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Track & Field (183)

Friday, 18 March 2016 00:39

2016 World Indoors: Quick Previews

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Short Previews of Portland
Here are our favorite quick previews from Alfons Juck and EME News, our long time partner and a keen observer of the sport.


Event by Event 


60 m: Experienced generation Powell, Collins, Rodgers against young ones Bromell, Bracy.


400 m: Maslak defending against US duo, Caribbeans, but the dark horse is young Haroun.


800 m: Berian on home soil, what is the shape of Aman? Be ready for surprise.


1500 m: Iguider, Centrowitz, Souleiman - all three in great shape. What will be the tactics.


3000 m: This is open, the usual fight Ethiopia vs Kenya will be added by home duo Hill-Chelimo, and what about Iguider and his double?


60m Hurdles: French connection says the movie, Martinot-Lagarde, Bascou. McLeod is the man to watch.


High Jump: Barshim has the credentials and potential, but Tamberi is also unbeaten in 2016 and hugely improving.


Pole Vault: Lavillenie in shape is tough to beat. But do not forget Barber is the World Champion. Meet record 601 is possible.


Long Jump: Who can beat Dendy? Other medals very open.


Triple Jump: Big guns injured, time for China gold (so far only one male by Liu Xiang at World Indoors) ?


Shot Put: Nedow won the Tour, Stanek beat him in last meet, Haratyk was early excellent and Roberts won US title.


Heptathlon: Eaton is unbeatable in normal situation. The rest on the podium could be anybody.


4x400 m: No doubt about the winners, Belgium will be ready for silver and possibly attacking their own European record?


60 m: Pierre is a fast starter, but Schippers can catch her. Will we see sub seven?


400 m: Despite not beeing the fastest this year McPherson should be the pick. US duo not that experienced, Adekoya is ready.


800 m: Another open one. Who has top indoor experience? Possibly US duo will use home advantage.


1500 m: Fast or slow. Seyaum vs Hassan.


3000 m: It should be Dibaba, then little space, then Defar, then lot of space, then rest. Anyway, we count with meet record.


60mH: If not full US podium, then surprise. Only Tiffany can spoil the party.


High Jump: 19 years between Beitia and Cunningham, but the bet goes to Licwinko. Finally two meters?


Pole Vault: Real World record chance for Suhr, how many medals for Greeks? Meet record should be for sure (so far 486)


Long Jump: Is Stratton ready to cope withe favorite role? Reese, Spanovic far more experienced. Not to forget British duo and German newcomer Wester.


Triple Jump: First ever gold (also medal) for Venezuela? Surprise from Papahristou?


Shot Put: All points to Carter win. Valerie never gives up.


Pentathlon: This will be interesting. Brianne is ready, but Ukrainians have big scores, Williams fresh enough from last weekend? Surprise from Lake.


4x400 m: Can USA come close to World Indoor record?

Thursday, 17 March 2016 22:41

US Athletes at the World Indoors: Who's Medal-Ready?

