Track & Field (207)
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.
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!
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).
Well, it all begins!
Please find our flyer for the Hoka One One Endurance Crossroads Clinic. We have a fine group of speakers and if you could help us get the word out that would be fantastic!
My next note to you will be on the Multitude of Activities Hoka One One has planned for the Trials and the NCAAs! They will include the following:
• “Rock the Blockæ Take Over of Villard St. with Hoka One One occupying the WDC footprint, the Growler USA footprint, and the Hoka One One Sky Box!
• Ross and RunnerSpace working with me on the "Last Round Lounge" presentation at the WDC Post Meet! Especially on the HOKA Nights (July 1st, 4th and 9th).
• 4 FREE “Power Hour Coaching AM Coaching Clinics” supported by Coaches Choice and Accusplit. Refreshments will be included (Health Warrior, SOS Hydration, etc.) and we’ll feature the ICONS of USA T&F. Coaches contacted include Harry Marra, Lance Harter, Jeremy Fisher, Ralph Lindemann, and Mike Holman. Dates scheduled are: July 2, 3, 7, & 8.
• Olympic Legends Night will be July 4 with Reynaldo Brown, John Carlos, Ed Caruthers, plus many others!
• Hoka One One Retail Store in Glass Room next to WDC footprint.
• Front Sidewalk covered with Mondo Super X product.
The Wild Duck will also be providing a Free Bottle of Champagne to any Olympic Trial Winner who shows up at the WDC!
I’ll detail this out for you for release next week, and periodically until July 9!
Working together, we will make this happen Bigger and Better than ever (which is saying something!!)
Hoka One One- Time to Fly … to Rio!
Yours Through the Spirit of Track and Field,
Ambassador of Fun, Excitement,
and Enjoyment at Track Meets in Eugene.
Mystical Running Cult Guidance Counselor
Outstanding High Performance Fields Announced for the 2016 Adrian Martinez Classic - "A Track Meet like No Other"Written by Super User
For the third year in a row, the very elite of American distance runners are descending on Concord, Massachusetts for the Adrian Martinez Classic, sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE. High Performance races in the 800m, 5000m and Mile are part of a unique track event that also offers community mile races for all ages, as well as two races featuring local unified track athletes. The eighth edition of the Martinez Classic, scheduled for Thursday June 2nd at Emerson Field in Concord, will truly live up to its billing as a meet with races for all ages and abilities and, as the Boston Globe headlined in its 2015 report, "A track meet like no other."
Steeple records fall as 64 athletes meet Olympic Trials standard at HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance ClassicWritten by Christine
Meet Wrap-Up by Fred Baer
American River College and College of the Sequoias won respective men’s and women’s titles at the Northern California Track & Field Championships Saturday (May 14), which determined finalists for the 2016 California Community College Athletic Association Championships at San Diego Mesa College, May 20-21.
American River won the men’s championship with 180 1/2 points, ahead of College of the Sequoias (103), Modesto JC (100), Hartnell (53 1/2), and Santa Rosa JC (44 1/2).
MEN’S TRACK HIGHLIGHTS:
Although College of the Sequoias came into the meet as the USA community college leader in the 4 x 100 meter relay, Modesto JC won in 40.72 seconds, with Diablo Valley second (41.21) and COS third (41.41).
Isiah Johnson of Sequoias was an upset winner in the 400 meters in 47.83 as his state leading teammate Ohdel James ran with a taped quad and managed just fifth in 48.57. James has run 46.56 (No. 2 nationally) and Johnson is No. 7 at 46.97 this year. Johnson ran a 47.1 anchor on the COS winning 4 x 400 meter relay (3:12.88)
The distance races had close finishes. Conor Wells of American River won the 1,500 meters in 3:55.02 by a hair over Tyler Daugherty (3:55.11) of Merritt. In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Joseph Esparza of Redwoods ran 9:44.29 to edge Donald Plazola (9:44.41) of American River. ARC’s Abdul Hamid took the 5,000 meters in 15:11.24, ahead of Jason Intravala (15:16.17) of Chabot. Hamid is the state season leader in both the 5K (14:31.13) and 10K (30:48.11) -- and won the NorCal title at the longer distance the previous weekend.
In the 110 meter hurdles, James Traylor of CCSF won a duel with Leroy Elliott of Chabot over the last two hurdles, improving his state No. 3 ranking time to 14.39, while No. 4 ranked Elliott also improved to 14.51.
Donovan Wallace of Modesto JC doubled in the 100 meters (10.34) and 200 meters (20.63), beating Holland Cabara of Sequoias in both races. Wallace ranks second in the state in both sprints, 10.27 in the 100 and now 20.63 in the 200.
In the 800 meters, Gerardo Castro of CCSF, ranked No. 2 nationally at 1:50.19, led all the way to win in 1:51.95. Chabot’s Conner Mckinnon ran 1:52.60 to just nip American River’s Steven Hill (1:52.69) for second.
