WTW: NCAA Regional Surprises, A New (Elvis) Marathon WR, Josh McDougal Joins The Army, and Usain Bolt Calls for Lifetime Bans for Dopers as the Russians Call for Jail Time

The Week That Was In Running – November 7 – 13, 2016

by LetsRun.com
November 15, 2016

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions or comments? Please email us or post them on our fan forum.

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NCAA Regionals Are in The Books

The NCAA D1 cross country regionals are in the books. Since the national meet is this Saturday, we don’t want to spend too much time analyzing the regionals but want to add a few points.

Congrats to first-time qualifiers: Air Force, Louisville, Ole Miss, Penn and Portland on the women’s side and Middle Tennessee State on the men’s side of the ledger.

It’s been a long time: The Eastern Michigan women qualified for their second-ever NCAA appearance – the first coming way back in 1996. The Yale women hadn’t been since 2001 and the Missouri women since 2004. For the men, the Midshipmen of Navy hadn’t qualified for NCAAs since 1997, but they’ll be there this year. What’s even harder to fathom is that the Illinois men are going to NCAAs for the first time since 1986 under the tutelage of Jake Stewart.

Who knows, maybe some of these teams will start to be regulars at NCAAs. Heading into last year, the Boise State men hadn’t made it since 1996 and had only made it three times in history, but they are back for a second straight year under Corey Ihmels.

It’s tough to make it as a freshman: Only five true freshman from American high schools made NCAAs individually this year (three men, two women). Here are their high school credentials.

Jaret Carpenter – Fr. – Purdue 4:10 1600/8:59 3200
Conor Lundy Fr. – Princeton 8:49 3200
Kenny Vasbinder – Fr. – Columbia 4:15 mile/9:19 3200 in HS

Aubrey Roberts – Fr. – Northwestern 4:47 1600 / 10:13 3200
Emma Benner – Fr. – Purdue 10:28 3200/16:48

Unexpected Qualifiers: We compiled the track credentials of all of the individual qualifiers which you can read here (men and women). Who are the least credentialed qualifiers? These qualifiers stood out if one looks only at track credentials.

Sean Burke – So. – Boston College 14:43
Frank Lara – Jr. – Furman 14:37
Michael Guerrero – Jr. – UT-Arlington 14:36/29:52
Jose Pina – So. – San Jose St. 14:31

Annie Bothma – Fr – Coastal Carolina 17:20/34:39
Sara Tsai – So – Vanderbilt 4:27/9:43
Catherine Scott – Sr. – Bucknell 16:38/35:15
Brenley Goertzen – So. – TCU 4:46 1500
Katherine Turner – Sr. – Butler 4:27/9:27
Katherine Receveur – So. – Indiana 4:23/16:51
Katherine Turner – Sr. – Butler 4:27/9:27
Maria Scavuzzo – Jr- Miami (OH) 17:12/35:20
Janelle Lincks – Colorado St. 10:32 st/ 17:30
Darby Gilfillan – Colorado St. 16:32/34:13


The LetsRun.com predictions for who would be selected to NCAAs were right on the money again thanks to the computer program of former Duke runner and now Harvard Ph.D. candidate Bo Waggoner. We wanted to share a few of Bo’s thoughts about the regionals and the rule changes this year that impacted the at-large process.

Some of Bo’s quick thoughts about the women’s qualifiers and the rules changes this year:

– They updated the tiebreaking rules for when teams have the same number of points, and made them more clear and specific. That’s great, it was pretty vague previously.

– They expanded the dates of point-scoring competition all the way back to September 9 (it used to be the end of September). I’m not sure about this. I guess the goal is to encourage more early-season serious competition, like to encourage a team to race hard at Beantown, Joe Piane, and Pre-Nats. (Most teams currently race hard only once or twice before conference.) But that could lead to more burnout come regionals. I like the current balance between peaking for the end of the season and still having to race hard a couple times in late September and in October.

I’m also a bit worried that this can encourage point-snatching at early-season two- or three-team meets, which doesn’t seem to help anybody.

