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Page 2 of the Week in Review (Individual Heroes at the Conference Meets)
by: LetsRun.com
March 5, 2008
*Page 1 Here

Despite our very own Rojo being a collegiate coach at Cornell (another Heps (Ivy League) title for the Big Red this weekend as the Big Red set a record for points scored and largest margin of victory, we're always a bit weary of collegiate coaches over-racing their runners. But there is one weekend we put that aside, the weekend of the conference champs. There is nothing more that we respect than a collegiate kid running multiple events and putting it all on the line for his teammates at the conference meet. If you don't want to double or triple, then you shouldn't be running in college, as most college coaches are evaluated on their success at conferences.

The Emergence of John Kosgei and Brandon Bethke
We featured some of the outstanding individual distance performers on the home page (Brandon Bethke of Wisconsin winning both the 3k and 5k at the Big 10s, Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech winning the 3k, 5k, and running the DMR at Big 12s, and John Kosgei 3000m and mile wins with a sub- 4 minute mile at the SECs). Kosgei and Bethke are new stars in the sport so a little more on them first. Kosgei was a junior college star before coming to LSU this year, but 3:46 (1500) and 14:24 (5k) prs don't get you very far at the SEC level. However, clearly Kosgei wasn't intimidated by anyone at the SEC meet. First up was the mile prelims. No reason to save yourself for your 3k final later in the day if you're Kosgei, as he ran 4:06 for the prelim win. Then he came back the same day with a convincing win in the 3k (7:57 by 2 seconds). He topped it all off with a 3:59.85 mile crown the next day. Pretty damn impressive from a guy 99% of us had never heard of until now. (Although we guess others aren't quite as impressed as we were (barely a mention in the local newspaper, and not much more in the school newspaper, although he did get some praise after his 7:55 3k earlier in the year))

Bethke was a stellar recruit out of California but had hardly been noticed as a Wisconsin Badger. Most schools would die for a guy who runs 3:45 for 1,500 as a freshman and 4:01 for the mile as a sophomore, but at Wisconsin that doesn't mean too much. He was even 11th as a freshman and 10th as a sophomore at Big 10 cross country, but at Wisconsin that only means you are the fifth best guy on your team.

But this year Bethke has started to emerge from the shadows. He ran a 7:51 3k last month (which used to be unheard of at the NCAA level, but now only has him 4th on the list), but his coming out party was at the Big 10s where he was a double winner in the 3k and 5k (in 8:10 and 14:23 respectively). If the times don't impress you (times should be tossed out the window at a conference meet) then keep on reading as a letsrun.com visitor reminded us how impressive Bethke was in the super competitive Big 10. Here's what  26mi235 had to say about Bethke:

Bethke had a pretty spectacular double in the 3000/5000. Do not let the times fool you, as he destroyed the fields at the end. His finish in the 5000 was almost unbelievable. Hassan Mead ran a VERY fast last 200 and was really flying, and he lost to Bethke by 3 seconds (video of finish here). Bethke could have done the same in the 3000 probably except that he needed to save something for the second day. He completely trashed guys like Lex Williams (twice, including beating him by 12 seconds in the 5000, where Lex had a qualifying time of 13:45); Lex had 5 points, Trent Hoerr had 2 trying the same double.

- Aka 26mi235

We now turn the site over to the readers and let the letsrun.com viewers share with us more of their heroic performers at the conference level from this past weekend below.

Heather Dorniden Wins Her Heat in the 600, Despite Falling 400 In
Hey letsrun.

Big 10 women's 600m race. Heather Dorniden from MN tripped at 400m while in first place. Lays on the ground stunned, gets back up ~30m back from the pack, comes home to win the heat. Gets second place overall from a runner in the first heat. Very impressive, very exciting for all the fans.

That's all I got.

(And thankfully the Big 10 Network Was There to See it All. And listen to the announcers go nuts. These guys need to be broadcasting all track meets in the US)

Erin Kelly of Carroll College - 5 Events, 5 Wins (And She's Not a Sprinter)
You guys said to email you about impressive conference athletes and I really think Erin Kelley of Carroll College fits the mold. She competed this past weekend at the Midwest Conference Championships and received 1st place honors in 5 out of 5 events - and she's NOT a sprinter!!! :) Alright, so I know this is a smaller D-III conference, but still, to run this many events and earn her team this many points, I feel, proves there's more to her than just competing in an "easy conference."

The first day she ran the 800 leg of the 1600 Sprint Medley and brought the team from last to first place with a 2:14 split. Then she dominated the open mile (her time was only 5:10, but she was 5th at Nationals last year so she can go much faster). Then came Day #2, where she started out by running the mile leg of the DMR and bringing her team from 2nd to 1st. After that she won the open 800 and followed that win up with another win in the 3k in 10:16.

She's run faster times, but still, winning 5 events at conferences...she's a rockstar!

Anyway, just thought I'd send this along since you put the link up for emails about impressive conference performances, thanks! :)

Peter Kosgei of Hamilton College at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference (DIII).

Won the mile in 4:10 (going through 800 in 2:09), won the 1,000 in 2:27 (26 second last lap). Now what makes this truly impressive is that he ran a 4:03 anchor leg of Hamilton's DMR the night before that double (and Hamilton's relay still only ran a 10:18 or so). Link to the thread on letsrun concerning this: https://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2376169&page=1

He currently leads DIII in the 800 and mile as well as seeded 4th in the 5k with a 14:26 that he put down at Cornell back on December 1st.

Emily Tangwar - Mile, 3k, 5k Wins The Efficient Way
Emily Tangwar, freshman from USC Upstate (First Year Program, First Year Division 1)

Won the Atlantic Sun Indoor Track Conference Championships in the 3k, mile, and 5k, freshman of the year, and track performer of the year...won all three by a combined total of less than 4 seconds.


Eastern Michigan and Curtis Vollmar in the Team Effort
Eastern Michigan won another conference title for indoor (3rd in a row,
and 12th title overall). Curtis Vollmar - 3K title @ 8:23.35; 5k title @ 14:36.88; 5th in mile @ 4:18.62

Eagles set the largest margin of victory in the meet's history with 207 points and leading out with a margin of 83 points.

Joanna Rodgers of Georgetown at Big East
Just wanted to write you guys to alert you to an over-looked conference performance from two weekends ago.

Joanna Rodgers of Georgetown University anchored her 4X8 and DMR teams to a first and second place, respectively, and also put on a AMAZING kick in the last lap of the open mile to take the crown in that event (the race can be seen on the Armory site, but I am sure you're already aware of it). Rodgers' contributions in the relays were not only impressive from a competitive standpoint, but impressive in that it showed a great deal of selflessness to devote energies to 'team' oriented events instead of focusing on individual opportunities.

She is truly and emerging talent, and poised to be one of the nation's best this year after an All-American (1500m) season last year.

In case you don't know, she is also the sister of 5k NC State great Brendan Rodgers...a terrific runner in his time and former Nike Farm Team athlete.

If you are compiling a page of impressive conference performers, be sure to include Joanna in there.

Thanks, guys, love your site.

Jeomi Maduka Cornell: Basketball Game, Private Jet, 3 School Records, & 1 NCAA Auto Qualifier
The Cornell women may have lost their first Heps track title in 12 tries, but it was not because of lack of effort from Jeomi Maduka. To start the weekend off, Maduka played a basketball game Friday night at Dartmouth (where she led the team with 13 points and 8 rebounds. The Big Red were in contention for the Big Dance but didn't make it after 2 losses this weekend) and then took a private plane back to Ithaca, NY.

She started things off with a school record, NCAA auto mark (and #3 in the NCAA) jump in the long jump (21'2"). Up next was a 7.58 pb school record win in the 60 and then she finished it all off with a 43-1 3/4 school record, NCAA provisional qualifying triple jump on her last jump. Super impressive.

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