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Track & Field

Track & Field (183)

 

Will Claye is one of our most versatile athletes. His medals in the LJ and TJ in 2012 was the first time since 1932 that an American had done such a feat. Claye is a thoughtful, spiritual man who speaks with his athleticism and his positive attitude.

 

Hy-Vee is doing a great thing by their support of the Drake Relays. We salute them for supporting one of the most important meets in the country. Their Rio Previews are brilliant, and the support that they are putting into Drake is one of the largest investments in our sport in North America. If you are a track fan, make it a point of purchasing products at Hy-Vee: they are doing good things for our community. —Larry Eder

 

Drake Relays Presented By Hy-Vee Announces Men's Triple Jump Field

DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee director Brian Brown has unveiled the field for the Rio Olympic Game Preview men's triple jump for the 107th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.

 

The event will feature nine jumpers taking off along the homestretch of the Blue Oval including two Olympic medalists and the Bahamian national record holder.

 

Headlining the field is American Will Claye, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the triple jump and bronze medalist in the long jump. Claye is also a two-time World Championships bronze medalist and finished the 2015 season ranked No. 7 in the world. He has been ranked as one of the top seven jumpers in the world for five-straight seasons.

 

A fellow 2012 Olympian and the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Leevan Sands, will challenge Claye in the event. Sands, a native of the Bahamas, holds the country's record in the event at 57-8.5 and has consistently been one of the top jumpers in the world.

 

American Marquis Dendy finished the 2015 season ranked No. 8 in the world will also travel to Des Moines as the reigning U.S. Indoor and outdoor champion in the long jump.

 

The two-time U.S. Indoor triple jump champion Chris Carter is also in the field as one of five competitors that have jumped past 17 meters in the event.

 

Completing the field of talented jumpers are Alphonso Jordan, Josh Honeycutt, Iowa product Troy Doris, Chris Benard and Donald Scott.

 

All nine jumpers will also take part in the 'Leap For The Loot' as part of the triple jump with an additional $1,500 being awarded to the top jumper in each of the event's six rounds. 

 

Combined with the existing purse money, $15,000 in total money is now up for grabs in the men's triple jump.

 

The event and 'Leap For The Loot' are scheduled for the final day of the Relays on April 30 at 2:45 p.m. inside Drake Stadium.

-DRAKE-

The 42nd Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 27-28 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

 

American record holder Christian Taylor's road to a second Olympic gold medal in the triple jump faces a major test at the Prefontaine Classic, which features a unique clash of five gold medalists and a reunion with three college alumni.

 

The Pre Classic's triple jump runway will see four former University of Florida jumpers fuel an intense rivalryall have been world ranked No. 3 or better by Track & Field News in the last two years. It will also be the first meeting on U.S. soil of the four triple jumpers who own the nine longest efforts at Hayward Field, home of the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

Christian Taylor, 25, is at the top of all but one major triple jump list. His best of 59-9 (18.21) earned a second World Championships gold medal in Beijing last summer and was just 3¼ inches from Jonathan Edwards' 20-year-old world record of 60-¼ (18.29). Taylor finished the season with his fourth T&FN No. 1 world ranking and fourth IAAF Diamond League trophy - all in the last five years.

 

Omar Craddock, 24, led a 1-2-3 finish of Florida triple jumpers in last year's U.S. championships at Hayward Field with a lifetime best of 57-6¼ (17.53). It was his third U.S. triple jump title, the most by a Florida jumper. He was in line for a bronze medal at last year's World Championships until the final round, settling for 4th. Craddock finished the season ranked No. 3 in the world by T&FN.

 

Will Claye, 24, owns the Hayward Field record with his 57-11¼ (17.66) victory at the 2014 Pre Classic. He already can claim the most Olympic medals of anyone in the field with his triple jump silver and long jump bronze from London in 2012. Claye has the most wind-legal 57-foot jumps at Hayward Field (6) and has not finished lower than second (long jump or triple jump) on this runway since 2013.

