1:59.96 (first lap was 60.42 or 60.72 for Martinez) as Vessey came away with a very good consolation prize – her first sub-2:00 since September of 2012.
The rabbit in this race was simply AWFUL even though she hit the 400m time of 57. She was at at least 20, maybe 30 meters ahead 250m into this one. Thus it wasn’t surprising that the lead racers were over 60 at 400. Martinez had the lead at the bell but on the backstretch Vessey moved to the lead. As they approached 600, Martinez tried to regain the lead but Vessey surged to keep the lead and gapped Martinez. Even with 10 meters left, Vessey still had a visible gap on Martinez but Martinez’s strength came through in the final stages as the last 10 meters all belonged to Martinez.
In the second heat, Oiselle’s Kate Grace was clearly the best of everyone else as she impressively pulled away in the final 50 meters to win in 2:01.57.
Quick Take #1: Martinez Wins and Ready for World Relays: Martinez was justifiably happy to break 2:00 and get the win in this one.
“With 200 to go, I honestly just wanted to get to the front and just explode (over) the last 200 but Maggie made me work for it,” said Martinez after the race on the free USATF.tv broadcast. “It’s a good opener. I haven’t done an 800 since Stockholm last summer. To open up sub two, I can’t complain. I’m healthy and really fit.”
For comparison sake, Martinez opened in 1:59.59 on May 5th last year.
Quick Take #2: Maggie Vessey is Back: The performance of the night though belongs to Vessey. She’s officially relevant again at age 32.
She’s moving in the right direction each time she races.
2:03.59 at Stanford on April 5th (1st place).
2:01.25 at Mt. Sac on April 19th (3rd place)
1:59.56 on May 16th (2nd place)
Quick Take #3: Kate Grace Still Thriving: As much as Grace improved post-collegiately with the NY/NJ track club, many questioned why she left this winter and moved to Bend, Oregon. But her early 2014 results (pb at 1500, win here) shows two things. 1) The runner makes the coach and 2) It’s important to be happy as a runner. She’s a West Coast girl and thriving in 2014.
Event 3 Women 800 Meter Run ======================================================================= Name Year Team Finals Points ======================================================================= Section 1 1 Martinez, Brenda New Balance 1:59.91 2 Vessey, Maggie Unattached 1:59.96 3 Bishop, Melissa Nike canada 2:00.73 4 McGowan, Brittany Melbourne Tr 2:01.70 5 Tracey, Adelle England 2:02.01 6 Thomas, LaTavia Njnytc 2:02.14 7 Crowe, Laura Melbourne Tr 2:02.24 8 Wright, Phoebe Nike 2:02.66 9 Belleau-Beliveau, Karine Les Vainqueurs 2:06.21
Section 2 1 Grace, Kate Oiselle 2:01.57 2 Rogers, Christina Spirit of Oregon 2:01.75 3 Smith, Jessica Nike 2:01.78 4 Kampf, Heather Asics/Team Usa MN 2:01.87 5 Crofts, Helen Canada 2:02.10 6 Cummins, Diane Mountain Wes 2:02.39 7 Buckman, Zoe Melbourne Tr 2:02.50 8 Leinert, Shannon Nike Otc Elite 2:02.89 9 Ross, Cydney Njnytc 2:07.33 Section 3 1 Katsanevkis, Katherine Saucony Australia 2:01.95 2 Kajan, Selma Melbourne Tr 2:02.13 3 Wallace, Lauren Oiselle 2:02.55 4 Praska, Bethany Unattached 2:02.83 5 Aubry, Rachel Speed River 2:04.18 6 Moore, Erica Brooks 2:04.31 7 Francois, Rachel Unattached 2:05.71 Section 4 1 Brown, Alisha Unattached 2:05.65 2 Zanotelli, Dalanne Unattached 2:06.13 3 Williams, Shawnice Unattached 2:06.15 4 Butterworth, Lindsey Unattached 2:06.39 5 Zorich, Brett Sra Elite 2:06.70 6 Jackson, Dominique Sra Elite 2:06.82 7 Harper, Lyndsay Bay Area TC 2:08.11
Update: PS. Someone on the messageboard asked how we could call the rabbitting awful in heat #1 because the rabbit ended up hitting 57.5 almost exactly. Well take a look at the photo below. The field is nearly at 200, the clock reads 27.6 and the rabbit is nearly 20 meters ahead well past 200. Click on it for enlarged photo. Going 26.5-31 or even 27.5-30 isn’t a good way to run 57.5. No one wants to go out that fast, and thus they end up running the whole race by themselves.