Case in point:

– The weekend of September 16-17, it looks like Yale beat a barely-A-squad Harvard team at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton tri-meet (Editor’s Note: Harvard was missing its #2-3-5 from Regionals), meanwhile Penn beat a barely-A-squad Villanova team at the Main Line Invitational which only had three teams (Editor’s note: Nova was missing its 1-2-5 from Regionals). Those early-season rust busters ended up being valuable points helping Yale and Penn qualify.

(Editor’s note: We re-ran the program without these two meets. The Harvard-Yale meet didn’t change anything other than the order the teams got into NCAAs. However, if Penn doesn’t have a win over a decimated Villanova team, then Boise State, not Penn, would be at NCAAs).

– The last two at-large picks came down to tiebreakers, but the head-to-head records look pretty clear cut in this case. Unfortunately Ohio State and Boise State just miss out.

– The Great Lakes was full of drama as #13 Eastern Michigan had a rough day (at least on paper) at only 5th in their region, and risked getting left home. But luckily for EMU, 4th-place Michigan State had enough points to push in Wisconsin, allowing EMU into consideration, when they easily get in.

– The clutch performance award has to go by a landslide to unranked Wisconsin women for edging out #22 Michigan State and #13 EMU to punch their ticket after a season where they placed only 21st at their home invite and 6th at Big 10s (58 points behind Michigan State). Their personnel didn’t change since Big 10s but something sure did as they were also breathing down the neck of auto qualifier #14 Notre Dame and had the fastest 4th woman of any team, including #5 Michigan. (Editor’s note: Having 2014 NCAA runner-up Sarah Disanza jump from 24th at Big 10s to 12th at regionals was a big help for Wisconsin. Disanza has battled injuries for the last two years, as Big 10s was her first XC race since NCAAs in 2014).

Some of Bo’s quick thoughts about the men.

– At the Wisconsin Invite, Iowa State was 8th while Illinois was 27th out of 30. But Illinois punched their ticket to nats by beating Iowa State at the Midwest Regional.

– Heartbreakers in the Great Lakes as three ranked teams stay home. Indiana’s schedule only netted them one point (their 5th place a Pre-Nats over UTEP) – they didn’t go to a big early-season meet. The real killer is that, if Indiana had beaten out Michigan State for the auto spot (and they were tied in team score!), then according to our program all 5 Great Lakes teams would get selected (Michigan State on points, and EMU pushed in by Michigan). Instead, they just got two teams in.

– The Mountain and West regions are always strong but 6 and 7 teams is pretty lopsided. It will be interesting to see how those bottom teams fare at nationals – is Cal coming on strong or is Boise State fading?


Aaron Braun has won $20,000 before

Aaron Braun has won $20,000 before

Pick Your Races Wisely

$9,000 – amount won by Aaron Braun for running 63:33 at the Big Sur Half-Marathon on Monterey Bay over the weekend as the race offered $4,000 for first and a $5,000 bonus to the battle of the sexes winner (the women got a 9-minute head start). That’s a TON of money to be giving out for a time that has been beaten at least 596 times this year by 420 different runners worldwide.

Top 3 finishers

ALL-WOMEN’S PRO RACE (gun times) –
1. Sarah Pagano, 25, Brighton, MA          1:13:05
2. Becky Wade, 27, Louisville, CO          1:13:10
3. Lauren Jimison, 26, El Dorado Hills, CA 1:13:14
MEN (gun times) –
1. Aaron Braun, 29, Flagstaff, AZ          1:03:33
2. Daniel Tapia, 30, Mammoth Lakes, CA     1:03:37 PB
3. Martin Hehir, 23, Flagstaff, AZ         1:03:46 DB

Moses Mosop Struggles in Istanbul

32:48 – 10k split recorded by 31-year-old Moses Mosop over the weekend at the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon where he dropped out before halfway. That’s 2:18:24 pace for the man who ran 2:03:06 in his debut at the winded-aided 2011 Boston Marathon (and won Chicago later that fall).

