The Week That Was In Running - April 25 - May 2, 2011

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By LetsRun.com
May 3, 2011

This week, we start with an offshoot of our old-school Thumbs Up/Down. We start with a simple concept. We first talk about those that had a good week and then those that had a bad a week.

Those That Had A Good Week:

Mark Wetmore - His Colorado teams haven't been making a ton of noise in recent years, but Wetmore showed last weekend that he still has it and people had better watch out in the years to come. At Stanford, Wetmore-coached athletes grabbed Olympic qualifying times in the women's steeple (Emma Coburn - 9:40.51) and men's steeple (Bill Nelson - 8:22.44). The last two years training as part of the OTC, Nelson couldn't break 8:35.

More importantly for fans of the collegiate team, his men put up some really good performances. Sophomore Joe Bosshard came into the meet with a 13:49 5,000 PR but left as the sixth-fastest CU Buff in history thanks to his 13:34.57. A 15+-second PR in the 5k. And this is from a guy who was good but not great high school runner (1,600 meters: 4:22; 3,200 meters: 9:11; 5,000 meters: 15:12). Want to learn more about Bosshard? Read his interesting CU bio, as it's worth nothing the guy is a winner - a world champion logroller for the 6 and under division! In the second section, Andy Wacker ran a 20-second PR with a 13:41.49, becoming the ninth-fastest CU performer in the 5k. Currently, Colorado has four guys under 13:45 for the year at 5k and only one of them is a senior.


Ammar Moussa

And then there was Colorado recruit Ammar Moussa. He ran great at Stanford, as he dominated the third section there and won in 14:05. But what impressed us most about Moussa was his performance after the race. The flotrack people had him on their telecast and he talked during the second section of the 5k and the kid was unreal. No longer did we think about muting the broadcast (nor did we ever think about that last week, as the Stanford announcing crew was good - their coverage is here). We ate up every word Moussa was saying. Moussa is clearly a student of the sport who is really into running and quite honestly we think that's really important. If you aren't passionate about this sport, it's hard if not impossible to ultimately be truly great. Moussa also was hilarious and displayed a great deal of maturity. Most teens don't really do self-deprecating humor, but we loved it when the second heat off of the 5k went out pretty fast for two miles and Moussa quipped something to the effect of, "And this is where I drop out, that's within two seconds of my PR."

Don't know much about Moussa? Well, with NXN/Footlocker split, it's clear many of the high school stars aren't as well known as they might have been in the past, but Moussa is the California state XC champion who led the US effort at World XC with a 32nd-place showing.

But if you really want to get to know Moussa, please read this profile of him from the LA Times: Arcadia's Ammar Moussa has come a distance. A definite Must Read, as it shows how Moussa went from a cocky troublemaker in middle school, whom his parents were thinking about having skip HS all together, to a great team leader in HS thanks to a lot of hard work by Moussa and some great guidance from coach Jim O'Brien, who knew Moussa had something special when he saw Moussa run 5:36 in 8th grade.

With three sub-13:45s coming back next year plus Moussa, who probably will be in that range as a freshman, plus two-time top-100 performer Christian Thompson, next year should be interesting for the Buffs. Most of the top teams in cross return a ton of talent, but it's hard to imagine that a team that stacked doesn't at least get on the podium - but then there are probably 6-7 teams thinking that.

More On Moussa: *Milesplit Bio Here *Milesplit XC Journal Here

Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair - For the third straight year, the Jamaican national record holder at 800 meters was sensational at Penn Relays. On Saturday in Philadelphia, energized by the huge pro-Jamaican crowd, she put up her third-straight 1:57 split at Penn, as the Jamaican team just missed their own world record in the sprint medley. Check out what Sinclair and Jamaica have done each of the last three years:

2009 - 3:34.56 - Sherri-Ann Brooks, Rosemarie Whyte, Moya Thompson (51.7), Kenia Sinclair (1:57.43)
2010 - 3:35.37 - Schillonie Calvert, Kerron Stewart, Melaine Walker (52.5), Kenia Sinclair (1:57.48)
2011 - 3:34.64 - Simone Facey, Kerron Stewart, Melaine Walker (51.3), Kenia Sinclair (1:57.06)

