Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Day 2 at USATFs: Incredible Distance Action with 5k and 10k Finals
We've got the distance recaps below plus give a few details on Adam Nelson's exciting shot put win in a very tight contest, Kim Kreiner's American record in the javelin, and Brian Johnson's upset win in the long jump.
Distance Recaps first in order of the event finals:
Women's 5k: Fleshman Triumphs, Goucher is Finally Back
By 2 miles (3200 in 9:49) there were 5 in the front pack as Russell was still in the lead followed by Goucher, Tollefson, Fleshman and Hall.
At 4k, Goucher went to the front and started to push the pace and Fleshman responded while Russell fell a few yards back.
It was a 2 person race at the bell (14:06, about a 71 for that lap) as Goucher was still in front. Fleshman had another gear left and took the lead with 100 to go to win convincingly down the home stretch in 15:12.37 to Goucher's pr of 15:14.13. Blake Russell held on for 4th in 15:19.07.
For Goucher, the race represented a culmination of sorts from a long road back from injuries and frustration since she won the NCAA 5k and XC titles in 2000. She suffered from patellar tendonitis, a fracture of her femur, stress fractures of both femurs, compartment syndrome, and really bad achilles tendonitis this past winter.
Goucher became a "cross-training queen" during her time away from running but the recent years were a very difficult time for both her and her husband Adam (2000 Olympian who struggled with injuries as well). "We've had a rough 4 years. It was a really difficult time, but we've been really fortunate that we had each other...."
But she saved the most of her praise for her new coach, marathon legend Alberto Salazar. She and Adam moved to Portland to train with Alberto in 2005 and she says it changed not only both of their running but their lives as well. "I could never thank Alberto enough. He's changed our lives. Whether we run bad or not, we've just changed the way we look at everything... Alberto is what turned us around... We're just more positive. A lot of the chips that were on our shoulders are gone. And we're living our lives for the right reason. We were injured and a little bitter and angry and he helped us to see that was ridiculous and (that) we're two lucky people".
Salazar told Goucher before the race this would be the hardest race of her life, because she was actually at a level where she could be expected to do something (she placed 11th last year). And she decide to take advantage of the opportunity, "We had a little over a k to go, and I was like, 'This is it, this is the opportunity I've been waiting for forever.' These last six months have been amazing. I've had so much support. I've been healthy since March, and I've just been able to train like (never before). I push myself and Alberto really pushes me, and I just believe of what I'm capable of."
And afterwards, Goucher said the race taught her a lot, "I've learned that inside I feel like this is what I was born to do. But the last 4 years I've run so bad, I thought 'Am I really supposed to do this (running)?' But today I proved to myself I'm not crazy and this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now in my life." Goucher's goal is to get under the 15 minute barrier this summer in Europe. "I think a lot of American women are knocking on that (15 minute barrier)".
For Fleshman, this represented her first outdoor US track title. An NCAA star like Goucher (2003 NCAA 5k champ and NCAA record holder at the time), she made the US team for Worlds in 2003 and 2005 but suffered disappointment when an injury kept her out of the Olympic Trials.
She is now training with the Team USA Group in California that trains in Tahoe, Palo Alto, and San Diego. She had a lot of praise for everyone she calls coach (Team USA coaches Terrence Mahon and Deena Evans (who was one of her coaches when she was at Stanford, but Lauren says Evans would not want Fleshman to use the word "coach" when describing Evans), her high school coach Dave DeLong (nice profile on Fleshman and him here), and the legendary Vin Lananna), but had some extra praise for Terrence Mahon (coach of Deena Kastor and husband of Jen Rhines). "I call everyone who has helped me out my coach. I guess my official hired coach is Terrence Mahon and he has been an incredible asset."
