Where Your Dreams Become Reality
LRC: KBC Nacht Recap: American Record for Jenny Barringer
American distance runners flock to the KBC Night of Athletics Meet every year in Heusden, Belgium chasing personal bests and American distance fans are usually rewarded with remarkable performances. Last year, Alan Webb ran a world-leading 1:43.87, Chris Solinsky ran 13:12, Bolota Asmeron hit 13:15 (leading to the remark that 13:15 is the new 13:30) and Lisa Galaviz set an American record in the steeplechase (9:28.75).
The 2008 KBC Night of Athletics Meet did not disappoint and we recap it from an American perspective below. There were two American wins and quite a few World Championships A standards met, but the most impressive US performance was the American record by Jenny Barringer in the women's steeplechase, so we'll start with that.
Women's Steeple: Jenny Barringer and Anna Willard Sizzle to American Record
Sunday night in Heusden, Belgium, the two American stars crossed swords again and waged another memorable duel as Barringer came out on top by a scant .03 and smashed Willard's two-week-old American record, running 9:22.73. Further back, Lisa Galaviz (who set a then-AR of 9:28.75 at this meet last year) finished 9th in 9:45.91.
Sunday's race was a bit bizarre, as you can see from the Flotrack video below that it seemed like Barringer was destined to finish 2nd in the race until about the final 30 meters. Willard followed the rabbit and then was pushing the pace on her own, with Barringer staying a few meters behind her. On the final lap, Willard widened the gap and led by at least 10 meters heading over the final water barrier. It seemed all but over, but Barringer then found new legs, shifted into another gear and roared up the finishing straight. It was almost like Willard didn't realize her rival was still there. Willard did try to respond before the line, but Barringer was able to just edge her out to get the win (and the American record) by a few inches.
Barringer had just missed Galaviz's
American record at NCAAs, only to see Willard capture the record en route to the Olympic Trials crown in Eugene (where Barringer faded to third).
Video of Barringer's AR from Flotrack
Women's 1,500: Morgan Uceny's Undefeated European Campaign Continues
Shannon Rowbury is without a doubt the face of American women's middle distance running right now, but Morgan Uceny is turning quite a few heads this summer. She followed up two high finishes at the US Trials (6th in the 800, 4th in the 1,500) with two wins last week in Italy in the 800 and 1,500. Tonight, Uceny added European win #3 as she put a Belgian notch into her belt by narrowly winning the 1,500 in 4:07.22. She was followed in 5th and 6th by Amy Mortimer and Sara Hall. Hall's 4:08.55 was a new PR. Nicole Teter, 800m veteran and 2008 Olympian, ran 4:10.17 for 8th.
It is definitely worth mentioning that Kenya's Paul Koech ran a world-leading 8:00.57 for the win, although his world record attempt came up a bit short.
Men's Steeple Results
Men's 1500: Alan Webb Returns to Action
After clocking 1:46.89 earlier in the week, Webb finished 6th in arelatively strong field, running a seasonal best of 3:35.86. Considering his PR from last year is 3:30.54, a 3:35 is nothing to pop champagne corks about normally. But in a year where Webb has taken awhile to get his wheels under him at his favorite distance, his race tonight was certainly an improvement in form. A 3:35 1,500 is certainly better than the 3:55 mile he ran at the Pre Classic; more importantly, Webb was more aggressive than he's been this year as he took the lead with 300 to go. He just seemed to have nothing left in the last 50 meters.
Hopefully, Webb will keep racing, although we must point out how different 2008 has been for him compared to 2007. Last year at this meet, he ran 1:43.87).
Webb was trailed closely by Rob Myers in 3:36.23, as he and Webb picked up the A standard for next year's World Champs.
In the B 1,500, Will Leer ran with confidence to take the race in a new PR of 3:37.63, followed by Kurt Benninger in a PR 3:38.03. It's a shame that Leer, who was 4th at USAs, wasn't able to get in the top heat as Myers, who was only 9th at USAs, was put in the A section.
Men's A 1,500m Results
Men's B 1,500m Results
Men's 800: Gary Reed Rounding Into Form at Right Time
Reed got the surprise silver at Worlds last year and appears to be rounding into form at just the right time for Beijing.
Men's A 800m
Men's 5k: Solinsky Goes for It and Dies, Blincoe Gets Kiwi Record, NCAA Champ Curtis PRs
The men's 5k was a hot one, with the top 10 in the race all dipping under 13:10. Unfortunately, Americans Chris Solinsky and Ian Dobson did not finish among those first 10. However, Solinsky battled in the top group at sub-13:10 pace for most of the race before rigging with less than 600m remaining. In the end, he still gutted out a solid 13:18.51, over 6 seconds off his best but still under the World Champs A standard. Terrence Mahon-trained Dobson, the 3rd qualifier for the American Olympic team in the 5k, had a DNF. Former Villanova star Adrian Blincoe (NZL) ran a New Zealand national record 13:10.19, breaking the three-decades-old record of 13:12.86, which was held by Dick Quax. When Quax set the mark way back in 1977, it was also a world record.
In the second section, the big American stories were this year's NCAA Champion Bobby Curtis (Villanova grad) and Thomas Morgan (ZAP Fitness), who set significant PRs of 13:25.66 and 13:27.45, respectively.
*B and C Race Videos at Flotrack
Men's A 5,000m
Men's B 5,000m