Week That Was: Jake Robertson, Ce’aira Brown, Nijel Amos, Sydney McLaughlin, Cruz Culpepper, Tom Walsh Impress Plus More Proof Galen Rupp is Very Fit

The Week That Was In Running, March 26 – April 1, 2018

By LetsRun.com
April 4, 2018

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions, comments, or a tip? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post on our forum.

If you missed our April Fool’s homepage or our discussion on the women’s 10k at Stanford catch up now:

Success Isn’t Guaranteed, Even for Olympic Stars

Who would have thought the US’s two Olympic 1500 medallists would run 1:53.25 (Matthew Centrowitz in Brisbane) and 1:52.60 (Leo Manzano at Texas Relays) in their first 800s of the outdoor season? But that’s what happened. Now onto the great performances of the week.

More: Centro 1:53 for 800 in Australia???
*Leo Manzano – 1:52 800m at Texas Relays

Twin Power / Jake Robertson Pulls Off One Of The Best Post-Marathon Recoveries We’ve Ever Seen

The big news coming out of the 40th Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic in New Orleans last week was that Kiwi Jake Robertson successfully defended his title in DOMINATING fashion, running a 27:28 to win in a race where second place was just 28:14 (John Muritu). 27:28 is a very good time for 10k on the roads — since the start of 2015, only four men have run faster. And get this: it actually ties him with his twin brother Zane for the Kiwi record, according to Race Results Weekly. Kenyans won all but three editions of the race from 1998 to 2016, but now Robertson has won two in a row.

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And it wasn’t like there weren’t any names in the race. 2008 Olympic 5k bronze medallist Edwin Soi was 3rd (28:18) and 2013 world championship 5k bronze medallist Isiah Koech was 5th in 29:07 (American Reid Buchanan was fourth in 28:57).

Speaking of Koech, his official age is just 24. Are we really supposed to believe that he ran 12:53 indoors at age 17 and 12:48 outdoors at age 18 and now is a b-teamer on the roads at age 24? That doesn’t make much sense.

The women’s winner in New Orleans was Monicah Ngige of Kenya, who ran 32:05. Top American honors went to Sarah Pagano in 5th in 33:06 as 43-year-old Jen Rhines ran 34:26.

Anyways, back to Robertson. Making his win all the more impressive is the fact that he just ran his marathon debut (2:08:26) in Lake Biwa on March 4. To run a 27:28 road 10k less than a month later is one of the best marathon recoveries we’ve ever seen.

And Robertson wasn’t entirely satisfied. He told the New Orleans Advocate after the race that he wanted Sammy Kipketer‘s 27:10 course record (he went for it, going out in 13:37) but he was pleased to be tied with his brother.

“The twins are together,” he shouted.

If you are looking for a fun race, we suggest you consider Crescent City. Check out the photo gallery here.

More: Crescent City Classic: New Zealand’s Jake Robertson repeats … and comes close to a record

PR Of the Week / Ce’aira Brown Goes From 4:27 to 4:09 in the 1500

A big thumbs up to Hoka NJ*NY TC’s Ce’aira Brown, who had a massive pb in the 1500 at the Florida Relays last week.

The 24-year-old Brown won the 1500 in 4:09.44. Her previous pb? 4:27.89. Now that’s a big PB (to be fair she did run a 4:37.89 mile indoors this year). Brown is really thriving post-collegiately with Hoka NJ*NY. Collegiately at Hampton, her 800 pb was 2:02.82 and her best NCAA finish was 7th (indoors in 2016). As a pro, she’s been improving steadily. Last year outdoors, her first as a pro, she ran 2:00.84 and she continued that fine form indoors this year as she lowered her indoor pb from 2:04.28 to 2:00.86 and was fourth at USAs. Now she’s starting off outdoors right where she left off indoors.

It’s worth noting that the second place finisher in the 1500 at the Florida Relays was Mississippi State’s Rhianwedd Price-Weimer, the 2015 NCAA champ, who set a 2018 NCAA leader at 4:10.31 — not too far off her 4:09.56 pb that she ran in 2015 to win NCAAs.

In case you’re wondering what Price-Weimer has been up to since 2015, she gave a very candid summary in the interview below (conducted after the first round of the mile at NCAA indoors last month). She came down with a nasty case of pneumonia in 2016 that led to complications and had problems racing to her fitness last year but was 4th in the mile indoors and looks to be back to her old self in 2018.