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By Dave Hunter
(Portland, Ore., March 13, 2016) In the afterglow of the 2016 Indoor Track & Field Championships which saw many experienced veterans perform well, several promising young athletes come of age, and a goodly number of world-leading marks produced, what can Team USA realistically anticipate when Portland hosts next weekend's IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships?
Encouraging USATF performances combined with USA's "home track advantage" should give the Red, White & Blue an extra edge. Nobody's crystal ball is perfect, but here is how I read the tea leaves:
60 METERS. The Men: The dashes - especially the shortest one - are always tough to call where the margin of error is so thin. The 60m is Marvin Bracy's specialty. And Trayvon Bromell's Beijing medal performance has proved he can shine on the big stages. Mike Rodgers knows what it takes to capture an indoor global sprint medal. Look for a medal here. The Women: The depth here makes prognostication here most difficult. Pierre's and Bowie's experience is a needed plus against top flight foreign competition [Schippers, et. al.] Pierre's #2 WL mark suggests a strong medal possibility.
400 METERS. The Men: Vernon Norwood looked poised and strong last weekend winning the 400m in 45.80 - showing he can win even if he doesn't get the all-important pole on the break. If he runs like that next weekend, he's on the podium. The Women: Untested Quanera Hayes is the world leader [51.09], but the USA's reigning 400m world champion elected to pass on this global championship. Can the inexperienced Hayes step up?
800 METERS. The Men: Boris Berian has 1:43 wheels, but his front-running style seldom prevails in high-quality global competitions. And he's had past challenges in the past producing in pressure packed situations. More experiended global athletes may just be too tough. The Women: The normally soft-spoken Ajeé Wilson has proclaimed her desire to perform well in these championships. She's the 800m world-leader competing on her national turf. What better stage to claim her first senior global medal?
1500 METERS. The Men: Both Matthew Centrowitz and Robby Andrews have the electrifying finishes that could place either of them on the medal stand. And Centro has the global medals to prove he can get the job done. But against such a deep foreign field, the missing ingredient is a brilliant race strategy. If the coaching brain trust can map out a plan for success, one of these two just might be able to crack the East African juggernaut. The Women: Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Simpson - the two best American milers who have both won global medals - bypassed this event. And while Brenda Martinez has an 800m bronze from the '13 World Outdoor Championships, her lack of 1500m racing experience places her at a real disadvantage against the daunting foreign competition in this event.
3000 METERS. The Men: Ryan Hill - a 5000m finalist in the last two outdoor world championships - has the seasoning for this indoor championship. Possessor of a potent finishing kick, he also has an Infeld-like courage to stick his nose in there, to get in the mix. Again, the field is loaded and rounds are involved, but stranger things have happened. If the final gets tactical - as it often does - this 3-time national champion has a shot. The Women: Shannon Rowbury is at the top of her game. But a fast-paced final snuffs her chances. Yet even in a tactical final in the 8:50 range, could she match the blazing finish of her foreign competitors?
60M HURDLES. The Men: After several of America's top hurdles bypassed the USATF competition, Jarret Eaton stepped up to capture the national title. It is difficult to see either Eaton or Spencer Adams challenging the likes of Omar McLeod and Pascal Martinot Lagarde. The Women: It's a different story here. Buoyed by a new coiffure - practically a must for U.S. women hurdlers - a restored technique, and renewed confidence, American Record holder Brianna Rollins claimed the national crown with a world-leading clocking of 7.76. Kendra Harrison was just a tick behind in 7.77. Nia Ali had earlier made the USA team in this event as a wild card entrant. With these U.S. athletes possessing the #1, #2, and #4 world-leading times and no other non-American in the world list's top 10, might a sweep be possible here?
LONG JUMP. The Men: After Beijing, Marquis Dendy has some unfinished business to handle on the world stage. With his world-leading mark of 8.41m/27'7¼" and the recent withdrawal of Great Britain's Greg Rutherford, he should be poised to take care of business and win that medal. The Women: Brittney Reese has the #3 jump on the world leader board at 6.89m /22'7¼". With brimming confidence, familiarity with the facility, and a supportive home crowd, look for yet another global medal for Reese here.
TRIPLE JUMP. The Men: Chris Carter [#2WL] should compete for a medal, while Omar Craddock [#7WL] could surprise with a good performance. The Women: The U.S. women are outmatched here, but should gain valuable experience competing against athletes who have mastered this difficult event.
HIGH JUMP. The Men: Erik Kynard looked good last weekend - winning the HJ title and walking away with plenty of jump left in his legs. The reigning Olympic silver medalist will need that extra spring this weekend. Tied for 11th on the world list, Kynard will need a big break through to compete with the likes of Qatar's Barshim and Italy's Tamberi and Fassinotti. The Women: Are there any chapters left in Vasthi Cunningham's storybook season? The teenager is the world leader [1.99m/6'6¼"] and will certainly have roaring crowd support as she takes on the world's best. A medal of any color for the high schooler would be a sports story of global proportions.
SHOT PUT. The Men: Kurt Roberts will be the favorite here. But he must throw better than he did last weekend when he won his first national title. Wily veteran Reese Hoffa can never be counted out. The Women: U.S. veterans Michelle Carter [WL#1] and comebacking Jill Camerena-Williams carry the U.S. hopes. The favored Carter should be on the podium. Camerena-Williams could join her if she has a good day at the office.
THE MULTIS. The Men: If healthy, Ashton Eaton should be the prohibitive favorite. His uneven performance in selected events last weekend - including his awkward blast from the blocks in the 60m - has some concerned. Curtis Beach - now back after resolving lingering elbow issues - should perform well indoors where the javelin and the discus are off the agenda. A medal for the likeable Beach would be a terrific feel-good story. The Women: Barbara Nwaba and Kendell Williams are both talented athletes who could be in the hunt if they can string together 5 consecutive top performances.
POLE VAULT. The long-awaited St. Patrick's Day Showdown should be a colossal opener for the World Championships. The Men: Could this competition be better? A marquee battle involving, among others, WL#1 Renaud Lavillenie, the reigning Olympic champion; WL#2 Shawn Barber, the reigning world champion; WL#4 Sam Kendricks, who PR'd at 5.90m/19'4¼" to win the USATF title here last week. This field is so tough, Kendricks may have to PR yet again to get on the podium. The Women: Sandi Morris, the #3 all-time indoor vault performer, and Jenn Suhr, the indoor vault world record holder, give the U.S. a formidable 1-2 punch in this competitive event. But top flight foreign competition abounds. Managing the jump count and producing first attempt clearances will be key if the Americans are to be successful in winning a medal.
By Mark Winitz
March 11, 2016 - Californians turned in solid performances on the first day of competition at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships at a newly refurbished Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Berths on the U.S. team heading into next weekend's IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships--in the very same facility--are on the line. The top athletes in each event qualify for a slot on the U.S. team for Worlds provided that they meet the IAAF's qualifying standards for the competition.
