May 12, 2015
The track and field world wasn’t quite as intense last week as it was the week before (World Relays/Payton Jordan) which was good as we needed a bit of a break. This week is going to be crazy busy – with the Hoka One One meet at Oxy on Thursday and the first two Diamond Leagues meets in Doha and Shanghai on Friday and Sunday.
That being said, there was still plenty of stuff to talk about.
High Schooler Matthew Maton Breaks 4:00 at Age 19
Matthew Maton became just the sixth US high schooler (fifth American) to break 4:00 in the mile while in high school last week by running 3:59.38 at the Oregon Twlight. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for the future Oregon Duck and we were incredibly impressed by the way the 19-year-old ran it. He ran his own race, not going with Eric Jenkins or Will Geoghegan, and got the job done.
But as we pointed out in our recap, the fact of the matter is Maton turned 19 on March 28 and most guys his age are freshmen in college.
It was pretty interesting to look at the age that the six U.S. high schoolers first broke 4:00 as it seems that there is a direct correlation between talent level and the age someone breaks 4:00.
Age when they first broke 4 in HS:
Matthew Maton – 19 and 41 days
Tim Danielson – 18 and 190 days
Lukas Verzbicas – 18 and 156 days
Marty Liquori – 18 and 19 days
Alan Webb – 18 and 7 days
Jim Ryun – 17 and 38 days
Maton is a great runner, but he’s not in the same league as a Jim Ryun or Alan Webb or even a Lukas Verzbicas or Marty Liquori.
It’s still rare for a 19-year-old to break 4:00 in the mile in the U.S. Former U.S. steeplechase American record holder George “Malmo” Malley sent us a list of all of Americans that have broken 4:00 in the mile (or run the equivalent in the 1500)
before they turned 20 while they were still eligible for junior competition (they can’t turn 20 in the calendar year so everyone is under 19 years and 6 months). The list has just 22 names on it — many of them very well-known names — including Maton. Maton is the 16th-youngest American to break 4:00 (or the 1500 equivalent).
|1||3:41.50||3:59.00||Jim Ryun||17y 1m 7d||4/29/1947||6/5/1964|
|2||3:42.20||3:59.86||Alan Webb||18y 0m 7d||1/13/1983||1/20/2001|
|3||3:42.10||3:59.80||Marty Liquori||18y 0m 19d||6/4/1949||6/23/1967|
|4||3:39.10||3:56.50||German Fernandez||18y 2m 22d||11/2/1990||1/24/2009|
|5||3:42.10||3:59.71||Lukas Verzbicas||18y 5m 5d||1/6/1993||6/11/2011|
|6||3:41.80||3:59.40||Tim Danielson||18y 5m 30d||12/3/1947||6/2/1966|
|7||3:41.30||3:58.94||Robby Creese||18y 6m 2d||8/30/1993||3/3/2012|
|8||3:41.60||3:59.10||Roscoe Divine||18y 6m 30d||11/3/1947||6/2/1966|
|9||3:40.64||3:58.10||Earl Jones||18y 10m 8d||7/27/1964||6/4/1983|
|10||3:41.24||3:58.80||Evan Jager||18y 10m 26d||6/8/1989||5/4/2008|
|11||3:40.49||3:57.90||John Trautmann||18y 11m 1d||6/29/1968||5/30/1987|
|12||3:41.20||3:58.70||Marc Schilling||18y 11m 1d||7/8/1954||6/9/1973|
|13||3:40.54||3:58.00||Gabe Jennings||18y 11m 10d||6/25/1979||6/4/1998|
|14||3:40.87||3:58.40||Austin Mudd||18y 11m 16d||5/13/1993||4/29/2012|
|15||3:39.70||3:57.06||Dub Myers||19y 1m 10d||4/4/1964||5/14/1983|
|16||3:41.80||3:59.38||Matthew Maton||19y 1m 10d||3/28/1996||5/8/2015|
|17||3:37.90||3:55.20||Tom Byers||19y 1m 10d||5/12/1955||6/22/1974|
|18||3:41.54||3:59.00||Ben Saarel||19y 1m 10d||3/8/1995||4/18/2014|
|19||3:41.09||3:58.60||Robby Andrews||19y 1m 17d||3/29/1991||5/16/2010|
|20||3:41.10||3:58.60||Jerry Richey||19y 3m 9d||2/23/1949||6/1/1968|
|21||3:40.00||3:57.40||Steve Prefontaine||19y 4m 11d||1/25/1951||6/5/1970|
|22||3:42.30||3:59.90||Bob Wheeler||19y 5m 8d||1/11/1952||6/19/1971|
If you want to see the actual spreadsheet that shows you all of their sub-4s if they did it more than once, go here.
