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The Week That Was May 18 - May 24, 2009

May 25, 2009

By LetsRun.com
To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2009
LRC Week That Was, click Here.

This week we give praise to Scott MacPherson, tell you why it may be okay to dislike the French after all, give you free coaching advice, and marvel at how a running book is actually on the New York Times best-seller list. Speaking of NY, we also start to get ready for Reebok Grand Prix.

(Editor's note: In this recap we're ignoring Monday's Memorial Day action where Wesley Korir surprised everyone in winning $160,000+ at the LA Marathon and the Ethiopians dominated the Bolder Boulder)

This Is What College Track Is All About - A Closer Look At Scott MacPherson Scoring 21 Points At SEC Meet
Last week, it was great to learn about some of the great stories that came out of the powerhouse conference action which took place the weekend before last. Nothing was better than reading the profile of Arkansas' Scott MacPherson. The guy tripled at the SEC meet and scored a SEC-leading 21 points as the Hogs beat Florida by 12. We loved reading how it all started. Before running his first event, MacPherson was cheering on a teammate in an event and one of the Florida coaches saw MacPherson. MacPherson recounted the situation perfectly to Arkansas Democrat Gazette, "I overheard one of the Florida coaches say, 'Not in our house. They can cheer all they want, but it's not going to happen this year. I just kind of looked around at everyone and I was like, All right, we'll show them.'"


Scott MacPherson
The Ultimate Team Guy
(photo from Arkansas)

He certainly did show them and made both current coach Chris Bucknam and old coach John McDonnell proud. "Since I was a freshman when Coach [John] McDonnell recruited me, I knew this team was about one thing, and that was scoring points and sacrificing yourself. If you give absolutely everything you have for the team, then you'll get what you have coming eventually."

It certainly was a "let's make John McDonnell proud" kind of performance. The thing we don't get is why did Arkansas' Shawn Forrest only run one event. The guy is the school record holder in the 10k and he only runs the 5k? If you know the scoop, please email us. Certainly the Hogs need a superhuman performance from Forrest at NCAAs. Were they keeping him fresh for NCAAs?

Apparently, we weren't the only ones really impressed by MacPherson. Look at the email we got last week:

Gentlemen,

Im ending my first year as a head track coach that has tested my love for the sport. I just want you to that when I have a rough day I can always count on Letsrun to divert my frustrations and remember what track and field really is, fun. I specifically enjoyed the recent article on UA's MacPherson, very inspiring.

Thanks,

***

Too Much Track In Eugene?
Last week, we devoted a ton of attenton to the PAC-10 meet. We found the videos of the meet to be uplifting. To see thousands cheering at a conference track meet - it doesn't get any better than that.

That being said, we found it interesting that the attendance for this year's meet was actually down from 2006. According to the Eugene Register Guard, "The figure announced Sunday was 7,386, for a two-day total of 12,553, down from the 12,851 that attended in 2006, the last time the meet was at Hayward Field."

This supports our belief that we may end up with too much track and field in Eugene. After last year's successful Trials, it seemed that lots of people seemed to think every big meet should automatically be held in Eugene. We totally disagree. Maybe hold the Trials there every four years and maybe the NCAAs in the middle two years. But don't have every big meet every year or people will get tired of them - even in Eugene.

That being said, the crowds in Eugene still are impressive and creating jealousy by supporters of other schools on the message board.

If You Didn't Already Hate The French, Maybe This Will Make You Reconsider
If you were one of the many that thought the uproar against the French in 2003 during the Iraq war was perhaps a bit much (remember the Freedom Fries campaign?), well maybe you should reconsider your doubts.

Apparently, the French seriously hate running. Check out the following excerpt from a great article that Cameron Stracher wrote in Wall Street Journal on why running was popular in the 1970s (because it's cheap):

"Of course, some people "jog" purely for fitness purposes and hate it. This might explain why the French were recently in an uproar after photos surfaced of President Nicolas Sarkozy in shorts and a T-shirt breaking a sweat in the Tuileries. Running is an American activity, the French press claimed, a fascistic act designed to manage and control the body. Not an intellectual pursuit at all. "It is about performance and individualism," one writer wrote, "right-wing values antithetical to everything cherished by the country that gave us foie gras."

