February 7, 2015
BOSTON — There were several thrilling women’s distance races at the 2015 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center on Saturday, none more so than the world record in the women’s DMR set by the team of Sarah Brown, Mahogany Jones, Megan Krumpoch and Brenda Martinez. The quartet combined for a 10:42.57, smashing the old world record of 10:50.98, though that time almost wasn’t good enough to win the race as the NY All-Stars, anchored by Nicole Tully, came up just short, running 10:42.79 after Martinez overhauled Tully in the final meters of a thrilling race.
In other action, Jenny Simpson powered to an impressive American record of 9:18.35 in the women’s 2 mile, Treniere Moser ran 2:37.86 to win the women’s 1000 and defeat Mary Cain (second, 2:38.25) for the second week in a row, and young Ethiopian stud Dawit Seyaum (5:25.46) prevailed over Sally Kipyego (5:40.35) and Emma Coburn (5:41.11) in the 2000.
Women’s DMR: Nicole Tully Tries To Steal The Headlines But BMart And New Balance Come Through
Given that this meet’s primary sponsor is New Balance, the script was for the women’s team from New Balance, anchored by Brenda Martinez, to get the world record. In the end, that’s what happened, but boy did Nicole Tully (formerly Schappert) of the New York All Stars make her work for it.
Tully and Martinez got the sticks together and Tully followed Martinez around the track until she went to the lead and gapped Martinez during the final 400. Heading onto the backstretch for the last time, it seemed as if the race was Tully’s but Martinez used her 800 speed to come back and get the win. Martinez split 4:27.77 to Tully’s 4:28.14 as the New Balance team of Sarah Brown (3:15.54), Mahogany Jones (53.59), Megan Krumpoch (2:05.68) and Martinez (4:27.77) won in 10:42.57, shattering both the world indoor best of 10:50.98 set by Tennessee at NCAAs in 2009 and the world outdoor best of 10:48.38 set by Villanova at Penn Relays way back in 1988.
Quick Thought #1: A gutsy run by both Tully and Martinez.
Tully deserves huge props as she went for it and was nearly rewarded with a world record. In the end, she’ll have to settle for respect of die-hard track and field fans. Far too often, track runners, even at the highest levels, fall into the trap of running according to form. “Oh that person should beat me.” Tully ignored the pundits and laid it all on the line. Tully may not be that well known but she did run 4:06.87 for 1,500m in 2012.
Credit Martinez for putting her head down and making up 10-plus meters over the last 150.
“I’m not sharp right now but I’m strong,” said Brenda on NBCSN after it was over.
Quick Thought #2: Martinez overcame some late-race confusion to anchor her team to a world record
“I kind of got lost,” Martinez said. “It said three laps to go (when there were actually two) and she kind of took off and I was like ‘Why is she going so early?” I couldn’t hear any splits. Then I heard the bell and I was like ‘No way, I need to get in gear right now.’”
Martinez said the 800 will be her focus in 2015 and it will stay that way until she feels the speed isn’t there anymore. Off-camera, she also noted that she isn’t planning on running the World Relays this year. She said she felt the travel from California wore her down last year (Martinez ran on both the 4 x 800 and 4 x 1,500 squads, which also may have contributed) and that she will probably skip the meet if offered a spot this year.
Quick Thought #3: The race set up perfectly for Nicole Tully, who just ran out of gas over the final 50 meters
Tully got the baton where any DMR anchor wants it — just off the shoulder of the leader — and she said her teammates put her in a great position because that allowed her to sit on Martinez for most of the leg. Tully decided to go with 400 remaining, knowing Martinez’ background as an 800 runner (1:57.91 PR; 2013 Worlds bronze medalist) would make her difficult to beat if she left it late. That approach almost worked, but Tully could tell from the crowd’s reaction that Martinez was coming back and ultimately she just didn’t have enough over the final 50 meters to hold Martinez off.
“It sucks to lose but it’s fun to be a part of a really fast race and a good event where the crowd is into it,” Tully said.
|1||NB – USA||NBU A||10:42.57|
|2||NY All-Stars||NYAS A||10:42.79|
|3||NB – Ireland||NBI A||11:03.07|
|5||Boston College||BOSC A||11:24.67|
Women’s 2-Mile: Jenny Simpson Gets It More Than Right With American Record
Jenny Simpson capped the 2015 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix just how her sponsor New Balance wanted with a convincing win in an American record of 9:18.35 in the New Balance 2-mile in the final race of the night. Sentayehu Ejigu was a distant second in 9:27.05.
Simpson was the favorite in this one. Heather Wilson rabbited the field through 6 laps, but then Simpson would lead all the way until the finish. Buze Diriba and Ejigu hung with Simpson the longest, with Diriba making it roughly a mile and a half and Ejigu staying with Simpson until the final quarter. Then Simpson turned on the afterburners and it was all over. Simpson ran 63.96 the final quarter (33.27, 30.69), which was way too much for Ejigu.
Simpson’s 9:18.35 AR finally erased drug cheat Regina Jacobs’ record of 9:23.38 from the books. Simpson’s time converts to roughly 8:37.1 for 3,000m.
QT #1: Nice Start to 2015 for Simpson
Simpson had a fabulous 2014, winning the Diamond League at 1500 and finishing as the world #1 for the first time. She started off 2015 here with a nice win and the American record. Simpson kicked a lap early last year at this meet in the 2 mile and got a little redemption here. Plus, Simpson ran quicker than she likely would have last year (Kipyego ran 9:21 last year and Simpson was struggling at times with the pace), which bodes well for 2015.
