Week That Was: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly From The Conference Meets; Big $ On The Roads, Fast US High Schoolers And The Great Kenenisa Bekele

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The Week That Was In Running – May 9 – May 15, 2016

By LetsRun.com
May 17, 2016

Last week,we broke down a lot of things as they happened – the Shanghai Diamond League took place, Run Gum’s lawsuit against the USOC and USATF was thrown out, Usain Bolt debuted with a sub-par 10.05, Kenya butchered its Olympic marathon team selection once again, etc. If you missed our coverage, click on the links.

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions or comments? Please email us or post them on our fan forum.

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Arkansas Getting it Done

Arkansas getting it done

In A Day And Age of Specialization, Arkansas Defies The Trend

NCAA Division I conference meets were held over the last two weeks. All five of the power conferences held their conference meets last weekend. And congratulations must go out to……the University of Arkansas.

The Razorbacks, both their men’s and women’s programs led by Chris Bucknam and Lance Harter, were the only team in a power five conference to win the triple crown and sweep all of the conference crowns during the 2015-2016 season – cross country, indoor track and outdoor track (and that’s true for the Pac-12, which doesn’t have an indoor meet).

In 2016, with limited scholarships, many schools specialize in certain areas which means they often are better at one season than another depending on their specialty, whether it’s XC (distance runners), indoors (mid-d runners), or outdoors (sprints/throws). It’s very hard to have any semblance of a balanced team and the Hogs have done it quite well this year. Of course, we’re sure the distance-focused schools will point out that the SEC as a whole is pretty darn weak in cross country. That may be true, but the Arkansas women and men both finished in the top 10 in the country in XC (9th women, 6th men).

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Speaking of how different programs are good at different things. Do you know who won the Big East title last week on both the men’s and women’s side? Since LetsRun.com has a distance bias, we know many of you are guessing Georgetown or Villanova. No, it wasn’t Georgetown (men 4th, women 5th) or Villanova (men 2nd, women 3rd) or even Providence (men 7th, women 6th) or Butler (men 5th, women 7th). The men’s and women’s titles were won by Marquette.

Coming into the meet, Marquette had never won an outdoor Big East title on the men’s or women’s side and now they’ve both won one. So congratulations to head coach Bert Rogers and his team.

Photo via gomarquette.com

*2016 Outdoor Big East Results

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Individually, there were a good number of NCAA DI-leading marks set over the last two weeks. We present them to you now.

Men’s NCAA Leading Marks Set The Last Two Weeks

200m

1Mitchell-Blake, NethaneelJR-3LSU19.95SEC Championships

110h

1Allen, DevonSO-2Oregon13.32Pac-12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships

4 x 100

1LSU (C)38.33Flournoy, Howell, Acy, Mitchell-BlakeSEC Championships

High Jump

1Jones, AvionSR-4East Carolina7′ 7″2.31mThe American Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Long Jump

1Brits, StefanSR-4Florida State26′ 11.75″8.22mACC Championships

Triple  Jump

1Pullen, CliveJR-3Arkansas55′ 0.75″16.78mSEC Championships

Hammer

1Winkler, RudyJR-3Cornell246′ 5″75.10mIvy League Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Decathlon

1Victor, LindonJR-3Texas A&M8446SEC Championships

Women’s NCAA Leading Marks Set The Last Two Weeks

200 (wind-aided)

1Brown, FeliciaSR-4Tennessee22.19SEC Championships

400h

1Little, ShamierJR-3Texas A&M54.72SEC Championships

Long Jump

1Burks, QuaneshaJR-3Alabama22′ 2.5″6.77mSEC Championships

Triple Jump (wind-aided)

1Orji, KeturahSO-2Georgia47′ 11″14.60mSEC Championships

Discus

1Card, KelseySR-4Wisconsin204′ 2″62.22mBig Ten Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Photo via mutigers.com

One performance that wasn’t an NCAA leader that really caught our attention was the following. True freshman Kahmari Montgomery of Missouri ran a big pb of 45.13 to win the SEC men’s 400. Montgomery also won the SEC indoor championships. That’s no small feat as SEC guys went 2-3-4-5-6 at NCAA indoors (Montgomery didn’t make the final at NCAAs).