As for Fleshman's summer she plans on racing in Europe until September and has a few races mapped out, including a 3k in Lucerne, 5k in Rome, and possibly a race in London on the 28th of July. But her focus is on the bigger picture and preparing for the World and Olympic Championship campaigns in 2007 and 2008. "When I first set out my little graph this year I wanted to run in the 14:40s, take a shot at the American Record (drug cheat Regina Jacobs ran 14:45.35, the record in our book is the 14:51 by Deena Drossin), run in the 8:30s, all this kind of stuff, but the last couple of years when I've set myself on times alone, you set yourself up for disappointment and you can't handle the obstacles that get in your way. So right now I'm just going for consistent improvement and building a really solid platform for the next 2 years because I really want to complete well for the United States in 2007 and 2008."
Women 5000 Meter Run =============================================================== World: W 14:24.53 6/3/2006 Meseret Defar, ETH American: A 14:45.35 7/21/2000 Regina Jacobs, Nike Meet: M 14:45.35 7/21/2000 Regina Jacobs, Mizuno Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Lauren Fleshman Nike 15:12.37 2 Kara Goucher Nike 15:14.13 3 Blake Russell Reebok 15:19.07 4 Carrie Tollefson adidas 15:23.49 5 Jennifer Rhines adidas 15:29.51 6 Marla Runyan Team Eugene Inc. 15:31.78 7 Sara Hall Asics 15:38.98 8 Amy Begley adidas 15:43.77 9 Molly Huddle Notre Dame 15:44.66 10 Renee Metivier Nike 15:46.98 11 Kristen Nicolini unattached 15:57.20 12 Clara Horowitz New Balance 15:58.96 13 Sharon Thompson Nike 16:10.31 14 Desiraye Osburn New Balance 16:16.25 15 Amy Hastings Arizona State 16:22.82 16 Mandi Zemba Grand Valley State 16:27.66 17 Melissa Buttry Reebok 16:34.03 18 Julia Lucas N. Carolina St. 16:47.15 -- Sara Slattery adidas DNS -- Shannon Rowbury unattached DNS -- Amy Rudolph adidas DNS
Men's 5k: Lagat Gets His First Crown over Loaded Field
The 5k featured the first final at a US champs for new American US miler Bernard Lagat, who had won his qualifying heat in the 1500 with ease in 3:44.46, a little over 3 hours before the 5k final went off. Lagat had the best credentials in the field, but there were questions marks about how he would be able to handle the strong field, doubling back after a warm afternoon 1500m heat.
After a slow opening lap (65.3), Ryan Hall went to the lead and pushed the pace (61.9) the next 400 to open a gap on the field. He continued the faster pace (62.8 third lap) and was 20 meters up on the field at 1200. He'd hit the 1600 at 4:14.0 (63.6) (13:13.7 pace), but slowly Lagat was leading the chasers back up to Hall (63.8 and 5:17.5 for 2k) and they (Lagat, Goucher, Ritzenhein and Tegenkamp) caught him by 2100m. It was a 20 meter gap back behind them to Ian Dobson and recent NCAA champ Chris Solinsky.
The pace slowed the next two laps as Hall continued to lead (65.5 and 65.6). They'd hit the 3k in 8:01.80 as the pace continued to slow (66.6 to bring them to 8:35.4 at 3200 so over 4:20 for Hall on that mile). The were around 9:07 with a mile to go and 10:47 at 4k (2:27 would be the final k)
Lagat took over the lead at this point and the world class miler was content to let the pace dawdle (not only would he figure to have the best kick on paper, he said after the race he developed a bad side stitch with 6 laps to go) as the 9th lap was a 67.6 as Lagat, Goucher, Ritz, Hall and Tegenkamp were still together then a big 50m gap to Solinsky and then 10 more meters to Ian Dobson.
