Harry Jerome: Duane Solomon Pulls Up and Runs 1:50, Bishop Defeats Martinez, De Grasse Doubles, Wariner Still Doesn’t Have a Trials Qualifier and McNamara Wins and Reveals He’s One of You

by LetsRun.com
June 17, 2016

*Results here and below

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The 2016 Harry Jerome Track Classic had a little something for everyone. For the Canadian fans, Andre De Grasse delivered the goods as he won the 100 (10.32 -1.4m/s) and 200 (20.46 +.2m/s) before an appreciative crowd and Melissa Bishop got an impressive 1:58.79 win over Brenda Martinez.

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For the US runners, this was all about Olympic Trials preparation. Shannon Rowbury tuned up for the Trials with a 1500 win, Bridget Franek and Donn Cabral got wins in the steeple, as did Jordan McNamara in the 1500, but he missed the Olympic standard. The biggest news however was the men’s 800m where the 2nd fastest US 800m man of all-time, Duane Solomon, led at 700m but had to ease it in because of his hamstring injury, only running 1:50:23 in his first 800 since April.

We recap all the distance action below, plus interviews with sprint stars De Grasse and Jeremy Wariner, who still doesn’t have an automatic qualifier for the Olympic Trials.

Romaniw Wins 800

Romaniw Wins 800

Men’s 800m: Duane Solomon Pulls Up; Will He Be Ready for Trials?

The men’s 800m went largely as expected the first 600m. The rabbit (Mark Wieczorek) took it out in 25 and 51 and Duane Solomon was right with him. There was a 3-meter gap to Prince Mumba in 2nd.

Solomon continued to lead at 600 (1:18) but as they came around the final bend the field was catching him. All but one in the field went by Solomon on the final straight and he jogged it in the final part of the straightaway finishing second to last in 1:50.23. Anthony Romaniw of Canada was best the final 100m and he got the win in 1:47.36 just ahead of Harun Abda. It was Romaniw’s second big win in a  week (he also won and got the Olympic standard in Portland on Sunday).

QT #1: Duane Solomon Injury Update – “I’ve been dealing with a nagging injury with my hamstring”

Afterwards in the interview below, Solomon revealed that he has been suffering from a “nagging” hamstring injury for about a month. He said he mostly been doing distance runs since then and only been back on the track for a week. He felt the hamstring around the final bend and said, “I told myself ‘I have to back off this.'” As a precautionary measure, he said he shut it down. 

Tonight was not what Duane obviously wanted as he gets ready for next month’s Olympic Trials, but he said he still may race Sunday in Victoria. If he races well there, then obviously tonight is no concern. But if he skips Victoria there will be even more drama in the US 800m ranks heading into the Trials.

Duane started his outdoor season very strong running 1:46.45 at a low-key meet in March and then running 1:45.47 to win Mt. SAC in mid April. His only race since then was a 46.34 400m the first week of May as his hamstring issue has kept him out of races since.

LRC asked Duane what he thought about NCAA 800m champ Donavan Brazier. Duane said NCAAs was the perfectly set up race for Brazier, who is used to running behind his teammate almost as a rabbit, and at NCAAs Brandon McBride served as the rabbit. We asked Solomon if he thought Brazier should turn pro and he said Donavan would benefit from one more year in the collegiate ranks.

Romaniw is in great form before the Canadian Trials and as one of only 2 Canadians with the standard is looking like a good bet for Rio.

 Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 29  Men 800 Meter Run Resonance Br
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Anthony Romaniw              Canada                 1:47.36        
  2 Harun Abda                   United States          1:47.55        
  3 Alex Ullman                  Canada                 1:48.47        
  4 Prince Mumba                 Zambia                 1:48.62        
  5 Dusty Solis                  United States          1:48.64        
  6 Cory Bellemore               Canada                 1:48.78        
  7 Duane Solomon                United States          1:50.23        
  8 Geoff Harris                 Canada                 1:51.94        
 -- Mark Wieczorek   Pace        United States              DNF

Women’s 800m: Bishop Wins Battle of Medallists, Martinez Goes Sub-2:00

This was the race of the night as it featured two 1:57 runners, Melissa Bishop, the 2015 silver medallist at 800 and Brenda Martinez, the 2013 bronze medallist. Martinez and Bishop were both after a quick time and Liqa Velvere did a good job rabbiting. Bishop was too good over the final 100m and won convincingly in 1:58.79 as Martinez held on to go sub-2:00 for the first time all season.