More: *Message Board Thread Of WSJ Article

Free Coaching Tip (And One That LetsRun.com Co-Founder Weldon Johnson Would Say Was The Key To His Post-Collegiate Success):
In addition to trying to entertain you with running news, one of our goals at LRC is to also make you a better runner. As a result, we give you the following free advice from Barry Magee - the 1960 Olympic bronze medallist in the marathon - who was coached by the famed Arthur Lydiard. Now a coach himself, Magee is considered to be more Lydiard than Lydiard himself in training.

"'Train don't strain' was a Lydiard quote really, that I have always used myself and taught others to use it also. All the champions I trained with knew how to train within themselves and not turn their training into racing, like many others did, but could not produce the goods in their races. We did not leave our efforts on the training track."

The quote comes from a nice interview of Magee.

If you don't like that free coaching, then we encourage you to read the article we had from the coach of Irish 3k and 5k record holder Mark Carroll (he used to also have the 10k record), Jim Harvey. Harvey succinctly summed up the keys to training in two sentences:

"To have any chance of becoming competitive, we have to realise our distance runners need a huge aerobic base ... and "A maximum of two workouts per week with each workout containing 10km or more of work at or near current 10km racing pace for reps of 800m and above (reps less than 800m to be based on current 5km pace)."

Read Harvey's article, "The US Endurance Model".

Harvey is a big advocate of sending British kids to the US for development in the NCAA system. He wasn't the only prominent coach of foreign athletes to come out this week advocating using the NCAA as the developmental model. Stephen Francis, head coach of Jamaica's MVP track club, also thinks most of the top Jamaicans should come to the US for college. His statements somewhat stunned the audience but they are right on the money.

The Jamaican Observer quotes Francis as saying, "I have a somewhat mixed feeling when people talk about staying in Jamaica and training because I firmly believe that our educational opportunities are not as they should be for our youngsters and if you as a youngster can use your ability to get ... a scholarship to go elsewhere to study, then you should take it."

Francis understands that track is very, very top-heavy in terms of its pay scale. If you are Usain Bolt, you are very rich. If you are in lane 8, you are barely scraping by.

Quote of the Week #1 - Stephen Francis Explaining The Economics Of Professional Track And Field Perfectly
"First of all athletics is a very weird sport... only the very top of the sport can even earn a decent living. It's not football where you can earn a lot of money being a reserve and people believe that it's almost an automatic transition ... The truth is that when you run as a high schooler, you run against an age group; when you run as a senior, you run against people who may be younger or older ... so you're no longer sheltered in terms of being the best because maybe you were the only person running 10.1 at age 19....As a senior, if you run 10-flat you'll find that there are 30 other people and No 30 ain't making any money in this sport."

*Good Read: Jamaican Track Leader Says Kids Should Go Abroad To Study If They Can Get A Scholarship


Leo Manazno

Alan Webb Part II?
After last week's adidas track Classic, where US Olympian Leo Manzano ran a 3:57 for the 1,500, there were some concerns in track circles that we were about to see an Alan Webb Part II. Last year, Webb entered the year with huge fanfare and hope, overtrained and had a disastrous campaign. Was the same thing about to happen again this year with Manzano?

No need to panic; any fears that we'd see Manzano try to imitate Webb's 2008 season in 2009 are officially over after one week of worrying. Manzano ran a 3:55 mile to win the St. Louis festival of miles. He led the last 700 of the race and had a nice last lap. He certainly looks poised for a good 2009. *Leo Manzano Runs 3:55.29 Mile In St. Louis *Message Board Thread *Video

Remember This Name - Nickson Chepseba
In terms of high schools producing running talent, there is no more famous school in the world than St. Patrick's HS in Kenya. If you aren't familiar with St. Patrick's, the best stat that shows you its prowess is the fact that the world record holder in the 800 meters, Wilson Kipketer, is far from being the HS record holder at St. Patrick's. Far from it. He's only 5th on their HS list. To read a great article on St. Patricks from 2005, click here to see Kevin Beck's article in Slate.