Matt Tegenkamp was the first to make a go at it to try and take the kick from Lagat. He started pushing at the end of the 10th lap (64.8) and quickly dropped Hall 30 meters back as Goucher responded, then Ritzenhein, and the last one to respond was Lagat. On the backstretch Ritzenhein took the lead from Tegenkamp as they covered the 11th lap in 59.2 with 600 to go. Goucher was still in third and started to fall a bit off the front two with Lagat stuck behind him. Lagat would get around Goucher and it was a 3 man race. Tegenkamp would get back the lead from Ritzenhein and now it was only a question whether Lagat could stay close enough and whether he would have the great kick many expected (12 lap in 58.6). Lagat stayed close enough and with 150 to go he came around Tegenkamp and put distance on him down the finishing straight to bring home his first US title in 13:14.32 (we're thinking he ran around 27.8 the last 200) to Tegenkamp's 13:15.00 (10 second pr). Ritzenhein would finish in 3rd in a six second pr of 13:16.61. Goucher held on to 4th. Ryan Hall faded to 8th and Dobson faded to 10th with Solinsky back in 12th.
Lagat was pleased to garner his first American title and he proudly displayed his medallion afterwards (kids the medallions are about what they represent now what they're made of, because our conference meet in high school gave out nicer medals). He downplayed the toughness of his double saying, "It's like seeing a 400m runner do a 200 at the same time." Plus he had the interesting tidbit that he had heard if Alan Webb was healthy for nationals Webb was going to attempt the 10k, 1500 double. (Speaking of Webb, Lagat spoke highly of the young American miler, "I miss him (not being) in the race, because he's always a tough competitor to race against, and I really wish him all the best. I'm going to run with him in Europe and I can't wait to run with him. I inspire him and he inspires me as well.")
Lagat revealed that the double was far from easy. Besides the fairly fast pace for a US championship, Lagat's biggest problem was that he developed a side stitch with 6 laps to go (he said it was tough to balance eating and hydration with the double attempt) that would not go away. He said, "I was hurting a lot. When the 3 guys left (when Tegenkamp broke things open on the 10th lap), I was like 'I don't know what I'm going to do' so I just kept on slowly getting closer to them, to see if I could at least pull out something with the kick at the end. And I finally got it and I was really pleased with that."
Lagat had not run a 5k this year before heading to Europe like in years past (traditionally he has run the 5000 at Mt. Sac in April). He plans on running a 5k in Europe this summer and said he attempted the double so he could get in one 5k before Europe.
Lagat's coach, James Li (head coach at Arizona), said while there are plans for a 5k or 3k this summer, Lagat's focus is still on running the 1500 and mile. And a world record still remains a goal. Li said, "It's definitely one of our goals for sure. It's definitely not getting any easier, but he has been training (well) and there have been signs in his training that he can still do it." (Lagat ran 3:26.34 in 2001. El Guerrouj ran 3:26.12 in that same incredible race, the world record is 3:26.00)
Men 5000 Meter Run =============================================================== World: W 12:37.35 5/31/2004 Kenenisa Bekele, ETH American: A 12:58.21 8/14/1996 Bob Kennedy, Nike Meet: M 13:12.76 6/24/2005 Tim Broe, adidas Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Bernard Lagat Nike 13:14.32 2 Matt Tegenkamp Nike 13:15.00 3 Dathan Ritzenhein Nike 13:16.61 4 Adam Goucher Nike 13:18.93 5 Sean Graham The Farm Team, Inc. 13:35.62 6 Edward Moran Nike 13:38.02 7 Andrew Carlson Asics 13:40.06 8 Ryan Hall Asics 13:40.55 9 Kyle King Zap Fitness 13:41.83 10 Ian Dobson adidas 13:43.08 11 Rod Koborsi unattached 13:44.35 12 Christopher Solinsky unattached 13:47.24 13 Seth Pilkington Weber State 13:52.17 14 Matthew Gabrielson Reebok 13:55.19 15 Thomas Morgan Zap Fitness 13:59.88 16 Celedonio Rodriguez Reebok 14:01.39 17 Jonathon Riley Nike 14:04.90 18 Bolota Asmerom Nike 14:09.62 19 Patrick Tarpy Reebok 14:16.28 20 Eric Logsdon Team XO 14:18.34 21 Tim Nelson unattached 14:21.59 -- Stephen Haas unattached DNS -- Abdi Abdirahman Nike DNS -- Jason Hartmann Nike DNS -- Meb Keflezighi Nike DNS
Men's 10,000m: Torres Debuts Beautifully, But We're Not Ready to Call it an End of an Era
The 2006 race represented an usurpation of sorts, as Jorge Torres, would defeat both Abdi and Meb, to win the US crown while making a very successful 10k debut.
