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Track & Field

Track & Field (183)

By Justin Lagat
It is now less than ten days to Kenya's Olympic trials that will happen at the Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret. For anyone contemplating on attending the event, here are some of the reasons why they should.
1.  You never know when, or if, it is going to happen again in Eldoret.
One thing is for sure. It is going to be one big exciting event given the nature of the athletic events that have happened in and around Eldoret. Not only are the locals here comprised of talented runners, but they are also great fans of athletics.
It will be the first ever national trials to be done outside Nairobi. So, it will be historic and being there will be a rare chance to become part of an historical event. You miss it and you will forever regret, especially when people will be talking about it in the future and you have nothing to say yet you had the chance to be there!
2.  Watch firsthand the athletes making it to the Kenyan Olympic team
What better way to know the athletes who will represent Kenya at the Rio Olympics that to sit down on the terraces, buy a packet of ground nuts and watch, lap by lap, as athletes duel to make the team.
The Kenyan trials are always very competitive and it will not be an easy task for all the favorite athletes to finish in the top three positions.
Will Geoffrey Kamworor and Vivian Cheruiyot double in the men and women 5000m and 10,000m events? Will Asbel Kiprop double in 800m and 1500m? Some of the names on the list include athletes invited for two events.
3.  Huge crowds will certainly turn up
During the annual Kass international marathon that takes place in November, I witnessed fans that walked for over 37km just to watch the finish of the marathon. Now that they will have the opportunity to watch the start and finish of many track and field events in a single day, I doubt if they will miss. I cannot figure out how the Kipchoge stadium will be packed with the local fans.
Be prepared for some wild cheering squads.
4.  The program will go fast and smoothly, being an invitational event.
I can imagine Asbel Kiprop will be cooling down after the men's 1500m while Vivian Cheruiyot is running the women 5000m on the track and Ezekiel Kemboi is already warming up for the men's 3000m steeplechase!
Exciting events will happen one after the other. Unlike the other track meetings around Eldoret where we would have up to ten or more heats in the 800m events and more than five in the 5000m events.
5.  Upcoming athletes from around Eldoret will witness firsthand what is possible for them.
Athletes can learn how to win a race through the experience of running in many races. They can also learn by watching others run and watching how the champions do it. The young athletes who are being sponsored in camps around Eldoret will watch their mentors and sponsors live in one of the most competitive races across the world.
6.  Expect the guest of honor handing the Kenyan flag to the selected team to announce some good projects to support talents in the country and in the region.
No one has announced it yet, but it has often been the president himself attending the climax of Kenya's trials for the world championships. Having attended last year's world championship trials in Kasarani, there is a high probability of him gracing the event in Eldoret. 
Talents have created a lot of impact and transformed lives in communities and it will be expected that the president himself will have something to offer the athletes in the area to enable them pursue their talents.
By Alfonz Juck
CHEBOKSARY (RUS, Jun 21): Two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva, in her return into the competition after maternity leave, won during second day of Russian national championships her event with 490 (better than official World lead) in third attempt. 
Isinbayeva started from 460, then 470, which she went over in first attempts, used two jumps to cover 480. Finally, Yelena tried at World record height 507 but refused to continue after first unsuccessful effort. European champion Anzhelika Sidorova second with 485 PB and Olga Mullina 460 PB are also with Olympics standards. 
World champion Sergey Shubenkov clocked 13.20 in the 110 m hurdles. Yekaterina Galitskaya won women hurdles with 13.18. Antonina Krivoshapka was fast over 400m 50.70 ahead of Alyona Mamina 51.52 and Kseniya Aksyonova 51.74. Pavel Ivashko topped men final with 45.71. Artem Denmukhametov (45.95) and Vladimir Krasnov (45.96) were second and third respectively. 
Dariya Klishina leaped to 684 in women long jump over Anna Misochenko 6.69 and Yuliya Pidluzhnaya 663. Yekaterina Ivonina finished first in women steeplechase with 9:24.66 ahead of Yekaterina Sokolenko 9:28.02 and Nataliya Vlasova 9:31.95. Favourite in men steeplechase Ilgizar Safiullin was beaten by Viktor Bakharev 8:25.81 to 8:25.34. Yekaterina Strokova ruled in women discus with 61.83m over Yelena Panova 60.01. 
Unexpected winner in men’s shot put, Maksim Afonin, achieved 20.96m. Aleksandr Lesnoy took second position with 20.70m and Konstantin Lyadusov was third 20.62m. Aleksandra Gulyaeva covered 800m by 2:01.22 ahead of Svetlana Uloga 2:01.72 and Yelena Arzhakova 2:01.79. European indoor champion Ilya Shkurenyov scored 8292 points in men’s decathlon. Artem Lukyanenko finished second 8055 and Yevgeniy Sarantsev was third with 8017 points.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 04:55