Sinclair's 1:57.06 split this year was her best ever at Penn. The weird thing is that Sinclair, who has a 1:57.88 open personal best, has had her best performance of the year come at Penn each of the last three years. You'd think later in the year with competition (at Penn, Sinclair is normally running alone out front), she'd run faster. But for the last two years, you'd be wrong. Without the huge Jamaican crowd, the rest of the year, Sinclair has only managed the following the last two years:

2009- 1:59.13
2010 - 1:58.16

Long Beach Poly's 4 X 800 - The Jackrabbits ran a California record 7:31.69, including a 1:49.54 anchor split by Myles Andrews, to win the Penn Relays boys high school 4 x 800. While a CA record, the team did come up just short of breaking the national record of 7:30.67 set by Albemarle (Charlottesville, Va.) at Penn in 2009. More: *Poly shatters a state record

Bernard Lagat, David Torrence And Ryan Gregson - The two Americans and the Aussie were great on the opening 1,200 legs of the USA versus the world DMR at Penn Relays as they split 2:48.29, 2:48.65 and 2:48.66 at Penn. That's some of the best 1,200-meter running we've ever seen at Penn, but for us the all time best 1,200 ever run at Penn belongs to now Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis, who set the collegiate record by running 2:49.7 at Penn in 2003. A little slower, but come on - that was in the college race and was truly unreal.


Lagat Still The King In America

Watching Lagat run 2:48 in April reminds us that, with all apologies to Chris Solinsky, he's definitely America's best bet for a medal by far at 5,000 in Daegu. Plus, Lagat after Penn said he wants to run 12:49 this year for 5,000 (Dear Americans if you want AR be prepared to run sub 12:49 this year. Sincerely Bernard Lagat). If he's in that type of shape with his kick, he's a virtual lock for a medal in Daegu. We'll see if that speed is still there at age 37 in London 2012, but he's definitely lethally-fast for a 5,000m runner in 2011.

As for Torrence, it was good for the often overlooked American to get a chance to shine on television and mix it up with the big names. How that guy never finished higher than 10th at NCAA outdoors is beyond us.

As for Gregson, who enjoyed his 21st birthday the week of Penn (April 26), it was a real thrill to see one of the great young mile hopes compete again. After setting the Australian record in the 1,500 last summer (3:31.06 in Monaco), he was forced to miss the Commonwealth Games with a navicular stress fracture. Given how dicey navicular problems are, we thought he might barely be heard from at all in all of 2011. We certainly didn't expect to see him impressing at Penn. Hopefully, no foot problems come back down the road (sometimes naviculars don't heal without surgery).

Gregson has also switched coaches now is being coached by his manager Nic Bideau. Bideau is also coaching Ben St. Lawrence and Bobby Curtis, who ran great in the 10,000m at Stanford (more below).

Want to read more about the 1,200 distance? Track And Field News has a cool list: Progression Of The Fastest 1,200m Time En Route To 1,500 Or Mile. More: Penn Relays Top All-Time College Splits *Old LRC MB Thread: Fastest 1,200m Ever *Dear Americans if you want AR be prepared to run sub 12:49 this year. Sincerely Bernard Lagat

Jenny Simpson & Christin Wurth Thomas - Both put up early outdoor 2011 US leaders as Simpson went wire-to-wire and won by 2+ seconds in the 1,500 at Drake in 4:09.56 and Wurth Thomas ran 2:00.72 for 800 at Stanford. 2:00.72 is pretty good for Wurth Thomas, as her seasonal best last year was 2:00.61 and she's only run faster 3 times in her career. Maybe she's trying to display good early form, as it's worth noting she competed unattached last weekend.

Delano Williams - The boys high school 4 x 400 is always one of the bigger events at Penn. This year, the Jamaicans went crazy as one of their schools - Munro - got the win. We're not sure if the crowd realized, but the anchor of that team wasn't even a Jamaican. The anchor - Delano Williams - who split 46.21, which is pretty darn good for a high school athlete (although there have been 12 sub-46 high school splits at Penn, including a 45.08 by Obea Moore in 1997) - is from Turks & Caicos, which is a British Overseas Territory. Now all British Overseas Territory inhabitants have British citizenship, so one thing we're wondering is if there is some way he'll end up on the 2012 British Olympic team.

