Track Shorts 2015: Lap 17

SRR at the TrackTown Classic in Edmonton; PC: @antonatienza on Instagram

Another week of chasing Diamond League points, personal bests and paydays in exotic places like Switzerland, Spain and Chicago.  For some it’s also about getting ready for the World Championships in August.  The breadth of events is starting to tax the TS staff.


Diamond League in Lausanne

Three ABers picked up points in Switzerland.  Sanya Richards-Ross got two for her second in the 400 with a 51.12; she also, if I understand this correctly, did the meet organizers a favor by filling in for a scratch in the 200, running a creditable 22.94.  You could have thrown the proverbial blanket over the 100H field, so tight was that finish; the spread from first to fifth was just .11.  Jasmin Stowers was edged out by Dawn Harper Nelson for the win (12.55 to 12.58); Queen Harrison was just .05 behind Stowers in third.  So that’s two more points for Stowers and one for Harrison.  No other points for ABers but notable performances included Molly Ludlow’s 2:02.08 for second in the 800, Gabe Grunewald’s 4:07.03 in the 1500, Bridget Franek’s 9:40.53 steeple and Whitney Ashley’s 61.74 discus toss.



Three in One

Two days later they laced ‘em up again in Madrid, Kortrijk (that would be Belgium) and Edmonton.  A short list of ABers were in Spain for the IAAF World Challenge.  Kyle Merber got a PR in the 3k, running 7:52.95 for 3rdChanelle Price put in a good showing with a 2:00.14 for 2nd in the 800.  Ashley Higginson (9:43.63) and Bridget Franek (9:48.76) took 3rd and 4th in the steeple. Yes, for Franek that was about 48 hours after the 9:40 in Switzerland; they are a special breed but you already knew that.


Meanwhile in Belgium at the Flanders Cup Meeting, Heather Kampf was taking the 1500 in 4:08.73 with fellow ABers Heather Wilson at 4:09.71 and Rachel Schneider at 4:10.25 chasing.  Versatile Katie Mackey, last seen contending for the US title in the 5k, was 4th in the 800 at 2:02.14.  Manteo Mitchell dropped down to the 200 and ran 21.21.


Edmonton was the site of the last meet of that busy 7/11/15 day, the TrackTown Classic. Aside from the possible copyright violation (I thought Eugene was the one and only TrackTown!), it looked to be a great event.  Kibwè Johnson hit 248-0 in the hammer for first.  The pole vaulting trio of Jack Whitt (18-6.5), Brad Walker (18-2.5) and Jordan Scott (17-10.5) went 2-3-5.  Turquoise Thompson ran 55.99 in the 400H.  Sanya Richards-Ross had another interesting night, taking the 400 in 50.47 then doubling back an hour later in the 100, clocking 11.28.  Maggie Vessey bounced back beautifully from the US Champs mishap with a meet record 2:00.16 to win the 800. Erik Sowinski continued his WC prep with a solid 1:46.34 for second in the 800.



Missed It By That Much (apologies to Maxwell Smart)

Jon Peterson gamely took up the cause at the Letterkenny (Ireland) Athletic Club Sub-4 Challenge. He won the race in 4:00.41. It’s uncanny how close he’s been to running his first sub 4, with four straight attempts within 1 sec of this milestone. Also at Letterkenny, Jamie Cheever clocked a 9:40 season best (and an Olympic qualifying time!) in winning the steeplechase; Sarah Pease took 7th with a 9:49.03.



How About Some Weight Events?

Got you covered.  While runners were gallivanting all over Europe, the throwers were in the heartland – Napierville, IL – for the Chicagoland Throwers Series putting up impressive marks.


The hammer looked to be an AB specialty; Gwen Berry won with a toss of 228-04 with Brooke Pleger (225-03) and Britney Henry (222-00) were 3rd and 4th.  Other AB winners included Brittany Smith in the shot and Riley Dolezal in the javelin.  Dolezal was over 260 again but is still looking for that 269 WC qualifier.  Liz Podominick also picked up a 2nd in the discus with a toss of 188-03.


If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Switzerland

Correct.  For the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern (Top Athletics – Luzerne) meeting.  A women’s 800 with 5 finishers under 2:00 sounds pretty good.  Chanelle Price fought gamely up the home stretch and came up just .03 short; the 1:59.24 nearly matches her PR.  Molly Ludlow was also under 2, clocking 1:59.73 for 5th.  Gabe Grunewald was 8th(!) with a none-too-shabby 2:02.72.  Queen Harrison took the 100H with a quick 12.62 and Sandi Morris got her first professional win with a 15-5.5 vault; Mary Saxer was 4th at 14-9.



Also Notable

Garrett Heath got in a quick 3:36.62 1500 in Barcelona.  Rachel Schneider won the 1500 (4:07) in Leige (Belgium) with steepler Ashley Higginson running 4:14.71.  Also, in Leige, Patrick Feeney and Manteo Mitchell competed in the rarely run (outdoors anyway) 300 m taking 3rd and 6th.



I’m sure we missed something here but we’ll circle back as necessary.  In the meantime, we have Monaco Diamond League this Friday plus plenty more Europe.  And the Pan-Am Games start on Tuesday.

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