Top Teenagers Take Center Stage at USATF Juniors

Written by
CLOVIS, Calif. – Veterans Memorial Stadium is set to host yet another stellar championship meet as the 2016 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships head to Central California, June 24-26. Boasting the nation’s premier junior athletes competing for a spot on Team USA, the championship serves as the selection meet for the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 19-24.
Athletes ranging from ages 14-19 from around the United States are registered to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, including hundreds of collegiate and high school superstars. Fans can watch the action live daily on USATF.TV +PLUS. The broadcast will begin each day with the first scheduled running event. Live webcast and on-demand videos for all three days will only be available with a USATF.TV +PLUS subscription (sign up here). 
Friday, June 24 will mark the opening day of USATF Juniors, beginning with the men’s decathlon 100 meters and long jump events, soon to be followed by a competitive first round of the men’s 110-meter hurdles. 
Eight of the men’s hurdlers are entered with a mark under 14 seconds, led by Olan Cunningham III, with a time of 13.42. The first round of the 110m hurdles is slated for Friday afternoon, as finals will follow later that evening at 6:50 p.m.
Among the notable day one competitors, brothers Noah and Josephus Lyles of Alexandria, Virginia will compete in the the men’s 100m. The brothers, with Noah being the elder, are among the best high school track and field athletes in the country, collecting state and national championships in their respective events. Noah is entered as the top mark heading into the Junior Championships with a 100m time of 10.17, while Josephus closely follows with a mark of 10.51. The University of Florida commits are entered in multiple events, as Noah will also compete in the men’s 200m, while Josephus will compete in the men’s 400m on Saturday.
Also competing Friday is newly-minted USATF Athlete of the Week Sydney McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey), who will take to the track in the first round of the women’s 400m hurdles at 5:45 p.m.
Lining up for the women’s 100m and 200m, high school phenom Candace Hill (Conyers, Georgia) will attempt to repeat her success at the 2015 Junior Championships, after claiming first place in both the women’s 100m and 200m finals. Hill gained honor as the youngest track and field athlete to turn profession at just age 16, due to her sustained success in her events. Hill is entered as fastest time in both the women’s 100m and 200m. 
On the second day of competition, the finals for women’s long jump and men’s transpire, as Samiyah Samuels of Houston Youth Track Club and Bria Matthews compete in the long jump. Meanwhile, Jordan Geist of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, will compete in the men’s shot put. Geist is the men’s high school shot put record holder for the state of Pennsylvania, and is entered in the meet with a top mark of 74 feet 3.5 inches, the top high school mark in the U.S. this year by over three feet.
Following the finals of the women’s long jump and men’s shot put, the top junior 800m runners for the women and men will compete in succeeding events. Leading the way in the 800m are Samantha Watson and newly-minted NCAA Champion Donavan Brazier. Watson is the top women’s high schooler in the country in the 800m, while Brazier leads the men’s field after setting the NCAA and American junior records (1:43.55) at the NCAA Division I Championships on June 10.
On the third and final day of meet, the women’s pole vault features the top three women’s high school pole vaulters. Rachel Baxter of Canyon High School in Anaheim, California set the standard after clearing 14 feet, 3 inches at the OC Championships on April 23. Baxter went on to win the California State Championships with a vault of 14 feet, 2 inches just a month later. Erika Malaspina (Santa Cruz, California) and Andrea Willis (Colorado Springs, Colorado) closely follow with vaults of 13 feet, 9 inches.
The meet concludes following the men’s and women’s 200m and the men’s and women’s 1500m on Sunday. The men’s 200m features the competitive clash between Michael Norman Jr. of Vista Murrieta High School (Vista Murrieta, California) and Noah Lyles. Norman and Lyles share the ninth fastest 200m time in the U.S. this year, coming in at 20.23 earlier this year.
Veterans Memorial Stadium plays host to the 2016 USATF Junior Championships, featuring a Super X Mondo track surface along with the recently upgraded the field event and warm-up areas. Veterans Memorial Stadium boasts a stellar record for hosting spectacular events, as the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships will culminate four outstanding championship track and field competitions held at Veterans Memorial Stadium, beginning with the Mountain West Conference Championships hosted by California State University, Fresno on May 11-14, 2016; the CIF Central Section Track and Field Championship on May 21, 2016; and the CIF State High School Track and Field Championships on June 3-4, 2016.
For a full schedule of events and entries, please visit Fans can follow along on social media by using #USATFjrs on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
By Andrew Eisch, USATF Communications Intern

