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LOS ANGELES (5/20/16, USATF)-- Meet records in the 3,000-meter steeplechase fell Friday night as 64 athletes met the Olympic Trials standard in middle distance events ranging from 800 to 5,000 meters at the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic. All races are available for free, on-demand viewing on USATF.TV.  The weather was perfect for top times across the board, along with a packed Jack Kemp Stadium at Occidental College, as American record holder Evan Jager highlighted the night’s top performances.

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.

 

MEN’S RECAP:

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.

 

WOMEN’S RECAP:

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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Partnership Offers Runners the Chance to Win Once in a Lifetime Trip
 
LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2016) – The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon and Venice Marathon today announced a strategic partnership designed to highlight the world-class events on an international scale. The partnership features a unique promotional contest inviting runners to enter to win a package that includes complimentary airfare, lodging and race entries.
 
“We’re fortunate to partner with such a reputable international marathon in one of the most beautiful locales in the world,” stated Conqur Endurance Group Chief Executive Tracey Russell. “This is a unique opportunity to further our global reach, exposing even more international runners to our great city and our iconic, must-run marathon.”
 
“It is with great pleasure and pride that we have created this important partnership with the organizers of the Los Angeles Marathon,” stated the President of the Venice Marathon Club, Piero Rosa Salva. “This partnership combines an old European city to a modern American metropolis, both unique in the world for their fame and beauty, and committed to promoting the common passion for the marathon.”
 
Beginning today, runners can visit the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon Facebook page to enter to win one of two (2) exceptional Venice Marathon experiences*, which include the following:
 
• Two (2) round-trip economy flights to Venice
• Two (2) Venice Marathon race entries
• Four (4) nights hotel stay in Venice, Italy
 
The Venice Marathon Club will offer a similar promotional contest to their database, highlighting the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon as a must-run, international destination marathon.
 
Both the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon and the Venice Marathon boast international fields that draw from over 60 countries worldwide. The 2016 Venice Marathon will be the 31st running of the event and is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016. The 2017 Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon will be the 32nd edition of the event, taking place on March 19, 2017.
 
To learn more about the partnership and to enter the contest, please visit www.lamarathon.com.
 
Conqur Endurance Group, a subsidiary of McCourt Global, is a global endurance brand that channels the vibrancy of Los Angeles into experiences for individuals and communities to exceed extraordinary limits. Our employees are professionals with extensive experience in designing, marketing and executing first-class endurance events and experiences. The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is among the largest marathons in the country with more than 25,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The “Stadium to the Sea” course, starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing near the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the most scenic in the world, taking runners on a tour of Los Angeles past every major landmark. In addition to the marquee event, Conqur Endurance Group produces the Santa Monica Classic 5K/10K, the LA BIG 5K and recently added the Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K at the Rose Bowl, with the inaugural event slated for January 22, 2017. 
 
*Terms and Conditions Apply: Open only to U.S. resident, must be 18 years or older. Venice Marathon race entries valid for 2016 event only. Hotel accommodations are subject to availability and limited to four nights between the dates of October 19, 2016 to October 23, 2016. Airfare valid only on Air France operated flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Venice (VCE) for departure beginning June 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017. Flights may be booked within 6 months before departure for Economy class. Both tickets must be used on the same flights and dates. Booking restrictions apply and due to capacity controlled seating, flexibility of travel dates may be necessary, Flights may not be applied towards accruals for any frequent flyer or similar-type program. Taxes for airport and ground authority paid for by the winner. The Air France cabins are available on select 777 flights from Los Angeles to Paris. Additional restrictions may apply. Void where prohibited by law.
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INDIANAPOLIS (5-10-16) -- An all-star team of broadcasters will bring the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic webcast to life, live on USATF.TV on Friday, May 20.

 

Veteran broadcaster Paul Swangard joins forces with distance legends Alan Webb, Carrie Tollefson and Chris Solinsky for the meet webcast, which will be webcast free as a trial for USATF.TV’s new +PLUS webcasting platform.

 

Live streaming of the meet begins at 6:10 p.m. PT. The women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase will kick off action from Occidental College and races will continue through 9 p.m. PT.

 

Swangard has years of experience in webcast, television broadcasting and in-stadium announcing, while Tollefson, a 2004 Olympian at 1,500m, has worked frequently with Swangard calling distance races for USATF.TV broadcasts and webcasts.

 

Webb and Solinsky will make their USATF.TV webcasting debuts. The subject of the most-watched documentary ever on USATF.TV, Webb is the American record holder in the mile, a 2004 Olympian, and famously became the first high schooler since Jim Ryun to break 4:00 in the mile. Solinsky was a five-time NCAA champion and the first American man to break 28:00 in the 10,000 meters. A wildly popular runner, Solinsky recently announced his retirement from competitive track and field.

