June 27, 2019
LetsRun.com is a community of runners. Sure, there are a few misfits who show up from time to time, but all in all we love the LRC community. That is why one of our favorite things is announcing the winners of our RunningWarehouse.com (free two-day shipping on all orders over $50) prediction contests, because we get to highlight some of the interesting people who make up LetsRun.com.
Our NCAA outdoor prediction contest top three had two people who had placed in the top three of previous contests. LRC is a meritocracy where the cream rises to the top.
Notre Dame student triumphs
Patrick Caslin was our overall winner. He’s now a 20-year-old student at Notre Dame who runs for the Notre Dame Running Club. When we last heard from Patrick, he was an 18-year-old high schooler finishing third in our Olympic Trials prediction contest. Patrick fell in love with the sport of running when he watched hometown hero Kim Conley win the 10,000m at USAs in 2014. Patrick is a pro at these contests now as he said, “I honestly put way less thought into it this one than I did for the olympic trials 3 years ago.” Often not overcomplicating things works out.
Tulsa assistant coach Taylor Gulley is second and he gives us an update on Chris O’Hare
Second place went to Taylor Gulley, who is the assistant coach at the University of Tulsa. Last time, we saw Taylor he was tying for first in the 2015 USAs contest.
Taylor writes (and makes us realize we don’t give Tulsa enough credit for having a great program):
I’m starting my 8th straight year as an Assistant Coach at the University of Tulsa as of July 1st! I actually just finished up helping time Chris O’Hare with his morning workout, as he is back based in Tulsa (still being coached by Terrance Mahon!) and asked for some help timing. I really wish I could give you a call backstory into my history with the sport but I honestly picked it up in 8th grade after my friend told me it would get me out of school for a few days in the Spring, all despite having grown up around the sport with my father coaching at Baylor/Tulsa. He convinced me to go out for Cross Country in 9th grade and I fell in love with the sport. In high school, I was always cheering on teammates and watching the races and specifically remember teammates/HS coaches telling me I would make a good coach someday. Nothing super dramatic has changed since I last won in 2015, other than having been fortunate enough to have helped work with another NCAA Champion, Marc Scott. Pretty surreal to think I’ve been able to witness 2 NCAA Individual Champions, an NCAA Collegiate Record (I actually traveled with Chris to the Millrose Games that year!) and multiple Top 15 NCAA teams in a very short career so far. Other than Oregon (Fleet-Cheserek), I cant think off another NCAA program off the top of my head that has had a NCAA Champion over 1,500m-Mile AND 10,000m in the last 10 years, much less the smallest NCAA Division 1 school that sponsors FBS football and made NCAA Cross Nationals for the first time in 2007! I also thoroughly enjoyed watching the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships this year and felt it was possibly the best NCAA Outdoor Championship I’ve remembered watching. While the longer distance events (3k Steeple-5k-10k) may not have been super fast, I always find it incredibly interesting to see how coaches and athletes set-up their game plans for success. While some may feel Austin is a bad spot for distance runners in June, you never know where Worlds might be come August and may have similar conditions that you must adapt to and find a way to use to your advantage! As always, really enjoyed keeping up with your coverage of the meet and enjoy hearing others thoughts on the races once completed!
Former Texas A&M volunteer assistant coach third
We had another coach come in the top three in the contest, Alex Simko. Simko is from Cleveland, Ohio. He ran at Otterbein College (go Otters!), and was a volunteer assistant for Texas A&M in 2014 when they won the women’s NCAA outdoor title. Alex definitely was positioned to do well at an NCAA championship in Texas.
Patrick and Taylor also win Running Warehouse gift certificates in addition to their New Balance FuelCell Rebel shoes.