The Wild Duck Cafe, located at 1419 Villard St., 453 m from Hayward Field, is the largest, most modern, friendliest, most comfortable, best value bar in Eugene. It is the Social Hub for All Things TRACK & FIELD during the 2016 Trials! Just ask anyone who was there in 2008 or 2012!

After two years of juggling injuries, Yohan Blake is back. In the cold and wind of Herzogenaurach, Germany, Blake ran 10.03, telling us afterwards, with a smile, " I did not feel my legs."
Then he ran 9.94 in Kingston last week, and the world was, for Yohan Blake, suddenly, a better place.
Yohan Blake took the athletics world by storm in 2011, when he won the 100 meters at the World Champs in Daegu. You remember that one, Usain Bolt had a brain fart, and false started, and was out. Yohan Blake kept his cool, and ran down 2003 World Champ Kim Collins, who took the bronze.
By Lindsay Rossmiller
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 11-12) ­ In a last chance for some athletes to run times needed to qualify to compete at the Olympic Trials, the Portland Track Festival was also an opportunity for others to get back on the track and sharpen their racing skills as everyone tunes up for the next two months.
On Saturday night as an early summer evening chill settled over Griswold Stadium at Lewis and Clark College, the women toed the line of the 10,000 meters in the High Performance section.

If we had dropped an alien being into the US yesterday and they sat on my sofa and watched the NCAA Day three, even they would have been excited by the amazing day of track finals. For once, we did not shoot ourselves in the foot. The finals were exciting, with surprises and the announcing was warmed up and supported the broadcast. 

Here is how Lindsay Rossmiller, who has been providing updates each day for RunBlogRun on the NCAAs, saw day three! —Larry Eder, RunBlogRun


David Hunter has covered the NCAA Championships for us for several years now. This is his arguement for the NCAA Championships and how important they are in our sport. We look forward to David's daily columns (along with Lindsay Rossmiller's) on the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships, held in Eugene, Oregon, from June 8-11.


Eugene, Oregon

June 7th, 2016


Most diehard track & field fans enjoy all forms of championship gatherings. To ask them which one is the best is a little like asking those same fans which IPA beer is the best at Eugene's iconic Wild Duck Cafe. Hey, they're all great!


But more recently, a growing legion of track & field aficionados is singing the praises of the collegiate championships, citing any number of facets to their conclusion that the college-level brand of championship athletics is their favorite. Here are some of the reasons they offer:


Team Scoring. Except for the nationalistic practice of country medal counts in global competitions, post-collegiate track & field usually lacks this exciting element of competition. The presence of team scoring at collegiate championships - also evident in a less-refined way at the prep level - adds a novel and dramatic element to the competition that just isn't there in national post-collegiate championship events. When team scoring is in the mix, everyone - the athletes, the coaches, the fans, and the media - is continually observing and reassessing the fortunes of their favorite schools as the meet progresses. The shifting sands of team scoring - constantly realigning as favorites falter and upsets occur - add excitement and newly-emerging speculation as the collegians do battle.