Williams is only 17 and yet he's already run 10.51 and 20.71 this year. Last year, the fifth-fastest 200 performer for Britain ran 20.73. *More: Penn Relays Best High School Boys Splits

Adam Nelson - The 35-year-old had his first 70 foot throw since 2008 at Drake, as he won with a 70-2 (51.39m).

Desi Davila - The 2011 Boston marathon runner-up got to throw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game last week. That's certainly not an everyday occurrence for a runner (photos available here). We loved Desi's sense of humor, as prior to her big pitch, she said, "I'm a little nervous but there's a nice tail wind coming in so it should be like a world record type pitch."

As for the actual pitch, we're not sure what happened. She certainly didn't have a Carl Lewis meltdown, as she gave it a great toss, but it's not clear from the video if she got it to the plate, threw it over the plate or what? If you know, please post here. If not, we feel as if a cover-up is going on (joking), as the video is only shot from the side.

See the video of her pitch and Carl Lewis' side by side below.

More: *LRC Desi Davils Throws Out First Pitch *Desi Photos From Comerica Park (runmichigan.com)


Perhaps Bobby Curtis Shouldn't
Surpise Us So Much, He
Crushed The NCAA Field In 2008

Bobby Curtis - Curtis must be the fastest runner in American to generate basically zero publicity (it doesn't help that he trains much of the time on the other side of the world, as he is in Nic Bideau's group), so we'll try to create some for the ex-Villanova runner. Curtis, not the much more heralded Matt Tegenkamp, was the first American at Stanford in the 10,000, as Curtis ran 27:24.67 to get 2nd.

Ben St. Lawrence - The Australian who shocked Chris Solinsky (and Matt Tegenkamp) in Australia at 5,000 earlier this year moved to 2 and 0 on the year against Tegenkamp, as he got the Australian record and Tegenkamp's scalp yet again at Stanford, running 27:24.95. St. Lawrence had run terribly since his 13:10 5k earlier in the year, but stepped up big time here.

Byron Piedra - St. Lawrence wasn't the only one setting a national record in the 10k at Stanford, as Byron Piedra of Ecuador ran a huge PR and broke the Ecuadorian NR by a full 15 seconds. Previous Ecuadorian NR: Silvio Guerra 27:47.8 (run July 10th, 1995). Piedra's new NR is 27:32.59.

Jordan Hasay - The Oregon Ducks got a PR and collegiate leader at Stanford by running 4:10.28.

Not Sure If It Was A Good Week Or Bad Week:

Jeremy Wariner -
The three-time Olympic gold medallist won Drake in 45.19, which compares favorably to the 45.47 and 45.41 he ran last year in May. That being said, that type of form is still far from the form that one saw from Wariner when he was basically unbeatable and each year, it looks like that Wariner may never be seen again. Jeremy Wariner in his prime - the Wariner that ran 43.45 in 2007 and went undefeated - basically never ran 45 seconds in the 400. From 2006 to 2008, over a span of 34 straight 400 events that Wariner finished, Wariner broke 45 seconds every single time (on a couple of occasions in the first round of an event during this span, he did run over 45, but never in the final (we are counting a World Championships or Olympics as one event for this analysis)).

Those That Had A Bad Week:

Nick Symmonds - Not sure what was going on with Symmonds at Penn. The US Olympian did get the stick in no man's land, but a 1:49.00 split is not good for someone who ran 1:45.03 back on March 3rd. Perhaps he was "Saving something for Zurich Eugene," as he'll get another WR attempt in the DMR this weekend versus an Oregon collegiate team.

Villanova Women - They've enjoyed a magical year, but given the fact they've got Sheila Reid, it would have been hard to imagine going into last weekend, they wouldn't have won at least one Penn Relays title. But that's exactly what happened, as BC was the surprise winner of the 4 x 1,500, and everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the DMR.