 

Quality Fields

The talent in the booth will be matched by the talent on the track. The 2016 HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic already has marquee athletes entered, including two-time Olympian, World Championships bronze medalist and American record holder Shannon Rowbury; Olympic silver medalist, 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon champion and American record holder Galen Rupp; Olympians Evan Jager, Lopez Lomong, Leo Manzano, Emma Coburn, Morgan Uceny and Geena Gall; relay world record holder Kyle Merber and relay American record holders Robby Andrews, Casimir Loxsom and David Torrence.

 

The HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic annually brings together hundreds of the country’s top middle and long-distance runners, as well as international contenders, early in the competitive season, providing a domestic opportunity to post World Championship and Olympic-qualifying times. Held each May, the meet provides competitive opportunities for elite athletes at distances from 800 through 5,000 meters.

 

The HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic is the third outdoor meet of the 2016 USATF Championship Series, USATF’s premier series of international-caliber meets in the United States.

 

Held at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College in Los Angeles, general admission tickets are available at the gate for $10, beginning at 5 p.m. on May 20. Students and USATF members can purchase tickets for $5.

 

On the +PLUS side

The webcast of the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic will be free to the public, and will display the type of broadcast-quality content available on USATF’s new +PLUS subscription platform. With USATF’s expanded partnership with RunnerSpace, subscribers immediately gain access to 70+ live events and 2000+ on-demand event archives and original series produced by RunnerSpace through existing partnerships including AthleticsCanada.tv, ArmoryTrack.com, DyeStat.com and many others. Current RunnerSpace +PLUS subscribers automatically have access to USATF.TV +PLUS at no additional cost or account changes.

 

Subscriptions for +PLUS start at $8.33 per month. For a limited time, current USATF Members can receive an exclusive 10% off discounts on subscription plans on the +PLUS platform by using code “USATFPLUS16” while signing up HERE.

 

For more information on the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic, including status of entries, visit http://www.usatf.org/Events-/Events-/-Calendar/2016/Hoka-One-One-Middle-Distance-Classic.aspx

The adidas BOOST Meeting was an idea whose time has come. That one of the true heritage brands of sports footwear, adidas, had a wonderful track, named Adi Dassler Stadium, and had not hosted a track meet, surely seemed like something was missing.
 
Well, the first athletics meeting is now through one day, and the Adi Dassler Stadium hosted a meet of fast races, both short ones and long ones, which enthralled and entertained the crowd of two thousand plus fans.
 
What was wonderful to me about the meet? That the crowd was both young and old, with the very young children enjoying the meet as much as the teenagers.
 
The 400 meters was the first events, and David Verburg and Tony McQuay gave the crowd something to enjoy. David Verburg is a 44.41 400 meter runner, and Tony McQuay has run 44.42. This evening saw David Verburg get out very well, his head twisting, and his arms pumping, and his effort bringing him home first, in 45.41, winning over Tony McQuay, who ran 46.11.
 
In the women's 400 meters, it was Jessica Beard who broke the tape, running 52.78 over Maureen Jelegat, who ran 54.20. Beard looked in charge the entire way, running down the final stretch to the applause of the crowd.
 
The weather then looked menacing, and one wondered, as the clouds became darker, how the meet would fare?
 
The 200 meters for men was next, as Alonso Edwards, the Panamanian star who has taken so many wins over the past few years, won the race in 20.72. Alonso came off the turn in the lead, and held, it, evan as he was challenged by German Alexander Gladnitz, who ran 20.79.
 
The 10,000 meter races were what captivated the fans so much. The mens race got off fast, hitting the 1k in 2:43.86, and just kept from there.
 
It was obvious that Emmanuel Kipsang, the Kenyan Army Champion, Tebalue Zawude, the African 10,000m champion, Lauil Gebreselasse, the African 10,000m silver medalist, Bahranian Hassan Chahdi, as well as Vincent Chepkok, who has a 26:51 underneath him.
 
As the five of these runners churned around the track, the race announcer called all the fans to join him in lane three on the track. And most of them did, providing the battling runners clapping an encouragement. When Kipsang, then leading, hit the 5000m mark, in 13:45.06, one knew that this could be a fast race.
 
The goal seemed to get the World leader, and the pace kept getting quicker and quicker. Right before 4000 meters, Mr. Chepkok fell off the back, who would go on to finish fourth in 27:54.99. Hassan Chahdi made it through 6000 meters, and then, fell back, holding on to fifth place in a new NR for Bahrain of 27:56.48.
 