Ce’aira Brown at Fashion Week:

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Thumbs up also go to Miami freshman Kayla Johnson, who lowered her 800 pb to 2:03.92 at the Florida Relays, where she had the fastest time of the meet despite being in the second heat. Johnson, a 2:07.19 800 performer in HS, is having a great freshman year as she’s also run 52.82 for 400.

More: Ce’eiara Brown page on Hoka site

By The Transitive Property, Galen Rupp Is in Incredible Shape

Jake Robertson’s 27:28 in New Orleans was impressive, but it wasn’t the fastest road 10k of the week. That honor — and the 2018 world lead — went to Emmanuel Kipchirchir Kiprono, who ran 27:26 at the International Paderborner Osterlauf 10K in Paderborn, Germany. At least that’s his name according to Race Results Weekly. Tilastopaja.eu lists his name as Emmanuel Kiprono Kipsang, 26, and says he’s the same guy who ran 61:33 at the Rome-Ostia Half on March 11 — which Galen Rupp won in 59:47.

In the women’s race in Paderborn, Dorcas Jepchirchir Tuitoek won in 31:00.

Somewhat Related: MB: Jordan Hasay is in tremendous shape.

Tweet of the Week I

Tweet of the Week II

When the University of Kentucky basketball coach is tweeting about you, you know you did something special. That certainly was the case for Kentucky’s freshman sensation Sydney McLaughlin, who ran 22.39 and 50.07 (#2 all-time NCAA) and split 49.45 on the 4×400 at the Florida Relays. Remember, her claim to fame before this year was for being a 400 hurdler.

We think the coaching by Edrick Floreal and the Kentucky staff for McLaughlin has been brilliant. The idea to take a break from the hurdles was a great one. If she ran the hurdles, she could only fail as she’d have been expected to win everything at the NCAA level. But on the flat, everything is new and gives her plenty of goals to go after.

If we were McLaughlin, we would wait until after the 2019 NCAA season to go pro. She is clearly enjoying the collegiate scene, so do it for another year, focus on the hurdles and try to put the 400h record out of reach, and then get the shoe companies to pay her for the rest of 2019 starting in June.

More: Recommended Read: Sydney McLaughlin Talks About The Transition To College Running, Decision Not To Go Pro We learned from the article that her dad was a 45.30 400 man.

Race of the Week

Last week, we talked up Nijel Amos‘ chances for 2018, and so did Amos himself. This week, Amos made his 2018 debut in the 800 and it went quite well — a dominating 1:44.65 win at Stanford. Only three men in history have ever run faster in the month of March: David RudishaJohnny Gray, and Asbel Kiprop. Pretty good company.

See Amos’ race for yourself.

If you didn’t read Chris Hansen‘s profile of Amos’ life in America with the OTC that came out on March 23, do so now: 2012 Olympic Silver Medallist Nijel Amos Is On The Fast Track With OTC Elite.

Amos wasn’t the only guy to open up at 800 strongly last week. Ayanleh Souleiman, who had a strong indoor season but didn’t run World Indoors due to visa problems, got a 1:45.70 win at the Djibouti International Meet last week.

More: MB: Nijel Amos 1:44.65 At Stanford Invite 

Video of the Month / Anaso Jobodwana Pulls A Usain Bolt

Last week, we came across a video of a 150-meter race from March 8 in South Africa that featured Justin Gatlin. However, Gatlin did not win (he was just fourth in 15.23). Instead, the winner was former South African 200-meter record holder Anaso Jobodwana.

Check out Jobodwana’s celebration during the race.


We loved that celebration as it seemed genuine and real.

Jobodwana, the first South African under 20.00 and the 2015 Worlds bronze medallist at 200, had reason to be overjoyed with the win because he missed nearly all of 2014 and 2016 to injury and only ran 10.16/20.62 last year as he purposely stayed away from elite training groups and simply made sure he didn’t get hurt again.

It will be interesting to see what the 25-year-old Jobodwana can do if he can stay healthy all year long.

If you are a US sprint fan, you might want to pay attention to Jobodwana as his child, which is due in eight weeks, will be an American. Jobobdwana’s wife, Taylor Monae, is American and giving birth on US soil.

Their baby certainly has the genes for the 2040 Olympics as Monae is the daughter of the 1976 Olympic 200m bronze medallist for the US, Dwayne Evans.

Both mom and dad have written nice notes to the unborn baby on the Jobodwana blog, which can be found here.

Related news from the archives: Tirunesh Dibaba’s baby boy is a US Citizen as he was born in Atlanta

Cruz Culpepper Runs 4:11

Speaking of children and genetics, The Sports Gene got some nice free advertising last week when Niwot (Colorado) High School sophomore Cruz Culpepper — the son of US Olympians Alan and Shayne Culpepper — ran 4:11.54 to get second in the 1600 at the Texas Relays thanks to a 58.26 final lap. Indoors, Culpepper had run 4:21.

This isn’t Cruz’s first mention on LetsRun.com. We labeled him the “World’s Fastest Baby” back in 2003.

One spot behind Culpepper was Crayton Carrozza, son of Paul and Sheila Carrozza. Paul is most famous for starting RunTex in Austin, but he was an All-American at Abilene Christian and Sheila ran for the US in the 3000m at the 1993 World Champs.

MB: Cruz Culpepper – son of Alan and Shayne – just ran 4:11 as a soph at Texas Relays


Culpepper’s run wasn’t the only performance of note at the Texas Relays. The men’s pole vault was unreal as Renaud Lavillenie, Shawn Barber and Armand Duplantis all cleared 5.92, which had not been done in the same competition since 1999. Duplantis is still only 18 and a high school senior. He broke his old PR of 5.90 and this was the highest Barber, the 2015 world champ, had vaulted outdoors since 2015.

More Texas Relays coverage
IAAF recap: 
Renaud Lavillenie, Shawn Barber And Armand Duplantis All Clear 5.92m Lavillenie won the meet on countback. In the sprints, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare won the 100 in a wind-aided 10.72 (all-conditions African record) and NCAA indoor champ Elijah Hall took the men’s 200 in 20.11.

The World Record In The Shot Was Set Last Week

On March 25, New Zealand’s indoor/outdoor world champ Tom Walsh threw the shot 74’4½” (22.67m) in Auckland, tying him for sixth-best throw in history. Check out the throw. It’s a thing of beauty.

What you just watched is, in our mind, the world record throw as the six men even with or ahead of Walsh all have ties to doping. American Ryan Whiting, the 2012 and 2014 world indoor champ, agrees with us.

“For me, what he did today was the ‘clean’ world record,” Whiting, who finished second in Auckland with a best throw of 20.99m, told Newshub. “All the guys in the ’80s and ’90s were as dirty as can be, and I think Tom’s now the top of what you’ve seen as a clean shot putter.”

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

#1 We like the dedication but this seems a bit extreme

“I’ve been to zero parties.”

Sydney McLaughlin talking in a Cathal Dennehy profile for the IAAF.

More: Sydney McLaughlin Talks About The Transition To College Running, Decision Not To Go Pro

#2 Hayward Field is smaller than its official capacity

“The University of Oregon’s website lists the seating capacity of Hayward Field as 10,500.

“That isn’t accurate. It’s not close.

“I know. I spent part of an afternoon last month counting the seats.

“I came up with about 8,500.”

Ken Goe writing for The Oregonian. Goe says it’s important for Oregon to announce how many seats they actually have now so that when they build a new stadium, they don’t make it too large.

More: Ducks need to come clean about Hayward’s seating capacity

#3 Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, who trains in Kenya, explains why the Kenyans are so good

“It’s the mentality of the Kenyans: they don’t fear training hard, they don’t even think about what training is, so running is very simple and it helps you not to think too much. I think most of the Europeans are not training hard enough and thinking too much about recovery, the pace they have to go, but to get to the top you have to train really hard and sometimes just forget about the pace.

“When I’m in Geneva I’m really stressed and have a lot of things to do, even if I don’t want to. Here I am not stressed at all. When I’m finished training I relax, eat and sleep. It’s a life I really enjoy and now I have a girlfriend in Kenya so everything is good. I’m really happy.”

-Wanders talking to SPIKES last week. Th first paragraph was actually the QOD on Wednesday but we wanted to share the whole thing as paragraph #2 is key as well.

More: Switzerland’s 22-Year-Old World Half 8th Placer Julien Wanders Has Spent Most Of The Last Three Years Living And Training In Kenya

Recommended Reads

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

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.

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