More: Matthew Maton Becomes Sixth U.S. High Schooler To Break 4:00 In The Mile With 3:59.38 At Oregon Twilight It had been 14 years since an American broke 4:00 while in HS. 19-year-old Matthew Maton changed that on Friday night.*Video Of Race/Interview
*MB Talk: OFFICIAL MATTHEW MATON SUB-4 THREAD!! HSer runs 3:59.38!!
*Prediction: Maton sub 4 tonight, Fisher wins HS Dream Mile
*Matthew Maton 19 years old (College Freshman Age)
The winner of the Maton’s mile race in 3:57.09 was NCAA 3000/5000 champ Eric Jenkins. Considering he didn’t race Penn Relays and hadn’t raced since April 11, it was good to see him back in action as it erased the tiny fear we had that he might be hurt. That month-long break in racing will come in handy for Jenkins if he makes the U.S. team for Beijing.
The NY, CT, NH and RI State 3,200 Records Fall
Maton was far from the only high schooler to run fast last week. At the 48th Glenn D. Loucks Games in White Plains, N.Y., four high schoolers, led by Mikey Brannigan’s win in 8:42.92, broke 8:47.00 in the boys 3,200.
2015 Glenn D. Loucks Games (48th) – Boys 3200 Results – Heat 2
1. Mike Brannigan 12 Northport 8:42.92
2. Alex Ostberg 12 Darien 8:43.93
3. Eli Moskowitz 12 Souhegan 8:44.79
4. Jeremy Spiezio 12 Greenwich 8:46.10
5. Aidan Tooker 11 Saratoga Springs 8:51.52
6. John Rice 12 Xavier 8:54.77
7. Conor Lundy 11 Fordham Prep 8:55.75
8. Jack Salisbury 11 La Salle Academy 8:56.55
9. Alex Corbett 12 Lake Braddock 8:58.09
10. Matt Bouthillette 11 La Salle Academy 8:59.71
11. David Principe Jr. 10 La Salle Academy 9:00.31
12. Armstrong Noonan 11 Darien 9:14.13
13. Ben Petrella 11 Liverpool 9:14.67
A few thoughts on the race.
1) Bye bye, state records.
Four state records went down in a single race. Brannigan’s 8:42.92 was a new New York state record, Ostberg’s 8:43.93 was a new Connecticut record, Moskowitz’s 8:44.79 was a new New Hampshire record and Salisbury’s 8:56.55 was a new Rhode Island record. Very impressive.
2) Thank you, Alex Ostberg.
Ostberg deserves credit for making the fast times up front possible as he led the whole thing until the last lap. Ostberg told the Stamford Advocate after the race, “I’ve learned my lesson in the past, if I want to run fast you have to take fate into your own hands. I knew the only way I was going to get to my PR was to just go out and really push the pace.”
3) La Salle Academy almost had three UNDERCLASSMEN sub-9s on the same team.
The Rhode Island school had two guys get under 9:00, as junior Jack Salisbury ran 8:56.55 and junior Matt Bouthillette ran 8:59.71.
They nearly had a third sub-9 as 10th-grader David Principe, Jr. ran 9:00.31.
If Principe can break 9:00 later this year, they’ll be just the third team in HS history to have three sub-9:00s in the same year, joining Hammond (Ind.) from the 1970s and Northport (N.Y.), Brannigan’s school, from last year.
The crazy thing about La Salle is the three runners will all be back next year as none of them are seniors.
