Where Your Dreams Become Reality
What a night of track and field action.
Yet again the Reebok Boston Indoor Games were a thing to behold. This year may have topped them all. Where to begin? Do we start with a new women's world record in the 5k? Or how about new American and New Zealand records in the womens 3k? Or an indoor mile PR for Alan Webb? Or a convincing win for America's new mid-d sensation Nick Symmonds? How about an absolute show by the greatest non-African born distance runner on the planet, Cragg Mottram, in the men's 3k?
Since we always are accused of being biased toward mens' action, we'll lead with the women's 3k and then the womens' 5k. Then we'll go to the men's action, back to the women's action and then the high school action and masters.
In recent years, the Reebok Boston meet has been unreal and women's distance running has often led the way as a series of Ethiopian stars have gone repeatedly after world records in the 3k and 5k. However, while the record attempts have been exciting they've normally been totally devoid of competitive drama as they've been solo affairs. Not tonight in the women's 3k.
The pace stayed fast as 2400 was hit in 6:51.96. Flanagan stayed right with Defar. With 550 to go, the crowd went into a frenzy as an absolute shocker occurred. An American distance runner tried to whip around a famed African going for a world record. Yes, that's right, Flanagan tried to pass Defar. Flanagan's bold move not only incited the crowd, it also got Defar going as Defar refused to let Flangan have the lead but the duo kept flying. The 2600 split was 7:25.56. At 2800 (7:58.50) Defar really turned it into high gear as a 29 would give her a world record. She ended up winning in a blistering 8:30.31. Flanagan finished strongly herself in a new American indoor record of 8:33.25 - shattering drug cheat Regina Jacob's old record of 8:39.14 (we've never understood why drug cheats are allowed even to have records). Smith ended up 3rd in a new New Zealand indoor record of 8:38.14.
Making Flanagan's accomplishment all the more impressive - tonight's race was her first track race in about a a year and a half.
Women's 5k -
Sounds tough right? Not exactly. 800 to go was reached in roughly 12:16, meaning she needed a 2:15 or 2:16 to get the record. No problem. How about a 2:11 including a last lap 29.50.
400 Splits for leaders: 68.65, 219.22, 330.11, 438.78, 5:48.45, 6:58.79, 8:09.12, 9:19.35, 10:30.31, 11:40.98, 12:50.98, 13:57.70 and 14:27.42.
Tirunesh Dibaba quotes after her world record run(via interpretator):
On whether her success is the work of talent or hard work: "It's god given talent."
1600 and 2k splits were 4:06.24 and 5:12.56. Just before they got to 2100 meters in, Australia's Craig Mottram surged and took the lead for the first time. Cragg was unable to respond and was thrown out the back as Abbosh and Geneti tried gamely to hang on. 2400 was passed in 6:13.71 meaning Mottram had just thrown in a 61.15 second 400 after the two previous 400s had been 64.01 and 66.34. However, Mottram was just getting going. With 400 to go (6:44.26), it was a two man race between Mottram and Geneti.
Make that a one man race. The last 400 was simply a think of beauty. With 350 to go, Mottram made his move for the win and instantly the race was over. Within a few steps, Mottram had crushed Geneti and had a huge lead. It just got bigger and bigger. With a lap to go (7:11.9), Mottram realized he was the winner and decided to enjoy it. On the backstretch, he pumped his fist to the crowd and then sepately gave the crowd a thumbs up before entering the final turn. He hit the tape in 7:39.24.
Yes, that's right. Do the math. He ran a sickening 54.98 last 400 while celebrating. It looked like he was jogging. Unreal.
Geneti ended up second in 7:42.72 to Abdosh's 7:45.96. Cragg was 4th in 7:52.68. After the race, Cragg was not pleased with his performance. Unlike us, however, he wasn't amazed by Mottram's brilliance - rather he expected it. "Disgusting" is the word Cragg used when asked to describe his performance. However, he said "Buster (which is Mottram's nickname) was obviously the class of the field." Cragg reminded us that on New Year's Mottram went out in 13:07 for the first 5k of a 10k. Pretty remarkable and Cragg is one who certainly realizes how special Mottram has become as he pointed out to the pres that his own 5k pr on the track is "only" 13:08.
Mottram was very happy with his race. "That one was for me. I came here today to run for me. It was probably one of my best runs ever. I wanted to come and put on a show like last year and I think I did that. I've always said that a big part of running is mental and I got it right tonight (on that front.)."
We asked Mottram if he had any idea what he closed in as he was celebrating. "55?" When told 54.98 he said, "Well you could run 50 if you really had to, but it's January you know, shit, there's no point to be (that sharp). I've got a lot of work to be done."
On the 3 Australian Records set: ""Steve Hooker's performance was the performance of the meet. I'm going to go down to Millrose next week and that will be a bit tougher for me, it's a shorter track (which might be harder for a bigger runner)."
Whe asked whether 3k is is his best distance, He replied "Yes but not for long. (the 5k).
The mistake made by the field came between 200 and 600. We can see why the field was likely hesitant to go out in 55 but instead of trying to narrow the gap, realzing that Webb was a) bound to slow down as he wasn't going to run 3:40 and b) Webb was bound to respond even more when the rabbit dropped, the field didn't push the pace and try to narrow the gap. Thus Sullivan and the field soon ended up having make up all the ground on their own as they ended up in no-man's land.