Montgomery is just 18 years old and hails from Plainfield, Ill., where he had pbs of 10.50, 20.96 and 46.24 in HS.

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It’s Hard To Defend Your Title

Much of the talk on the distance side of the ledger this outdoor season has been about the struggles of 12-time NCAA champ Edward Cheserek. The fact that Cheserek has actually lost two races this year has generated a ton of discussion.

When Cheserek loses a race, people act like the sky is falling. That’s a testament to just how great Cheserek has been.

The struggles of Cheserek this year should make people appreciate how great his run has been. Last week, we certainly got a reminder that it’s not easy to repeat as NCAA champ as Notre Dame star Molly Seidel, the reigning NCAA 10,000 champ, didn’t run ACCs, meaning her 2016 collegiate season is over before it began as she never competed. Her coach, Matt Sparksconfirmed to LetsRun.com that she’s on the comeback trail from a sacral stress fracture.

Mississippi State’s Rhianwedd Price, the reigning NCAA 1500 champ, also won’t be defending her crown as she didn’t compete collegiately this year either (she did run a run 35:18 in a road 10k last weekend). So of the three women eligible to defend their 2015 NCAA outdoor mid-d or distance crowns, only one will attempt to do so – Raevyn Rogers of Oregon. And Rogers, the reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor 800 champ, is not a guaranteed winner as she, like Cheserek, has been defeated outdoors this year as well.

That being said, both Cheserek and Rogers looked great at Pac-12s last week. Cheserek won the 10,000 by 8.66 seconds in 28:58.57 and Rogers won the 800 by 1.21 seconds in 2:02.41. More importantly for Rogers, the one collegian who has beaten Rogers this year, Oklahoma State’s Kaela Edwards, didn’t race at Big 12s last week. That doesn’t mean Edwards won’t race again this year. Oklahoma State coach Dave Smith said she was held out for “precautionary rest.”

More: Interesting NCAA Chatter on the Messageboard: 

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Two Things That Annoyed Us From Last Week

#1.  Minnesota and Michigan tied for the women’s Big 10 crown. Really? 

A meet takes three days to complete and you can’t even declare a winner? If a meet is tied, the team that places higher in the 4 x 400 should be declared the winner. Thank goodness the rest of track and field doesn’t believe in ties. At the ACC meet, when Miami freshman Jaalen Jones and Florida State junior Jamal Pitts tied for the last qualifying spot in the men’s 200 final at 21.23, meet officials didn’t just say it was a tie. They had them race off. Jones won in a big pb of 21.02 and was placed in the final where he got 6th in 21.20.

run-off

We love race-offs. Track and field isn’t supposed to be about ties.

 

2. The fact that when a team scores zero points at a track meet, the scoring systems don’t list them with zero.

Amongst the Power 5 conferences, we want to point out there were yet again a couple of teams that managed to score zero points at their conference meets. Both the Boston College men and Maryland men failed to score; we can also throw in Oregon State men, Vanderbilt men, Utah men, West Virginia men and Northwestern men and women, but none of them have a men’s track program.

However, you’d never know Boston College failed to scores when looking at the ACC results as someone needs to update the scoring system and list them with zero instead of acting like they didn’t compete in the meet. When a tennis player fails to win a game, they don’t mysteriously not show up in the final score of the match. The same should be true for track and field. (The Big 10 results do show Maryland with 0)

And we think they should list the teams that forfeited and didn’t field a team at the bottom as well. Put them below the teams with zero.

The Boston College men competed, they just scored 0.

The Boston College men competed, they just scored 0.

Update: A smart letsrun.com visitor (we always said the best part about the site was you the vistior) has emailed us and said that it’s actually a new NCAA rule that teams that score zero are supposed to be listed in the results as having zero points.

See below or check out Rule 7-1-4 here. We just wish they’d put the teams that don’t have teams in as well with DNC-ADD listed next to them (did not compete – athletic directors decision).

rules-zero

More: Boston College Men: 0 Points at ACC

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Stat of the Week I

7.74 seconds – amount of time that Jenny Simpson finished behind winner Faith Kipyegon in the women’s 1500 last week in Shanghai, where she placed sixth in 4:04.56. In the history of the world, only one woman has run more than 7.74 seconds faster than Jenny Simpson‘s 9:12.50 steeplechase personal best time (Gulnara Galkina‘s WR is 8:58.81).