More: MB: Brannigan just ran an 8:42 3200 to break the NYS record
*Northport High School: 8:53, 8:54, 9:01 in the Same Race! @ Loucks
*3 GUYS SUB 9 SAME SCHOOL
*3 sub-9:00’s at the same high school
*Hammond, IN High School XC in the early 1970s
*”Hammond High had no track”
*AZ: Carlos Villarreal Sets Arizona 1,600 State REcord With 4:03.98 He came back to win in the 800 as well in 1:54.23.
*8th Grade: 8th Grader Tyrese Cooper Runs Insane Sprint Triple In Florida He ran the 100 in 10.61, the 200 in 21.26 and the 400 in 47.76 to win the Florida Middle School State Champs.
*Rhode Island’s La Salle Academy Completes Rare Sweep of 4 x Mile Relay at 2015 New Balance Nationals
*2014 NXN Coverage
Bernard Lagat Does It Again
Coming into the year, we fully expected Bernard Lagat to obliterate nearly every masters world record imaginable. But Lagat far exceeded expectations on Sunday at the as he not only set a new masters world record, he also tied the Mark Nenow‘s overall U.S. record for 10k on the roads by running 27:48 at the Morrisons Great Manchester Run 10K in the UK.
In January, we didn’t realize the masters world record was 28:00 for 10k on the roads (we just knew it was 28:30 on the track). But if we did, we wouldn’t have thought Lagat would break that mark as only occasionally are road 10ks won in under 28:00 and Lagat had never run a 10k before Sunday.
It was a very fine run by Mr. Lagat. Any fears that the less-than-stellar times he’d put in his last two races — he ran 13:40 at a windy Carlsbad 5000 on March 29 and a 4:05 road mile in Des Moines on April 21 — were a sign that Father Time was catching up to him seem to be unwarranted. Lagat certainly is fit enough to challenge for a Worlds spot in the 5000 this summer.
Lagat already has set world masters record for the 1500 (en route time), mile, 3000, 5000 (road, though it’s faster than the track record) and 10,000 (road) this year. We’d love for him to run an 800 so he’ll have everything from 800 through 10,000.
Then after Worlds, how amazing would it be if Lagat trained for a marathon debut in New York? We don’t think it would be wise for his 2016 Olympic aspirations but it would be financially lucrative and it would be amazing if he had every masters mark from 800 through 26.2. Of course, a 2:08:43 (the world record for 40+) isn’t happening for Lagat in New York (or probably even a pancake flat course) but we could see him running the US record of 2:12:43 (although that would be much more doable on a flat course)
|World 40+ Records (Before Lagat)|
|U.S. 40+ Records (Before Lagat)|
|Lagat So Far in 2015|
5000: 13:40 (road)
10,000: 27:48 (road)
*en route split from his mile
Top 10 Results, Morrisons Great Manchester Run (10K)
|MEN (gun times) –|
1. Stephen Sambu, KEN 27:30 WL
2. Stephen Mokoka, RSA 27:38 NR
3. Bernard Lagat, 1974, USA 27:48 NR=/WRM40
4. Wilson Kipsang, KEN 27:53
5. Leonard Patrick Komon, KEN 28:19
6. Tesfaalem Mehari, ERI 28:23
7. Andrew Butchart, GBR 29:09
8. Ross Millington, GBR 29:11
9. Jonathan Taylor, GBR 29:19
10. Mark Christie, IRL 29:20
|ELITE WOMEN (gun times) –|
1. Betsy Saina, KEN 31:49
2. Gemma Steel, GBR 31:55
3. Edna Kiplagat, KEN 31:57
4. Caroline Kilel, KEN 32:18
5. Diane Nukuri, BDI 32:27
6. Jelena Prokopcuka, LAT 32:33
7. Fionnuala Britton, IRL 32:56
8. Tiki Gelana, ETH 33:12
9. Jess Coulson, GBR 33:15
10. Jo Pavey, 1973, GBR 33:21
Angi Copson (65+), GBR 40:30 WR W6569
More: MB: Lagat Can Do the 10k: He Not Only Broke Master’s WR, He Tied The Open American Record
Bernard Lagat Breaks Master’s World 10,000m Record, Stephen Sambu, Betsy Saina Win Bernard Lagat ran 27:48 to get another world record. Discuss: Lagat just ran 27.50
Running 27:48 at age 40 is pretty impressive. However, fans of women’s running may think that there was an even more impressive accomplishment last week. In South Africa at the Spar Grand Prix 10k, Irvette van Zyl ran 34:49 while five months pregnant. Very impressive considering her 10,000 pb is 34:19.
