By Jonathan Gault
June 29, 2020
Today LetsRun.com learned that American middle-distance star Raevyn Rogers, who earned the silver medal at last year’s World Championships in the 800 meters, has parted ways with her coach Derek Thompson and will be coached by Pete Julian moving forward. The coaching change was confirmed by her agent Mark Wetmore. Rogers, 23, who won five NCAA individual titles while at the University of Oregon, had worked with the Philadelphia-based Thompson since shortly after turning professional in 2017.
Rogers’ coaching change will come as a surprise to many as while Rogers did not run a personal best last year and slipped from 2nd at USAs in 2018 to 3rd in 2019, she finished the year as one of the best 800 runners in the world, taking second in the Diamond League final in Brussels and the World Championship final in Doha. Prior to being coached by Thompson, Rogers’s 800 pb was 1:59.10 but she ran faster than that seven different times under Thompson, lowering her pb to 1:57.69 in the process.
Thompson told LetsRun.com he was not sure why Rogers left the group, though her decision did not come as a shock.
“Nothing surprises me about track and field,” Thompson says. “Athletes come and go.”
Rogers now joins Julian’s currently-unnamed training group, based out of Portland and consisting of several members of the now-shuttered Nike Oregon Project. One of her teammates will be Donavan Brazier, who in his first season under Julian in 2019 won the Diamond League title and broke Johnny Gray‘s 34-year-old American record by running 1:42.34 in Doha, where he became the first American 800 runner to win gold at the World Championships.
Rogers had moved to Philadelphia in the summer of 2018, where she trained under Thompson alongside 2019 Diamond League champion Ajee’ Wilson. Rogers had lost all 22 of her races against Wilson prior to last year’s World Championship final, when Rogers surprisingly ran down Wilson for the silver medal in Doha.
Thompson says Rogers left his group in early June, shortly after another 2019 World Championship finalist, Ce’Aira Brown, joined the group. Philadelphia had been closed until recently, forcing Wilson and Brown to train on grass and trails. But two weeks ago, their training track at Cedarbrook Middle School reopened; Thompson is planning a 600-meter time trial for his group next week and says Brown also has plans to compete in an event at the Armory next month.
Talk about this on our messageboard. *MB: Breaking: Raevyn Rogers has left Derek Thompson and joined Pete Julian’s group