In an important Olympic year, a number of top Americans have elected to compete indoors to hone their skills for outdoors while others focus entirely on the upcoming U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials and a ticket to Rio for the Olympic Games.
Native San Franciscan Shannon Rowbury has chosen the indoors route and has demonstrated that a memorable year is in the making. The two-time Olympic Games finalist at 1,500m who now trains in Oregon under coach Alberto Salazar defended her title at the Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile last month before grabbing the 3,000m win in Portland. Rowbury ran conservatively, in 6th place through 2,000m behind leaders Emily Infeld, eventual second placer Abbey D'Agostino, and others. With 400 meters to go, Rowbury shot to the lead and proceeded to a convincing 8:55.65 win. She has the qualifying standard for World Indoors so we'll be seeing her next weekend.
"It was quicker early on than I expected," Rowbury said. "The plan was to get a good, hard close. With 400 to go I decided enough waiting. By the last 100 meters I felt really great. I'm excited about my fitness. "Now that I've made the team I'll let Coach (Salazar) decide if I compete in the 1,500 tomorrow."
Other athletes with California ties: Garrett Heath, a 9-time NCAA All-American while at Stanford University, placed 5th in the men's 3,000m final in 7:41.26, three seconds behind winner Ryan Hill.
In the men's 35-pound weight throw, Colin Dunbar (age 27, Long Beach, Calif.) heaved a huge 5th round throw of 23.96 meters/78 feet-7/12 inches, a 3-foot personal best, to win the competition. Wearing a black T-shirt with a slogan "Crush Your Goals," the former All-American for Long Beach State topped three-time Olympic hammer thrower A.G. Kruger who finished in second at 23.24m/76-3. Dunbar's ultimate goal is to represent the U.S. in the hammer throw at this year's Olympic Games.
Prior to his win in Portland, Dunbar's best performances were a third place finish at the 2013 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships in the weight throw and a sixth place finish at the 2013 U.S. Outdoor T&F Championships in the hammer throw. A broken foot in 2014 put him on the sidelines that year. Most recently, Dunbar won a silver medal as a member of Team USA at the 2015 NACAC Senior Area Championships in Costa Rica. He qualified for that competition with a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.
The 35-pound weight throw is not recognized by the IAAF as an official event, so it is not conducted at the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships. It is the winter indoor equivalent of the hammer throw, which can't be held indoors because of space restrictions.
Long jumper Jeffrey Henderson, the 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist, grabbed second place in the men's long jump final with a leap of 8.05/26-5 behind winner Marquis Dendy (8.41m/26-7.25).
In the men's pole vault final, Adam Bragg (Lake Forest, Calif.) tied for third with three others in 5.50m/18-5. Bragg, 22, who set an Ivy League record (5.42m/17-9.25) for Princeton last year, has a promising future.
In the women's triple jump final, April Sinkler (Chula Vista, Calif.) grabbed 5th and top Californian in 13.36m/43-10 behind winner Christina Epps, 14.05m/46-1.25.
In the first round of the 60m dash competitions, four Californians advanced to the semi-finals: Men’s 60m: Jeffrey Henderson (Chula Vista) 6.58, Carlin Isles (Chula Vista) 6.68. Women's 60m: Jenna Prandini (Clovis, CA), 2ndplace, 7.24, Women's Heat 3: Lekeisha Lawson (West Covina, CA), 2nd place, 7.30.
In the prelims of the women’s 400m, Kendall Baisden (Coronado, Calif.) recorded a fifth-fasted time of 53.20 to advance. Olympic and World Champion Natasha Hastings had the fastest time of the day (51.79) and will be the favored contender in the final.
Other Californians who advanced to their finals: Men’s 800m: Boris Berian (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), 1:48.96.
By Mark Winitz
March 12, 2016 - Athletes who hail from the Golden State turned in five gold medal performances on the second and final day of the 2016 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. For top athletes competing in the event, slots on the U.S. team headed into the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships beginning on Friday in the same facility were on the line.
Boris Berian (age 23, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) captured his first U.S. championship title by winning the men’s 800-meter title in 1:47:19. Berian commanded the race, going into the lead early on the first lap. In late 2014, Berian quit his job at McDonald's in Colorado Springs and moved to California to join the Big Bear Track Club. Renowned coach, Joe Vigil, saw him as a tremendous talent. Berian proved that talent outdoors last season when he recorded a 1:43.34 in Monaco, the fourth fastest time in the world in 2015.
Shannon Rowbury scratched from the women's 1,500m final following her 3,000m win the day before giving Brenda Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga. Calif.) a clear shot at the title. The 2013 World Outdoor 800m bronze medalist started the race conservatively, well back in the bunched pack of 11 competitors. With four laps to go she was in 4th place, moved to the lead on the last lap, and pulled away for the win in 4:08.37. Martinez, who co-founded the Big Bear TC with her husband, ran indoor PRs of 4:32.05 in the mile and 2:00.14 for 800m within the last month.
In the women's 60m hurdles final, Brianna Rollins (Canoga Park, Calif.) claimed a photo finish victory in 7.84. In the process, the American record holder at 100m hurdles outdoors scored the fastest 60m hurdles time of the 2016 indoor season.
In the women's long jump final, 2012 Olympic gold medalist and American record holder Brittney Reese (who trains at the USOC Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Calif.) recorded a huge 6.89m/22-7.25 opening jump. It held up for a comfortable victory in front of 2nd placer Janay DeLoach (6.64m (21-9-1/2).
Just three weeks after winning the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials 50K race walk in Santee, Calif., John Nunn (Bonsall, Calif.), went to an immediate lead in the men's 3,000m Race Walk in Portland and proceeded to extend it to victory. His winning time was 11:37.09. Emmanuel Corvera (San Diego, Calif.) placed 4th in 12:09.75.
Katie Burnett (El Cajon, Calif.) and Robyn Stevens (Mountain View, Calif.) finished 4th and 5th respectively in the women's 3,000m racewalk with respective times of 13:27.94 and 13:43.64.
Among 12 starters in the women's high jump, Elizabeth Patterson (Santa Cruz, Calif.) also qualified for a spot on the U.S. World Indoor team by placing second with a personal record jump of 1.93m/6-4 behind winner Vasthi Cunningham's 1.99m/6-6-1/4. Patterson placed second in the high jump at last year's U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships and was the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships titlist at the University of Arizona.
Chris Benard (Chula Vista, Calif.), a former All-American for Arizona State, grabbed 3rd place in the men's triple jump with a best jump of 16.93m/55-6-1/2.
Additional top performances by Californians:
Men’s 60m hurdles final: Ronald Brookins II (Spring Valley, Calif.), 4th, 7.78
Women’s 60m final: Jenna Prandini (Clovis, Calif.), 4th, 7.18
One week from now more than 600 of the world’s best track and field athletes from more than 150 countries will compete at the IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland. It promises to be an incredible sporting spectacle.
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 20:52