 

Marquis Dendy, 23, is set for his Pre Classic debut, but he already has had incredible success on this runway - winning all of his five outdoor NCAA or U.S. titles at Hayward Field, including his wind-legal best of 57-5 (17.50). He was ranked No. 2 in the world in the long jump by T&FN last year and won The Bowerman Award as the nation's top collegiate male athlete. His 2016 campaign already includes a long jump gold medal at the World Indoor Championships with the year's longest jump.

 

France's Teddy Tamgho, 26, is the indoor World Record holder and won the 2013 World Championships gold medal at 59-2¼ (18.04), making him one of history's five members of the 59-foot club. Twice ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN (2010 & '13), he also won gold at the 2010 World Indoor Championships.

 

Benjamin Compaore, 28, is also from France and preceded Tamgho as World Junior gold medalist in 2006 (Tamgho won in 2008). Compaore is the reigning European champion and his best of 57-4¼ (17.48) to win the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup is his country's best since Tamgho's 2013 effort.

 

China's Bin Dong, 27, is the newly-crowned World Indoor champion and has a best of 57-1½ (17.41). His gold-medal jump of 56-10¼ (17.33) at Portland is the best by a Chinese jumper outside of his homeland.

 

Alexis Copello, 30, of Cuba is set to make his U.S. debut. He earned bronze at the 2009 World Championships and has ranked as high as No. 2 in the world by T&FN (2010).

 

Men's Triple Jump

Personal Best

Christian Taylor (USA)

59-9

(18.21)

Teddy Tamgho (France)

59-2¼

(18.04)

Will Claye (USA)

58-3

(17.75)

Alexis Copello (Cuba)

58-¼

(17.68)

Omar Craddock (USA)

57-6¼

(17.53)

Marquis Dendy (USA)

57-5

(17.50)

Benjamin Compaore (France)

57-4¼

(17.48)

Bin Dong (China)

57-1½

(17.41)

 

Fans can follow the event lineups on eugene.diamondleague.com. The direct link to current start/entry lists is posted HERE and will include updates to all announced fields. Additional news, photos, and videos may be found on PreClassic.com, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  

 

Tickets for the 42nd annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 27–28 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now at www.GoDucks.com as well as from 1-800-WEBFOOT.

 

The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic's results score has rated No. 1 or No. 2 in the world in each of the last five years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the Diamond League. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC and NBC Sports Network.

 

Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record (8:41.5) while at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, that is the fastest ever in a National Federation-sanctioned race. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4), and never lost a collegiate track race at any distance. As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 21. After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records. His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24. The Pre Classic began that year and has been held every year since.

Thursday, 31 March 2016 18:21

Matt Centrowitz - IAAF WIC Portland 2016 - Day 4

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Matthew Centrowitz won an exciting race on Sunday, March 20 at the 2016 World Indoors. Nick Willis made an amazing move with 500 meters to go and held the lead until the last thirty meters! Matt Centrowtiz went by Willis just as European Indoor Champ Jakub Halousa grabbed the silver and Robbie Andrews finished fourth! Here is an interview, filmed by Tim Jeffries for the Shoe Addicts, of Matthew Centrowitz after his fine race! SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO.

Thursday, 31 March 2016 18:14

Shannon Rowbury - IAAF WIC Portland 2016 - Day 4

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Shannon Rowbury ran an interesting race in the 3000 meters. With Genzebe Dibaba going out hard after 1k, and Meseret Defar guarding her silver medal, Shannon Rowbury ran a smart, tactical race, running for a medal and keeping the bronze medal in the 2016 World Indoor Championships. Here is her post-event interview, filmed by Tim Jeffries, after the 3000 meters on Sunday, March 20.  (Scroll down)

Thursday, 31 March 2016 18:07

Vashti Cunningham at IAAF World Indoor Champs

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Vashti Cunningham enchanted many with her win and WJR at the US Indoor Champs on March 12-13. Then, on March 20, Vashti Cunningham came back and won the World Indoor title. On March 21, several media sources were noting that Vashti Cunningham was going pro, and signing a contract with Nike. A busy week! Here is the Shoe Addicts interview from the post high jump!  SCROLL DOWN FOR THE INTERVIEW.