We know Simpson has repeatedly said she’s not going back to the steeplechase but that fact doesn’t stop us from sticking to our own guns and saying that she should if she wants to win gold at the Olympics. When Simpson won her world 1500 title in 2011, the event was at a historical low – not a single woman broke 4:00 all year long, the first time that had happened since 1977. In Shanghai, three women did it in the first meet of the year.

When Simpson ran the steeple, the only unbeatable people were the Russians (Gulnara Galkina set the WR and won the Olympics in 2008, doper Yuliya Zaripova was the top finisher at Worlds in 2009 after Spanish doper Marta Dominguez was stripped of her world title). Russia may not even be in the Olympics in 2016 and if they are, there are zero good Russian steeplers to worry about.

That being said, the steeple looks like it’s going to be stronger in 2016 than it’s been in recent years. Heading into last week, only once since 2012 had any woman broken 9:10 in the event (Habiba Ghribi ran 9:05.36 in Brussels last year) but world champ Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi opened in 9:07.42 in Shanghai and Ruth Jebet was ahead of her by more than two seconds heading into the bell.

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PHOTO: Cynthia Limo and Lucas Rotich after winning the 2016 UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K in New York's Central Park in 31:39 and 28:29, respectively (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

PHOTO: Cynthia Limo and Lucas Rotich after winning the 2016 UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K in New York’s Central Park in 31:39 and 28:29, respectively (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Who Says All Of The Money Is In The Marathon?

$83,613 – amount of prize money earned so far this year by World Half Marathon silver medallist Cynthia Limo of Kenya, who picked up her largest payday of the year on Sunday in New York by winning the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 31:39.

Cynthia Limo’s paydays so far this year
Jan 17: $20,000 – 2nd place in 66:41 at Aramco Half-Marathon in Houston.
Feb 12: $13,613 – 1st place in 66:04 at RAK Half-Marathon
March 26: $18,000 – 2nd place at World Half-Marathon Championships in 67:34 (includes $3,000 for team title)
May 1: $7,000 – 1st place and course record at Lilac Bloomsday 12k (38:03)
May 14: $25,000 – 1st place at UAE Healthy Kidney 10k (31:39)

The men’s UAE race was won by 12:55/26:43 man Lucas Rotich, the 2015 Hamburg (2:07:19) and 2016 Lake Biwa (2:09:19) marathon champ, in 28:29.

And the UAE Healthy Kidney wasn’t even the most lucrative 10k on the planet last week. That honor goes out to the TCS World 10-K in Bengaluru, India (Bengaluru is apparently the new name for Bangalore) which paid out more than $69,000 per gender in prize money as compared to $47,400 in New York.

The winner of the TCS World 10-K on the women’s side was the woman who beat Limo at the World Half Marathon championships this year – Peres Jepchirchir. The men’s winner in Bengaluru for the second year in a row was Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia. Geremew, who was 11th at Worlds in the 10,000 last year, won in 28:36.

Top 10 finishes with prize money at UAE and TCS races as reported by Race Results Weekly.