Abdi Abdirahman was our favorite coming into the event as he appeared to be most race sharp for the 10,000m. He had run 27:22.81 to become the #3 American of all time at Hengelo in May. He wasted no time in getting started as he opened a big lead after a quick opening lap. The lead was somewhat deceptive as despite being 30 or more meters in front he was only 4:29.9 at 1600 (28:06 pace). Abdi slowed down a bit the 2nd 1600 (9:05.70 for 3200) and soon Meb and Jorge Torres closed the gap to catch up to Abdi. Later steeplechaser Anthony Famiglietti, who had run a very impressive 10k debut of 27:37 this year, and Dan Browne (1998 US Champ, 2003 World Championship team member, who is coming back from injury in 2006) caught up to Abdi and it was a 5 man race for the title. (They were 13:40 at 4800 so around 14:14 at 5k, 4:32.6 for the 4th 1600, 18:12.8 for 6400, 19:54 (2:48) at 7k).
Torres was leading at the 8th kilometer (2:50, 22:44.53 (28:25 pace)) and Famiglietti was the first to drop from the pack. Torres really upped the tempo with 1800 meters to go and Meb and Abdi were the only ones to immediately respond. Abdirahman appeared to go with the new pace, then clutched the back of his leg, and would after the race reveal he has been dealing with what he thought was a minor calf injury.
At first there was a 10 meter gap to Dan Browne, but the veteran closed the gap (leader's splits 23.53.0 (with 1600 to go), 2:50 for 9th k, 26:08.6 with 800 to go). The pace never really quickened much until the final 400 and Browne tried to take the lead at the bell (67.7, around 27:16.3), but Torres and Meb were the ones with the most run left in their legs. They would extend away from Browne on the backstretch, and we were down to two. Over the final 200, Torres had another gear that Meb was missing as he would blow away Meb over the final 200 (Meb's last race was his 3rd place in the Boston Marathon) to get the win in 28:14.43 to Keflezighi's 28:18.74, Browne got third in 28:19.32 and Famiglietti was 4th in 28:27.73.
For Torres the win was not only his 10k debut, but it was his first USA national title not on the roads. Clearly his performance showed he may be made for the longer distances. He said, "I was going to stay conservative and let Abdi and Meb set the pace because I know they are the ones with experience and this if my first 10k. But I knew I had enough energy to help them out, I just didn't want to leach off them...it's not good karma, so I helped them out and they helped me out (with the pace). I knew I had enough energy that I would be able to respond to any move (anyone made)... With a lap to go, I was like 'Well if any of these guys can run under 60 seconds they're going to have a shot (Torres ran 58.1 the last lap).' It was a good way to win my first national title and it feels great to compete against Meb and Abdi and come out ahead."
He continued when asked about the marathon, "I'm honestly feel I'm made for distance races, the 10k and maybe the marathon. I feel really comfortable. I don't feel like I'm breathing heavy or working hard to stay at that pace. It feels like a nice comfortable aerobic pace I can handle." And although Torres said his plans this summer are to run a 3k and 5k once he gets to Europe and then focusing on a faster 10k in Brussels in August, he's already got plans for a marathon in his head, "Don't be surprised if you see me out there next year at the Olympic Trials marathon for my first one." As he said, "American distance running is at a different level now. I think we have runners at all levels who ran run from the 1500 up to the 10k (and the marathon) and do well."