Afterwards, Martinez said she was glad to dip under 2:00 for the first time this year before the Trials (her time tied Chrishuna William’s 1:59.89, which was the US leader before today but Ajee Wilson ran 1:59.72 in Boston to get the US lead). She also said training partner Boris Berian was supposed to get deposed by Nike today via the phone for his lawsuit. Bishop was pleased with her run and said her preparations this year are going better than last year where she won silver. Bishop said she tries not to put much attention on what others are doing in her event and definitely doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about the political/scientific issues going on in the event with Caster Semenya dominating so far in 2016.

Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 30  Women 800 Meter Run RYU
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Melissa Bishop               Canada                 1:58.79        
  2 Brenda Martinez              United States          1:59.89        
  3 Annie Leblanc                Canada                 2:03.16        
  4 Samantha Murphy              Canada                 2:03.77        
  5 Christina Williams           United States          2:03.80        
  6 Jessica Smith                Canada                 2:04.31        
  7 Jenna Westaway               Canada                 2:04.54        
  8 Lora Storey                  Australia              2:04.99        
  9 Devan Wiebe                  Canada                 2:07.38        
 10 Rachel Francois              Canada                 2:07.70        
 11 Lauren Wallace               United States          2:08.62        
 -- Liqa Velvere     Pace        Latvia                     DNF

Women’s 1500m: Shannon Rowbury Tested But Gets Win

American record holder Shannon Rowbury was tested in this one. The field went out in 65 and 2:14 with the bell reached at 3:06 high with Rowbury in the lead with Lauren Johnson next to her.

With 200 to go Gabriela Stafford, who was third in Portland on Sunday, blew by Rowbury. Rowbury had to respond and was able to come back on her the final 50m for the win.

QT #1: It’s Good for Rowbury to be Tested Here
This one was probably more of a challenge for Rowbury than she would have liked (we didn’t get to speak to her), but she did get the win. This was Rowbury’s first race since she ran 4:04.65 at Pre three weeks ago. Heading into the Trials she is not as sharp as she was last year, but last year Rowbury’s peak was in July when she set the American record and not August at Worlds. In talking to NOP assistant coach Pete Julian tonight, it is clear the goal is to peak for Rio.

Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 14  Women 1500 Meter Run Fairmont Pac
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Shannon Rowbury              United States          4:09.47        
  2 Gabriela Stafford            Canada                 4:09.65        
  3 Sasha Gollish                Canada                 4:12.11        
  4 Nikki Hamblin                New Zealand            4:12.32        
  5 Andrea Seccafien             Canada                 4:13.15        
  6 Hilary Stellingwerff         Canada                 4:14.68        
  7 Lauren Johnson               United States          4:16.00        
  8 Lauren Paquette-Hagans       United States          4:17.72        
  9 Bridey Delaney               Australia              4:19.36        
 -- Melissa Salerno    Pace      United States              DNF        
 -- Mariah Kelly                 Canada                     DNF        
 -- Gabriele Grunewald           United States              DNF

Men’s 1500: McNamara Wins, Comes Up Short of Olympic Standard

Jordan McNamara of the Oregon Track Club got the win in 3:39.42, but came up short of the crucial Olympic qualifying time of 3:36.20.

This one started out quick enough, 57.1 and 1:56.6, but by the time they hit the bell (2:42), the Olympic standard was likely out of the way. McNamara had followed the rabbit and led on the final lap. Around the bend he was challenged by Syracuse and Canada’s Adam Palamar. They would battle down the homestretch with McNamara winning and Nike Oregon Project’s Eric Jenkins going sub-3:40 for 3rd.