Team USA at Portland 2016 - By the Numbers

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PORTLAND, Oregon -- With just two days until the start of the IAAF World Indoor Championships - Portland 2016, let’s take a look at Team USA “By the Numbers” heading into this weekend.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 20:50

58 athletes to represent Team USA at Portland 2016

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PORTLAND, Oregon – Eight World Indoor Championships medalists, including two-time defending heptathlon champion Ashton Eaton (Bend, Oregon), highlight Team USA’s roster for the IAAF World Indoor Championships – Portland 2016. In total, 58 athletes will represent the red, white and blue at the Oregon Convention Center, March 17-20.

Monday, 14 March 2016 19:29

Image Gallery: 2016 USA Indoors

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Image Gallery: 2016 USA Indoors

The view from the media box, 12 March 2016, photo by Larry Eder - To say that this was one of the finest US Indoor Champs is not exaggerating. To say that, even with the rumors of many of our stop stars not competing, I had some concerns, would also be an honest statement. But the amazing women's field events, the gutty 1,500 meters, and the fast 3000 meters, as well as the men's pole vault, made me forget about my misgivings.

Boris Berian and Shannon Rowbury were two of the many athletes who call the Golden State their home. In light of our publication, California Track & Running News, we asked Mark Winitz, our long time contributor to many of our media, to write a daily update on the USA Indoor Champs.

 The IAAF London 2017 entry standards for road events, combined events and the 10,000m are also confirmed

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