WTW: Mary Cain Vs D’Agostino, Lawi Lalang vs Galen Rupp, Eric Jenkins, and the Greatest High School Finish Ever

The Week That Was In Running: March 4 – March 10, 2013 By LetsRun.com March 13, 2013 To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here. We span the globe recapping the world of track and field. **** Video Of The Week: The Greatest High School American Record Finish Ever?/Clueless Track Announcing Do you have 90 seconds […]

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The Week That Was In Running: March 4 – March 10, 2013

By LetsRun.com
March 13, 2013

To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here.

We span the globe recapping the world of track and field.

Article continues below player

Video Of The Week: The Greatest High School American Record Finish Ever?/Clueless Track Announcing

Do you have 90 seconds to spare?

Please watch the video below which will show you the last 400 of the 5000 at the New Balance Indoor Nationals girls indoor 5000 from over the weekend. We can’t believe no one has talked about this/noticed this. The girl in the light blue top is the race leader Erin Finn. The girl in the white top running with her is a lapped runner.

Watch all the way to the finish. Don’t ask why – just do it.

Did you see what happened at the very end?

What you may not have realized and what the race announcer definitely did not realize is the girl who came screaming in at the last second in a red and white top is Wesley Frazier. And Wesley Frazier is the American high school record holder because of that finish. Here are the actual race results.

1 Wesley Frazier 16:18.01
2 Erin Finn 16:18.02

Frazier won the race.

Frazier also set the national high school record.

We have no idea when the announcer and Erin Finn actually found out the true results. Were you there? Email us.

LRC Update: People were actually talking about it on LetsRun. There is a messageboard thread entitled: HS Girls 5K indoor record

MoreRavenscroft’s Wesley Frazier remains patient, sets national 5,000 record

Three Quick Men’s NCAA Thoughts

#1 – We hope the disappointment of getting DQd soon passes and that Northeastern junior Eric Jenkins can realize he’s in some elite/rare company on LetsRun.com’s unofficial all-time US collegiate 3000 list:

7:44.69 Galen Rupp (Oregon) 02/07/09
7:46.03 Adam Goucher (Colorado) 03/14/9
7:46.21 Eric Jenkins (Northeastern) 3/10/2013
*Note Ryan Hill ran 7:43.08 on an over-sized track last year.

Rupp-Goucher-Jenkins. How many people were predicting that before the season began when Jenkin’s 3000 pb was 8:37.69? Jenkins could be the find of the meet for US fans as this is only his fourth year of running.

#2 -Looks like Ryan Hill seemingly is this year’s version of Chris Derrick – an incredible runner with great PRs but destined to never win an NCAA title.

#3 – As we said in our 800 recap, kudos to Oregon’s Elijah Greer for sticking with it. A lot of track athletes who have seemingly instant success like Greer did when he 1:47.68 as a high school junior, don’t do so well with adversity and if they don’t continue to dominate.

After that 1:47 junior year, he regressed to 1:48.97 as a senior and then was overshadowed by fellow freshmen Robby Andrews (NCAA indoor title, 1:45.54 outdoors and world junior bronze) and Casimir Loxsom (1:46.57 sb and world junior silver) when college started. But as a senior, he’s now an NCAA champ.


Three Quick Women’s NCAA Thoughts

#1 – Jordan Hasay’s NCAA indoor career title ended with the only 4 NCAA indoor team titles in school history. Very impressive. In 2010, there was tons of anticipation about what the prep phenom Hasay would do at her first NCAA meet. In 2011 Hasay stole the show by winning the mile and 3000m. Fast forward to this year and Hasay is no longer a prep phenom. She’s now a senior, looking for an event, having been beaten badly earlier this year by the newest high school sensation Mary Cain. And while Hasay left Fayetteville without an individual NCAA title, this was the first year the Ducks won by less points than Jordan scored (the Ducks won by 25 points in 2010, 29 in 1011, and 19 in 2013).  Never have the Ducks needed Jordan more. Oregon won this year’s NCAA title by 12 points. Hasay contributed 13 points this year to the Ducks cause. The meet was on the line when the 3000m started and Jordan came up big in second place to help put the Ducks up by 3 heading into the final event.