UAE Healthy Kidney Men’s Top 10
 1. Lucas Rotich, 26, KEN              28:29  $25,000
2. Wilson Chebet, 30, KEN             28:37   10,000
3. Teshome Mekonen, 20, ETH           28:47    5,000
4. Zane Robertson, 26, NZL            29:02    3,000
5. Ashalew Neguse Meketa, 28, ETH     29:47    2,000
6. Ayele Megersa Feisa, 28, ETH       29:50    1,000
7. Alex Monroe, 24, USA/CO            29:54      800
8. Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, 31, ETH     29:55      600
9. Abebe Sihine Mekuria, 24, ETH      30:15
10. Negash Abebe Duki, 26, ETH         30:37
UAE Healthy Kidney Women’s Top 10
 1. Cynthia Limo, 26, KEN              31:39  $25,000
2. Mary Wacera, 27, KEN               31:51   10,000
3. Edna Kiplagat, 36, KEN             31:58    5,000
4. Diane Nukuri, 31, BDI              32:23    3,000
5. Buze Diriba, 22, ETH               33:15    2,000
6. Laura Thweatt, 27, USA/CO          33:20    1,000
7. Etaferahu Temesgen, 26, ETH        33:41      800
8. Maegan Krifchin, 28, USA/MD        34:01      600
9. Grace Kahura, 23, KEN              35:11
10. Allie Kieffer, 28, USA/NY          35:19
TCS  World 10-k Men’s Top 10
 1. Mosinet Geremew, ETH    28:36  USD 23,000
2. John Langat, KEN        28:37      17,000
3. Bonsa Dida, ETH         28:42      10,000
4. Abdallah Mande, UGA     28:46       5,000
5. Alex Korio, KEN         28:49       4,000
6. Geoffrey Korir, KEN     28:57       3,000
7. Nicholas Rotich, KEN    29:06       2,500
8. Gideon Kipketer, KEN    29:09       2,000
9. Mule Wasihun, ETH       29:15       1,500
10. Fredrick Kipkosgei, KEN 29:34       1,000
TCS  World 10-k Women’s Top 10
 1. Peres Jepchirchir, KEN  32:15  USD 23,000
2. Helah Kiprop, KEN       32:28      17,000
3. Wude Ayalew Yimer, ETH  32:33      10,000
4. Edith Chelimo, KEN      32:50       5,000
5. Rose Chelimo, KEN       32:54       4,000
6. Jackline Chepngeno, KEN 32:57       3,000
7. Linet Masai, KEN        33:25       2,500
8. Magdalyne Masai, KEN    34:06       2,000
9. Swati Gadhave, IND      34:45       1,500
10. Agnes Tirop, KEN        35:08       1,000

Ben Blankenship and Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton Pick Up Some Nice Coin

On the U.S. road circuit, the 2016 U.S. road mile and U.S. 25k championships were held last week. The biggest winner in a monetary sense was former Wichita State runner Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, who captured her first U.S. title by winning the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25-K in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1:25:36, after recording a half-marathon split of 1:11:56. Tuliamuk-Bolton, who gained her U.S. citizenship last month, won $14,500 for capturing the overall race title, the U.S. women’s title and the male-female gender title at the U.S. 25k champs. In the men’s race in Michigan, Christo Landry beat Olympic marathoner Jared Ward. Landry won in 1:15:32 after hitting 21.1 km in 1:04:12.

Ben Blankenship (3:55.8) and Heather Kampf (4:34.2) won the U.S. road mile titles, Blankenship in dominant fashion by an astronomical four seconds. Blankenship made a strong move just after the quarter-mile mark and coasted to the title, taking home $5,000 for the win and an additional $10,000 for breaking Nick Willis‘s event record from 2013 (race video here). We hope he’s not still thinking of doing the 10,000m at the Olympic Trials.