It was something this crowd had never seen before. On a day of finals that resulted in first-time medal winners, some coming in events the U.S. had never won in before, and the rise of new stars going into an Olympic year, the U.S. put together two relays that matched the level of competition and took their 22 and 23 medals to break the record for most medals of any country at a single World Indoors.

 

Natasha Hastings burst out of the blocks for U.S.A. to take the lead and never looked back. As they raced around the corner with the crowd cheering, Jamaica's first leg fell, unable to get up. The crowd hushed while the rest of the teams raced on. Medical attention was called over and eventually used a wheelchair to get the injured runner.

 

From there, the U.S. steadily built on their lead. Natasha Hayes and Courtney Okolo both split 51 seconds for the second and third laps while Ashley Spencer capped off the finish almost five seconds ahead of the field. Their final time of 3 minutes, 26.38 seconds is the world leading time this year and the fastest time run by any team indoors on U.S. soil.

 

Poland, Romania, and Nigeria battled for the other podium spots switching leads throughout the race. Poland finished second in 3:31.15 and Romania took third in 3:31.51.

 

To finish the day and the championships, the U.S. men's victory was almost as definitive. Kyle Clemons matched the Bahamas stride for stride on the first leg, but an excellent handoff to Calvin Smith allowed the U.S. to start to separate. Smith handed off to Chris Giesting who was able to gain a few steps ahead of the field. On the final leg, Vernon Norwood took the baton and immediately created a visible gap as the crowd gasped. The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica were left to sort out the rest of the places.

 

Team U.S.A.'s 3:02.45 leads the world this year and is the third fastest ever run indoors. Bahamas' second place 3:04.75 and Trinidad and Tobago's third place 3:05.51 both set new national indoor records.

 

As the crowds dispersed, they discussed what they had seen. Tomas Rees' favorite event was the relay and long jump. He came with his dad David. And while he is more of a soccer fan, he said he was impressed. He was even able to take a photo with Mo Farah (did not compete) who also happened to be in the crowd.

 

They reside in Portland and since David was a runner in high school and college, he is a longtime fan. They planned to attend shortly after tickets went on sale. Others came from Bend, OR, San Francisco, CA, the East Coast, and all over as fans mingled with longtime followers of the sport, Masters athletes, former Olympians, current professionals (particularly those in the Portland training groups like Mo Farah, Shalane Flanagan, Amy Hastings Cragg, and others), and people who had never seen anything like this before.

 

The organizing committee gave high school relays time during the meet which brought in their coaches and families who had never been to a meet of this scope while there were still people who had attended multiple Olympic Trials and other events throughout the years.

 

Medal ceremonies were held in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland and people wandered in and out to see what was going on on one of the first nice weekends Portland experienced all winter. On Saturday afternoon, kids ran up and down on the green turf while their parents enjoyed the sun. And that evening during the medals ceremony, the square was full of track fans who got to high-five athletes on their way up to the medals podium and then hang out with them after as some chose to wander through the crowd while the live band played. As the Portland Timbers game finished, some of those attendees trickled in to see what was going on.

 

Rees enjoyed the format of the meet. "I thought they staged it particularly well. The meet moved really quickly. The way they engaged the crowd was great," he said. "I really, really liked the way they did the pole vault on Thursday night. I've gone to a lot of track meets and I've watched the pole vault in passing, but to actually have a focus on it made it much more interesting and kind of got to know the jumpers more because you're watching them in sequence and paying more attention to it. I thought that was a stroke of brilliance."

 

And for him and his son, having been so close to the action will make this summer's Rio Olympics much more relatable. Rees said, "I'll probably root for some of the people I watched here."

 

By Lindsay Rossmiller

 
Thursday, 31 March 2016 02:37

USATF Diaries: Why I Enjoyed the USA Indoors

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The USA Indoor Champs has a tradition that is over one hundred years, closer to 130 years now. Indoor track has a tradition that dates back in many large cities to the late 19th century, starting in New York at the old Madision Square Gardens and in Boston, of course.