The jury definitely is still out on whether Hasay will be able to move up in distance and have much of a pro career. When Hasay entered Oregon in the fall of 2009, it was after Galen Rupp left it victoriously in the spring of 2009.

No doubt many Duck faithful envisioned Hasay going out like Rupp did in 2009, sweeping everything he ran.  However, if Hasay’s claim to fame is her prep stardom and leading Oregon to its first 4 NCAA indoor titles, that is a pretty good career in our book. Hasay lights up when discussing the Oregon team and she deserves praise for helping Oregon win 4 team titles.

#2 Winning two NCAA titles speaks for itself, but the way Abbey D’Agastino did it was even more impressive. She won both the 3000m and 5000m with dominant extended pushes for home where she increased the pace each lap. She looked like a woman running amongst girls and no one expected that as she was facing 31:15 10,000m runner Betsy Saina of Iowa State.  Last year, D’Agastino almost made the Olympic team and won the NCAA outdoor 5000m title, but it was a surprise to most people. Now she appears to be molding herself into a future US star.

It Wasn’t the McDonnell Days Atmosphere but the 4×400 Win Got the Hog Fans Off Their Feet

#3 It was good to see both the Oregon women and Arkansas men win the 4×400 titles in the final event. Heading into the 4X400 Oregon had a 3 point lead over Kansas and both schools had teams in the 4×400. The Oregon women won it out of the slow heat, as they only had the tenth fastest time coming in. Super impressive.

Neither Arkansas or Oregon had won a track race in the meet before the 4×400. The concept of the NCAA team champion not winning an event on the track is a strange one to the casual fan so we were glad to see Oregon and Arkansas go out in style. Arkansas was even more impressive as it set an NCAA indoor record in the process.


Pick The Winner

Let’s play a game. The following three guys are going run a 1600 and we want you to pick the winner. We’ve replaced their names with their class year so you don’t let a subtle bias influence your pick.

Senior #1: 2011 PB: 3:58.76. HS pbs: 1:51.22, 4:05.20 full mile.

Senior #2: 4:00.15 pb. HS pb: 1:53.08.

Sophomore: 2011 PB: 3:58.94 pb. HS pbs: 1:54.00, 4:10.60 full mile.

Not too hard, is it?

We imagine nearly all of barely spent any time at all in determining that “Senior #1” , “Sophomore” gets second, “Senior #2” gets third.

And that’s exactly what happened last week on the anchor leg of the men’s DMR at NCAAs as “Senior #1” is Peter Callahan of Princeton, “Sophomore” is Robby Creese of Penn State and “Senior #2” is Nick Hutton of Minnesota.

The Princeton victory may have been a surprise to many, but it shouldn’t have been a total shocker, as what the DMR normally comes down is a 1600 race under the guise of a relay race. Those three anchors were the three schools that got the baton together all within one-second of each other. Even if we’d updated our stats with the fact that Creese has a 3:57.11 pb this year, few people should change their pick as Creese was doubling back from the mile prelims whereas Callahan was fresh. At last year’s NCAAs, Callahan was 6th – Creese 11th.

Which Is Better Lalang’s Double or Rupp’s Triple?

After NCAAs, it was fun to play the hypothetical game of asking yourself the following:

Which was better Lawi Lalang‘s NCAA double this year where he set meet records in both the mile (3:54.74) and 3000 (7:45.95) or Galen Rupp‘s triple in 2009 where on day 1, he won the 5000 over Sam Chelanga in 13:41.45 before anchoring Oregon to DMR victory in 3:57.01 and then came back on day 2 to win the 3000 by 6-seconds in 7:48.94?