German Fernandez - Sure, a 3:44 isn't terrible, but it's not good for a former 4:01 high shcool miler and former NCAA champ, and when Fernandez tried to throw down with 150 meters to go left in his heat at Stanford, not a whole lot happened. For those that are in denial that Fernandez is struggling mightily in 2011, please realize this is the 2nd-straight 3:44 for the 2009 NCAA champ, who ran 3:55.02 in the mile indoors as a frosh. If everything was going well, ask yourself this: Why in God's name would a guy who won NCAAs as a freshmen be in the B heat at Stanford?" Answer: he wouldn't.

Now for those that are making dire predictions about Fernandez, we'll state one thing: "Talent doesn't go away."

We used to say Ryan Gregson was the Australian version of German Fernandez. Well, Gregson - like Fernandez - was injured last year. Gregson's already had surgery and is back running 2:48 for 1,200 in his first race back. Meanwhile, Fernandez can't run sub-4 in a mile. Likely something physiologically is off. Speaking of Gregson vs. Fernandez, in 2009, Gregson was quick to praise Evan Jager in the Gregson vs. Fernandez debate. Jager returned from navicular surgery himself and ran 3:40.52 in his first race back at Stanford.

More: *German Fernandez... just not the same runner any more

Penn Relays DMR Teams - In the end, there won't be asterisks next to some of the victors' names in the record books, but some of the Championship of America winning times this year at Penn Relays were slow. None more shocking than the men's DMR, where the winning mark of 9:37.93 was the slowest winning time since 1973, as only four teams broke 9:40 and only 5 broke 9:44.

For comparison's sake, realize that last year, 11 teams broke 9:44 and the winning mark was 9:30.

So what the hell happened? Well to be fair, the conditions on Friday afternoon weren't conducive for running fast, as it was a little cool and the wind was swirling at 4pm when the DMR took place. We took a look at the wind readings from the Eastern men's long jump, which started at 3:30 pm, and in the 2nd round alone, which probably would have been taking place very close to 4 pm, the wind readings were varying from -3.7 to a +7.6 . That's pretty crazy.

So there, we give out the excuse first. But the conditions can't be blamed as the primary reason why the DMR was so slow.

The facts reveal that nearly all of the teams in the men's DMR were flawed teams that were missing at least one if not two stars. This was most clear on the men's 800 legs. It's not like 800s are run very tactically on a DMR, as it's the third leg. That being said, only one guy broke 1:50 on Penn on Friday in the DMR. That is pretty bad. Last year, 5 guys split under 1:50 at Penn.

We looked up the 800-meter seasonal bests of the 1st through 14th place teams at Penn this year and it's clear that most of the guys running the 800 simply aren't the very best collegiate runners. The wind probably slowed them down a little bit but four of them actually ran better than their seasonal bests. The real revealing fact is that only two of them came in with seasonal bests under 1:50. Here are the 1st through 14th place teams' 800 guys seasonal bests and then their splits on Friday:

Seasonal Best/Split At Penn
1:51.22 -1:51.02
1:48.47 - 1:49.05
1:49.39 - 1:51.74
1:50.82 - 1:52.06
1:55.14/2:26 - 1:53.66
1:52.20 - 1:51.67
1:53.62 - 1:55.59
1:50.96 - 1:50.98
1:51.24 - 1:50.30
1:48.90 - 1:50.64
1:52.45 - no split listed
1:52.28 - 1:54.02
1:51.61 - 1:53.31
1:52.26 - DNR

Why is one of the times in bold? Because those numbers belong to BYU's Justin Hedin, who didn't have a good day. If he runs better, then maybe Miles Batty would have won on the anchor - but then again, maybe not. Given the wind, it was likely to bunch up on the final 1,600 leg and a tactical last leg is when Villanova's Matthew Gibney is lethal.