Bye Bye, Haile
12:58.39/26:58.38/2:06:50 – the world records in the 5000/10,000/marathon when Haile Gebrselassie got his first world record on June 4, 1994 at the age of 21 (5000 of 12:56.96). Gebrselassie retired last week from competitive running at age 42 after running 30:05 at the Morrisons Great Manchester Run 10K , ending a competitive career that saw him set 27 world records/bests.
Gebrselassie took the 10,000 world record down three times, ultimately down to 26:22.75 (it’s now 26:17.53). So in the 10k alone, he improved it by nearly 30 seconds — more than one second per lap. He improved the 10,000 WR by 4.7 seconds per mile, which is actually less than how much he brought the marathon world record down (from where it was when he broke his first WR). He took it down to 2:03:59 — an improvement of 6.5 seconds per mile.
When the co-founders of LetsRun.com started to follow the professional side of the sport, Haile was their idol. Haileg was the pin, ATM and AOL email password for Rojo. Wejo remembers touching Haile’s hand after he won 10k gold at the 1996 Olympics. He will be missed by many. Share your remembrances of Haile on our forum: Thank you Haile: The Great One Haile Gebrselassie Has Officially Retired.
Speaking of 40-year-old legends. While the 40+ ranks lost one amazing competitor last week in Haile Gebrselassie, they gained another as Meb Keflezighi turned 40 last week: MB: Happy 40th Birthday Meb! You are an inspiration!.
Now That’s What We Call Tactical
The Arab Championships were held two weeks ago but we didn’t talk about it last week.
The race we want to talk about is the women’s 1500.
There were only four women in the race but most of them had credentials as three of the four had run 4:05 or faster.
The PRs of the women in the field were as follows:
1 Amina Bakhit SUD – 4:19.51
2 Rababe Aradi MAR – 4:02.71
3 Betlhem Desalegn UAE – 4:05.13
4 Mimi Belete BRN – 4:00.08
Guess what the winning time was?
Come on, go ahead and guess.
Amina Bakhit — the woman win the slowest PB — ended up getting the win in 5:22.27 (she’s also someone who served a two-year doping ban).
If anyone has a video of this race or knows the lap by lap splits, please email us as we’d love to watch it.
The 5,000, run three days earlier, was similarly slow, with Belete winning in 16:50 (PR: 15:00) and Bakhit second in 16:54. There were only three people in the race (last was 16:59). We don’t think excessive heat was the reason for the slow times as the men’s 5,000 was won in 13:17.
Again, if you have details of these races, email us.
Greg Meyer Still Helping American Running
The 2015 US 25k champs at the Fifth Third River Bank Run had a new wrinkle this year thanks to 1983 Boston Marathon winner Greg Meyer, the race’s elite athlete coordinator. Meyer decided to start the elite women 11 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of the elite men — and it ended up being the perfect head start as men’s winner Jared Ward only beat women’s winner Lindsey Scherf by nine seconds. Ward tracked Scherf down with about 500 meters left and got the overall win and $1000 bonus.
We’re fine with gender challenge bonuses when they are a modest amount like in this race. Other races have done them in the past where the winner gets some ridiculous first place prize that is disproportionate to what they get for winning their gender’s race.