 

In the late 19th century, there were match races, where runners such as Lon Myers took on various competitors, with Myers running from scratch (the actual start) and various competitors given certian breaks, such as Myers running 300 yards and various competitors given 10 yards, fifteen yards, perhaps more. These races proved to be quite exciting to the viewers, however, indoor track became much more pasteurized over the past decades, which, along with costs, and the malaise of sponsors over the sport, lead, in many cities, to the demise of the sport.

 

One of my most prized possessions is a post card from my maternal grandfather, Earl Robertson. He wrote a note about Paavo Nurmi, who he had read about running US indoor races in the late 1920s and early 1930s in the US. Nurmi barnstormed around the country, setting records over arcane distances like the 1 and 1/4 miles, 1 and 1/2 miles and going under 9 minutes for two miles. Those meet directors in the 1920s and 1930s knew that they were in the entertainment business. Somehow, we forgot that.

 

The Millrose Games in the MSG was killed due to lack of respect for the event and the venue. Changing the night of the meet, after 80 years, destroyed generations of business guys, who had run as high schoolers, from hitting the bar for an adult beverage, watching the meet, and getting out in time to take the train home. The MSG folks did not help by sucking up any profit from the meet. Fortunately, the meet has a new home and sponsor at the Armory.

 

Thank God for the NB Armory in NY and the Reggie Lewis in Boston. Both sanctuaries of indoor track provide opportunities for over 100,000 athletes a year to compete in track. I recall going to the 2011 NB Indoor and speaking to several young athletes who told me that their schools did not have outdoor track, and indoor track was their sport.

 

We tend to shoot ourselves in the foot in this sport.

 

In Boston, when the USA Indoors was there, a fine meet, the NB Indoor, a sell out for over fifteen years would be one month before the US Indoors. However, with no promotions, the USA Indoors would fill less than half of the Reggie Lewis. When the USA Indoors moved to Albuquerque, the smaller facility was getting to where the event should be held, but again, the crowd (only sat three thousand) was seldom full. It was kind of like, well, we have to do this damn thing, but put as little into it as possible.

I have to say that I loved the 2015 USA Indoors with the mile, 2 mile and 1000 meters. Finally, trying to do something a little different. I still think we should have a guy like Vernon Norwood take on all comers, from high school kid to masters, giving them a bit of a break and seeing who finishes first. That would truly shake things up. You could do same in shot put, have Reese Hoffa or Kurt Roberts throw against two high school kids and see who throws farther!

 

While I still hold the belief that the powers that be feel fans will just show up, the USA Indoors in Portland actually showed some amazing advancements.

 

First, the facility was first class. I have visited at least three dozen different indoor facilities around the world. I would have to say that Portland was in the top two, top three.

 

There was not a bad seat in the house. Do not get me started on the seating in Albuquerque.

Even with many top talents resting for the long road to Rio, the combination of young and veteran athletes added excitement to the event.

The USA Indoor had some great rivalries. Jenn Suhr, Demi Payne and Sandi Morris-Wow! The women's pole vault was fantastic. Both 1,500 meters and 800 meters-tremendous. And the women's 60 meter hurdles-dear god, that might be the best race of the meet!

 

On day two, the crowd was electric. Race after race after race was all about competition. Rivalries are key!

 

There is still time to be cut out of the schedule, but I would give the USA Indoor a strong B, which is two grades better than any other USA Indoor in the past decade.

 

My belief is that either we committ to doing a US Indoor Champs or take it to every other year. We can not afford to do meets that are done half assed.

 

I recall a talk by Steve Miller, when he was a Nike, nearly twenty years ago. Steve told the assembled masses that our sport felt put upon. He commented on the long track meets, always behind schedule. And Steve was right.

 

The 2016 USA Indoor Champs was a step in the right direction. Let's try and learn from the meet and plan on using those improvements to build upon in 2017.

Track & field is essentially an individual sport where finely-tuned, driven athletes pursue individual records and honors. True enough, global championships such as these of course have a team component where countries strive to accumulate an overall medal count of which they will be proud. But, in reality, national medal counts are an aggregation of the medal-worthy performances of their individual countrymen and countrywomen.

