Pre Classic Day 1: Wilson Kiprop Wins in USA, Alysia Montano Dominates, Tirunesh Dibaba and Alan Webb Want More, Alice Schdmit Upsets Jenny Simpson

By LetsRun.com
June 1, 2012

Day 1 of the two day Pre Classic saw the Kenyan Olympic 10,000m Trials, a great season opener by Alysia Montano to remind us she is a serious medal threat at 800m, an upset win by Alice Schmidt in the 1500m over World Champion Jenny Simpson, and a mile with Alan Webb and Matt Centrowitz Jr. Recaps of the track races below.

Coming to America: The Kenyan Olympic 10,000m in Eugene

The Kenyan's Olympic 10,000m Trials were held in Eugene, Oregon for the first time on Friday night, before an appreciate crowd.


More Photos Here

In the end it came down to a final 100m sprint between World Half Marathon Champion Wilson Kiprop and 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Moses Masai. Kiprop (27:01.98) was too good for Masai (27:02.25) as Bitan Karoki (27:05.50) finished third. Before the race, Kenyan officials had said the top two would be guaranteed spots on the Kenyan Olympic team, but afterwards the officials said the team would be the top three.

The first 5k was reached in a modest 13:43.81. Moses Masai then spiced things up with a 63.3 lap. Things settled down again and the pace overall was faster the second half, but would ebb and flow until the big kick for home. (splits here). Geoffrey Kirui threw in the biggest surge, a 62.2 with 5 laps to go that momentarily broken open the field, but this one came down to the bell lap.

At the start of the final lap, a handful of guys were in contention including former World 5000m Eliud Kipchoge who would fade. Kiprop and Masai were clearly best on the bell lap. Kiprop's final lap however was a modest 58.56.

For reference when Chris Solinsky ran his 26:59.60 former American record, he closed in 56.1. Galen Rupp closed in 61 seconds when he ran his American record of 26:48.00.

Kiprop, coached by Renato Canova was pleased with the win saying "I prepared myself and I ran tactically." When asked how he would beat Mo Farah and the Ethiopians he said, "I can not say I can beat the Ethiopians and Mo Farah now. We go and prepare ourselves and we look for something good in the Olympics."

Canova Holds Court
(We Start it 4:35 In)

Canova Talks Olympics, Galen Rupp's Medal Chances and Alan Webb

Kiprop's coach Renato Canova said Kiprop can not kick with the likes of Mo Farah if the race comes down to a fast final lap. However, if the race is faster over the final few laps, Canova expects Kenenisa Bekele to win. Canova reminded us that Bekele ran 4:55 the final 2000m to win the 10,000m in Beijing. He then said, "Kenenisa can lose only if it comes to who is strongest the last lap. If he goes fast the last 3 or 4 laps, no one can beat him."

When asked about the prospects of Galen Rupp, Canova put Rupp in fine company saying, "I put only Kenenisa, maybe one Kenyan, and I put Mo and Galen Rupp. They are the four who can look for medals, no one else."

In the context of athletes kicking at the end of races, Canova then talked about the most talked about athlete in the history of LetsRun.com Alan Webb. He said, "Alan Webb was mentally destroyed when he ran 1:43 for 800 meters,because after that he was supposed to be fast... Bernard Lagat never ran 1:43 and he was faster than Alan Webb for kicking the last 50 meters."

Canova then talked about racing tactics. His main point was the strongest athlete can not just wait for the kick and instead should dictate the race. He said of Webb, "He ran 3:46 alone.... He was never able to run very well with other people (around)." When asked what Webb's tactics should have been in 2007, Canova said, "If you are stronger, you go. He who is stronger should decide the tactic."

Canova was glad the Kenyan 10,000m Trials was held without rabbits. And he agreed with the Kenyan officials that the world's greatest distance runner in 2011, Geoffrey Mutai, did not want to do the 10,000m Trials. Canova also said Geoffrey wouldn't have made the team if he ran. The Kenyan officials were pleased with having the Trials in Eugene, saying the low altitude location, let them select the best team.

Quick Take (QT): If the Kenyan Trials in the US becomes a fixture then it needs to be planned better with athletes getting advance notice on how the athletes for the Trial will get selected.

We never thought we'd watch the Kenyan Olympic Trials and think, "An American might have been able to do that."