You can read more about it on mlive.com:
*River Bank Run staggered start creates desired result – excitement *Photo Gallery of men and women
*Jared Ward of Provo, Utah, wins 2015 Fifth Third River Bank Run men’s 25K race
*Fifth Third River Bank Run women’s 25K champ Lindsey Scherf nearly rakes in $1,000 bonus
Top 10 Results
1. Jared Ward, 26, Provo, UT 1:14:57 $5000 + 7000a + 1000#
2. Christo Landry, 29, Charlotte, NC 1:15:02 1500 + 3000a
3. Abdi Abdirahman, 38, Tucson, AZ 1:15:27 1000 + 1500a
4. Augusts Maiyo, 31, Colorado Springs, CO 1:16:39 1000a
5. Brett Gotcher, 30, Aptos, CA 1:16:50 800a
6. Girma Mecheso, 27, Westchester, PA 1:17:32 600a
7. Matt Llano, 26, Flagstaff, AZ 1:17:34 500a
8. Richard Kessio, 41, Toledo, OH (KEN) 1:18:50 1000m
9. Joe Moore, 31, Manhattan, KS 1:19:00 400a
10. Zach Ripley, 26, Rockford, MI 1:19:05 200a
1. Lindsey Scherf, 28, High Falls, NY 1:26:36 $5000 + 7000a
2. Sara Hall, 32, Flafstaff, AZ 1:27:41 1500 + 3000a
3. Valentine Kibet, 25, Lansing, MI (KEN) 1:25:50 1000
4. Heather Cappello, 35, Somerville, MA 1:29:09 1500a
5. Marci Gage, 27, Bend, OR 1:29:54 1000a
6. Allison Mendez, 26, Austin, TX 1:30:07 800a
7. Dot McMahan, 38, Rochester, MI 1:30:28 600a
8. Kara Foster, 25, Boalsburg, PA 1:31:21 500a
9. Katie DiCamillo, 28, Providence, RI 1:31:35 400a
10. Erica Braswell, 34, Birmingham, AL 1:31:51 200a
Caster Semenya Spotted
Semenya continued to win but in a slow time as she won a race in Potchefstroom, South Africa, over the weekend in a seasonal-best 2:04.58 (second place was 2:06.42). That’s not a good sign for Semenya. We don’t care if it was windy or tactical. The fact of the matter is it’s not like others were running way slower than expected. The runner-up Anuschka Nice ran 2:06.42 and her pb is 2:05.17.
This year Semenya has won three 800s but non faster than 2:04.58. The 800 is a pretty easy event to run on your own.
While we clearly think whatever changes the IAAF mandated for Semenya are taking their toll on her, Semenya was upbeat after the race.
“We were aiming to go at a 59 seconds pace which we did but unfortunately we were unable to maintain it over the last 200 metres,” said Semenya to sport24.co.za after the race. “I think I am on the right track but I just need to be patient and wait for the next race.”
Semenya’s coach Jean Verster thinks a sub-2:00 is going to come as he was quoted as saying, “She is in good shape, she just looked a bit sluggish today but we will get there. If she is rested she is close to two minutes or maybe under two-minute shape, her training shows that.”
Emily Sisson Laps The Field Except for One
Kudos are certainly in store for the NCAA indoor 5k record holder Emily Sisson of Providence. Last week, Sisson ran a meet record of 15:40.64 (beating her own meet record from 2012 of 15:45.83) to win the Big East championships. Running 15:40 when your PB is 15:12 isn’t really noteworthy but what caught our attention was the fact that Sisson lapped everyone in the race, save for her freshman teammate, Katie Lembo (16:41.59). Everyone else in the race ran over 17:15 and was lapped.
Lapping people in a major conference in an outdoor 5k is truly a sign of total dominance.
Kudos to American steeplechaser Aisha Praught for lowering her 1500 pb from 4:15.57 to 4:05.52 with a third-place showing in Japan (she had run 4:27.6 in the mile, which was clearly better than her old 1500 pb).
4 Quotes of the Week (That Weren’t Quote of the Day)
#1 It’s Hard To Explain To Non-Runners Why A 3:40 Marathoner Can’t Have “The Race Of His Life” And Run 3:11
“I suspect that when presented with Rossi’s running history — his previous times and his progression over several years — a non-runner thinks that it is entirely possible that he had ‘the race of his life at the Lehigh Valley Marathon, where he recorded a finishing time of 3:11. A runner sees the same history, and thinks ‘no way.’ Why the discrepancy?…There is no reason on earth why a non-runner should know or care about these differences. For a non-runner, the difference between say, a 4:30 mile and a 4:00 mile, is like the difference between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, England. There is an ocean in between, but unless you’ve tried to cross, you probably won’t know the important differences.”