2016 Fifth Third River Bank Run 25-K Men’s Top 10
 1. Christo Landry, Charlotte, NC          1:15:32  $5000 + 7000a
2. Jared Ward, Kaysville, UT              1:15:44   1500 + 3000a
3. Jake Riley, Rochester, MI              1:15:57   1000 + 1500a
4. Nathan Martin, Spring Arbor, MI        1:16:31   1000a
5. Will Nation, Austin, TX                1:16:39    800a
6. Spencer Gardner, Provo, UT             1:17:13    600a
7. Andy Wacker, Boulder, CO               1:17:17    500a
8. Nick Arciniaga, Flagstaff, AZ          1:17:37   400a
9. Fernando Cabada, Clovis, CA            1:17:54    200a
10. Zach Ripley, Rockford, MI              1:18:04    100a
2016 Fifth Third River Bank Run 25-K Women’s Top 10
 1. Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, Santa Fe, NM 1:25:36  $5000 + 7000a + 2500g
2. Gladys Kipsoi, Lansing, MI (KEN)       1:26:17   1500
3. Eunice Mumbua Kioko, Lansing, MI (KEN) 1:27:00   1000
4. Lindsey Scherf, Mountain View, CA      1:27:16   3000a
5. Clara Santucci, Dilliner, PA           1:28:06   1500a
6. Esther Atkins, Blowing Rock, NC        1:28:39   1000a
7. Dot McMahan, Rochester, MI             1:28:41    800a
8. Kelsey Bruce, Brackettville, TX        1:29:58    600a
9. Chirine Njeim, Chicago, IL (LEB)       1:32:43
10. Megan Sanchez, Grand Rapids, MI        1:34:52    500a
2016 Medtronic TC Mile Men’s Top 10
 1. Ben Blankenship, 26, Eugene, OR        3:55.8 CR $5,000 + $10,000
2. Garrett Heath, 30, Winona, MN          3:59.7      3000
3. Travis Burkstrand, 26, Seattle, WA     4:01.4      1800
4. Duncan Phillips, 26, Austin, TX        4:01.8      1000
5. Brandon Hudgins, 29, Boone, NC         4:02.3       600
6. Lex Williams, 29, Ann Arbor, MI        4:02.8       400
7. Riley Masters, 26, Seattle, WA         4:03.5       250
8. Chad Noelle, 23, Stillwater, OK        4:04.8       200
9. Abbabiya Simbassa, 22, Minnetonka, MN  4:05.5       150
10. Craig Miller, 28, Madison, WI          4:06.3       100
2016 Medtronic TC Mile Women’s Top 10
 1. Heather Kampf, 29, Minneapolis, MN      4:34.2  $5000
2. Christy Cazzola, 30, Marietta, GA       4:37.2   3000
3. Gabe Grunewald, 29, Minneapolis, MN     4:39.0   1800
4. Brook Handler, 23, Ann Arbor, MI        4:40.6   1000
5. Maddie Van Beek, 24, Fargo, ND          4:41.7    600
6. Ayla Granados, 24, Castro Valley, CA    4:43.3    400
7. Meghan Peyton, 30, Bloomington, MN      4:45.2    250
8. Tabor Scholl, 19, Kremmling, CO         4:47.2    200
9. Katy Moen, 24, South Saint Paul, MN     4:47.7    150
10. Kristen Findley, 25, Portland, OR       4:48.0    100

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Talk About Consistency

28:39.99 and 28:39.98 – winning gun times to the hundredth of a second that American steeplechaser Donn Cabral has recorded in each of the last two years at the Newport 10,000 in Jersey City, N.J. Cabral won the NJ road 10k title last week at Newport in 28:39.99, basically the exact same time he put up last year.

*Race website

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Email of The Week – Kenenisa Bekele Got 3rd in London Off of Scant Training

Last week, one of the more interesting and popular threads on our message board/fan forum was this one – MB: Good Lord, the Bekele London Training Stuff Was True – where fans reacted to just how little Kenenisa Bekele trained due to injuries before the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon (where he somehow got third) as detailed in an interesting article in the New York Times on the quest for a sub-2-hour marathon (not happening anytime soon). That thread resulted in us getting two great emails from Canadian journalist Paul Gains, who has spent a lot of time with Bekele in Ethiopia. We share with you a merged version of those emails below.

Hello Letsrunners!

I am fascinated by the interest in Kenenisa Bekele’s London performance on your site.

I was in Addis, staying at the  Kenenisa Hotel last November/December and saw Kenenisa train several times. I recall sitting in the hotel gym, having coffee with his wife, as he rode on the stationary bike in front of us. He was in good spirits laughing and joking even though he could only run occasionally and even then, only for 30 minutes, on the treadmill.

His training consisted of all sorts of core exercises, cycling and running. Each session was about two hours. Everything was supervised by Mersha Asrat, his coach.

When I heard he was running London I was shocked because he couldn’t even run outdoors when I saw him in early December 2015. But I know he is one of the most talented athletes with a tougher than nails attitude. And while other athletes might be tempted to quit due to the poor shape he is committed.

Jos Hermens employed a personal masseur and a physiotherapist who were always at the hotel in case they were needed and he was getting this treatment daily while I was there. Again, considering all this, his 3rd place in London is outstanding. Jos also says Kenenisa’s real coach is Kenenisa.

Mersha told me that when Kenenisa ran the Great Ethiopian Run and beat Mo Farah and Haile, he turned off the video when he saw him apparently dropped (Ed note: the rope-a-dope is in the photo on the right). Even he didn’t know Kenenisa’s plan to ‘pretend to be dropped’ so that the pace would pick up and take some of Mo’s kick away. It was Tariku Bekele who called Mersha after the race and said ‘congratulations, he won.’

Bekele is extraordinary. And as Jos Hermens has told me when he ran world cross country it kept him running through the year. Otherwise he spends a very short amount of time getting fit. But London was an enormous surprise.

