#LetNickRun (Sports Illustrated: Nick Symmonds vs. USA Track and Field is far bigger than just one runner and USATF: Statement from USATF regarding Nick Symmonds) has dominated the news for Track & Field in the past few weeks…but there’s been some newsworthy action on the track too, including a Diamond League meet in Stockholm, some domestic meets, and something called the NACAC Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. Throw in a couple of road miles and the US Mountain Running Championship and we have plenty to talk about.
A Race, Not a Time Trial
Any number of fine performances by ABers in Stockholm at the DN Galan Games but none were bigger than Katie Mackey‘s win in the 3,000. The field was set up, as the commentator noted, for “a race, not a time trial” and Katie ran a smart one; she had more than enough to pull away from the field in the home stretch, smashing her PR with an 8:52.99. For those who want to get a feel for how the race played out, check this Youtube clip – it’s all good but if you need to skip ahead, just watch from the 5 minute point to see Katie’s perfectly executed finish. Other ABers picking up Diamond League points were Tori Bowie (2nd in 100), Brenda Martinez (3rd in the 800) and Cassandra Tate (3rd in the 400H). Jeff Porter won the 100H B race in 13.50.
DJs, a Band, Dancing, Cheerleaders, Throwdowns…and Track Meets
The American Track League, citing the dearth of professional meets in the US, aims to provide some continuity and innovation to the track and field calendar in American. You can read more about the ATL here. You’ll see that the innovation part includes adding music and other entertainment as part of the whole package. At the most recent ATL meet in Atlanta, Melinda Winthrow and Sandi Morris went 1-2 in the pole vault at 15-1 and 14-9 respectively. Queen Harrison sped through a quick 12.84 to take the 100H. Picking up a pair of 4th place finishes were Turquoise Thompson in the 400H and Manteo Mitchell in the rarely run outdoor 300m.
This is what you call a finale song! Thx for coming out and supporting the American Track League. See you next year! pic.twitter.com/DKUJKRygTC— AmericanTrackLeague (@americantrack) August 2, 2015
Also on domestic soil was the FloTrack Throwdown in Portland. Gabe Grunewald picked up a second in the mile, running 4:30.43.
NACAC Championships – AB’ers romp!
You may have been asking yourself since the opening paragraph, what the heck is NACAC? This is the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association. You are forgiven for not knowing about it since it was only created in 2007 and this year’s championships, held in San Jose, Costa Rica, were only the second in the association’s history.
Given the performances of ABers, we might like to see meet held more regularly. Six, count ’em, six firsts for ABers. The honor roll includes Chanelle Price (just missed breaking 2:00) in the 800, Ashley Higginson in the steeple, Rachel Schneider in the 1500, Amber Campbell in the hammer, Kara Winger in the JT and Riley Dolezal in the JT. Riley’s win turns out to have added meaning, as under IAAF rules, the winner of an Area Championship, is entitled to a spot at the World Championships; since the US had two spots open in that event, Riley got himself a ticket to Beijing.
TS correspondents in Mexico are still working on their reports but we understand AB vaulters put up some good results south of the border, including a 1-2 finish by Jack Whitt and Jordan Scott in the PV and a win for vaulter Melissa Gergel as well.
Milers, But on the Road
Two notable road mile races recently – the GNC LiveWell Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh and the Sir Walter Mile in Raleigh. In Pittsburgh it was an AB 1-2-3-5-8 finish. Heather Kampf was first (but you knew that already, right?) with a time of 4:32.59; following her to the tape were Gabe Grunewald, Rachel Schneider, Ashley Higginson and Bridget Franek. On the men’s side, Jeff See was 3rd in 3:59.31 while Jon Peterson was 11th. Down in Raleigh, ABers Heather Wilson (4:29.29) and Sarah Pease were 3rd and 9th respectively; in the men’s race Kyle Merber (3:57.97) and Donnie Cowart were 2nd and 7th.
Also on the roads this week, Meghan Peyton took 7th in the Portland 10000 with a time of 34:41.04.
A Certain Kind of Calculated Recklessness
The US Mountain Running Championships, which also serve to pick the US national team, were held at (on?) Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. ABers Joe Gray and Kimber Mattox displayed enough of what writer Mario Fraioli calls “a certain kind of calculated recklessness” to each take 3rd in their respective races. Their efforts put them on the national team that will compete in the World Championships in Wales in September.
Jarryd Wallace is the new T44 100 m world record holder with a 10.71 in Toronto.
Ready for the World Champs?
They run from Saturday (well, actually late Friday night our time) 8/22 to Sunday 8/30. The weekends will be covered by NBC but for the weekday stuff you’ll need Universal Sports. According the roster released by USATF, AB will be represented by 23 athletes: