Where Your Dreams Become Reality
The Week That Was June 9- June 15, 2008
SICK HS ACTION:
2008 has featured strong high school distance running all year and it continued this week. The biggest surprise came at the Midwest Distance Gala where Robert Finnerty ran
a 4:01.09 mile. It's not like we are saying Finnerty is a nobody as
the guy has been a stud for quite a long time. Someone was even singing praises for this guy on the message-board three years ago. Last year,
he went 8:56 in the 3,200 as a junior and as a senior ended up 9th at
Footlocker xc in December. But 4:01.09 is 7th all-time on the high
school list. There is a big difference between 9th in the nation one
year and 7th all-time. We loved the following post-race quote from
Finnerty as it shows just how crazy good high school running is
nowadays. Despite having run 8:56 as a junior, Finnerty rightly said the following.
"It really gives me a sense of belonging," Finnerty said. "For a long
time I felt like with the top guys in the country, I was just
outmatched. But this changes things a little bit."
Rob Finnerty Photo compliments of Milesplit.us
In women's action, Christine Babcock, who ran a 4:33 1,600 at the California state meet, broke the US high school record for 1,500 by running 4:16.42, beating Kim Gallagher's 26-year-old record of 4:16.6. Babcock ran the race as one can't qualify
for the US Olympic Trials 1,500 with 1,600 or mile times. Congrats to
Babcock but we'll take this time to say it's absolutely ludicrous that
USATF won't accept mile or 1,600 times for qualifying purposes to the
Olympic Trials. Well you can do it with a mile - if you run the
equivalent of the Olympic A standard. Hopefully someone is reading this
at USATF. A big thumbs down to them for not having a standard conversion
NCAA Highlights: The
big brother nationals were held this past weekend in flood ravaged
Iowa. It was a bit surreal to fly in and out of Cedar Rapids, parts of
which were 10 feet underwater. The action was pretty impressive as it
usually is at the NCAA meet. We won't recap it all here. You can check
the following links for that:
But let us give you some of the highlights.
Thumbs Up to Sally Kipyego
up was the 5k final where she set an NCAA meet record (15:15.08).
Afterwards, Kipyego talked about the importance of winning the 5k in
her last chance at NCAAs. The 5k was the one title she didn't have from
last year, as Michelle Sikes ran the #2 collegiate time ever and an NCAA record to beat her.
In her comments, Kipyego said the 5k race at NCAAs that she lost last
year was actually her favorite college race because she was pushed the
hardest. She said, "It still remains my favorite race of the entire time I've been competing at NCAAs."
So a major thumbs up to Sally Kipyego for being a true champion and a fantastic competitor. Sure, winning the race is super important, but ultimately Kipyego wants to make herself a better runner, and that means getting pushed and occasionally losing. A 2008 version of Steve Prefontaine - foreign and female.
She certainly doesn't believe in sacrificing the gift as she could had
zero incentive to hammer the 5k from the gun like she did other than
out of a desire to put on a show.
Thumbs Up to Men's 800m Runners
Thumbs up to Jacob Hernandez, Andrew Wheating and Duane Solomon for bringing their "A" game to the NCAA meet. Wheating and Hernandez got all the pre-race publicity and the delivered one of the most thrilling races in NCAA history (Hernandez winning by .01, 1:45.31, to 1:45.32), but Solomon (who made the World Championship team last year for the US) also upped his game from his previous 2008 performances and was only .4 back in 1:45.71. Not much more needs to be said, but if you want to watch the race you can do so here.
Hook 'Em Horns
Jacob Hernandez Interview
Thumbs Up to Texas Distance coach Jason Vigilante.
Vigilante coached the men's 800m winner (Hernandez) and the men's 1,500m
winner (Manzano) at NCAAs. Not to mention the Longhorns set a DMR world
record indoors with four guys that were all from Texas high schools.
Additionally and unsurprisingly, the Longhorns won the DMR and indoor
mile titles. Now Vig will probably be the first to tell you he does not
deserve too much credit with Manzano because the kid is a huge, huge
Jacob Hernandez said as much himself, "Actually Leo's on another level." And when a guy who ran 1:48.48 in high school says that, you should take notice. Nonetheless, Vig deserves a lot of praise for developing Manzano, keeping him healthy, and guiding him and the rest of the team through a fabulous 2008 season. The rest of the team is now running on a different level thanks to them working together the last 4 years.
Thumbs Up to Jenny Barringer. The Colorado Buffalo blitzed the NCAA field, smashing the NCAA record, and coming within .45 seconds of Lisa Galaviz's
American record. A truly stunning performance. She basically nearly
time-trialed (without rabbits) an American record. She's now the one to
beat at the Olympic Trials for sure. And to think at Big 12s, she
didn't even win - on her home track at altitude.
Thumbs Up to Old School Running and Marcus O'Sullivan and Bobby Curtis
What did he do? He went out and beat 13:18 5k runner Brent Vaughn. We're huge fans of Vaughn and think he and Curtis were the class of the field. Nonetheless, it was refreshing to see a guy who knows how to race (Vaughn is a great racer as well) come out on top. We also like the old-school racing advice that O'Sullivan gave Curtis. None.
O'Sullivan did not even speak to him before the race and is not big on pre-race advice. As Curtis said, "By this time in my career he would hope I know what to do."
Who is Dorian Ulrey? That's a thread on the message boards and after this weekend a lot of people won't be asking the question much longer. Ulrey is from Illinois (apparently he lives right on the border with Iowa) and is a true sophomore at Northern Iowa. Dorian's 2nd place at the NCAA 1,500 was a big surprise (he even looks surprised in the photo). And running for an Iowa school, Ulrey got a standing ovation. Leo Manzano thought the ovation was for him, and he certainly deserved it, but we're sure the ovation was for the N. Iowa runner. You should have heard the crowd going nuts for N. Iowa during the 4*400 prelims.
Louis Q and Kyle Alcorn
2008 NCAAs D1 Results
Ostrava More Than Lives Up To The Hype, Boaz Lalang Appears
We never thought we'd give a thumbs up to Chris Devine but America is a very forgiving society. And we've ripped his company for being an amateurish operation that doesn't pay bills on time. We must admit we'll be quiet for a while as he totally fessed up and did what so many successful people refuse to do - admit blame, offer no excuses and simply apologize. Chris Devine on the announcement that Devine Racing has sold the LA Marathon:
guy was great last year as he ran 3:39 to get 5th at USAs but
inconsistent performances like that are what are probably making John McDonnell
go into retirement. Too much stress for the old ticker. We're kidding
of course and think it's fantastic to see the 22-year-old run 3:36.
End of An Era: Alan Culpepper Out of Olympic Trials
USOC Gives USATF 2 Weeks to Submit a Reorganization Plan or Face Decertification All the board members are getting in the way.
We're Not Making This Up
Other Newsworthy Track Action
More Weekend Action:
Roads: Kim Smith Wins Steamboat 4 Miler in 20:00, Khalid Khannouchi 9th in 19:09 Wejo sat 1 row behind Khalid on a flight from Chicago and Khalid was talking about running the Olympics.*
Khalid Khannouchi To Run Steamboat on Saturday
UK: Geti Wami Wins, Liz Yelling 3rd in Bupa Great Women's Run in Sunderland
Comrades: Leonid Shvetsov Wins Comrades Marathon Up Run in Record Time
Japan: Sapporo Half Marathon Recap IAAF
Things Worth Reading:
A Brief Chat With Abdi Abdirahman - He doesn't call himself this but we will - the favorite for the 10k at the Trials after his 27:16 10k at Pre. Abdi talks about how he was headed to Hengelo until he lost his passport.Angelo Taylor On Comeback Trail From individual Olympic Gold in 2000 to no contract and working as an electrician just a few years ago, the American is now shooting for gold in both the 400 and 400 hurdles.
Profile Of Track's Newest Teenage Sensation: Abubaker Kaki The 18-year-old talks about his idol (Wilson Kipketer) and his desire to be an 800 and 1,500 man like Seb Coe.
The scary thing is his coach Jama Aden thinks the 1,500 will ultimately
prove to be his best event. He also talks about how much his success
means to his country of Sudan.*2nd Profile Of Kaki