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.
With the US Champs fast approaching and World Championship berths on the line, this past weekend was likely the last chance for athletes to prepare. The three main venues were Oslo, New York, and Portland. Some competed at their regular event while others went longer or shorter to complete their preparations.
Jasmin’s back to her winning ways
Diamond League points were up for grabs at the venerable Bislett Games in Oslo. Jasmin Stowers got back on track with a narrow win over Brianna Rollins – both timed in 12.84 into a serious head wind; Queen Harrison was 3rd in 13.02 as part of a 1-5 sweep by US women. Brittany Smith also picked up a DL point with a 62-1.75 toss in the shot. No other ABers got points but there were notable efforts like Donn Cabral‘s steeplechase PR of 8:19.07 (good for 5th) and Gabe Grunewald‘s 4:04.26 5th place 1500 finish. Heather Kampf was 8th in that race with a solid 4:05.12.
They came to see Bolt, but Bowie stole the show
The heat favored the shorter distances at the adidas Grand Prix on Randall’s Island in New York. While Bolt called his 200m race “the worst of his career,” Tori Bowie wow’d the crowd. She smoked the curve, then cut through a fierce headwind (2.8 m/s) to win the 200 by almost half a second; her 22.23 was a season best and good for 4 DL points. The women’s 800 was a hot race, with four under 2 minutes. Two of those were ABers. Chanelle Price went 1:59.47 for 3rd place, a DL point, and a PR. Molly Ludlow was under 2:00 again – 1:59.93 for 4th. Brenda Martinez completed the AB sweep of 3-5 with a 2:00.33. Need more proof how tough steeplechasers are? How about the efforts of Ashley Higginson (a smartly run season best 9:31.12 for 2nd and 2 DL points) and Bridget Franek (a gritty 9:36.88, also a season best, for 6th place) in that nasty heat and humidity. DeeDee Trotter ran a season best 51.96 to win the second section of the 400. Jeff Porter continues to be a model of consistency in the high hurdles; counting NY, his last three races are 13:32, 13.27 and 13.34.
Garrett Heath’s cojones
There was a big pile of good results in Oregon at the two-day Portland Track Festival, which focused on distances of 800 and greater. Riley Masters’ tweet says it all:
Last night we learned @_garrettheath is the most noble runner of them all. And by "noble" I mean he has the biggest balls— Riley Masters (@riley_masters) June 15, 2015
In the 1500, Garrett Heath made the race, pushing Evan Jager all the way to the tape for a 3:34.13; he missed his PR by just .01 but now has the number 7 time in the world this year. ABers Ryan Hill (3:38.17) and Riley Masters (3:39.32) were 4th and 7th in this high quality race.
The women’s 10k featured two distant running stalwarts. Sara Hall was edged out by .03 for first by Desiree Linden. Sara clocked a nifty 32:50.96 in her track 10k debut; she’ll compete at this distance again at the US Nationals but the post race interview suggested she’s really itching to do another marathon. Not far behind Sara was Amy Van Alstine in 4th getting a PR at 32:52.74.
Last week Tyler Pennel noted that most people only ask about whether you’ve run a marathon and what’s your mile time so his impressive 13:32.06 (good for 3rd) might go unnoticed among casual fans; we noticed it. Can’t wait to see what he decides is his best event.
Heather Kampf must be going for frequent flyer miles as she followed up Thursday’s run in Oslo with a another 1500 on Sunday in Rabat, Morocco. Her 4:06.29 was good for 3rd; watching the video (below), it looks like she might have won if not for being boxed. In Victoria, BC, Sarah Brown continued her prep for the US nationals with a 2:01.56 800.
There were a couple notable efforts in San Diego also. Britney Henry added another hammer throw past 230 feet and Miranda Melville solo’d a fast 5000m race walk. Her time of 21:41.99 at the San Diego Imperial USATF Western Championships is a 59 second PR and one of the best 5000m Race Walking times in the USA in a very long time.
TS staff will be taking the week off, tapering if you will, in anticipation of the US Championships June 25-28. Plenty of coverage for the event:
- 6/26 Friday – 10 pm-midnight on NBCSN
- 6/27 Saturday – 4 – 6pm on NBC
- 6/28 Sunday – 3-4 pm on Universal Sports
- 6/28 Sunday – 4-6 pm on NBC