MBLalang’s Double vs. Rupp’s Triple

Galen Rupp - a man possessed in 2009. *More 2009 NCAA coverage

Galen Rupp – a man possessed in 2009.
*More 2009 NCAA coverage

In some ways, it’s almost unfair to Rupp and Lalang to compare the performances. Both are truly incredible. Rupp clearly was in the zone in 2009 – just look at his face on the left.

What a beast.

If we were going to ding Rupp’s triple a little bit, we’d just point out that the third part of the triple was really a foregone conclusion. Look at the guys who finished 2nd through 6th in the 3000 in 2009.

2 Michael COE SO California 7:54.42
3 Elliott HEATH FR Stanford 7:54.59
4 Hassan MEAD SO Minnesota 7:56.15
5 Chris DERRICK FR Stanford 7:56.31
6 Matt LEEDER SO Florida State 7:59.16

There was no way that a fifth year senior in Rupp, who had been to the Olympics and run 13:18 and 27:33, was losing to a bunch of freshmen and sophomores from North America.

So in some ways, you are comparing two doubles against each other and if that’s the case then it seems hard to not go with the double meet records. Plus, when Lalang went into the 3000 less than 2 hours after running 3:54 in the mile from the front, lined up against him were some studs with experience:

2 Kemoy Campbell JR Arkansas 7:46.9
3 Kirubel Erassa JR Oklahoma State 7:49.17
4 Diego Estrada SR Northern Arizona 7:49.53
5 Henry Lelei SR Texas A&M 7:49.80
6 Andrew Bayer SR Indiana 7:51.51
7 William Mulherin SR Virginia Tech 7:55.08
8 Zachary Mayhew SR Indiana 7:55.14
9 Kennedy Kithuka SR Texas Tech 7:56.28
10 Maverick Darling SR Wisconsin 7:58.43
11 Ryan Hill SR North Carolina St. 8:00.44

Estrada – a 13:26/7:44/27:32 guy – is just fourth. Bayer – a 3:39/13:33 guy – was just sixth. A 13:25 guy like Kithuka doesn’t even score? Look at Hill. He showed you how hard it is to double back on the same day. Hill, the runner-up in the mile in 3:55.25, who has a 7:43.08 3000 pb, was only 11th in the 3000.

To Rupp’s credit, he did absolutely slaughter his inferior competition in the 3000.

What do you think?

MBLalang’s Double vs. Rupp’s Triple

What Could Mary Cain Have Won At NCAAs?

Similarly, it was fun to think about the following:

MB: Something to ponder, Mary Cain beat Emma Coburn (NCAA mile champ) and Abbey D’Agostino (NCAA 3k/5k) prior to 2013 NCAAs – what events (if any) could Cain have won at NCAAs?

We thought about it ourselves and the most obvious answer is “the mile.” That is the event after all where she beat Coburn and D’Agostino at Millrose.

In terms of the 5000, we think there is little chance that Cain would win. For starters, D’Agostino’s 15:28.11 time in the 5000 equates to about a 9:36 and change two-mile and Cain’s pb is 9:38 and it seemed as if D’Agostino could go way faster than she actually did.

Moreover, D’Agostino closed in 4:44.36 and 2:17.58 in the 5000 whereas Cain closed in 4:45.18 and 2:20.32 in her 2-mile.

In the 3000, we don’t think anyone in the US right now is touching D’Agostino, but if Cain was fresh for the event, we aren’t ruling it out. Cain has very good wheels – she closed her 9:38 two mile in 31.15 so you’d better break her before the last 200.

Who Comes Out on Top?

2013 Gate River Run/US 15km Champs

Thinking of Americans that might be able to beat D’Agostino right now, made us think about the top two finishers at the 2012 US Olympic Trials 5000 – Julie Culley and Molly Huddle. Huddle has been training in Arizona with Amy Hastings and hasn’t raced in 2013 but Culley made her 2013 debut last week at the 2013 Gate River Run – which served as the US 15km championships – and it didn’t go well.