St. Patrick's may soon have another famous alum as at the Rift Valley Secondary School champs, unknown Nickson Chepseba upset the world junior silver medallist from last year, James Magut, in the 1,500, running 3:43 to Magut's 3:46. Pretty impressive, considering Magut ran 3:39 in Doha a few weeks ago. *Unknown Kenyan Coached By Brother Colm O'Connell Crushes Field, Including World Jr. Silver Medallist, To Win Kenya's Rift Valley HS Champs

Running Book Climbs To #24 On NY Times Best Seller List

No, the above headline is not made up. Chris McDougall's new book "Born To Run," which we have talked about before but haven't had time to review, continues to impress. The book climbed 7 places last week and now sits at #24 on the NY Times Best Seller list.

At LetsRun.com, we get a ton of emails. When we got a few from McDougall asking us to read his book, which apparently gives LetsRun.com a shout out as "The No. 1 stop for all things running," we must admit we thought, "Oh, isn't that nice, this guy is trying to butter us up to get some publicity."

Unfortunately, we didn't get around to reading the book and we forgot all about it until he showed us some of the rave reviews the book was getting, including one from a British reviewer who called it "simply the best book on running you'll ever read." After reading that, we thought, "Wow, maybe there is something to this."

The rave reviews continue as the book recently got a review from the Associated Press, as well as a review written by marathoning legend Bill Rodgers for the San Francisco Chronicle. If the book is good enough to get Rodgers to write about it, then it has to be good enough for any fan to read.

We love the idea that humans are made to run and we love the idea that the shoe industry might be dishing out a bunch of BS, as the book plays into the whole essence of LetsRun.com's maxim that "Running is a very simple sport." Bill Rodgers did so as well. His review was interesting. We loved how he admits a running book might not normally be at the top of his bookshelf (as apparently he, just like us, can sometimes have too much running in his life ... that's why we didn't initially review McDougall's book - we didn't want to read a running book during our free time). Rodgers wrote:

"Even for a longtime distance runner like myself (I would guess more than 120,000 miles on the personal odometer by now), another running book wouldn't be sitting on top of the pile on my nightstand. Having already read a great deal about this almost mythical running tribe (the Tarahumara Indians) , I figured there wasn't much to learn from a group of people who might as well be from Mars as far as the average jogger is concerned. However, in "Born to Run," McDougall manages to prove the truth of the notion that we are indeed a long-distance species and you don't have to be a genetic anomaly to run farther than I usually drive my car in a day."

Sometimes running feels like a chore. McDougall tries to remind us that it shouldn't feel that way. As the AP review stated, "That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they'd never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind's first fine art, our original act of inspired creation."

If you live in the NW, there are two signing events this week:
Tuesday, May 26 -- Portland, OR. Powell's Books. 7:30pm
Thursday, May 27 -- Seattle, WA. Seattle Running Company/University Bookstore (run, talk, Q&A, book signing -- we're going for a group run first, then gathering afterwards to talk all things Tarahumara and distance running)

Big 12 Schools Trying To Use Economic Crisis As Excuse To Get Rid Of Track & Field Regionals
Anyone besides us find it a bit ironic to read last week that the Big 12 schools are trying to get rid of track and field regionals supposedly out of budgetary concerns at the same time that it was announced that the Big 12 would be paying out a $130 million to its member schools? Clearly, getting rid of regionals would save some money but there is no reason that an extra two weeks of track and field has to cost a school $100,000. No one is forcing you to pay each team member $76 a day ($35 for food, $41 for housing).

Don't use the economy as the excuse. Just be honest and admit what everyone already knows - the big power schools just don't like the little guys joining their party. For schools that have a lot of athletes in the national top 10, regionals are a very scary thing. The only thing that can happen is you screw up and don't go to nationals.

But come on, Big 12, don't use the economy as the scapegoat. And yes, we understand your ticket sales may be down along with sponsorship. But don't use that as a convenient excuse to get rid of all foreign trips for teams. A trip overseas might be the experience of a lifetime for a college athlete. If you want to save money, how about paying your basketball coach $2 million instead of $3 million? Or how about not giving your football coaches 10 year contracts?