New Format. Last year's newly-instituted practice of dividing up the 4-day NCAA Div. I Championship into alternating days of gender-specific competitions has generally been embraced as a positive step forward. Critics note the burden the new same-sex scheduling places on individuals performing in multiple events - including the teams for whom these gifted athletes compete - as doublers have less recovery time between competitions. But the proponents of this novel style of presentation point to the singular spotlight these days of separate competition place on both the men and the women - with each getting their undistracted moments in the footlights. Alternating days of competition by gender also makes it easier and clearer to view the building drama of team competition. The media loves the more broadcast-friendly format which seems to translate into expanded TV coverage presented in a more logical sequence that is easier to follow. As one coach recently mentioned to me, "Any presentation format that gets more track & field on television, I'm for it."


Relays. Have you ever met a track & field fan who isn't enthusiastic about the relays? Me neither. Invariably, there is a discernible anticipation and a notable buzz among collegiate championship spectators as leadoff runners load into the blocks - a special excitement only rarely sensed with the individual events. Because relay lineups are not chiseled in stone, coaches can strategize in the early rounds and in the final as they have discretion with regard to the four athletes they will assemble and the order in which they run. There is a reason - more than just tradition - why the 4 x 400 meter relay is the engrained show-closer for collegiate championship - and virtually all - track & field gatherings. The dearth of relays at the post-collegiate level provides little opportunity to capture this same excitement and, may I add, does nothing to help our woeful stick-passing among the professionals.


More Surprises. With younger, less-experienced athletes and a constant influx of new, hungry talent, results at collegiate track & field championships are less predictable. Upperclass men and women stumble. Underclass men and women break through. Bungles occur as collegiate athletes act like, well, college students. The result is unanticipated drama and outcomes. Case in point: several years ago when Oregon's favored long sprinter Mike Berry - now a seasoned professional - failed to advance out of his 400m semi-final, heads were spinning as many rushed to forecast the points the Ducks had lost and the potential impact such point loss might have on their team title chances.


More Heroes. As collegiate championship meets wind down and the team scoring is tight, unsuspecting heroes often emerge. Last year, the Oregon women's squad - wrapped up in the midst of a tense battle for the team crown - looked to middle distance frosh Raevyn Rogers to grab a few key points in the 800m final to help their cause. Her unexpected victory sealed the team win for the Duck women and prompted normally-reserved Oregon coach Robert Johnson to gush to the media about his newly-emerging protégé.


The Last Vestige Of Innocence. Let's not kid ourselves. Collegiate track & field at the Division I level is serious business. At the leading track & field powers from the so-called Power 5 conferences, the programs are comprehensive and sophisticated - as the best facilities, superior coaches, and attentive support staffs are all available to help talented and dedicated athletes reach the zenith of their potential. But notwithstanding the big-time business this sport at its highest collegiate level has become, there still lingers a dwindling - but nonetheless present - innocence not detectable among the professional ranks. At these university championship gatherings special moments still occur: the barely-qualified athlete steps up to gain a spot on a lower rung of the podium to capture one or two valuable points to fuel his team's title chase; a spent superstar steps in unexpectedly to run a leg on a championship closing 4 x 400m relay to help his university capture the team crown.


Don't get me wrong: track & field is to be savored in all forms and at all levels. To paraphrase the late social commentator Will Rogers, authentic track & field fans never met a track gathering they didn't like. Yet the extraordinary, unexpected, and often selfless performances witnessed when college athletes assemble to battle for national championships seem more commonplace there than anywhere else in our sport. And that overall experience seems to have fueled a growing sentiment that championship track & field at the collegiate level just might be the best. 

The Adrian Martinez Classic is here! So, watch The Rome DL this afternoon, and then, watch the Adrian Martinez, as they have some exciting fields! See you there!

Thursday, 02 June 2016 01:06

Cerritos, Mt. SAC Repeat as CCCAA T&F Champs 2016

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Event by Event Wrap

By Fred Baer, 5CTCA Associate Member Rep


SAN DIEGO -- Cerritos College and Mt. San Antonio College repeated as CCCAA Track & Field team champions at the 2016 state meet held at San Diego Mesa College, May 20-21. Both teams wrapped up the titles early, compared to their 1-point wins in 2015.


Cerritos scored 92 points, clinching the win after the 200 meters, and finishing ahead of Riverside (80) and College of the Sequoias (75 1/3). Mt. SAC scored 148 points in the men’s competition with Riverside (99) second. Modesto (63) won a tight third placed battle ahead of Sequoias (62), and American River (61).


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