The Champ (1:30)

1
KEN
27:01.98
WL
2
KEN
27:02.25
SB
3
KEN
27:05.50
PB
4
KEN
27:07.90
SB
5
KEN
27:08.44
6
KEN
27:09.38
SB
7
KEN
27:11.93
SB
8
KEN
27:18.22
SB
9
KEN
27:23.04
SB
10
KEN
27:23.75
PB
11
KEN
27:27.56
SB
12
KEN
27:32.79
PB
13
KEN
27:39.65
SB
14
KEN
27:46.10
15
KEN
27:59.15

Moses Masai Wants  More than 4th Place in Olympics

1000m Kigen, Mike Kipruto (KEN) 2:48.52
2000m Kigen, Mike Kipruto (KEN) 5:34.25  
3000m Bett, Emmanuel Kipkemei (KEN) 8:15.55
4000m Bett, Emmanuel Kipkemei (KEN) 10:59.98
5000m Kigen, Mike Kipruto (KEN) 13:43.81
6000m Masai, Moses Ndiema (KEN) 16:23.78
7000m Kiprop, Wilson (KEN) 19:08.45
8000m Kirui, Geoffrey (KEN) 21:48.35
9000m Kipchoge, Eliud (KEN) 24:28.53

Women's 10,000m: Tirunesh Dibaba Overcomes Cramps to Defeat 2:19 Marathoner Florence Kiplagat

The women's 10,000m came down to the final 100m between Tirunesh Dibaba and Florence Kiplagat. This one turned out as you would expect with Dibaba, who has four World and Olympic 10,000m titles, getting the win in a world leading 30:24.39 but it was a tough battle with Kiplagat.

Kiplagat is no slouch, as she ran 2:19:44 to win last year's Berlin Marathon and was the 2010 World Half-Marathon Champion.

Dibaba dealt with some cramping during the race in the rain of Eugene, Oregon and was seen rubbing her stomach during the race.

Through a translator afterwards Dibaba said, she "did not get what she wanted" from the race but she was glad she ran. When asked what it was she wanted, Dibaba said, "I expected to run lower than 29 (meaning in the 29 minutes)".

Dibaba became the second women ever under 30 minutes at the 2008 Olympics and she'll now get a chance to do it again in London. The Kenyan officials afterwards said Florence Kiplagat will have to run the Kenyan Olympic Trials despite this performance if she wants to be on the team.


More Photos Here

QT: Dibaba made 30:24 look easy. We forgot her Olympic gold was the second sub 30:00 clocking ever.

In many ways, her brilliance isn't properly appreciated. We say she won as expected but people need to realize she's coming back from her own hurdles as well. This was her first outdoor track race since August 13, 2010.  She hasn't lost outdoors since Sept. 12, 2009.

This race served as the 'de facto' Ethiopian trials so we assume that means that 2003 world championship silver medallist Worknesh Kidane and 21-year old Beleynesh Oljira also made the team. Oljira set the half-marathon record in Houstin January at 68:26. The results database company we use lists her sometimes with the name of Belaynesh Algera.

American Lauren Fleshman, who has been rnning 11 miles per week, was the rabbit. Her post race interview is here.

1
ETH
30:24.39
WL
2
KEN
30:24.85
3
ETH
30:26.70
PB
4
ETH
30:50.16
5
ETH
31:09.28
SB
6
KEN
31:28.56
7
ETH
31:41.54
PB
8
KEN
31:42.25
SB
9
ETH
31:48.53
PB
10
ETH
32:03.85
11
KEN
32:19.32
12
UKR
32:50.13
PB
13
IND
33:03.54
14
IND
33:09.24
 
USA
DNF
 
UKR
DNF
 
KEN
DNF
 
USA
DNF
 
AZE
DNS
 
ETH
DNS


More Photos Here

Women's 800m: Alysia Montano Could Medal at the Olympics

In case you forgot, American Alysia Montano reminded us she's one of the best 800m runners in the world, as she dominated wire to wire, following rabbit Heather Dorniden-Kampf through 400m in a VERY quick 55.49 and 600 in 1:25.71 then held on to win in 1:57.37, the second fastest time in the world this year.

The time just missed Montano's pr of 1:57.34 which was the world leader in 2010. She followed that up with a fourth place at Worlds last year, missing a medal by .06.

This was Montano's first 800m of the year. Last year she opened at Pre in 1:59.40, so clearly things are going right in 2012.

Afterwards, Montano did not seem surprised by the run. She had a plan and followed it saying, "I feel great. It was a very nice run. I executed the way I wanted. I obviously would want to finish a little bit different but that is easy to fix. I felt absolutely amazing for the first meet and I'm really excited for things to come."

And what is next for Montano? The Olympic Trials. This was her only 800m before the Trials.

Montano said originally she learned the rabbit was supposed to go out in 58 seconds. Montano wasn't concerned saying, "I'll just run in front of her." Montano added, "At the end of the day you can't base what you're doing to do off another runner." Eventually, Montano talked to Heather Dorniden-Kampf and Kampf said she'd go out in 55 for Montano.

Behind Montano, both American Geena Gall (1:59.28) and Melissa Bishop of Canada (1:59.82) got prs, but Montano was in essence in her own race up front.

QT: Montano looked like a medallist. SUPER impressive for a first run of the year.

