Does this describe you?: “I love the sport but it’s too damn hard to follow.” Maybe this brief regular column by AthleteBiz Board Member, Steve Fillebrown is your answer.
Well that was a tactical mistake, taking a week off. Two crowded weekends have left us with a pile of results to work through. We’ll try to keep this shorter than War and Peace.
AthleteBiz athletes went far and wide to find places to test their fitness. We have domestic track meets, international track meets, road races and trail running from places like Eugene, Los Angeles, Kingston, Kawasaki, Doha, Shanghai, Grand Rapids, Newport (NJ), St. Paul and Helena.
From the AB perspective, the international meet in Kingston, Jamaica was the most crowded so we’ll start there. Winners included Brad Walker (18-4.5), Jasmin Stowers (12.39 – another PR!), Kori Carter (55.12 in the 400H), Bridget Franek (9:46.34 steeple) and Sanya Richards-Ross (a blazing 49.95). AB had its share of runner’s up runners’s up second place finishes too; these included Jeff Porter (13.36) Jack Whitt (18-0.5), Sarah Pease (9:55.19 steeple), Tori Bowie (22.29 – when was the last time she lost a race?) and Molly Beckwith-Ludlow (2:01.09 – continuing her breakout season).
Proving that a high quality steeplechase is a work of fine art, see pic below for Bridget and Sarah’s prizes for their 1-2 finish (pictured below on the right and center, respectively).
A little less AB action to report from the Oxy Invitational on the campus of Occidental College in the Eagle Rock section of LA. There was a trio of winners, including Toni Smith (43-4.50 in the TJ), Britney Henry (226-04 in the HT) and Tia Brooks (61-02.25 in the SP). Turquoise Thompson took 3rd in the 400H with a 56.65.
FUELING A GREAT SPEAR-RIVALRY
Heading west from LA across the Pacific to Kawasaki, Japan, we find another international meet with ABer’s in attendance and doing well thank you. Brittany Borman threw a personal best 212-5 to take second in the javelin, fueling hopes that one of our favorite rivalries (with Kara Winger) will yield some good results this season. A pair of silvers came from Brittany Smith, tossing 61-3/4 in the shot and Queen Harrison, running 12.75 in the 100H. Gwen Berry also did well, throwing the hammer 232-5 for 4th.
TRYING OUT EVERY TYPE OF RACE
Sara Hall excels at an extraordinarily wide range of events, from cross country, track, and roads from one mile to the marathon. On Saturday she added a new twist by finishing second in the USATF 25K Championships in Grand Rapids despite needing to stop to tie her shoe. ABer Matt Llano hung with the lead pack for about 8 miles then fell off. He battled his way in to take 7th. Joseph Gray also ran strong, placing 11th in 1:19.29.
We promised trail running coverage and are now proud to deliver. ABer Maria Dalzot took first (and 12th overall) in the Don’t Fence Me In 30k trail run in Helena, Montana, two weekends ago. You can read details of her race here. She was a bit disappointed with the time being slower than last year but it sounds like, given the course changes, this was likely a better performance.
HOME VISITING MOM FOR MOTHERS DAY?
Can’t forget to mention Kimber Mattox won the steeple at the Oregon Twilight with a time of 10:07.62. And that was just the first weekend…
BEFORE THE DELUGE (with apologies to Jackson Browne)
Next up was the mid-week HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic in LA. Storms wiped out the 5k’s and two sections of the 1500 but there was plenty of good stuff before the skies opened up. Three AB women looked very fit in the 1500 with Katie Mackey winning at 4:07.51, Gabe Grunewald 2nd in 4:07.67 and Sarah Brown taking 3rd with a 4:09.00 (1st in Heat 2); Rachel Schneider was 2nd in Heat 3 (17th overall) with a 4:13.81. On the men’s side, Kyle Merber was 3rd in 3:40.34 and Riley Masters 6th in 3:40.34. More great steepling as Ashley Higginson got a WC qualifier with her 9:41.27 (2nd) while Sarah Pease took 6th in 9:52.11. Gutsy front running paid off for Maggie Vessey as she won Heat 2 in 2:00.70 which was good enough for first overall; consistent Chanelle Price got 6th overall with a 2:01.98.
ROAD MILE + MINNESOTA LOCATION = KAMPF WIN
Is there a surer thing in Track & Field? Queen-of-the-road mile Heather Kampf clocked 4:45.4 to win the USATF mile championship in St. Paul. AB’ers swept as Garrett Heath won the men’s race in 4:08.3, with Jeff See’s 4:09.4 good for second. Jon Peterson was 7th.
ACROSS THE PONDS
Meets in Doha and Shanghai got the IAAF Diamond League season underway. And AB athletes are on the board. In Qatar, Jasmin Stowers (remember her from the first paragraph?) got yet another PR, winning in 12:35. Daily Relay put it best:
She beat a field that will probably be better than one she will face at the World Championships.
The win is worth 4 points in the Diamond League title chase. Queen Harrison ran a competitive 12.72 for 5th. Sanya Richards-Ross continued her rivalry with Francena McCrory; this time it was Francena’s turn, but SRR’s 50.29 was good for second and 2 points in the DL standings. In Shanghai, Tori Bowie picked up a 2 points with a second in the 100 (11:07), and Tia Brooks (61-2-3/4) and Cassandra Tate (55.68) each got a point for their third place finishes. Though she didn’t earn any points, Molly Beckwith-Ludlow ran well, taking 4th with a 2:01.31.
Jarryd Wallace opened his season last week with a fast 11.15 in Kawasaki, Japan, but apparently he was just getting warmed up. In Tempe, Arizona he blitzed a sub 11 (10.92).
ARE WE THERE YET?
Almost. Sarah Cummings was one of 26,482 entrants in the AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon. She finished ahead of most of them and all but one woman; her 1:15: 33 was good for 2nd behind Megan Hall.
Now we’re afraid to take a week off, even though the schedule is a little lighter. No Diamond League action until the Pre Classic but we’ll play it by ear.