Women’s 5000: Shannon Rowbury Wins, Jordan Hasay PRs But Struggles With Her Kick
Nike Oregon Project team member Shannon Rowbury went to the lead with just over 300 meters to go and then pulled away from Buze Diriba over the final 100 to get the win in the women’s 5000 in 15:20.91 to Diriba’s 15:22.75.
Rowbury’s NOP teammate Jordan Hasay was in the lead at the bell but was a non-factor over the final 300 as she only managed a 73.38 final 400 (Rowbury closed in roughly 64.5). Hasay did end up with a nice consolation gift – a new pb of 15:29.63 (previous pb of 15:34.35).
“It felt warm. I knew it was going to be hot. I just competed the best I can,” said a happy Rowbury on the USATF.tv telecast after the race, which was run in 80+ degree temperatures.
Quick Thought #1: Rowbury Gets a Nice Win: The time wasn’t anything amazing (which was expected given the heat) but this was a good victory for Rowbury, who recently became engaged to former Rice runner Pablo Solares. The 20-year old Diriba is an accomplished 5ker. She’s was the 2012 world junior champ and was 5th in Moscow last summer at Worlds and has a 14:50.02 pb.
Rowbury said she’s really focused on breaking her pbs which are agonizingly close to major time barriers: 2:00 for 800, 4:00 for 1500 and 15:00 for 5000. She said breaking 4:00 is her #1 goal as the 1500 as been her main event as a pro.
Quick thought #2: Hasay Still Impoving With No Kick: Hasay continues to get faster but she still has next to nothing left with 300 left in her races. She’ll have to find a kick to be a factor as a pro. The good news is she found one sophomore year at Oregon.
Event 7 Women 5000 Meter Run ======================================================================= Name Year Team Finals Points ======================================================================= Finals 1 Rowbury, Shannon Nike Oregon Project 15:20.91 2 Diriba, Buze adidas 15:22.75 3 Hasay, Jordan Nike Oregon Project 15:29.63 4 Lopez, Sandra Mx Internati 15:52.82 5 Culley, Julie Asics/NYAC 15:53.80 6 LaBeaud, Natasha Brooks 15:56.55 7 Smith, Kelsey Ucla 16:16.63 8 Brough, Katie GB 16:22.65 9 Lubieniecki, Kara Saucony?HTSElite 16:53.22
Women’s 1500: Kate Van Burskirk Wins
In the women’s top heat at Ox, former Duke runner Kate Van Buskirk of Canada’s took the lead with 200 to go and found just enough to hold everyone off in the closing stages to get the win. Van Buskirks’ time of 4:06.97 was a new pb as her previous pb came in the semifinals of Moscow last year (4:07.36). Seven women ran 4:07 in this race, led by New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin who was second in 4:07.07.
“I’m just building off the momentum of last year. I’ve put in a really solid training block,” said Van Buskirk on USATF.tv after the race. “Oxy’s a magical track. It’s hard not to come out here and run fast. I opened up at Stanford last week in 408 (4:08.73) and knew I had more in the tank.”
In the second heat, the NY/NJ Track Club’s Stephanie Charnigo followed coach Frank Gagliano‘s instructions perfectly as she made a big move towards the front from the middle of the pack with 300 to go and crushed everyone over the final 100 to win in 4:11.33, just off her pb of 4:10.91.
Quick Take #1: A nice run for Van Buskirk, who closed in 62 to get the win (leader was 3:04.53 at bell), but she wasn’t the one closing the fastest over the last 100. Many in the pack behind her battling it out for second were going faster including 2007 NCAA 1500 champ Brie Felnagle. Felnagle ended up sixth in 4:07.42, just the second time she’s ever been under 4:09 in her career (she ran 4:05.64 last July).