1
USA
1:57.37
2
USA
1:59.28
PB
3
CAN
1:59.82
PB
4
USA
2:00.13
5
CAN
2:00.61
PB
6
USA
2:01.27
SB
7
GER
2:02.72
SB
 
USA
DNF
 
USA
DNS

Intermediate times:
400m Dorniden-Kampf, Heather (USA) 55.49
600m Montano, Alysia (USA) 1:25.71

Alysia Montano Isn't Surprise Why are You (4:02)


More Photos Here

Women's 1500m: Alice Schmidt Upsets Jenny Simpson

With 200m to go World Champion Jenny Simpson was sitting on the shoulder of 800m runner Alice Schmidt who had in essence rabbited the field since 800m. As they powered around the final turn, Simpson seemed poised to kick away to victory.

Alice Schmidt had other plans and she powered away from Simpson the final 100m to get the win in 4:05.64. Simpson had to settle for 2nd in 4:06.10.

Afterwards, the 30 year old Schmidt was the happiest winner of the day. Schmidt has been doing more volume this year, hoping not only to improve her 800m, but also to leave open the possibility of the 800/1500 double at the Trials (The 800m is first so doing the 1500m does not detract from her primary event).  Clearly, the longer distance work is paying off as she lowered her pr from 4:08.09.

Schmidt is coached by Joaquim Cruz, the last guy before Andrew Wheating to complete the NCAA 800/1500m double.  

Schmidt said, "I was running scared. The final 600m I was thinking 'someone's going to make a move, I need to make a move first... I've got to put something out there.'" What she put out there was a move that stunned the World Champion Simpson. Schmidt said the classy Simpson came up to her afterwards and said, "Wow. Great Job." We agree.

Cancer survivor Gabrielle Anderson missed the Olympic "A" standard of 4:06.00 in third in 4:06.77. A tough result for Andreson who beat world #1 Morgan Uceny in 4:06.46 in her last race at Occidental Shannon Rowbury, the 2009 World Championship bronze medallist, was fourth here and Anna Pierce, who ran 3:59 in 2009, but didn't break 4:10 last year, was fifth. This was the worst of Pierce's 3 outdoor 1500s this year. Her best of 4:06.11 is a long way from her old form. We're not sure what happened to indoor sensation Brenda Martinez who ran 4:17.

QT: Right now Morgan Uceny (4:01 this week) is the clear #1 in the US..

We're not sure how Schmidt will handle the rounds of the 1500m at the Trials.

This was definitely a step back for Pierce who had been making big progress and for Rowbury. NCAA star Sheila Reid who skipped the Big East meet to focus on meets like this got a PB but was no where near the standard. Her 15:23 5000 pb isn't too far off 15:20 though.

1
USA
4:05.64
PB
2
USA
4:06.10
SB
3
USA
4:06.77
4
USA
4:07.16
5
USA
4:07.81
6
ETH
4:09.41
7
USA
4:09.51
8
SRB
4:09.87
9
USA
4:10.05
10
USA
4:10.45
11
GBR
4:10.46
SB
12
CAN
4:10.73
PB
13
USA
4:11.82
14
USA
4:17.06
 
ETH
DNF
 
MCMAHON Emily
USA
DNF

400m Mcmahon, Emily (USA) 1:03.37
800m Schmidt, Alice (USA) 2:12.85
1200m Schmidt, Alice (USA) 3:19.74

     Alice Schmidt Very Happy:

Men's International 1500 Mile Disappoints

This race was a disappointment. Before this race there was talk of runners like Alan Webb sprinting before the finish to try and split 3:35.50 and hit the Olympic "A" qualifying standard. That never happened as everyone in this one was going too slow.

In the end, Kenyan James Kiplagat Magut won in 3:54.16 as America Russell Brown, who has the 'A', moved up for second in 3:54.48. Jeff See was the best of the Americans who did not already have the "A" standard, finishing in 3:55.51.

World Championship bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz made his 2012 debut in 3:57.44 in 8th place. That was ahead of a fading Alan Webb who ran 3:59.47.

LetsRun.com spoke to Centrowitz for a very brief moment after the race before we were told to go talk to him in the media zone which he didn't go through. Our impression was Centrowitz Jr didn't seem that disappointed in the run. We did find it amusing to see the local ABC sportscast say Centrowitz was, "so upset he would not talk to the media afterwards." We didn't find that to be the case, but track meets should force athletes to talk to the media as a condition for running the race. If its good enough for the NFL, it's good enough for track and field.

One guy who did talk to the media and sought out the media was Alan Webb. We spoke to Webb, video below, then he came back to the media area later to just chitchat and then we saw him again.

Webb said, "My workouts are going great. I had a bad one today. I was kind of on a roll improving (before this). I just didn't feel good. I was tired....Up until today I felt like I was progressing really well. I took a little step back today, but in general I'm optimistic."