Cheers

PS. I love Ethiopia and whenever I am there I spend a lot of time with Haile, Kenenisa and the Dibabas.
 
On the day of the Great Ethiopian Run last year I was sitting in the media tent before the race when all the VIPs turned up. They were lined up to meet Tirunesh, Genzebe and Sileshi.  I stood behind them waiting to say hello to Tiru. She did a double take when she saw me and came straight over to greet me with three kisses. I chatted with all three of them before they went to the podium next to the start.
 
40,000 runners take a long time to cross the start line as  you know. And when people spotted the Dibaba sisters standing on the podium they took out cell phones and started taking pictures. The result was a massive blockade of runners which almost brought the race to a complete standstill. The race director Ermias Ayele had to go over to the ladies and ask them to come back to the VIP tent. That is how popular the runners are in Ethiopia.

I tell people in Canada you can take Justin Bieber, Justin Trudeau, Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky and combine them and you still wouldn’t have the status that these runners have in Ethiopia.

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4 Of The 10 Fastest Female HS Milers of All Time Are Competing This Year / Put Slagowski In The Bowerman Mile Now

On Monday night, 16-year-old Kate Murphy of Virginia became the third U.S. high schooler to break 4:15 on the year for 1500 as she ran 4:14.26 at Swarthmore.

That means three of the six fastest (and four of the 10 fastest) milers in U.S. high school history are all competing this year. Here is a list of the fastest U.S. high girls in 1500/1600/mile history when all of their marks are converted to the mile courtesy of Track and Field News (we converted the Efraimson time because TFN doesn’t consider it the record as she was a pro when she ran it). If you are looking for historical U.S. lists, the place to go is always trackandfieldnews.com/lists/.

4:22.91+ Alexa Efraimson  (Camas, Washington) 2015
4:24.19+ *Mary Cain (Bronxville, New York) 2013
4:31.03+ Elise Cranny (Niwot, Colorado) 2014
4:31.34+ Christina Aragon (Billings, Montana) 2016
4:34.54+ Katie Rainsberger (Air Academy, Air Force Academy, Colorado) 2016
4:34.61+ *Kate Murphy (Lake Braddock, Burke, Virginia) 2016
4:34.86+ *Jordan Hasay (Mission, San Luis Obispo, California) 2008
4:35.2 Polly Plumer (University, Irvine, California) 1982
4:35.41+ Christine Babcock (Woodbridge, Irvine, California) 2008
4:35.71+ Ella Donaghu (Grant, Portland, Oregon) 2016

+ converted time *athlete was a HS junior at the time

Hopefully, someone can get them all in the same meet later this year.

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Looking at that list, it’s worth pointing out that the #1 and #3 names on it had a good week last week. Efraimson, now running professionally for Nike, ran a 2:00.99 pb in Portland for 800 (previous pb of 2:01.11) in a race won by (Yale’s finest) Kate Grace in 2:00.05. That mark made one messageboard poster point out that if Efraimson were in the NCAA, she’d be the NCAA leader in both the 800 and 1500: MB: Alexa now Leads the NCAA in 800m and 1500mCranny, now a sophomore at Stanford, won her first Pac-12 title as she won the women’s 1500 comfortably in 4:17.72 after finishing 4th in the event last year.

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Speaking of fast HS milers, on the boys side last week, 3:59.53 miler Michael Slagowski improved his 800 pb to 1:48.36. Watch the race for yourself.

Now that you’ve watched it, we hope you agree with us.

Slagowski must be put in the Bowerman Mile with Drew Hunter at the 2016 Pre Classic. Slagowski is fearless and fast. Last year, sub-4:00 high schoolers Grant Fisher and Matthew Maton never raced each other on the track. Slagowski and Hunter have to race each other in a mile this year.

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Weekly Free Coaching Life Advice

Are you currently a freshman in college and hate it? Don’t worry. You are in good company. From personal experience, we know that lots of people hate college their first year. Multi-time NCAA champ Phoebe Wright did as shown in this excerpt from a great Q&A with her on Bellelap.com.