Here are Mosop’s seasonal bests in the marathon by year.

2011 2:03:06 2 Boston MA 18 Apr
2012 2:05:03 3 Rotterdam 15 Apr
2013 2:11:19 8 Chicago IL 13 Oct
2014 2:20:37 12 Praha 11 May
2015 2:06:19 1 Xiamen 3 Jan
2016 2:09:33 3 Dongying 8 May

The marathon in Istanbul was won on the men’s side by Evans Kiplagat in 2:13:30. Agnes Jeruto Barsosio was the women’s winner in 2:28:25.

More: Evans Kiplagat (2:13:28) And Agnes Barsosio (2:28:23) Win Istanbul Marathon

Josh McDougal Has Joined The Army

Veterans Day was Monday in the US. In that light, we thought many of you would be interested in learning that 2007 NCAA cross country champ Josh McDougal has joined the Army.

More: MB: Josh McDougal has joined the US Army and just graduated OSUT.
Archives: LRC 2007 LetsRun.com NCAA Men’s Cross Country Recap: Oregon and McDougal Reign Supreme – McDougal Triumphs in Great Stretch Battle over Rupp
Related: LRC Finding Kenny Cormier Kenny Cormier was the Foot Locker champion; a year later, he was an All-American at Arkansas as a frosh; two years after that, he walked away from the sport to enlist in the Marine Corps. Where is he now? That’s a bit complicated.

A New Marathon World Record Is Set

2:38:04 – time recorded by Michael Wardian at the Geico Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half-Marathon over the weekend – the fastest time ever recorded by a runner racing in an Elvis Presley costume. Making the feat all the more impressive is the fact that Wardian ran the TCS New York City Marathon the week before in 2:33:18.

6 Quotes of the Week I (that weren’t quote of the day)

#1 Setting Goals Is Important

“You have to have goals in life. They don’t have to be important. But at this stage I’ve done it all. I’ve skied all over the world. I’ve canoed the great rivers of the world. I flew dive-bombers for the Marine Corps in World War II, and jet fighter attack planes in Korea. And I never got hurt, so I don’t have any bad memories.”

-96-year-old Jonathan Mendes talking to Runner’s World about why he did the TCS New York City Marathon this year. He was the oldest finisher in 11 hours and 23 minutes. After he finished the race, race organizers asked him if he wanted something to drink. He said he did indeed – he wanted some whiskey. He pounded a shot of Johnny Walker Black, which brings us to our #2 quote of the week.

#2 It’s Hard To Top A Good Drink and A Good Woman

“I’ve been saying for years that the key to living this long is a shot of whisky a day and a good woman, in that order.”

Jonathan Mendes talking to Runner’s World.

More: 96-Year-Old World War II Marine Sets Record For Oldest NYC Marathon Finisher

#3 How Times Have Changed

“I was working as a building site manager in the private sector and my boss would not give me time off for the Games. The team manager got in touch with him and was told that ‘if he wants to run, he runs in his own time not mine’. I asked him and he said the same. So I stayed at home for most of the Games doing a normal day’s work. I took two days off unpaid….

“I did not allow athletics to interfere with my home life. That had priority. I never ran for Britain again. I did not have the time.”

-Brit Jack Braughton explaining to Athletics Weekly in 2011 how he participated in the 1948 London Olympics by taking the day off from work, taking a bus to the stadium for the 5000 and then another bus back home in time for tea with his wife. Braughton’s employer didn’t give him time off to train so he only trained two days a week but still managed a 14:24 3 miles to make the Olympic team.

More: RIP 95-Year-Old Jack Braughton, One Of Britain’s Oldest Olympians

#4 Usain Bolt Agrees With Us – Intentional Dopers Should Be Banned For Life

“If you genuinely go out of your way to cheat, and you know you’re cheating, I think, yes, you should be banned for good. You’re robbing other people of their hard work, and their stress, and their sacrifice that they’ve put out to be the best. If you go out of your way to try to cheat people, when you get caught, all the glory, the fun, the sponsorship you could have gotten, it’s already gone. So I feel like you should be banned for life.”