 

But there is an exception to the usually-solitary pursuit of track and field greatness. The relays. Especially the granddaddy show-closer: the 4 x 400m. When 4 individual athletes combine to create a racing quartet for their country, the relay mates - who normally warily view each other as their rivals in the individual competitions - are suddenly galvanized by a common purpose: win that medal, preferably a golden one!

 

And when the foursome is comprised of American men racing the 4x4, there is an additional element of bonding. Just ask any quarter miler who's ever had a global 400 meter carry for the Red, White, and Blue, and he'll tell you: "The only medal is the gold medal. Lose this event? The United States doesn't lose the men's 4x4. We own this event!"

 

This morning session's concluding event was the first round of the men's 4 x 400 meter relay with the 6 fastest teams advancing to Sunday's final. In these global competitions, top contenders try to find the right balance: send a little message to the other nations while not showing too much of the hand they'll play in the final. In heat one, the Belgium quartet - with 3 Borlee brothers in the lineup - cruised to an easy 3:07.39 win when brother Kevin held off the Bahamas [3:07.55] and anchor Chris Brown on the final leg. In the second and final heat, Team USA took on Nigeria and Jamaica. Young Alvion Bailey led off for the Red, White, and Blue with a 46.7 to give the US a slight lead as he handed off to Calvin Smith who pushed out the US advantage with a 46.1 leg. Running third, Chris Giesting turned in the best American split of the morning - 45.7 - to give his teammate Patrick Feeney a comfortable lead for his anchor duty. Unchallenged, Feeney - who will long be remembered for his memorable 2015 Penn Relays "USA v. America" anchor leg which turned back a powerful Jamaican quartet for the win the very first time Feeney donned a USA singlet - ran an effective, albeit conservative, 46.9 for a stress-free win for Team USA [3:05.41].

 

The animated foursome spoke freely in the mixed zone. Inspired, not pressured, is how Bailey sees the current 400 meter athletes who face the challenge and the responsibility of carrying on America's dominating heritage in this event. "There is not necessarily any pressure. We just want to be great," declared today's lead-off runner. "The history of the 4x4 of the U.S. is so big and goes so deep. And we have respect for it. I'm just trying to find my place and state my name. That is really just what I'm trying to do. There's really no pressure especially when we've got people like Calvin, Chris, and Feeney. It makes it a lot easier when you know they've got your back."

 

Smith, the 28-year-old veteran on this morning's U.S. 4x4 squad, shared his views on the role of this opening round and what Team USA hoped to accomplish. "We just wanted to go out there and win and [like a killer stage performer] just kind of drop the baton. That makes everybody else say, 'Them boys really hit and run.' I think we accomplished that today and we've got more to come in the finals."

 

One of the larger challenges facing all 4x4 finalists is determining whether or not any last minute tinkering should be implemented before Sunday's final. Should a personnel change be considered? Should a fresh athlete from the relay pool be substituted? Should the lineup order be reshuffled? Former Notre Dame star Giesting offered his views. "We don't know yet. We're going to talk about it tonight after this race and see who's healthy, who's ready to go. And whatever four it is, I know they're going to give it their all and bring home the gold for the USA."

 

Feeney, Giesting's former teammate at South Bend, cites his USATF debut last spring at Franklin Field as solidifying his confidence for similar challenging assignments. "I know it was great that USATF had the confidence in me to anchor at Penn Relays last year. I was real nervous going into it, but I knew this was my first opportunity and I didn't want to let them down. That helped carry me through. And then I found out I was anchor today, and I was pumped again. So I knew these three guys were going to give me a lead and sort of bring it home and get us to that final tomorrow. The main thing is just getting to that final with the top time." Mission accomplished.

 

Before the U.S. quartet left to rest up for Sunday's final, the group fielded one last inquiry. Which finals team is their biggest concern? Tentative teammates hesitated, until the seasoned Smith - perhaps hinting that self-inflicted wounds must be avoided - blurted, "The USA!" 

 

Added Feeney, "If we go out and do what we need to do, I think it's going to be a good race for sure. But we're going to do whatever it takes to bring home the gold."

 

Can this new generation of American long sprinters add luster to the U.S. legacy in the event that American track and field considers as its very own?

 

This evening, we find out.