Webb's wife Julia is currently 37 weeks pregnant, so this is a big time in Alan's life and he was visibly excited about starting a new chapter in his life. As for his running, Webb said he made a few mistakes in the race (not going out fast enough). To us, he looked tight, and we think the whole 1500 within a mile affected a lot of guys in the race, not just guys like Webb.

Russell Brown said afterwards he was expecting guys like Webb shooting for the standard to lead the charge for home, so the plan was to follow them before continuing onto the finish. Webb and Ulrey never made the blast for 1500m, so the race was different than everyone expected.

Brown who ran well at Pre last year (3:51), said on paper this year looks like last years (good indoor and early season outdoor performances), but he is doing new things in training and is mentally ready for the Trials.

Back to Alan Webb, at one point he said he needs to be like Dwyane Wade and keep on shooting when he misses. Webb plans on running at the adidas meet next week or at one of the Indiana races before the Trials. He said he is encouraged by training partner Robby Andrews' success and just needs to put it all together in a race. Webb said, "I know I'm not too far away because I'm keeping up with him in workouts. I made little mistakes in other races that cost me a second or two, but today I didn't do very well." Webb said today he "was not aggressive enough the first lap... I was a second and a half off the first lap."

1
KEN
3:54.16
2
USA
3:54.48
3
ETH
3:54.73
4
USA
3:55.51
5
USA
3:55.62
6
KEN
3:56.17
7
ETH
3:56.50
8
USA
3:57.44
PB
9
ETH
3:57.48
10
USA
3:58.65
11
USA
3:59.47
12
KSA
3:59.55
13
QAT
4:00.80
14
KEN
4:01.98
15
KEN
4:02.70
 
USA
DNF
 
USA
DNF

400m Stanford, Travis (USA) 56.48
800m Stanford, Travis (USA)1:56.16
1200m Mcnamara, Jordan (USA) 2:56.84

Alan Webb Talks About His Race, His Training and Becoming a Dad (3:58)

Russell Brown Says This Year Is Different Than Last Year (2:51)

Men's Triple: Christian Taylor Wins Again

Britain is hoping for gold from Phillips Idowu in London, but Christian Taylor is the World Champ, young and very good.

1
USA
17.62
+1.9
WL,MR  
17.38
(+1.0)
17.62
(+1.9)
x
(+0.1)
-
17.43
(+1.0)
-
2
USA
17.48
+1.2
SB  
17.03
(+1.1)
17.14
(+0.1)
17.48
(+1.2)
-
x
(+0.7)
x
(+1.2)
3
GBR
17.05
+1.2
 
16.43
(+0.6)
17.05
(+1.2)
x
(0.0)
r
 
 
4
BAH
16.99
+1.0
SB  
16.74
(+1.4)
16.99
(+1.0)
x
(+1.4)
x
(+0.7)
-
16.72
(+0.1)
5
AUS
16.64
+0.5
 
x
(+1.1)
16.64
(+0.5)
-
r
 
 
6
USA
16.49
+0.7
 
15.72
(-0.1)
16.49
(+0.7)
x
(+0.6)
16.31
(+0.2)
x
(+0.8)
-
7
CHN
15.58
+1.0
 
15.58
(+1.0)
15.34
(-0.3)
15.50
(+1.2)
 
 
 

Women's Discus:

1
CRO
66.92
 
MR  
59.19
63.70
66.92
65.13
x
63.92
2
RUS
63.76
 
 
61.01
63.76
60.36
60.07
62.07
57.05
3
POL
62.84
 
 
60.24
57.89
60.94
62.84
x
59.46
4
IND
62.11
 
 
59.69
62.11
59.86
60.89
57.62
61.38
5
USA
61.77
 
 
61.30
61.77
x
59.69
60.57
58.20
6
USA
56.50
 
 
50.60
54.44
x
56.50
x
55.64
 
USA
NM
 
 
x
x
x
 
 
 
 
UKR
DNS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Women's Hammer

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Wind
  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1
GER
75.93
 
 
74.89
73.82
71.78
75.93
72.86
74.47
2
POL
75.60
 
SB  
73.05
75.60
75.49
x
x
75.10
3
RUS
74.95
 
 
70.22
72.66
72.51
73.76
74.95
73.37
4
USA
74.19
 
PB  
74.19
72.87
70.29
70.34
73.12
72.08
5
CAN
70.20
 
 
67.95
x
x
x
68.40
70.20
6
USA
70.04
 
 
x
68.56
70.04
x
68.76
x
7
USA
66.42
 
 
66.42
66.09
x
 
 
 
 
GER
NM
 
 
x
-
r
 
 
 

Prefontaine Classic 2012 Friday Day 1 Full Results

More Photos Here

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