Usain Bolt talking in a lengthy profile on him in UK’s The Guardian. We enjoyed the article a great deal and found Bolt’s explanation as to why he’s not going to stop partying to be fascinating:

“One thing I’ve learned about, growing up, I’ve watched superstars and they put on a front. They try to live a certain life, because the media forces you to conform to what they feel is the right way you should live. This is how most people go crazy and start doing drugs and stuff, because of the stress; they smoke weed or probably take cocaine or whatever it is. I don’t want to be that person.”

More: Usain Bolt: ‘I feel good because I know I’ve done it clean’

#5 Russians May Face A Jail Sentence If They Dope

“The Government sent amendments to the bill ‘for encouragement into doping’ where it recommended that the term be cut to one year.”

“I believe that the same will be in this case and our proposal will be amended.

“If we have introduced criminal liability for encouragement and coercion [into doping], then the same punishment should be introduced for falsification with [doping] samples.

“This will stop and sober up athletes and show that falsification is not worth doing for athletes to become medal holders for a while.

“If athletes themselves are involved in the falsification of samples, this law will be applicable to them as well.”

Dmitry Svishchyov, a member of the Duma Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, talking to Russia’s official news agency TASS (per insidethegames.biz) about the new doping bill that has passed the lower house of parliament in Russia that gives dopers a one-year jail sentence.

We applaud the move. We’ve never understood why dopers aren’t charged with fraud or theft in the US as someone like Alex Rodriguez enriched himself by millions of dollars and defrauded baseball fans.

More: New Russian Bill Would Jail Athletes For Up To Three Years For Manipulating Their Doping Samples

Can Futsum and NAU get atop the podium?

Can Futsum and NAU get atop the podium?

#6 Making History Is Special

“It is really hard when you rely on five to seven, eight or nine guys to run well. It doesn’t usually happen. Usually somebody is hurt or somebody is going through something. We have been lucky, everybody is healthy, everyone is hitting at the right time. I am very lucky to be part of it and I am just trying to enjoy it while I can….

“One thing I think, as humans, we always strive for is making history and making something that has never been done before. That’s what we have been motivated by. NAU has been, in the history of cross country, really good. But no team has won a national title. For us to go out there and make history, win a national title, I can’t really explain.

“It would be history. Twenty, 30 years from now, they could look back and say, ‘Who is that team that won the first national title from NAU,’ and it would be us if we made that happen. There is nothing like making history, so I am looking forward to it, I am excited and I am trying to do all I can to stay healthy for that.”

Futsum Zienasellassie talking to the Arizona Daily Sun about the No. 1 Northern Arizona’s men’s cross country team’s chance to earn NAU’s 1st national title in any sport.

More: Futsum Zienasellassie Looks To Finish NCAA XC Career With A National Title

Recommended Reads

To read our favorite reads from previous weeks, go here.

Other News of Note

Tony Migliozzi Repeats At World 50K Championships

American Tony Migliozzi, a 2:17 marathoner, successfully defended his title at the IAU World 50k Champs in Doha over the weekend. He overcame the boredom of running the same 2.5-kilometer loop 20 times and won in 2:54:02 (5:38.0 pace or 2:27:43 marathon pace).

Top 3 Men’s Finishers
1. Tony Migliozzi, 1993, USA      2:54:02  Gold
2. Tyler Andrews, USA             2:56:04  Silver
3. Collen Makaza, ZIM             2:56:58  Bronze

Top 3 Women’s Finishers
1. Risper Kimaiyo, 1979, KEN      3:22:45  Gold
2. Nele Alder-Baerens, GER        3:25:53  Silver
3. Amy Clements, GBR              3:26:17  Bronze


College Signings

After Her First Year In The US, Footlocker Champ Weini Kelati Has Adjusted Well And Is Now Committed To The University Of New Mexico
*MB: New Mexico snags Foot Locker Champion Recruit!!
*MB: Sydney McLaughlin to Kentucky

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.

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions or comments? Please email us or post them in our running fan forum.