And now, running faster than their first half, Luil Gebreselasse, Emmanuel Kipsang and Tebalue Zawude traded laps, pushing the pace, and trying to break each other.
 
8 kilometers was passed in 22:00, and Kipsang, Gebreselasse and Zawude were all there, not giving anyone a centimeter. The crowd was enjoying it and the rain was staying away, even though the clouds a bit away showed that the rain was inevitable.
 
The pace continued to get faster as we saw that we had a time under 27:30 and a chance for the new World Lead. The announcer, in German, kept the fans abreast of the race, and the clocks at both ends of the field showed anyone interested that the race was still anyone of the threes.
 
Each lap brought the three runners closer to their goal, and as the race came to the final lap, Kipsang charged to the front. The African Champs silver medalist, Leil Gebreselasse battled by, and pushed the back straight, finally gaining some room on Kipsang, with Zawude holding close, but not in contention.
 
The fans loved it as Leil Gebreselasse won in a personal best of 27:19.71! In second, also in a personal best, was Emmanuel KIpsang, who ran 27:22.99. In third, was Ethiopian Tawude Zawude, the African champion, who ran 27:25.10.
 
The women's 10,000 meters was also billed as a strong race. Meseret Defar had to pull out just before the race, as Dr. Muller, a reknowned athletic specialist, noted that she had an issue with a shin and pulled her from the race.
 
The field came down to Ganet Yanew, Netsanet Gudeta and 2011 World Junior Champ Goytetom Gebrselase.
 
The first kilometer had the presense of the Hahner sisters, Lisa and Anna, who ran with the leaders for the early bit and retired from the race. They were recovering from recent marathons and their presence was to reach out to the fans.
 
Into the second kilomter, Yanew, Gudeta and Gebrselase seperated themselves and started running 3:03 to 3:07 per kilometer. By 3 kilometers, it was clear that the runners were going for a fast time, as they hit 9:18, and were off! 12:21 for 4 kilometers and 15:26 for the halfway point showed that this was a 31 minute pace or faster.
 
It also showed that the fans, cheering on the track as they did in the men's 10,000 meters, might see a second world leader of the night. That this was happening, in the first track meet held at Adi Dassler Stadium surely put a smile faces of adidas Sports Marketings' Mike McManus and Spencer Nel.
 
Ganet Yanew and Netsanet Gudeta were keeping the kilometers rolling at 3:03 to 3:05, and it took a toll, as Goytetom Gebrselase fell off the back. Goytetom had 100 meters down on Yanew and Gudeta by seven kilometers.
 
The pace was impressive: 15:26 for 5000 meters, 19:33 for 6 kilometers, 21:37 for seven kilometers, and eight kilometers hit in 24:43. Yanew would lead, then, Gudeta would lead. Knowing a bit more about Ganet Yanew's racing, I was siding with Yanew, but Netsanet Gudeta had some more moves up her proverbial sleeves.
 
The 10,000 meters is the longest race on the track in most major meetings. Twenty five laps at close to one's best even pace is the way to run a good 10,000 meters. Running with a couple of well matched rivals is another key to making a fine 10,000 meters, and this race had them all wrapped into one race.
 
As Gudeta and Yanew came closer and closer to the finish, the fans were excited and knew that a possible World Leader was at hand. The World Leader at the time was 31:04 and the two Ethiopian rivals were runnng right under 30:40 pace.
 
With one lap to go, after 24 laps, the distance between Yanew and Gudeta was centimeters. They started the bell lap together and Yanew and Gudeta tried to break each other but it was just not happening. As the two rivals came off the final turn, Netsanet Gudeta made a final push, and broke Ganet Yanew, with Gudeta taking the fine win in a PB of 30:56.27 and Ganet Yanew was second in 30:58.26, also a PB.
 
And for the second time that evening, the adidas BOOST Meeting had a world leader!
 
As the women's 10,000 meters finished, the rain came down. And the fans cleared out, thankful that the rain had held and that they were witnesses to the first of many elite track meets held at the Adi Dassler Stadium.
 
Earlier in the day, a pole vault competition was held at the adidas Outlet Store in Herzogenaurach. A crowd of perhaps three hundred enjoyed the women's pole vault, barbeque and enjoying the sun, as it was held in the late afternoon. The runway and standards fit well in the parking lot. Again, young families showed up, as it was pure entertainement for the children. Regine Kramer, who I watched vault for a while, cleared 4.30 meters for the win.
 
A fine first day for a new meet, by any standards. The facility makes sense and the fans showed up. Looking foward to seeing day two, just hours away!