Quick Take #2: 2012 US 5000 Olympian Kim Conley was in the lead on the last lap but as a long distance runner who is focusing on the 10,000 this season, she didn’t have the wheels to match the 1500 runners and ended up third to last in 4:11.10. Not bad for a 5k/10K runner, but she doesn’t seem to be in the same form she opened her indoor campaign with. She ran a 4:24 mile in New York in January.
Event 5 Women 1500 Meter Run ======================================================================= Name Year Team Finals Points ======================================================================= Section 1 1 Van Buskirk, Kate Brooks 4:06.97 2 Hamblin, Nikki New Zealand 4:07.07 3 Lagat, Violah adidas 4:07.11 4 Mackey, Katie Brooks Beast 4:07.19 5 Simpson, Jemma Nike Otc Elite 4:07.37 6 Felnagle, Brie adidas 4:07.42 7 Wilson, Heather Njnytc 4:07.47 8 England, Hannah Nike 4:07.82 9 Duncan, Melissa Melbourne Tr 4:09.48 10 Schappert, Nicole Nyac/Hoka One One 4:09.87 11 Sifuentes, Nicole Saucony Track Club 4:10.05 12 Conley, Kim New Balance 4:11.10 13 Vaughn, Sara Brooks I.D. 4:12.24 14 Winslow, Amanda Oiselle / Nj-Nytc 4:12.33
Section 2 1 Charnigo, Stephanie Njnytc 4:11.33 2 Gall-Lara, Geena Unattached 4:12.17 3 Delaney, Bridey Melbourne Tr 4:12.22 4 Van Dalen, Lucy New Balance 4:12.48 5 Penney, Lauren Oiselle / Nj-Nytc 4:12.77 6 Gregson, Heidi Furman Elite 4:13.41 7 Reilly, Chelsea Saucony 4:13.67 8 Gallagher, Kerri New Balance Pacers 4:14.33 9 Kesselring, Anne Nike Otc Elite 4:14.89 10 Moultrie, Josephine Scotland/Gre 4:15.66 11 Mergaert, Amanda Oiselle 4:16.00 12 Paquette, Lauren Speed River 4:17.30 13 Mecke, Dana Unattached 4:17.60 14 King, Caroline Njnytc 4:19.94 Section 3 1 Johnson, Lauren Nike Otc Elite 4:14.43 2 Tebo, Jessica Brooks Beast 4:14.87 3 Bizzarri, Angela Brooks Beast 4:15.15 4 Drake, Lindsey Bowerman TC 4:17.16 5 Friday, Becca Adidas/Rogue AC 4:17.46 6 Feldman, Greta Nike Otc Elite 4:18.38 7 Carlyle, Laura Oiselle 4:19.06 8 St. Geme, Anne Nbsv 4:19.93 9 Simpson, Clerc Brooks 4:20.24 10 Cliff, Rachel Vancouver Th 4:20.48 11 Findley, Kristen Adidas/Rogue AC 4:21.64 12 Laman, Anna Australia 4:23.02
Women’s Steeplechase: Courtney Frerich PRs and Wins
Courtney Frerichs, who was sixth at NCAAs for UMKC last year, got the win in a new pb of 9:53.61 (previous pb of 9:55.02) in the first race of the night.
It’s worth noting that it was still very hot when this race was run, possibly still over 90 in LA.
Event 1 Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase ======================================================================= Name Year Team Finals Points ======================================================================= Finals 1 Frerichs, Courtney Unattached 9:53.61 2 Nelson, Alicia Adams State 9:54.45 3 Waite, Lennie Unattached 9:56.08 4 Bell, Rolanda Cptc New Balance 9:57.83 5 LaCaze, Genevieve Melbourne Tr 10:02.73 6 Pease, Sarah Adidas/Rogue AC 10:03.89 7 Furlan, Jessica Excel Athletika 10:07.93 8 Detmer, Ann Unattached 10:08.17 9 Groenewoud, Chantelle Speed River 10:08.37 10 Bracy, Addie Brooks / Hts Elite 10:10.90 11 Schultz, Amber Unattached 10:11.97 12 Stowe, Rebeka Njnytc 10:12.56 13 Ballinger, Mary Zap Fitness/Reebok 10:16.64 14 Callahan, Maggie Hts Elite 10:23.94 15 Hayakari, Minori Kyoto Koka AC 10:29.73