Meb Keflezighi obviously wished to come out on top but was wise enough to realize he ran fairly well on Friday in his first track race since last August, having run 2 marathons since then (3rd in NY, 3rd in Boston). "I just can't go faster (at the end of races at this point in my training). My last track race was in August (at the World Champs where he dropped out with an injury) .. Torres played it smart. (Coming in) I was more concerned about Abdi because he has run 27:22, (this year) but congratulations to Torres. He ran a great race. I thought maybe I could pull it off the last 400 to go. If it was just a 500 (sprint between me and Torres) he would probably have a clear win, but when you run 20 or so laps (before hand ) you don't know how the body will respond."
Despite his tremendous success at the marathon, Meb still has ambitions to lower his American record at 10k. And he plans to do it in the Brussels 10k that Torres also plans to race. "That's what I'm going for (my American record). If I'm not (able) to shoot for it, then I'm not going to go there. What's the point? This (tonight's race) is prestigious. This is the national championships. So second place is not bad. But my hat's off to Torres, I think this is his debut and he ran well, but whenever I go to Europe and run the 10k it's going to be lower the American record. I still think I am capable of doing that."
Anthony Famiglietti said the plan was to originally run the steeplechase at nationals but he sprained his ankle going over barriers so he switched to the 10k. To run his best at 10k, he said he needed to go to Flagstaff, Arizona for some altitude training before hand but did not do that this time because he was training for what he thought was going to be a steeplechase. He said he felt he could have won Friday's race with a stint at altitude before hand because he was only 10 (actually 13) seconds back.
Abdi Abdirahman said he picked up a slight calf problem in Hengelo but did not think it was that big a deal but it bothered him a mile into the race. It got worse when they tried to run fast at the end of the race and he had to drop out. He joked he wished it had happened earlier because he had to run nearly the whole 10k before dropping out.
Men 10000 Meter Run ================================================================ World: W 26:17.53 8/26/2005 Kenenisa Bekele, ETH American: A 27:13.98 5/4/2001 Meb Keflezighi, Nike Meet: M 27:36.49 7/9/2004 Mebrahtom Keflizighi, Nike Name Year Team Finals ================================================================ Finals 1 Jorge Torres Reebok 28:14.43 2 Meb Keflezighi Nike 28:18.74 3 Daniel Browne Nike 28:19.32 4 Anthony Famiglietti adidas 28:27.73 5 Jason Lehmkuhle Team Usa-Mn 28:44.14 6 Brandon Leslie Sports Warrior 28:50.12 7 Jason Hartmann Nike 29:03.30 8 Fernando Cabada Reebok 29:06.96 9 Stuart Eagon unattached 29:10.19 10 Fasil Bizuneh Big Sur Dist 29:11.91 11 Patrick Gildea New York A C 29:15.02 12 Josh Moen Hansons-Brooks 29:26.13 13 Joe Driscoll Zap Fitness 29:45.88 14 Edwardo Torres Reebok 29:49.46 15 Josh Eberly Hansons-Brooks 29:50.64 16 Jeffrey Gaudette Hansons-Brooks 30:11.12 17 Sergio Reyes Asics Aggies 30:47.60 -- Chris Graff Asics DNF -- Joshua McDougal Liberty DNF -- Ryan Kirkpatrick U.S. Army DNF -- Abdi Abdirahman Nike DNF -- Ryan Woods unattached DNS
Women's 10k: Slattery Surges, but Rudolph Reigns Supreme
The 4 runners stayed together until the final 1200. The race started fast with McGregor in the lead but gradually slowed own after the first mile. The 1600ms were 5:02.5, 5:09.7, 5:16.9, 5:20.9, 6:44.1 (next 2000), so they were at 27:34 with 1600 to go. Then after another slow lap of 79.9, Sara Slattery, who won Bolder Boulder this year and has prd in each of her outdoor race this year, decided to commence the racing with 3 laps to go. She went to the front with 3 to go and dropped the pace a ton running 71.2 (30:05.4) and at this point it was a 2 woman race as only Rudolph could respond to the blistering change of pace. They two stayed right next to each other through the bell (71.5) until the final 200m when Rudolph had too much left and ran away from Slattery over the final 200m to get the win in 32:25.56 (68.5 last lap) to Slattery's 32:25.56. Akbar would get 3rd 32:25.56 (ruining our trifecta) to McGregor's 4th.