Before the race, Culley did a pre-race interview with Runnerspace.com. When asked about her goals for the race, she started with what at the time seemed more like a joke but ended up being more of the truth.

“My hope is that I don’t embarrass myself and I get to the finish line,” said Culley, who is starting to test the waters at longer distance races. Then she said more seriously. “Tomorrow I want to be contending the for the win.”

In reality, she did get to the finish line but she didn’t contend for the win.

She ran near the front for 5k (16:49 for Culley – 16:46 was first) but was more than 2 minutes back at 10k (35:44 versus 33:18 for the leader) and ended up finishing nearly 9 minutes in arrears 58:25 (winning time 49:44).

The winner on the women’s size was 2012 US Olympic 10ker Janet Bawcom who ran 49:44 as Alisha Wiliams was second. On the men’s side, five guys finished within 8 seconds of each other as Ben True got the win over Bobby Curtis. Those 8-seconds were big financially as 1st got $12,000 and fifth just $1000. Results below. A race recap with video highlights is here.

1. Janet Bawcom 49:44 $12,000 + $5000 Equalizer bonus = $17,000
2. Alisha Williams 50:01 $5,000
3. Stephanie Bruce 50:09 $3,000
4. Brianna Nelson 50:29 $2,000
5. Mattie Suver 50:30 $1,000
6. Melissa McKaig 50:35 $900
7. Katie Dicamillo 50:40 $800
8. Delilah Dicrescenzo 50:53 $700
9. Chelsea Reilly 51:01 $600
10. Kellyn Johnson 51:07 $500
1. Ben True 43:38 $12,000
2. Bobby Curtis 43:40 $5,000
3. Ryan Vail 43:43 $3,000
4. Sean Quigley 43:45 $2,000
5. Christo Landry 43:46 $1,000
6. Tim Ritchie 44:01 $900
7. Craig Curley 44:04 $800
8. Mo Trafeh 44:11 $700
9. Tyler Pennel 44:17 $600
10. Donn Cabral 44:20 $500

Stat Of The Week

10 years and zero days –

Amount of time that passed between Japan’s Masakazu Fujiwara two 2:08 marathons – a new world record of sorts. Fujiwara first ran 2:08:12 way back in 2003 at the age of 21 at Lake Biwa on March 2nd . He did it again this year on – again in Lake Biwa on March 2nd (some are reporting it as 10 years and one day but we are going with tilastapaja.org as the source of the dates).

We guess he should be the inspiration for a new phrase, “If at first you DO succeed, try, try again” as in between he ran the following marathons according to tilastapaja.org:

2008 2:12:07 9 Lake Biwa Otsu 2 Mar
2010 2:12:19 1 Tokyo 28 Feb 2:12:00 9 Real Berlin 26 Sep
2012 2:16:46 31 Tokyo 26 Feb 2:11:31 10 Berlin 30 Sep

As one of Japan’s five marathoners to run 2:08 during Japan’s selection process for 2013 World’s, he’s likely to end up at the 2013 world championships and should be commended for his perseverance.

MoreJapanese Men On the Offense Means No Sleep Lost Over None Meeting World Championships Qualifying Time

Think The NCAA Cares About Track and Field?

Take a look at the headline that appeared on the NCAA web-site after day 1 of NCAAs.

The NCAA apparently thinks track and field is a "tournament."

The NCAA apparently thinks track and field is a “tournament.”

At Least Someone Cares About Track & Field

Track and field may be a total after thought for the NCAA (and ESPN – the tv broadcast is showing up a week after the fact on ESPN U) but at least at one school, NCAAs were a big deal last week.

For the second time in three weeks, a big thumbs up to the Loyola University Ramblers in Chicago. They gave the third place showing of their 800 meter runner Declan Murray its own black-out page on their entire school sports website:

We're glad someone besides LetsRun.com cares a lot about NCAAs as well.

We’re glad someone besides LetsRun.com cares a lot about NCAAs as well.