Treshon Woods of American River improved his best in the 400 meter hurdles by more than two seconds to win in a state season best 52.11 over early race leader Chris Green of Sequoias (52.94), who hit the ninth hurdle and settled for second place.
MEN’S FIELD EVENTS:
College of San Mateo’s Alvin Sung was a big winner with a javelin throw of 194 feet, ahead of Haile Filmon (179-7) of San Jose. Sung took over the state lead among active athletes headed to the state finals.
Daniel Roberts of Modesto won both the discus throw, 179-0, and the hammer throw, 208-3. He leads the state in both events this season with respective marks of 183-7 and 209-3. Ryan Donnahoe of Yuba won the shot put at 52-10 3/4 – where he is the state season leader at 58-2 1/2.
The long jump had the closest field contest. American River teammates Austin Collier and James Dudley both reached 23-11 1/2 but Collier getting the win with the better second effort. Bryce Huggins of Sequoias was a half inch back in third place. Tristan Meye of De Anza took the triple jump at 48-0 3/4, ahead of Modesto’s Donovan Wallace (47-11 3/4).
The two remaining field events had dominant victors -- Domunique Stewart of Shasta in the high jump at 6-10 1/4 (No. 2 in the state this year) and Michael Fancey of San Joaquin Delta in the pole vault at 15-5 3/4. Fancey ranks second in California with his season best 15-9 3/4.
Sequoias won the team championship with 131 points, followed by Fresno (89), American River (84), Modesto (78), and De Anza (63).
WOMEN’S TRACK HIGHLIGHTS:
Strangenae Campbell of Diablo Valley upset USA community college 100 meter leader Moesha Davidson of Fresno by .01 in 11.60 seconds. Davidson has run 11.36 this year and Campbell ranks second at 11.42. In the 200, Campbell led all the way to win in 23.69, best in California this year and No. 4 nationally.
Meleni Rodney of Sequoias, national leader in the 400 meters at 53.89, won that event easily in 55.49 ahead of Mariama Hilburn (57.38) of Laney and also anchored the COS 4 x 400 meter relay that won in 3:57.90. Diablo Valley, anchored by Campbell, was second in 3:58.39.
The top three finishers in the 1,500 meters beat the previous state season best of 4:38.85. Malena Grover of Hartnell won the sprint to the finish in 4:35.47, ahead of Santa Rosa’s Erica Ruiz (4:36.25) and former state leader Micayla Rennick of American River (4:37.47).
Cicelya Beard of San Joaquin Delta took the 800 meters in 2:17.17, just edging Rennick (2:17.95). Rennick ranks No. 2 in the state this year at 2:14.69 and Beard is No. 5 at 2:16.46.
Jenica Dodge of American River added the 5,000 meters title (17:35.57) to the 10K crown she had won the previous week. Grover was second in 17:46.32. Dodge and Grover rank 1-2 in the state and 2-3 nationally in both long races.
Michele Perez-Lopez of De Anza took the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 11:41.07. She is the state leader at 11:25.22 and ranks No. 3 nationally.
Deshaunda Morrison of Sequoias won the 100 meter hurdles in 13.53, just .01 off her former national leading mark of 13.52 (which was bettered last week in 13.43 by Danielle Riggins of Iowa Central CC). Morrison improved her state leading time in the 400 hurdles to win in 62.75 over Santa Rosa’s Stephanie Fernandez (63.84).
Sequoias won both the 4 x 100 relay (45.75) and 4 x 400 relay (3:57.90). The 4 x 100 time improves the Giants state lead and ranks No. 4 nationally.
--Morrison ran the third leg on the 4 x 100 relay and also placed second in the long jump (18-7 3/4).
WOMEN’S FIELD EVENTS:
Moesha Davidson of Fresno was a double winner in the long jump (19-2 1/2) and triple jump (38-8 1/4).
Melody Harris of Fresno improved her own state leading and No. 2 national mark in the javelin throw to 154 feet, 3 inches to beat Santa Rosa’s Julia Grimm (137-7), who moved up to No. 4 in the U.S. rankings.
Brandy Williams of Diablo Valley took the shot put at 45-11 1/4, improving upon her state No. 2 ranking. Anya Tonga of De Anza won the discus throw at 142-4 and ranks second in the state with her season best of 148-9.
In the high jump, Julia Grimm of Santa Rosa got the win over Petrice Beattie of Diablo Valley, clearing 5-3 1/4 on her first attempt, while Beattie needed a second try.
The pole vault was even closer, with three clearing 10-9 1/2 -- but Alexandria Clausen of Fresno getting the win on a second attempt clearance. The other two needed a third try. Amber Flores of Modesto placed second and Alexis Babbes of American River third (based upon a further countback).
Imani Bierly of Yuba took the hammer throw at 159-3.
Winners of the Northern California track and field athletes of the year in voting by coaches:
Women’s Track Athlete: Strangenae Campbell, Diablo Valley College
Women’s Field Athlete: Moesha Davidson, Fresno CC
Men’s Track Athlete: Donovan Wallace, Modesto JC
Men’s Field Athlete: Daniel Roberts, Modesto JC
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