Unfortunately with this being the last race of the evening, the security guard booted us out before we could get an interview wth Slattery on her cooldown. Rudolph did tell Dave Monti of Race Results Weekly, "I'm over the moon. I'm so happy."
Women 10000 Meter Run =============================================================== World: W 29:31.78 9/8/1993 Junxia Wang, CHN American: A 30:52.32 5/3/2002 Deena Drossin, Asics Meet: M 31:09.65 7/16/2004 Deena Kastor, Asics Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Amy Rudolph adidas 32:25.56 2 Sara Slattery adidas 32:29.97 3 Samia Akbar Reebok 32:41.84 4 Katie McGregor Reebok 32:49.62 5 Victoria Jackson Arizona State 33:14.76 6 Melissa Cook New Balance 33:30.08 7 Rebecca Walter unattached 33:58.18 8 Emily Mortensen unattached 34:02.23 9 Heather Gibson Asics Aggies 34:11.21 10 Angela Homan Auburn 34:19.41 11 Tara Storage unattached 34:27.82 12 Anne Bersagel Team Usa-Mn/Reebok 34:35.28 13 Stephanie Dueringer Indiana Invaders 34:42.36 14 Renee Gunning unattached 34:58.08 15 Ann Alyanak unattached 35:39.04 16 Christina Doherty Team Eugene Inc. 36:08.42 17 Erin Nehus Indiana Invaders 36:44.77 -- Carter Hamill New York A C DNF -- Johanna Bonfiglio unattached DNS -- Kate O'Neill Nike DNS -- Rebecca Donaghue Reebok Boston DNS -- Clara Horowitz New Balance DNS -- Lucinda Hull Adidas Raleigh DNS
1500m Heats: Lagat Debuts as an American, Lunn and Ahmed Go at It On and Off the Track
The highlights of the 1500m heats was the debut of Bernard Lagat at a US championship, and a near fight between Jason Lunn and Said Ahmed. All 3 were in the first heat. The top 2 in each heat automatically advanced. The pace opened up in a slow 47.8 and slowed even more to 1:52.2 (64.5) at 7000. Lagat at this point moved up near the front on the outside of Sean Jefferson. Lagat would go on to show why he is one of the best milers in the world as he extended his lead over the final 600m, smoothly gliding away from the field. He was at 2:50.6 at 1100 which means he ran a 58.3 on that lap, and then he ran 53.6 seconds for the final 400, looking like he was jogging.
Ahmed and Lunn were in a battle for the second automatic qualifying spot as Lagat really spread out the field and they were the only two to remain close enough. Lunn would kick by Ahmed and get the spot in 3:45.49 to Ahmed's 3:46.00. But after the finish, you could tell they were arguing at one another as Zach Griffin stepped in between them to keep them apart. Then, they approached each other again, and Ahmed could be heard saying to Lunn, "I'll punch you in the face" Griffin then stepped in again and nothing else happened. (We interrupt this program to further the sport of track and field by letting you discuss, the best fights you've seen at a track meet.)
Heat 2 was the fastest wth Chris Lukezic looking good.42.2, 59.7 (1:41.9), 59.7 (2:41.6), 57.1 winning in 3:38.84. 2000 Olympian Gabe Jennings ran 3:39.89 for 3rd in his heat, his fastest time since 2001.
Grant Robison, Charlie Gruber, and the Jefferson brothers were among those not to advance to the final.
Sorry for any typos. It's really really late. Despite using the word, "we", it's a one man show in Indy this week. Some sort of messed up twin thing you can psychoanalylze yourself.
Men's Shot Put
Men's Long ump
Cross Country Spikes 10% off