#2 If Only People Got As Outraged About Dopers As They Have About Mike Rossi
“I wish that Letsrun posters, the media and the general public would devote this much passion towards shaming companies like Nike, when they sponsor convicted drug cheats, events, when they put up free travel, appearance fees and prize money for cheaters or governing bodies in track and field, when they do very little to disincentivize cheating. Maybe we could finally force them to clean up the sport at the elite level.
“Mike Rossi is a giant douche, but, really, who gives a crap about some wannabe Boston qualifier? (don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying him receiving the karma that is due to him). However, there are bigger fish to fry out there that need this kind of attention and commitment to justice.”
-LetsRun.com messageboard poster “tired of the same old” writing about how he or she wishes the public were as outraged about doping in sport as they have been about Rossi’s cheating to qualify for the Boston Marathon. More than 2900 posts have been posted on LRC about Rossi in the last few weeks: Did Mike Rossi (viral marathon dad) cheat his way into Boston?
#3 (Micro) Dope Away
“A 2011 study published in The European Journal of Applied Physiology revealed similar findings to those reported in the French TV experiment — a 10 percent increase in total hemoglobin mass among 10 subjects. A test, performed afterward using the biological passport parameters, did not flag any of the subjects’ samples as suspicious.”
– excerpt from an article on velonews.com talking about how research has shown dopers can micro-dose and receive huge gains without getting caught by the biological passport.
#4 Pick Your Parents Wisely
“When I got here [to Arizona], the training was just unbelievable. They would go out for a long run and run for 90 minutes. I had never run for more than 15 minutes. It was so hot and I was so impressed with their work. It took me so long to accept long runs. But in time, it made me stronger.”
– six time NCAA All-American Elvin Kibet talking about what her training was like before she came to the University of Arizona. Arizona offered her a full ride despite her limited running credentials and 11-minute 3k time trial as her sister was world champ silver medallist Sylvia Kibet.
A High School Track Coach Dies Doing What He Loved Most
High school track coach Jeff Sommer, the athletic director of Estero High School, died two weeks ago at the Florida state meet after suffering a heart attack at age 58. Dying at a relatively young age is always tough but Sommer went out doing what he loved. His women’s 4 x 800 team had just won the state title in 9:15.16 and were celebrating when he had a heart attack.
We never met Sommer but he sounds like a legend in Florida circles as the outpouring of support for him has been tremendous. You can learn more about him at the links below but it’s clear that Sommer loved his athletes as people, not just potential points. We also love how he opened up all of his high school workouts to anyone in the community that wanted to participate. A wonderful idea.
— Estero High School (@EsteroHS) May 4, 2015
More: RIP: Beloved Florida Track Coach Jeff Sommer Dies From Heart Attack At State Meet A former athlete said, “He’s definitely the definition of a coach. He loved all of his runners; he didn’t care if they were fast or slow.”
*Former State Champ Coached By Sommer: “He died doing what he loves to do … … “Nobody knows when their time is up. With him, he took life and grabbed it by the moment and he loved every single minute of it.”
*Sommer’s Last Letter Of Recommendation Gets One Of His Athletes A $20,000 College Scholarship
*Editorial: Jeff Sommer was influential, inspirational
More Recommended Reads
5,000+ Words On ESPN On The Tragic Passing Of Madison Holleran Holleran, a Penn freshman, seemingly had it all – looks, brains, athleticism, a loving family – but her life ended in suicide last year. ESPN’s Kate Fagan tells her story.
*MB: ESPN Story About Madison Holleran
Kyle Merber Writes About What It’s Like To Represent The US Of A And Set A World Record “My goal is simple: represent this country whenever I can, as best as I can.”
Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages
To see the actual quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.