 

Dave Hunter, who ran his marathon P.R. of 2:31:40 on the highly revered Boston Marathon course back in the Paleozoic era, is a track and field announcer, broadcaster, and journalist.

Website: http://www.trackandfieldhunter.com

Thursday, 31 March 2016 02:02

2016 World Indoor Champs: Moment of Larry, Day 3

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The story is so uplifting for some, they just can not believe it. Take a talented distance runner who just is not ready or into college. Find him a bit out of college, and working at McDonalds. Then, talk him into training again with his old coach, but a new club started by a pretty talented distance runner (Brenda Martinez and her hubby). Watch the guy run, get back into shape and begin to improve.

 

Then, watch track geeks, (c'est moi), drop their jaws when Boris runs with the big boys in Europe. Watch him almost make a U.S. team for the World Champs Outdoors.

 

But this is Indoors, and will it be a different story? Read on, gentle reader.

 

Boris Berian is a tough runner. An 800 meter guy built like Herb Lindsay, one the country's finest long distance runners in the 1970s and early 1980s, Herb had some guns on those arms. Boris does, too.

 

At the U.S. Indoor Champs, Boris just took the lead and crushed it, winning and not looking back.

 

In the rounds at the Worlds, Boris stayed out of trouble and made it through with ease, with Antoine Gakeme, winning his heat in 1:48.09, with Berian at 1:48.55 in second.

 

He’s much tougher now, perhaps the missed opportunity in 2015 opened his eyes, and gave him the vision he needed to move on.

 

The final on Saturday was looked upon with much fascination. Mo Aman, the defending champion was there, as was Antoine Gakeme, Eric Solinski, and Boris Berian. Many thought he would medal, but few thought he would dominate.

 

Berian got out hard, and hit the 200 meters in 23.92, which is fast! Continuing his hard front running, he hit the 400 meters in 49.73, which really turned some eyeballs. That’s David Rudisha speed, and David was in Australia, or Kenya, right now.

 

Berian looked focused and driven. He was running smooth, but with power. That’s what blows many away, but if you remember, Berian is to 2016 what Alberto Juantorena was to 1976. Boris Berian is a California version of Alberto Juantorena.

 

Boris continued his driven display of front running through 600 meters in 1:17:37, when the rest of the field woke up and tried to gain on him. For about fifty meters, Boris seemed like he was taking a quick break to gather himself for the run home.

 

I was hoping that I was not watching a law of physics being proven—that if you go out too fast, you come back real fast.

 

Boris willed himself over that last 200 meters of the 800, where the lactic acid is nearly up in your throat and six little voices are whispering—no begging, “Please stop! Coach Vigil will understand. Boris, this is your right hamstring, I have no energy left and I want a sauna." 

 

You ignore those voices and you just drive on, which is what Berian did.

 

The 800 meters is 200 meters too long for a perfect race. It’s a race where time and pain mold into one, and 25 seconds of pain moves to thirty-two.

 

Berian held on, and pushed to the finish to win his first World Indoor title in 1:45.83, to the resounding cheers of the partisan crowd. But, in truth, everyone was a fan of Berian that Saturday night at the Oregon Convention Center.

 

Berian put away that carbuncle of self-doubt that we all have at about 680 meters to 700 meters, when he made the decision to charge on. His face was full of pain and drive, and his arms were pumping and his legs had to follow. There was no other choice after he committed.

 

My MOMENT OF LARRY for night three is Boris Berian's race, but specifically, when he won it, between 600 and 700 meters, when the brain shuts off, the eyes flutter, and the lungs just beg for mercy.

 

Berian conquered all. But, something tells me, he did that on some cold-as-hell night, doing intervals, when no one was there but his coach, a few joggers, and someone with a rubgy ball.

 

Runners are creatures of habit and comfort. Nothing is comfortable about a fast speed session, or a long, grueling series of 600 meters and 1000 meters, but it gives one a sense of comfort, or relief.

 

And in this amazing setting, as Boris Berian was running his race. Not far back, Eric Sowinski was moving well,and running his race, to take the bronze, surpassing the defending champion Mo Aman. Eric is a great guy, a determined runner and he picked up his first international medal, as the US went 1–3.

