Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Matt Taylor's Recap of the 3000m Finals and Drawn Out and Unentertaining Day 1 of the 2008 USATF Nationals
*Photos of Day 1 of 2008 USATF Nationals
Matt Taylor, a pioneer in the running online world (founder of Chasing Tradition, Chasing Kimbia, and most recently Runnerville; he now works for Puma and was a college teammate of LetsRun.com's Wejo at Yale), went to the meet on behalf of LetsRun.com. We love what Matt has done for the sport and are consulting with him on a variety of things.
What he reported back is below. It backs our contention that most of the national championships are pretty boring and a lot needs to be done to the schedule to try and entertain the fans. Otherwise even in a running town like Boston, hardly anyone will go to the meet.
Seriously, that was the second worst indoor track meet I've ever been to, last year's meet being the worst. I can't even describe how boring it was. That is, until the 3000ms.
The women's 3k was a good race. Jen Rhines looked super fit and I thought for sure she was going to take it easily. But Shannon Rowbury had a monster kick from 300m out to win easily. Rhines barely held of Julie Culley (people are wondering who this unsigned athlete is) for 2nd. Erin Donoghue made a hard move with 400m to go, but it wasn't enough to break anyone. She faded to 5th. Katie McGregor ran strong, but never tried to do anything.
Women 3000 Meter Run =============================================================== 1 turn stagger; 8 inside, 4 outside World: W 8:23.72 2/3/2007 Meseret Defar, ETH American: A 8:33.25 1/27/2007 Shalane Flanagan, Nike Meet: M 8:40.45 2/23/1990 Lynn Jennings, Nike Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Shannon Rowbury Nike 8:55.19 2 Jennifer Rhines adidas 8:59.98 3 Julie Culley unattached 9:00.14 4 Katie McGregor Reebok 9:03.34 5 Erin Donohue Nike 9:07.88 6 Amy Hastings adidas 9:16.08 7 Jessica Minty New Balance Boston 9:17.48 8 Erin Dromgoole New Balance Boston 9:18.71 9 Carrie Strickland Bowerman Ath 9:20.37 10 Kristin Anderson Nike 9:25.33 -- Christin Wurth Nike DNS -- Rebecca Walter unattached DNS
The race went out at a snails pace - slower than the women's through 400m. All the big players were still in the race with 1K to go when Solinsky made a very strong move. Riley, who was sitting in 3rd, didn't respond right away. Tegenkamp, who started in the back of the pack and moved up to the top 1/3rd just before 1k (the sign of a true veteran), responded, but not all at once (another sign). He used the next lap to slowly close the gap on Solinsky. It wasn't until 300 to go that Tegenkamp went past Solinsky and cruised to his 2nd consecutive indoor 3K title. He closed in 1:53-point. Pretty impressive considering it was his first race of the winter. Solinsky looked strong in 2nd and Riley went unchallenged the last 400 to finish third. Tegenkamp will pass on Worlds, but Jerry Schumacher will send Solinsky and Riley.
Men 3000 Meter Run =============================================================== 1 turn stagger; 10 inside, 6 outside World: W 7:24.90 2/6/1998 Daniel Komen, KEN American: A 7:32.43 2/17/2007 Bernard Lagat, Nike Meet: M 7:42.81 3/5/1994 Moses Kiptanui, Kenya Name Year Team Finals =============================================================== Finals 1 Matt Tegenkamp Nike 8:02.52 2 Chris Solinsky Nike 8:03.80 3 Jonathon Riley Nike 8:04.86 4 Kyle King Zap Fitness 8:07.11 5 Bolota Asmerom Oregon TC Elite 8:07.16 6 Steve Slattery Nike 8:09.14 7 Anthony Gallo Run Flagstaff 8:11.74 8 Jeffrey Powers Team Indiana Elite 8:11.78 9 Kevin Davis Transports adi 8:11.81 10 Blake Boldon Saucony 8:11.87 11 Daniel Kanyaruhuru Queens Charlotte 8:12.95 12 Matthew Centrowitz Oregon 8:13.19 13 Daniel Huling Reebok 8:15.86 14 Aucencio Martinez unattached 8:16.08 15 John Jefferson Oregon TC Elite 8:21.55 16 Christopher Clark unattached 8:30.00
Comments on the (Lack of Fans) And No Attempt to Entertain Them
To think that this is our national championship is sad. I would say of the people in the stands, there couldn't have been more than 50 who were not directly tied to an athlete or working (e.g., family, agents, coaches, media, Reggie Lewis Center staff, etc). It's in Boston and we can't even attract 500 "fans"? It shows where our sport is in terms of fan interest...