QT #1: McNamara Reveals He’s One Of Us – He’s Gotten a Lot of Advice off of LetsRun.com

We’ll have more on this later but McNamara revealed as he battled injuries throughout his career he learned a lot on LRC. He ran here tonight instead of at the hot 1500 at the Brooks PR meet tomorrow because he didn’t get into that field. He’ll now try to get the Olympic standard Sunday in Victoria. We told McNamara in the video he has to have the Olympic standard by the end of the Trials and he wonders if that is the case. We went and looked it up to be sure and the Olympic qualifying window closes the last day of the Trials so he needs to run 3:36.20 by the end of the Trials (and finish top 3) if he wants to go to Rio.

QT #2: McNamara Has Some Inspiration For Those of You Dreaming Big

And then he gave an inspirational advice for those of you struggling, but dreaming.

QT #3: Nice Tuneup for Jenkins

Erick Jenkins was third in 3:39.86.  This was his first race since he ran 27:48.02 for 10,000m at Pre. Jenkins showed he’s got great speed to go along with his 10k fitness and should be a factor at the Trials for sure.

QT #4: Cam Levins Struggles

Levins used to be Canada’s distance ace but this year has struggled. He was a total non-factor here (he ran 13:26 at Pre). Afterwards he did a workout with Jenkins, but for whatever reason hasn’t had a really strong performance outdoors yet.

alley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 28  Men 1500 Meter Run RUN SPORTS C
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Jordan McNamara              United States          3:39.42        
  2 Adam Palamar                 Canada                 3:39.49        
  3 Eric Jenkins                 United States          3:39.86        
  4 Jordon Gusman                Australia              3:40.13        
  5 Josh Wright                  Australia              3:40.17        
  6 Nick Falk                    Canada                 3:40.98        
  7 Robert Denault               Canada                 3:41.07        
  8 Justin Marpole-Bird          Canada                 3:43.36        
  9 Dan Gorman                   Canada                 3:44.08        
 10 Luc Bruchet                  Canada                 3:47.14        
 11 Thomas Riva                  Canada                 3:48.10        
 12 Cam Levins                   Canada                 3:49.05        
 13 Justin Kent                  Canada                 3:49.48        
 -- Isaac Presson   Pace         United States              DNF

Men’s Steeple: Donn Cabral Opens Steeple Season With an 8:29

This one came down to the final 100m. 2012 Olympian Donn Cabral was able to hold off Donnie Cowart for the win.

This was Cabral’s first steeple of the year and he was not pleased with the time. The plan was for the rabbits to go out at 8:30 pace and for Donn to pick it up from there but he admitted he was not able to do that. The main goal today was to try to find some steepling rhythm. Cabral waited to open in the steeple until today because he wanted to time when he came down from altitude. He’s been training in Flagstaff and came down 3 weeks out from the steeple prelims at the Trials. He’ll race a 1500m in Victoria on Sunday and then the Trials.

In his spare time, Donn said he’s been learning Portuguese, which could come in handy in Rio. He apologizes for using the wrong tense of a verb in the video below.

Cowart had already run 8:23 for the steeple this year and the battle for the Olympic spots is going to be fierce next month. There are 11 Americans under 8:30 so far this year.

US Steeple List for 2016 (World rank in parentheses))

1   (9) 08:15.26 Evan Jager Hoka One One
2   (16) 08:18.52 Stanley Kebenei
3   (17) 08:18.58 Dan Huling
4   (19) 08:19.12 Cory Leslie
5   (38) 08:23.38 Donnie Cowart
6   (42) 08:24.37 Andy Bayer
7   (44) 08:25.44 Travis Mahoney
8   (47) 08:27.01 Hillary Bor
9   (48) 08:27.16 Mason Ferlic
10   (50) 08:27.19 Craig Forys
11   (59) 08:29.37 Donn Cabral


 Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 22  Men 3000 Meter Steeplechase AM1320  CHMB
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Donn Cabral                  United States          8:29.37        
  2 Donnie Cowart                United States          8:29.59        
  3 Andres Camilo Camargo        Columbia               8:38.34        
  4 Ryan Brockerville            Canada                 8:39.06        
  5 Tripp Hurt                   United States          8:41.84        
  6 Lucas Updike                 United States          8:42.87        
  7 James Nipperess              Australia              8:44.81        
  8 John Gay                     Canada                 8:57.52        
  9 Deon Clifford                Canada                 9:04.65        
 10 Sean Bergman                 Canada                 9:05.46   2 KSC
 11 Nick Colyn                   Canada                 9:16.44        
 12 Thomas Nobbs                 Canada                 9:43.99        
 -- Issac Updike   pace          United States              DNF        
 -- Joel De Schiffart            Canada                     DNF        
 -- Collin Jarvis                Canada                     DNF

Women’s Steeple: Franek Wins

Bridget Franek got the win in 9:49.37 and believe it or not, this was the first sub-10 steeple at Harry Jerome for women if we heard the meet announcer correctly.

 Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 19  Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase Peterson Gro
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Bridget Franek               United States          9:49.37        
  2 Erica Richardson             United States          9:51.48        
  3 Maria Bernard                Canada                 9:52.61        
  4 Regan Yee                    Canada                 9:53.99        
  5 Megan Patrignelli            United States          9:54.13        
  6 Amber Schultz                United States          9:56.88        
  7 Chantelle Groenewoud         Canada                10:01.73        
  8 Jessica Furlan               Canada                10:02.35        
  9 Katelyn Steen                United States         10:02.98        
 10 Rolanda Bell                 Panama                10:13.39        
 11 Mel Newbey                   Great Britain         10:13.44        
 12 Emma Neigel                  Canada                10:49.49        
 13 Joanna Williams              Canada                11:12.57        
 -- Alycia Butterworth    Pa     Canada                     DNF

De Grasse Wins 100 and 200
The times weren’t super impressive but Andre De Grasse is the guy the fans came to see and he did not disappoint. He’s definitely the Usain Bolt of Canadian sprinting as he was swarmed by fans after his 200.

 Valley Royals Track & Field Club                        6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
            Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016            
                            Swangard  - Burnaby                             
Event 15  Men 100 Meter Dash Fairmont Pac
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Wind Points
  1 Andre De Grasse              Canada                   10.32  -1.4       
  2 Joe Morris                   United States            10.41  -1.4       
  3 Kemar Hyman                  Cayman Islands           10.48  -1.4       
  4 Akeem Haynes                 Canada                   10.51  -1.4       
  5 Arthur Delaney               United States            10.58  -1.4       
  6 Jerome Blake                 Canada                   10.64  -1.4       
  7 Donate Richards-Kwok         Canada                   10.67  -1.4       
 -- Ryan Bailey                  United States              DNF  -1.4       

 Valley Royals Track & Field Club                        6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
            Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016            
                            Swangard  - Burnaby                             
Event 27  Men 200 Meter Dash CTV
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Wind Points
  1 Andre De Grasse              Canada                   20.46   0.2       
  2 Joe Morris                   United States            20.61   0.2       
  3 Arthur Delaney               United States            21.06   0.2       
  4 Donate Richards-Kwok         Canada                   21.16   0.2       
  5 Jerome Blake                 Canada                   21.37   0.2       
  6 Tremaine Harris              Canada                   21.82   0.2       
  7 Francis Klimo                Canada                   22.14   0.2       
 -- Jermy Dodson                 Western Samoa              DNF   0.2

Jeremy Wariner Wins 400 But Still Doesn’t Have Automatic Olympic Trials Qualifier

Jeremy Wariner got the win but it was well short of the 45.40 automatic qualifying time for the Olympic Trials. Wariner ran 45.42 last year so he may get in anyway. Wariner opened this year in 45.7 but has been running over 46 seconds in his last 3 races. Wariner said even if he does not make the US team (or Trials) he will race in Europe this summer and even talked about racing next year. Up next is another 400m, Sunday in Victoria.

Valley Royals Track & Field Club                   6/17/2016 - 9:53 PM
         Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic - 6/17/2016          
                          Swangard  - Burnaby                          
Event 25  Men 400 Meter Run Fairmont Pac
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Jeremy Wariner               United States            46.64        
  2 Nathan George                Canada                   47.06        
  3 Rayshaun Franklin            Canada                   47.76        
  4 Michael Aono                 Canada                   48.16        
  5 Frankie Wright               United States            48.66        
  6 Quin Litherland              Canada                   48.69        
  7 Daniel Kelloway              Canada                   48.94        
 -- Phliip Osei                  Canada                     DNF