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Before we go on to other matters, if you're looking for more analyis on the Stanford meet, see our meet recap:
LRC
Another Great Stanford Meet Is In The Books
The 2011 Payton Jordan meet did not disappoint, as 22 runners got under the Olympic A standard in the men's and women's 10,000, as the "star" Americans in Matt Tegenkamp and Shalane Flanagan got beaten. In the men's 10k, the winner was 20-year-old Bedan Karoki, whose breathtaking move with more than seven laps to go instantly ended the race, which was the first one in American history where three Americans broke 27:30 (led by Bobby Curtis). In the men's 1,500, German Fernandez's struggles continued in the B heat (is it officially time to panic?), while Lopez Lomong and Evan Jager returned to action in the A heat that was won by Ben Blankenship. In the ladies' 1,500, Jordan Hasay got a PR and collegiate leader but only finished 5th. The story of the steeple was that Mark Wetmore-coached athletes shined and got the Olympic A standards, as Emma Coburn impressed from the opening moment of the race while Billy Nelson waited until late to unleash an incredibly impressive kick. In the men's 5k, Elliott Heath's unreal kick wasn't quite enough to get him the win, as seven broke 13:30. Read all about as we recap the top action for you.

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Quote Of The Week #1 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

American 10,000-meter record holder Chris Solinsky talking to Runnersworld about how he met his wife Amy and proving that stereotypes about distance runners being nerds exist for a reason:

    You first knew Amy in college, right?
    CS: Yes. She pole vaulted on the Wisconsin track team. I knew her all through college but I was too scared to make any kind of move into what would have been my fifth year. I was still on campus and she was two years younger than me. And she was the one who made the first move. I was too chicken.

    More: *A Brief Chat With Chris Solinsky

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Quote Of The Week #2 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"I mean, it happens. Move on. She's a freshman. Maybe she got a little rattled with the whole thing. That's all I can say. It wasn't her running. But she's got 3 more years. I'm thrilled that all four of them are back next year, so we will have another shot. I just know with freshmen sometimes you never know. It can go either way. But she's tough. She'll be back."

-Villanova coach Gina Procaccio talking to Phillynews.com about her lead-off leg Emily Lipari's disastrous 3:27 opening leg at Penn Relays (7 seconds off her best) that ended with a drop on the exchange. Kudos for Procaccio talking honestly to the press and calling a spade a spade.

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Quote Of The Week #3 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"I hated him for everything he did to me but at the same time, you can't take away from him that he was a great coach. I thought that I couldn't train with anyone else. Maybe I was wrong, maybe it would have worked just as well."

- Former high jump world record holder Patrik Sjoberg talking about his coach and stepfather Viljo Nousiainen, whom Sjoberg says sexually abused him. More: Sjoberg reveals sexual abuse from coach.

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Quote Of The Week #4 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"There aren't many athletes who would be here with you to share the worst moment of their athletic career," Favor Hamilton said. "The reason I'm here to share that moment with you is so you realize I'm no different. I'm just like you."

"If you take anything away this, it's that disappointments are going to happen, but you're going to persevere and be stronger because of them. Can you promise that to me?"

- Former US 1,500-meter star Suzy Hamilton talking to a group of middle schoolers about the worst moment in her career - when she intentionally tripped herself in the Olympic final.

Mega kudos to Hamilton for talking honestly and for being an inspiration to the youth of today. Hamilton struggled mightily at times with the pressure of being the world's best but truth be told, the pressure on her was way higher than on nearly everyone else, as many of those she were competing against were basically doped up machines who never had off days due to drug abuse.

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Quote Of The Week #5 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"During Brian's (opening 1,200 meter) leg another anchor said to me, 'Every damn year it's UPenn, but it feels like your meet.' I won't say who, [but] not only does it encourage us, it also somewhat gets to the other teams."

- Villanova anchor Matthew Gibney talking about the home field advantage the Wildcats feel at Penn Relays. More: Villanova men pull off surprise, capture DMR at Penn Relays

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Quote Of The Week #6 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"I kind of dj-vu'd from last year. 300 to go, you know, Wheating passed me. (Today) I'm like 'Oh, no, do I do I still have it? Its a long way to the finish line.' 200 to go, I'm starting to gather myself again and I'm like, 'I hope - I think I got it, I think I got it.' Coming off the turn, I'm like 'I'm going for it.' And you know what? Cas just never - he never kept going. So luckily for me, I had it today. I easily could not have had it. So I'm really thankful."