It was good to see Oregon do a black out page for their Women’s team and Greer’s 800 win as well.


Blackout page at goducks.com


Quote of the Week I (that wasn’t Quote of the Day)

“I felt bad because I sat behind a bunch of college kids and put on a big finish at the end, but that was the plan going in: to run whatever the race presented and finish hard off of it.”

– 26:59 man Chris Solinsky, on the comeback trail, talking to Matt McCue about his 2013 season debut at 3k where he ran 8:05.38 in a college race.

For the record, the second place finisher was Idaho senior Barry Britt. He has pbs of 4:07.33 for the mile, 8:07.02 for 3000, 14:08.90 for 5000 and 30:24.99 for 10,000. Solinsky’s PRs for those distances are as follows: 3:54.52, 7:34.32, 12:55.53, and 26:59.60.

In the article, Solinsky said his coach Jerry Schumacher has told him he may only be in high 7:40s, low 7:50 shape come August. Is Schumacher purposely (and smartly) keeping expectations low? We’ll find out soon enough.

More: Back On Track: 5 Questions With Chris Solinsky

Quote of the Week II (that wasn’t Quote of the Day)

“I ask that question every day.

I’m hoping he’s pulling for me.”

– Katrina Coogan, NCAA 3k scorer, Georgetown runner and daughter of Abbey D’Agostino’s coach Mark Coogan, responding to our question if it came down to a kick between herself and D’Agostino who her father would be rooting for.

Our interview with Katrina who has amazing genetics (both parents were Olympians) and spent her early years at altitude is embedded below:

*More LRC Post-NCAA Videos on the Letsrundotcom Youtube channel

Quote of the Week III (that wasn’t Quote of the Day)

“The most improbable script.”

– Florida State coach Bob Braman‘s description of the fact that his two sprinters at the NCAA meet, Marvin Bracy and Dentarius Locke who came in seeded #1 and #2 in the country, both were disqualified for false-starting in consecutive heats in the same lane at NCAAs last weekend.

As a coach, a false-start in a sprint is your worse nightmare. Two in a row? We can’t imagine what that would be like to experience.

Thank goodness, the Seminoles weren’t in the hunt for the team title this year.

More: Florida State’s #1 And #2 Ranked 60m Sprinters False Start In Consecutive Heats In Same Lane And Are Booted From Meet

Quote of the Week IV (that wasn’t Quote of the Day)

“Athletes getting injured is kind of an occupational hazard, so for him to go from where he was ten to 12 weeks ago, probably not being able to run a 15 minute 5K, to running one of his fastest times ever at a championship race (13:30 5k when his pb is 13:26), one of the most important races of a year, really satisfying. It was one of the first times he left a national championship saying, ‘You know I feel good about myself, I ran as hard as I could and I gave everything I had out there.’”

-NAU coach Eric Heins talking about Diego Estrada who came back from injury and ran 13:30/7:49 at NCAAs when his pbs are 13:26/7:46.

More: Estrada takes second in men’s 5K at NCAA Indoor Championships

Long Win Streaks

Last week, we asked you to email us if you knew of some really long indoor conference win streaks. A visitor wrote in and told us that at the DIII level, St. Thomas of the MIAC in Minnesota has won 29 straight men’s titles and 14 straight women’s titles. DI, Manhattan College has won 17 straight MAAC titles.

We’re surprised a cost-conscious administrator doesn’t make them use the same sign year after year but where the digits can just be replaced.

More: Manhattan Clinches 17th Straight MAAC Indoor Championship

Other News Of Note

*Patrick Makau getting ready for London – only runs 65:28 in rainy conditions in Hawaii

*New Balance Indoor Nationals (HS) Results


Recommended Reads

LRC LetsRun.com’s 2013 On-Site NCAA Track and Field Coverage

USATF CEO Max Siegel Overcame A Really Rough Childhood To Be A Huge Success

Pat Butcher Looks At The History Of Sexism In The World Of Running Over The Years

Quotes Of The Day & Last Week’s Homepages: 

Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.

