Track Shorts 2015: Lap 12

Quest for the Crest 10k, conquered by Joseph Gray

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.


While the marquee event was the Pre Classic in Eugene, there were plenty of other quality events this past week.


“It Felt Like a European Track Meet”

Tucked in the South Carolina Track Classic in Greenville was a program called the Furman Elite 1500, specifically tailored to produce some fast times.  Kyle Merber knew a good opportunity when he saw one and broke loose for a 3:34.54.  Besides dropping his PR by over a second, he got the World Champs and Olympic qualifiers, stating, “a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.”  Though neither got PRs, ABers Jeff See (3rd in 3:36.70) and Riley Masters (7th in 3:37.86) put up some quick times as well.  In the women’s race, with four under 4:09, ABer Heather Wilson was 6th with a strong 4:09.57.  Merber’s comments summed up the evening well:



“Old Man” Runner

Just keeps on runnin’…In his first race as a 40 year-old, Meb Keflezighi cruised to the US Masters National Championship in the half marathon with a time of 1:02:26.  Oh, and he was second overall, two seconds behind “rabbit” Jordan Chipangama (Meb actually didn’t realize Jordan was a rabbit).  Along the way, he broke American masters records for 10 miles and 15k.  Matt Llano was 4th overall with a fast 1:03:52.  On the women’s side Sara Hall was competitive again with a 3rd place 1:11.27 and Polina Carlson took 7th with a 1:16:20.



Also on the road, Sarah Cummings continues to find plenty to do in her own back yard.  This week it was the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k in NYC; her 35:14 was good for 6th.


Still More International Results

Sarah Pease stepped outside of her usual steeplechasing to win the 5k in a PR 16:10.36 at the Speed River Inferno Track Classic in Guelph, Ontario.  An ocean and more away, Jeremy Taiwo took 6th in the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.  Not only was it a PR for total score, Taiwo notched personal bests in the long jump (24-10) and discus (141-7); he has the 7th best score in the world this season.


Diamond League Points at Pre

Three ABers picked up Diamond League points in the Pre Classic in Eugene.  Tori Bowie closed fast to take third in 10.82, just .01 off of first, to pick up a point.  In the 800, Brenda Martinez made an early move at 500 meters; she couldn’t sustain it in the homestretch but her 1:59.06 was good for third and a point.  Afterwards she tweeted that “the rust is slowly coming off“; commentator Craig Masback called it a brave race.  Kara Winger took 2nd in the JT with a toss of  206-02, earning her two points; she was “happy but still wanting more.”



Sometimes the good stuff isn’t always what you see on the medal stand and the Pre Classic was full of those moments.  In the women’s 1500 Sarah Brown (4:03.20) and Katie Mackey (4:03.81) took 6th and 7th respectively; the big news was that both easily bested the Olympic standard of 4:06.  Likewise, Chanelle Price was just 6th in the 800 but her 2:00.19 gets her the Olympic qualifier.  On Friday night, in a second section of the 800, Maggie Vessey sent a message to the world’s best 800 runners, with an impressive win and OG qualifier in 2:00.07.  Continuing the party, Ryan Hill‘s 6th place in the 5k was cool but the time of 13:15.92 was even better, getting him the OG standard.  He tweeted “90% happy but need to work on closing.”  In the steeple, Donn Cabral might not be thrilled with the placing but his 8:19.24 is just .1 off his PR.  Last but not least two of our sport’s all time greatest, Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix, went head to head in the 400m with Felix edging out SRR for the win.


Up the Hill

The Quest for the Crest Vertical Kilometer and 10k in Burnsville, North Carolina is two races in one.  The first part is a 3,300 foot climb in less than 5k (the vertical climb part).  Since there is no gondola (or other forms of public transportation for that matter), you have to get yourself back down the other side (the 10k portion).  It bills itself as the “world’s hardest 10k,” boasting that you’ll be on all fours climbing very difficult trails.  Sounds like a job for Joe Gray.  And he didn’t disappoint, winning both races.



Upcoming Events

Three Diamond League meets (Rome, Birmingham, and Oslo) between June 4th and 11th.  Also time to start thinking about the USATF Championships (which also double as the World Championship trials) coming up June 25-28 in Eugene.

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