- Robby Andrews talking to Sabrina Yohannes about what he was thinking at the Penn Relays over the final 300 meters of the college 4 x 800 when he gunned down Penn State's Casimir Loxsom and took UVA to it's a second-straight title in a fast 7:12:15 - the 2nd-best time ever at Penn. *More: A Brief Chat With Robby Andrews

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Quote Of The Week #6 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

"That''s the race that got me here. That's the race that got the rest of my season rolling, and I'm being given opportunities I've never been given before, and I have sort of a level of confidence in what I can accomplish that I've never had before. It's races like that you go in being somebody and then you come out being somebody else ... So I'll remember it forever."

- US miler Russell Brown talking to Sabrina Yohannes about his victory at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and how it's opened a lot of doors from him. For example, last week it gave him the opportunity to anchor the USA team at the Penn Relays. More: *A Brief Chat With Russell Brown

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Thoughts On Meb Trying The 2010 ING NYC And Olympic Trials Double

It came out last week that 2009 ING NYC Marathon champ Meb Keflezighi will try to New York/Olympic Trials double in the span of 70 days this fall/winter (see info below). We think it's a shame that things couldn't be worked out for Meb to run Boston this spring, so it's great to see him getting a much-deserved New York payday. That being said, one of our first thoughts when we saw he's going to try that double was that Meb is nowadays more focused on getting a payday than re-creating Olympic glory. And that's not necessarily a bad thing (nor is it necessarily true - that's just our opinion).

The fact of the matter is Meb will turn 36 on Thursday, May 5th. The 2012 Olympic marathon will be run on a flat course and Meb has never truly excelled on a flat marathon course. Should we really expect him to go 1 full year - maybe 2 years if he makes the Games - without a marathon appearance fee when in all honesty the odds of him medalling in London are very, very, very, very low? The answer should be no. Meb already has a silver medal from the Olympics around his neck. If one athlete in America has earned the right to get a payday and then try to make the Olympic team afterwards, it is Meb.

More: LRC: Meb Attempting New York / Olympic Trials Double Meb Keflezighi joined the live NYRR 2011 ING New York City Marathon "Opening Day" show from Columbus Circle to announce he was running this year's marathon, 69 days before the US Olympic Trials in Houston (in 2004, Meb did the Olympic and New York double 70 days apart). Meb will take on defending champ Gebre Gebremariam, while defending women's champ Edna Kiplagat will face Jen Rhines. Athletes Apolo Anton Ohno and Curtis Granderson were on hand for the marathon kickoff along with celebrities Al Roker and Ed Norton.
*
NYRR Article *USA Today Article Meb also reveals that he is recovered from knee injury he sustained right before NYC Half that occurred during an "altercation with a dog in Central Park."

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Other Things Of Note That Happened Last Week

D3 Star & Upstate New Yorker Peter Kosgei's College Career Is Over After Savage Beating In Kenya

Alan Webb Competes Twice And We Don't Freak Out:
*LRC 2011 Drake Relays Recap: Boaz Lalang Wins 2011 Drake Relays Mile Over Alan Webb, Who Is Fourth
*Alan Webb & Sara Hall Win Uphill And Into Wind Road Mile To Kick Off Drake Relays Weekend

This could be a first. Alan Webb competes and we don't want to analyze his performance to death. Tactically, he wasn't very good (as is usually the case) in the track race, but that wouldn't have mattered if the "unbeatable" 1:43/3:46 (mile) Webb was competing. But to expect that guy to show up after where he's been the last few years is unrealistic for now and he faced a good field. Can he get back to that form and can Webb be a World Championships team member later this year? Ask us after his next race.