Monday 3/11:

“My targets were a 2:23 and the win. I ran a powerful race like back in the golden days, but after 36 km I had trouble moving my legs so I’d say that I’m only back to about 70 or 80%. I ran with power, but this was only one step. You can’t suddenly make a complete comeback all at once.”

– 2004 Olympic marathon champ Mizuki Noguchi, who is still just 34, after running 2:24:05 and placing third in Nagoya over the weekend.

Sunday 3/10:

“It feels great. It’s awesome. Just to do this double was such an opportunity. I wanted to do everything I could to take advantage of that opportunity.”

– Abbey D’Agostino after crushing the field to win an NCAA title by 5+ seconds for the second straight day and arrive as perhaps the face of US women’s distance running for the next decade plus. D’Agostino is the first American to ever win a 5,000 and 3,000 crown indoors during a career, let alone at a single meet – and she’s only a junior.

Saturday 3/9:

“This has been a goal for a long time and I couldn’t have a better group of guys to do it with. As I was envisioning the race in my head, I couldn’t imagine a better spot to get the baton (than third right behind the leaders) … I’m jut thankful we were able to put it together and have a good race.”

– Princeton’s Mr. Kick, Peter Callahan, who destroyed the field over the last 200 on Saturday night in Fayetteville to give the Tigers NCAA DMR title #1. Callahan, a 3:58 miler, had to sit on the sidelines the last two years with injuries as Princeton won 3 times outdoors at Penn Relays.

Friday 3/8:

“The only downfall of our beautiful free-enterprise system is profit at all cost. When you pursue profit at all costs, you’re having to let go of some beautiful strengths you still have within you. You lose sight of virtues and values that made a Lance Armstrong, virtues and values that make all of us.”

“We all make mistakes – I’ve probably made multitudes of mistakes I can’t probably ever ask forgiveness for. But it’s the virtues and values that keep us going forward.”

– US’s Tokyo Olympic 10,000m champion Billy Mills talking in a good WP article about the downfalls of having sports stars as heroes.

Thursday 3/7:

“I have no idea. It’s always kind of in the back of your mind, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ But I don’t really know.”

– New Zealand Olympian Kim Smith, after being asked what she plans to do with life after running. In an interesting interview, she also reveals that she and her coach don’t try to change her form (of which she says, “I know I look a lot worse than other people, even if I feel comfortable.”) and don’t do much in the way of core work/stretching. She “mostly just runs.”

Wednesday 3/6:

“Looking back, I think there are times in an athlete’s career when things just come together, just like there are times when things just aren’t clicking. For me, I was blessed to have it all come together in the same year, an Olympic year.”

“So I am back at it and as motivated as ever. During some of my frustrating years, I would spend my free time away from the hurdles, and away from thinking about training and competition. Now, after training, I sit and doodle on pieces of paper thinking through technique and trying to figure out where I can make improvements over 2012. There is never a perfect race, there is always something that can be improved.”

– Olympic 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt, talking about his amazing 2012 which saw him win an Olympic gold medal and crush the World Record in 12.80. He has already said he thinks that 12.80 could have been 12.76 as his start was .04 slower than normal since he feared a false start.


Tuesday 3/5: 

“I was asked if I was sad to not be attending the World XC Championships. I thoughtlessly said that the race was no longer significant, and that was why I was not running it. That comment came off as careless and wrong. I know that, especially to the athletes who are competing there, it can be a very important step in international development,”

– 2:07 American marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein, himself a former world junior cross country medallist, responding to criticism that erupted last week on LetsRun after his original anti-World XC comments were our QOD last Thursday. The original comments sparked this MB thread, “Anyone else totally disgusted by Dathan Ritzenhein’s comments about world cross country?” The apology has sparked this MB thread: Ritz apologizes for World XC comments.


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