Quick Thought #2: Dominating the NCAA as a senior at Colorado taught Simpson how to lead races
Predictably, the first question Simpson was asked was about miscounting her laps in this race last year, and she said that all week she almost felt doomed to make a stupid mistake because she was so worried about last year.
But she was comforted by her coach Heather Burroughs, who reassured her that she had counted every lap correctly since that race. With meet officials offering Simpson splits after every lap, there was no way she was going to repeat her mistake this year.
Often, we question why athletes like Simpson — who was already an American record holder, an Olympian and a two-time World Championship qualifier before graduating from the University of Colorado — would stay in school and dominate the competition rather than capitalizing on their abilities and signing with a sponsor.
Well Simpson had an answer. She said that her senior year at Colorado, during which she set collegiate records in the indoor mile, 3k and 5k, taught her how to lead and that she’s still drawing on those experiences six years later. Leading helped Simpson lower her 1500 pb significantly last year outdoors and it helped her crush the old American record tonight.
Discussion: Jenny Simpson 9:18.35 2-mile, American Record
Women’s 1,000: Treniere Moser Bests Mary Cain
Last week, Treniere Moser looked good in the 800 at the Armory and nearly got the win over Ajee Wilson. Tonight, she looked good once again and got the win in 2:37.86 to Mary Cain‘s 2:38.25.
When the rabbit stopped at 600, Cain had the lead at 1:35.80. Moser got out of a bit of a box and went from third to first on the last lap, which she covered in 30.20 to Cain’s 30.85.
Moser was pleased with the last lap. “It’s great that I still have that kick (at age 33). Last year that was my weak point and we’ve really worked on it,” said Moser to Lewis Johnson on the NBCSN broadcast.
While she didn’t win, Mary Cain was much more pleased than after last week when she was just 5th in New York in the 800.
“This past week I haven’t been feeling 100% but I was like, ‘I need to get over last week,’” said Cain on NBCSN.
Quick Thought #1: What a difference a year makes.
While Cain was much more upbeat after this one, it should be pointed out that last year she was much better. She won this race in a world junior record 2:35.80 whereas Moser was just 5th in 2:37.88. Tonight, Moser ran just .02 faster but got the win. Nonetheless, today’s runs were solid. John Kellogg converts Moser’s time to a 2:00.71 800 and Cain’s to 2:01.00 for 800.
In the grand scheme of things, how you do early in February may not matter too much come August. The person who was last in this race last year was Ajee Wilson, who ended up as the world #2 in the 800.
Quick Thought #2: Treniere Moser is really working on her finishing kick in 2015
Moser ran the 5,000 at USAs last year and said that she and coach Alberto Salazar have gone back and forth between the longer and shorter distances in the past. This winter, however, Moser is firmly focused on developing her speed and it is clearly paying off. The big goal, of course, is for that speed to carry over outdoors to the final 400 meters of the finals at USAs and Worlds.
“At the end of the day, that’s what you have to do to make the team: you have to close…Our group is about getting medals and I would love to have one.”
With Moser, Cain, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury, the U.S. could have a very formidable 1,500 squad at Worlds this year (the U.S. gets four spots thanks to Simpson’s Diamond League bye).
Quick Thought #3: Mary Cain was sick this week and didn’t feel comfortable leading
Cain had an upset stomach prior to her 2:02 800 at the Armory Track Invitational last weekend and thought this week’s race would be better. Unfortunately, she woke up on Monday with a cold and delayed flying out from Portland until Friday to make absolutely sure she was going to be okay to race.
Cain estimated that she was around 90% tonight and thought that 90% would be better than 2:38 (she ran 2:35 here last year), though she admitted she didn’t feel totally comfortable leading the race once the rabbit dropped off and having the field key off her. Part of her was always waiting for her teammate Moser to go by, as she did in New York last weekend, which didn’t help her be as aggressive as she should have been at the end of the race.
Womens 2,000: Dawit Seyaum Makes It Look Easy
2014 world junior 1,500 champion Dawit Seyaum absolutely dominated Sally Kipyego and Emma Coburn in the women’s 2,000 as Seyaum ran 5:35.46 to get the win by nearly five seconds as Kipyego won the battle for second in 5:40.35 with Coburn third in 5:41.11.
Quick Thought #1: Seyaum > Mary Cain (so far)
While neither Coburn nor Kipyego are 1,500 runners (although Coburn was an NCAA champion in the indoor mile in 2013), watching this domination reminded us why Mary Cain ran the 3,000, not 1,500, at 2014 World Juniors. Last summer, before World Juniors, Seyaum broke 4:00 on June 8 and then a week later trounced Jenny Simpson, the eventual world #1, in the 1,500, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of Simpson.
Today’s mark of 5:35.46 for 2,000 converts to 4:02.80 for 1,500 according to John Kellogg, a very fine early season time.
Seyaum has all of the makings of being Ethiopia’s next big star.
Quick Thought #2: What a difference a year makes.
Last year in this race, American Kim Conley won by 6+ seconds. Her time? 5:41.10. It’s worth noting that Emma Coburn ran 6.09 seconds faster this year than last but finished a spot lower, even though there were only four finishers in the race. Last year, Coburn ran 5:47.20 for second.
Coburn said that she wanted to run between 5:40 and 5:42 so she was pleased, though she said being closer to 5:40 would have been nice.
Coburn added that this was a good opener but for now it’s back to Boulder for a big training block until she starts up outdoors.