Random Thought Of The Week
A decent amount of attention last week was devoted in the British papers to the BT Paralympic Cup and, of course, Oscar Pistorious. In one of the articles on Oscar P by Rick Broadbent, Broadbent make the perfect argument as to why he shouldn't be allowed to compete in the Olympics or World Champs, as his prosthetics give him an unfair advantage. It is a hard argument to make to non-track fans, but we here at LRC also certainly think his legs are a big advantage and that he shouldn't be allowed in the Olympics (but love seeing him in Grand Prix events).

People intuitively think, "How can a guy without legs have an advantage over people with two legs?" Broadbent answered that perfectly:

"How can having no legs be an unfair advantage? It is a sophistic argument because it is a question of what you replace them with, evinced by the fact that (wheelchair racer) Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson could beat Paula Radcliffe by 40 minutes in a marathon. In terms of moving from one place to another in the optimum time, a wheelchair is pretty handy."

Interesting Message Board Threads
And in terms of interesting message board threads from last week, how could you not like this?:

NAME - ALL THE FAMOUS, ELITE, TOP TIER RUNNERS YOU HAVE RACED AGAINST, RUN WITH, OR MET ...

and

What animal wins a race that's 100m in water then 100m on land?

Apparently, it's not Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps for the 2nd thread. A relay team of the two still gets smoked.

Oh Yeah - The Actual Road/Track Action - Deriba Merga Is a True Star But Unhappy - Pamela Jelimo Loses For the First Time Ever
Last week was thankfully a little bit of a down week in terms of actual action, as we'd been almost been getting overloaded with track.


Deriba Merga winning in Ottawa.

There were two big stories last week (wed're ignoring Memorial Day's LA Marathon and Bolder Boulder). In Ottawa, the big news was in the MDS Nordion 10K, where 2009 Houston and Boston marathon champ Deriba Merga proved yet again that he loves to race, as he showed up and crushed the field. He ran a Canadian all-comers record of 27:24, setting an 8k world record of 21:48 along the way, and he ended up being upset with his performance. Yes, that's right. He was upset, as the race was offering a $100,000 world record bonus of sub-27:01. Merga's post-race quote in the Ottawa Citizen was classic:

"I'm not happy. Back home, I run well and fast, but I didn't do the same thing here. That's why Im upset."

The guy seriously must take almost zero time off. He won Boston just 5 weeks ago and yet has already had time to do some serious training at home - and that's after the fact that Boston was his 2nd marathon of the year.

His run in Ottawa seems pretty stunning to us and perhaps indication he is the true next Ethiopian great. He ran away from the field at Boston and barely a month later is now attempting a world 10k record.

In the Ottawa Marathon, defending champion David Cheruiyot overcame falling way back in the middle of the race (after getting a side stitch) to defend his crown, as he caught the leaders in the 41st kilometer and won by 6 seconds in 2:13:23, while Asmae Leghzaoui defended her ladies crown.

And then the big shocker of the week: Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo, who was undefeated for her career in the 800, lost her season-opening race in Morocco, as she was only 6th in 2:02.46 in a race won by Britain's Jenny Meadows in 2:01.78. Considering that no one came close to touching Jelimo last year, it shows that even the champions have to train and stay focused to stay on top. A million dollars and a marriage didn't seem to help her too much in the off-season.

Will she be content to sort of work hard and still probably beat nearly everyone or will Jelimo try to be truly great and get the WRecord? Time will tell.