 

Earlier this afternoon, I was speaking to VP of Running Product at New Balance, Tom Carleo.  about Boris and he told me the reason he ran so well was, (jokingly), "because of the shoes." I concurred, wisely, to Boris Berian's club sponsor, New Balance.

 

The shoes sured helped, and the sponsorship really helps, but Berian has some brass ones and his race was something to behold. Watch it and watch it again. And remember, Boris Berian's 800 meters is our Moment of Larry for Day Three of the 2016 IAAF World Athletics Championships!

March 20, 2016 - On the fourth and final day of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland, Ore., California native Shannon Rowbury brought home a bronze medal for the U.S. as she finished third in the women's 3,000-meter final in 8:55.55.

 

Rowbury also captured the 3,000m win at the U.S Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in 8:55.65. After conferring with her coach, Alberto Salazar, Rowbury decided to forego her specialty event, the 1,500m, at the U.S. Champs and concentrate on the 3,000m for Worlds. Last July, Rowbury etched her name in the history books by breaking Mary Decker's 1,500m outdoor American record with a 3:56.29 at the Herculis meet in Monaco.

 

In 2008, Rowbury recorded the top performance ever by an American woman in the Olympic 1,500m final when she finished seventh in 4:03.58. At the 2012 Olympic Games, she placed sixth in the women's 1,500m final.

 

On Sunday, Rowbury was among a closely spread front group of women competing in the women's 3,000m final over 15 laps of the 200m oval in Portland's Oregon Convention Center. The pack, led early by Kenya's Betsy Saina, went through 400m in a relatively slow 1:20.8.

 

 Just past 1,000m, Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba moved into the lead, strung out the field, and proceeded to a 8:47.43 victory, repeating her 2014 World Indoors 3,000m win. Eight-time World and Olympic medalist Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) secured the silver in 8:54.2 followed by Rowbury for bronze.

 

"It started out just like Worlds two years ago," Rowbury said. "I knew watching videos from the past that there would be a hard move and I needed to test my toughness. I tried to stay with the lead pack. I thought it was a little bit closer. At a certain point, I knew I needed to close ground on the chase crew. Over the last few laps in the race, I knew it was getting tough. Everyone else was working hard too. The crowd helped bring me home. I brought home a bronze in 2009. You only get so many opportunities in a championship. You only get this once in a lifetime to get Worlds at home and I wanted to take full advantage of that."

 

Rowbury's PR in the 3,000m indoors is 8:47.18 which she set in Boston in 2010. She grew up in the Sunset District of San Francisco where she attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep School before moving on to Duke University where she set multiple school records at distances from 800m through 5,000m. Although she now trains in Beaverton, Ore. and is guided by Coach Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project, Rowbury's heart is still in San Francisco where she has strong family connections.

 

In other day four action among Californians competing at the World Indoor Champs, Jeff Henderson (Chula Vista, Calif.)--the 2014 U.S. outdoor long jump champion--placed fourth with a second round leap of 8.19m/26-10.5. Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) came to Portland as the world leader in the long jump, and he left as the world champion. He also posted his best mark in round two, leaping to victory in 8.26m/27-0.

 

"I have a lot to focus on and work on," Henderson said after the competition. "I was hoping to get the win but I didn't. I'm not worried about it, because I haven't jumped this much in a while. But I PR'd, so I know I'm in good shape."

 

Home-field advantage paid off in a huge way for Team USA at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. The U.S. broke its own championship record for number of medals won, with 23, and number of golds, with 13. The medal tally crushed the previous records of 19 medals overall from 1999, and 10 gold medals from 2012. Ethiopia finished second in the medal tables with five medals and two gold, as Team USA totaled 249 points on the placing table to Ethiopia's 56.

 

Many congratulations to TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for these excellent championships, and to Vin Lananna who serves as President of the organizers. We have much to look forward to in TrackTown: The 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials this coming July and for the first time on U.S. soil, the 2021 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

 

 Mark Winitz, longtime scribe for California Track & Running News and American Track & Field, is a contributing writer on RunBlogRun.com.

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