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Recommended Reads

*LA Times: Arcadia's Ammar Moussa has come a distance
*LRC Another Great Stanford Meet Is In The Books
*LRC 2011 Drake Relays Recap: Boaz Lalang Wins 2011 Drake Relays Mile Over Alan Webb, Who Is Fourth
*Alan Webb & Sara Hall Win Uphill And Into Wind Road Mile To Kick Off Drake Relays Weekend
*Drake Relays No Longer Giving Out Watches To Winners, Will Go With Oakley Sunglasses Sadly, they don't think kids with cellphones give a **** about watches.
*Suzy Favor Hamilton Talks To Middle School Students About Falling Down On Purpose At 2,000 Olympics Unable to handle the pressure, Hamilton saved herself for Zrich (oh wait, that was actually in 2001) but now gives very inspiring speeches to youngsters showing them elite athletes are normal people too.
*WSU's High Jumper Shawn Swartz Competes With Leukemia
*Old School Dedication And Training That Borders On "Fanatical" Key To 16-Year-Old Shot Putter Jacko Gill's Success

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Quotes Of The Day From Last Week

Monday: "I didn't want to know symptoms and side effects. I didn't want to mentally create reactions. I didn't want to imagine negative outcomes. The mind is a strong healing factor, if you make it one. ... I'm sure the doctors thought I was crazy at the beginning, or they'd just ignore me. But I honestly think being so focused on coming back made me better."

- WSU high jumper Shawn Swartz talking talking about his battle with leukemia and undergoing radiation treatment. While most would use something as serious as that as a very legitimate excuse to not train and give up, Swartz didn't even what to know all the possible side effects because he didn't want to give himself the option of making extra excuses. He was determined to return to high jumping and he has jumped an impressive 6 feet 7 1/2 inches this season.


Sunday: "When I was checking over the Internet, everything was about Alan Webb ... I think it (all the Alan Webb talk) is something that really motivated me."

- Drake Relays Mile champion Boaz Lalang talking to the Des Moines Register after defeating a strong mile field at Drake that included Lalang, Webb, NCAA runner-up Chris O'Hare and S. Africa's Peter Van Der Westhuizen. LetsRun.com recap of the men's mile here.


Saturday: "As soon as we saw in the pen that Virginia wasn't there. I was pretty confident that if we had a really slow race I had a really good chance of doing it, so from then my strategy was to leave it as late as I could and just wait until I got to the last 100 and give it everything."

- Villanova DMR anchor Matthew Gibney talking after anchoring the 'Nova men to their second DMR title in three years, as he proved he has the best last 200 in the NCAA in tactical races (save maybe Robby Andrews), as Gibney took the scalps of 3:36 man and NCAA champ Miles Batty and 3:35 man Dorian Ulrey in the process, as 'Nova pulled off a big upset.


Friday: "This is something we talked about for several years now. We've been kind of joking, 'Nobody even mentioned us.' We weren't invited to the Penn Relays press conference. We came out and surprised a lot of people."

- Georgetown coach Chris Miltenberg on his team's upset victory in the Penn Relays women's DMR. Coming in they were massive underdogs as two-time defending Penn Relays champs, Tennessee, and NCAA indoor champions, Villanova, were the strong favorites. But a dropped baton by Villanova and a fast kick by Georgetown's anchor leg led them to win in 10:51.49. Just goes to prove Villanova's Sheila Reid's point when she said going into this race that, "It takes something special to win at Penn ... But you just can't go in there with certain expectations, because anything can happen."


Thursday: Tegenkamp Doesn't Do The 10k?


- Matt Tegenkamp putting to rest another vicious letsrun.com rumor - that he doesn't do the 10k. He blogs about running the 10k this Sunday at Stanford here
. More on Teg and not running the 10k here, here, here & here.


Wednesday: "I think our DMR team was well-suited for indoors because, if you just look at the guys, they are a bunch of bruisers. On those tight turns, sometimes it helps having some extra beef. Outdoors, things are opened up a little bit so hopefully we'll try to thin them down, and I think we'll be fine."

- BYU coach Ed Eyestone, who will be taking his DMR studs to Penn for the first time in his 11 years at the helm at BYU.


Tuesday: "I want to be a marathoner some day."


- American marathoner Clara Grandt speaking as a freshman to her coach at West Virginia, Sean Cleary. Grandt's marathon debut was a successful one, as she ran 2:29:54 at Boston, becoming the 6th American under 2:30 this year. In the article Grandt says, "There's never been a year when 2:29 didn't make the Olympics," but it looks like that will be the case in 2012. RW also has a chat with Grandt here.


Last Week's Homepages
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