After the race, LetsRun.com got an exclusive interview with Webb's coach Scott Raczko. Raczko was happy with the race. "The start was a little quick but tha'ts ok. It's good as you get hardened at that pace which we haven't got yet this year. It's nice to mix it up (compared to last week's more even splits)." Raczko said that he's been quite pleased with Webb's training. "Oh absolutely (I'm pleased), everything has been going very well." He said Webb will race the mile at Millrose and then most likely also at Tyson's which will give fans a great matchup between him and Nick Symmonds - America's new star who appears like Webb to a) be cut and b) fearless.
Webb is unlikely to run USA indoors so you'd better see him while you can.
Razcko said it was just a series of small problems that ended up snowballing. During Webb's startling 27:34.72 debut 10k (the fastest ever debut for an American and a victory over old high school nemesis Dathan Ritzenhein), he developed a few blister problems as he wore miler spikes instead of true distance spikes like the Eldorets. Due to the slight blisters, Webb altered his mechanics a bit which caused some other problems. His hamstring bothered him and then he ran out in LA at the Home Depot meet which didn't go well (6th in 8:33.92 for 2 miles). Hampered by injury, Webb had to back off his training. Not training very much, he was worried about putting on weight so he stopped eating very much. He lost a lot of weight, dropping to 131 form his racing weigh of approximately 145. The lack of food and nutritin led to anemia which totally wiped out the rest of Webb's season.
Men's 800 - Track and field's newest mid-d sensation, Nick Symmonds, continued to be red red hot. In his first indoor race ever, he ran a 3:56 mile all by himself. Today in his first race on a banked track - he captured the men's 800 in 1:48.15. Symmonds is so raw (and talented) it's unreal. We think we should devote a whole week of the website to just him.
When asked if this was his first time on a banked track, Symmonds said it wasn't. "No No, I got out here last night and was able to run some curves and come up with a game plan." Are you serious? The kid is unreal. Symmonds said he had heard that indoors was real aggressive with lots of bumping but the thing that struck us about Symmonds is that he's jacked - no need for him to worry about someone bullying him on the boards.
Eventhough this was Symmonds first real race indoors, he looked like the savvy veteran. He positioned himself perfectly throughout the race. He was in 3rd early on and thus was riding on the leader's shoulder, Sam Burley, when the rabbit dropped out. Splits for the rabbit were 26.39 and 53.17. 600 was reached in 121.3. Former world indoor champion David Krummenacker was the one who actually looked like he'd never raced indoors before. He ran in last for roughly the first 400 (he was probably 54.7 to 55.0 at 400) before moving up late to nab third in 1:49.29. Symmonds passed Burley coming off the final turn and won in 1:48.15 to Burley's 1:48.66.
Symmonds ran the race almost exactly according to his pre-race plan. He wanted to be near the rabbit but just off it (52 was what the rabbit was instructed to hit but he was a seond off of it) and he planned on taking the lead coming off the next to last turn but he had to wait until the final turn.
After the race, we asked Symmonds if he was a miler or an 800 guy. He said he didn't know and said he feels currently like he's the pefect "1k specialist." "Fortunately I have some time to decide before 2008." Symmonds will race his first elite mile in two weeks at the Tyson meet in Arkansas before coming back to Boston to run USAs.
Women's Mile -
Jamieson, Wurth -Thomas. 3:24.4 and 3/4ths and 10 meters lead over Wurth but the Ehtiopian in 3rd started to move up on back stretch.
Girls HS Mile -
After the race was over one thing was clear to us, if they ran this race 100 times, Danielle Tauro would win it 100 times assuming she didn't fall. Tauro had the lead at a quarter mile (73), half-mile (2:32.5), 3/4ths (3:44.7) and the finish (4:52.20)..
Even though the pace slowed from 400 to 800, Tauro and Lindsey Carson were 5 meters clear of the field but Alex Kosinsi was 3rd and moving up. In the last 400, Jillian Smith (Tauro's hs teammate) would move and grab second (4:53.59) as Kosinski got 3rd (4:54.05) and Carson 4th (4:55.00) but no one came close to challenging Tauro who closed in a blistering 67.5 (last 200 of roughly 32).
A more in-depth recap can be found at dyestat.com.
Boys Mile -
Masters Mile - Former US Olympic marathoner Mark Coogan (is he really 40? Realizing that he must be if he's in the masters mile scared the crap out of all the thirty somethings in the press box like ourselves and Marc Davis) easily won the first event of the night in 4:24.71.
Coogan who said he's only been training a month and running 30-35 mpw enjoyed competing on the track for the first time since 1999. "Its' fun to dig deep. Once you stop running, you don't dig deep in anything." Coogan said the key to his victory was his age "My age helped. I think everyon else was older."
Marshevet Hooker won the Visa 60m in her first pro race and Olympic 200m Gold Medallist Shawn Crawford won the men's 60.
Jenn Stuczynski won the women's vault 15' 2.25", David Payne the RBK 60m hurdles (7.58), Perdita Felicien the women's 60m hurdles (7.97) and Monica Hargrove the 400m (52.85).