More: *Photos *Deriba Merga Blitzes 27:24 10k On Roads In Ottawa, Sets 8k World Record En Route, And Isn't Happy Afterwards LRC Thread: Deriba Merga - How Does He Do It? Who Else Has Had (sic) Done This? Cheruiyot Wins 4th Ottawa Marathon *Champions Defend In Ottawa, Coolsaet Qualifies For World Marathon Team*Pre-Ottawa Article On Canadian Reid Coolsaet *IAAF Recap of Jelimo's Loss *WE ARE STUNNED - Pamela Jelimo Is No Longer Unbeaten For Her Life, As Britain's Jenny Meadows Wins 800 In Morocco We were somehow hoping Jelimo would remain undefeated for her life but she only finished 6th in 2:02.46 to Meadows' 2:01.78. The meet was very strong as there was a 13:05 5k, 8:07 steeple, and Abubaker Kaki ran 1:44.82 to win the men's 800 as Steph Twell ran 4:09. *Full Results Here*Message Board Thread On Pamela Jelimo's Shocking Loss Sadly, idiots are throwing out drug innuendos. How about the fact that she won a million bucks last year and got married. She's probably not in top shape yet.*Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie Beats Olympic Champ Christine Ohuruogu For The Second Time In A Week No need to worry, as once it was at 150m and now it's at 200m.

NCAA DII & DIII Nationals
The big news domestically was that the DII and DIII NCAA track meets were held, as were the NJCAA and the NAIA meets. At the DII meet, St. Augustine college in San Angelo, Texas stopped Abilene Christian's string of  7 straight crowns, while the Lincoln women got their 6th title in 7 years. Props to both teams and also the San Angelo Standard-Times which had great coverage of the meet in their paper.

Speaking of good coverage, the Denver Post's John Meyer wrote a nice article on Metro State's 800-meter runner Anthony Luna prior to the NCAA meet. His road to an NCAA title clearly wasn't the normal one. The article is definitely worth reading. So how did Luna do? He got the outdoor title in 1:49.

(Speaking of Meyer, he emailed us this week after the 400 hurdle fiasco last week and reminded us of what happened in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the biggest event of them all - the women's all-around gymnastics. The vault horse was set up too low. Meyer says "It was set 47 1/4 inches, about 2 inches (5 centimeters) too low, causing surprising falls and low scores before the problem was discovered. By then, 18 of the 36 gymnasts had competed." So if it can happen in the Olympics in a cash cow event like women's gymnastics, then we guess it can happen in any sport or event. Somebody check the rims at the NBA Finals.)

At the DIII meet, the Wartburg (Iowa) women were down by 8 points heading into the 4 x 400, but they got the win and the title as a result. Great to see a meet come down to the last event. On the men's side, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh won. The big story of the meet may have been the top double wins by Hamilton's Peter Kosgei. He's now 3 for 3 in the steeple, but then he came back and won the 5k after running the 2nd half of the race with one shoe.

More:NCAA DII: St. Augustine Stops Abilene Christian's String of 7 Straight DII Crowns, Lincoln Women Win 6th Title in 7 Years
*
DII National Results Previous: *
Day 1 Recap Queens' Tanya Zeferjahn won the 10,000 in 35:38 while Harding's Daniel Kirwa won in 29:46 over Adams State's Brian Medigovich. *Tons Of Articles Available Here Thanks To Great Coverage By San Angelo Standard-Times
NCAA DIII
Wartburg ( Iowa) College Wins Nationals On 4 x 400, University Of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Men Win *
Info *Men's Results *Women's Results *Video Interviews Of All Event Winners*LRC: Message Board Thread On DIII NCAAs As It Takes Place *Hamilton's Peter Kosgei wins 3rd straight steeple title and then wins the 5k even though he lost his shoe 4-6 laps into the race.
NJCAA Outdoor Meet At Hutchinson
*Meet Website *Results
NAIA Nationals
*Aron Rono Gets 4th Straight 10k *Live Results And Info

Bored And Looking For Something To Do? Try These Two Links.

Proof that man can invent just about anything - How about a track and field wind meter for the iphone? Certainly not record-eligible, but we paid 99 cents for it and it seems to be worth a dollar.

If you don't have an iphone, you could get around to watching German Fernandez dominate the Big 12. We finally watched it and it is impressive.

Drug News
Lots of links if you are into following the anti-doping fight but the most interesting link is definitely the first one.