The most challenging part? Initially—all of it. I floundered my first year in college. I had no time to myself, no confidence in my running, no friends or time to make friends. I was homesick. I was skipping class because I was too tired to go. It was just a disaster. I even looked like a disaster. My everyday uniform consisted of an oversized Tennessee Track and Field T-shirt, running shorts, and no make-up. I would have quit, but I didn’t and I’m not sure why I didn’t—probably because I lacked think-for-yourself skills at the time. Or maybe because I avoid hard conversations and thinking about having the “I quit!” conversation was more stress inducing than getting my ass beat at practice everyday. I’d like to think it was grit that kept me from quitting, but, if I am to be honest, it was probably fear and/or laziness.

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Quotes of the Week (that weren’t quote of the day)

#1 Proof Positive That Elite Athletes Do Drink During The Season

“The drugs, Dr. Rodchenkov said, helped athletes recover quickly after grueling training regimens, allowing them to compete in top form over successive days.

“To speed up absorption of the steroids and shorten the detection window, he dissolved the drugs in alcohol — Chivas whiskey for men, Martini vermouth for women.

“Dr. Rodchenkov’s formula was precise: one milligram of the steroid mixture for every milliliter of alcohol. The athletes were instructed to swish the liquid around in their mouths, under the tongue, to absorb the drugs.”

-excerpt from a New York Times piece on doping in Russia.

More: Russian Insider Says State-Run Doping Fueled Olympic Gold

#2 Figure Out Which Country You Want To Represent and Stick To It

“My instinct is that we need to settle upon a principle that if an athlete starts their international ­career competing for a particular country, they finish their career for a particular country.”

Seb Coe talking to The Telegraph last week.

#3 More Than Just The Athletes Should Be Banned When Athletes Test Positive

“I also believe that athletes take far too much of the blame for doping. If an athlete is caught and gets banned, that athlete serves a punishment. But often the people who might have enabled that doping – agents, coaches, managers, officials, event organizers et al and they rarely seem to serve any punishment.”

Mara Yamauchi, the second-fastest British marathoner in history, ,talking last week to Athletics Illustrated.

More: Q&A With Mara Yamauchi – The 2nd-Fastest British Marathoner In History – Who Thinks Coaches And Agents Should Be Banned When Athletes Get Popped For Doping

#4 Sometimes It’s Best To Just Run, And Not Worry About Your Time

“I had not realized that we were running that fast until we got to 30K. I realized we almost broke the London record when I crossed the finish line and saw that I had clocked 2:03.53. The record was the last thing in my mind….Running and concentrating on the watch is not advisable.”

Stanley Biwott talking last week to citizentv.co.ke about his London Marathon race, after being named to the Olympic team.

More: After Going Toe-To-Toe With Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott Is Ready To Chase A Medal In Rio

#5 The Rio Stadium & Track Get Rave Reviews

“It’s a smaller stadium, but there is a small group of people over there and they are so loud and so animated. It lets you know this stadium is going to be electrifying when the games are here. When I came out I felt tears because they were so excited to see us.”

-American high jumper Chaunte Lowe giving rave reviews to AP about the Rio Olympic stadium after she jumped a world-leading 6’5″ (1.96) there.

Lowe paid her own way to the meet as she wanted to get a feel for the track’s surface. She said she learned a lot and is now very confident going into the Olympics. As to what she learned, Lowe said, “I’m not going to tell anybody. They should have come here themselves…I feel like it’s an investment if you want to succeed and do well here.”

More: Rio: Track and field a big test for an Olympics under siege *Seb Coe Attended Event After Taking Subway And Predicts Olympics Will Be A Huge Success

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Recommended Reads

In-Depth Interview With Phoebe Wright Talking About Her Early Life, College Career And Current Training Situation

At Just Shy Of 41, Marathoner Scott Westcott Will Become Australia’s Oldest Track Olympian When He Competes In Rio

NY Times: More Major Russian Doping Allegations As Former Moscow Lab Director (The One Who Didn’t Mysteriously Die After The WADA Report) Details How Sochi 2014 Dirty Urine Samples Were Switched Before Testing

After Going Toe-To-Toe With Eliud Kipchoge, Stanley Biwott Is Ready To Chase A Medal In Rio

Good Column By 1996 Olympic 100 Champ Donovan Bailey – Bailey Says He Is Expecting A Monster Year From Usain Bolt, Whom He Says Is In “Tremendous Shape”

Previous Recommended Reads from other weeks can be found here.

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Other News of Note

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Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

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