*Remarkable: Belgian Bodybuilders Flee Championship Facility When Drug Testers Show Up Unannounced This tells you a lot about the "sport" of bodybuilding.
*Drugs: VROEMEN DECLARED INNOCENT
*Big News: Cyclist Bernard Kohl Admits To Buying A Doping Centrifuge And Sharing It With Others
*He'll Cash In Too: The Korean Version Of A-Rod (Cheater) Comes Clean In Book He was tipping off other players on pitches and was privy to the drug culture in Korea, a league where drug testing didn't start until 2007.
*ESPN Interviews HS Star (Double World Junior Champ) Marquise Goodwin, He Says HS Authorities Need To Drug Test We like this guy.
*
Spaniard Josephine Onyia Tests Positive For Barnyard Animal Steroid Anabolic Agent Clenbuterol After Career-Best Year We looked up her stats and weren't surprised. Onyia was 5th in the 2008 Olympic games in the 100 hurdles at the young age of 22. Overall, she had an amazing 2008. In fact, before 2008 she had run under 12.70 once, and then she did it 8 times in 2008.

Recommended Reads From Last Week

1) Absolute Must Read #1: Lolo Who? Olympic Champion Dawn Harper Has An Amazing Story That Has Been Pretty Much Ignored While everyone was whining about how poorly some US athletes did, very little attention (or appreciation) was given to hurdler Dawn Harper, who stepped up for the gold. Talk about a weird sport: as she and her husband trained for the Olympics, they were living in a single room in a college fraternity house.
2) Absolute Must Read #2: US Marathoner Fernando Cabada Jr.'s Story Is Equally As Inspiring At age 9, he was given a knife by his drug-dealing father to protect himself. A year ago, he was sharing a room and one bed with his mom and brother. Now he's going to Berlin.
3) Absolute Must Read #3:
Amazing Story: DII Runner Anthony Luna Going For Glory At Nationals After Unconventional Road To College Running A must read from John Meyer in the Denver Post. Luna is coached by Pete Julian at Metro State. DII Nats are this weekend in San Angelo, TX.
4) Inspirational Brief Chat With The USA Men's Berlin Marathon Squad The US squad will be: Nate Jenkins, Fernando Cabada, Dan Browne, Matt Gabrielson and Justin Young. Great opportunity for a hard-working bunch.
5) Good Read From Dyestat On HS 800 Stud Elijah Greer He looks like the real deal and ran 1:47 as a junior.
6)
Pat Butcher's Blog A Gem Again - Professor Craig Sharp On Lasse Viren, Doping, Stretching And Other Topics
7) Clyde Hart Tells USA Today's Dick Patrick How He Got Back With Jeremy Wariner
8)
Ritz On How And Why He Left Brad Hudson He's got big goals and he wants a change.
9) London Marathon Ranked As One of World's Best 20 Sporting Venues

Looking Ahead To Next Week
The Reebok Grand Prix will take place in New York City on Saturday, May 30th. If you live in the East Coast and aren't going to NCAA regionals or maybe a state HS meet, you owe it to yourself to get to this meet.

Stop complaining that track isn't popular and go to a meet.

If you are a distance fan, you'll be in heaven, as the women's 5k features a clash between double Olympic champ Tirunesh Dibaba and Kim Smith. The men's 5k has Bernard Lagat, 2008 Olympic 5k bronze medallist Edwin Soi, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist at 10k Micah Kogo, and reigning world XC champ Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam. Could we finally see the first sub-13 on American soil?

If you are a sprint fan, the meet always has you covered. Asafa Powell is in the men's 100, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards will clash in the women's 400 and much more is pn tap, including Jamaican 200-meter Olympic champ Veronica Campbell-Brown in the 100 and Jamaican Olympic 100-meter champ Shelly-Ann Fraser in the 200.

More: Asafa Powell Ready To Run In New York Looks like the reports coming out yesterday or the day before are bogus. Powell is back healthy and will run in NYC barring an unforseen occurrence.
*
Reebok Announces Preliminary Lineups For May 30th Meet At Icahn Stadium In NYC The meet is going to be very, very good. Get your tickets now. New Yorkers show that, unlike LA, you care about track and field.

Remembering The Last Week With The Quotes of the Day - Day By Day:

Monday: The marathon is getting everyone around here excited. Almost as exciting as getting ready to go home.
- First Lt. Jeremy Arnett stationed in Iraq as he and 400 fellow soldiers get ready for a "shadow" marathon on Memorial Day. It was 113 degrees on Thursday and many soldiers have been getting up at 3 a.m. to train in cooler weather.

Sunday: "HOLY ****!!! PAMELA JELIMO LOST!!!"

- anonymous person yelling at LetsRun.com headquarters as they apparently uncovered the results on the message board thread. Yes, it's true. She has lost. And to think we were hoping she could go undefeated for her career.

Saturday: "Sometimes Fernando Cabada Jr. thought he wanted to be tough like his father, who dropped in and out of his son's life between prison sentences.
Sometimes the U.S. marathoner thought about emulating his cousins, who cared little about dying or jail time if it meant protecting their own in an unending string of gang violence.
Most of the time, though, he thought about escaping."


- Opening three paragraphs of a great AP article on US Marathoner Fernando Cabada Jr., who will represent the US for the 2nd time at the World Champs after escaping the rough streets (he was given a knife by his father at age 9 to protect himself) of Fresno. Cabada, who last year was sharing a one-bedroom apartment with his mother and brother, summed things up perfectly by saying, "I may not be in a mansion and driving a BMW, but I'm still living a dream."

Friday:
"I definitely believe that the vast majority of kids, if they are offered a scholarship (abroad), they probably should take it. I have a somewhat mixed feeling when people talk about staying in Jamaica and training because I firmly believe that our educational opportunities are not as they should be for our youngsters and if you as a youngster can use your ability to get... a scholarship to go elsewhere to study, then you should take it."
- One of many interesting quotes from Stephen Francis, a prominent track coach/mentor in Jamaica. Another quote on why Jamaicans should think education first: "First of all athletics is a very weird sport... only the very top of the sport can even earn a decent living... As a senior, if you run 10-flat you'll find that there are 30 other people and No 30 ain't making any money in this sport."

Thursday:
"Since I was a freshman when Coach McDonnell recruited me, I knew this team was about one thing, and that was scoring points and sacrificing yourself. If you give absolutely everything you have for the team, then you'll get what you have coming eventually. I think that's what happened for me last weekend."

- Arkansas Razorback tough man Scott MacPherson, who scored 21 individual points at the best conference meet in the country. MacPherson, who plowed out 18,000 meters of racing in becoming the only 3-event scorer at the meet, also had this to say: "For four years I've been waiting to be that guy people counted on." This is why NCAA running is awesome.

Wednesday:
"ESPN RISE: Put yourself in charge of the high school sports world. What do you think needs to change the most?
Marquise Goodwin: I think people should start testing for steroids and drug use in general because a lot of that goes on in the (high school) sports world ... If you have to cheat to win, it doesn't mean as much as if you did it on natural abilities and hard work.

ESPN RISE: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing high school sports?
Goodwin: The number of really good athletes is decreasing. People don't want to work as hard anymore and they complain. In the future, there probably won't be as many good athletes because they won't work as hard. The world is getting lazy."

- Double world junior track & field champion Marquise Goodwin (LJ/4x100m) who will attend Texas next year as a football and track & field athlete.

Tuesday:
"I agree completely with the analysis of Angelo Taylor. To have incorrectly placed the hurdles in a 400 meter race is the ultimate insult to a runner. An incorrect hurdle setup on the track will by definition result in at least two errors that will affect the outcome of the race from the runner's point of view. This corrupts the results of the race and in most cases these types of errors are usually overlooked and the results usually stand as they are.

In fact we are trying to project Track and Field as a professional sport and as such there needs to be available to the athletes judicious and effective remedy. The race shouldn't count for points or world rankings. This is likely his only remedy should this sanction occur.

Could you imagine a NBA basket being placed at 11 feet in an game or the 3 point line off by 18 inches?"

- Double Olympic Gold Medallist and one of track and field's all-time greatest athletes (and LRC visitor) Edwin Moses writing in an unsolicited email to LetsRun.com about the hurdles mixup at last weekend's adidas Track Classic. Moses' email and much more appear in our "Week That Was" recap.

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