Track Shorts 2015: Lap 24

Kimber Mattox after taking the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship (PC: @xterraoffroad)

Just because we’ve been sitting on our proverbial butts here at TS for the last month or so doesn’t mean the athletes have been.  No, they’ve been posting great results on the roads, trails, and tracks (indoor and outdoor); there’s a pile of good stuff we need to get to.

We’ll start in Alexandria with the US National 12K Championships on November 15th.  Recall that this was the final event in the USATF Running Circuit.  The men’s race was a barnburner, as Sam Chelanga edged out ABer Tyler Pennel for first with both timed at 34:35.  Jim Spisak of NE Distance was just two seconds back but he got edged out for 3rd.  And Jared Ward, a mere seven seconds behind Chelanga, found himself in 6th.  The good news for Jared was that he could have finished last and still taken the Circuit Championship, so large was his lead going into the final.  He takes home a cool $74,750 for his season’s work in the series.  Pennel’s second here catapulted him to third in the season standings after closing with points in the last four events of the series.  The women’s race wasn’t quite so close, as Molly Huddle ran away with this race and the Circuit Championship.  ABer Sara Hall took second, a result that moved her to 4th in the season standings.

Sam Chelanga (left) edges Tyler Pennel at the finish line of the 2015 .US 12-K National Road Racing Championships in Alexandria, Va.; both men were timed in 34:35 (PC: Jane Monti, Race Results Weekly)

Sam Chelanga (left) edges Tyler Pennel at the finish line of the 2015 .US 12-K National Road Racing Championships in Alexandria, Va.; both men were timed in 34:35 (PC: Jane Monti, Race Results Weekly)

Two Halves Are Better Than One

Jeffrey Eggleston battled the elements (including winds up to 43 mph) in Las Vegas to take home a win in the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon event in the Sin City stop on the tour; his time was 1:04:40.  Fellow ABer Craig Lutz made an impressive debut at this distance and took third.  On the women’s side, Olivia Mickle came in second while Rachel Schneider extended her range and took 7th.  Eggleston came back three weeks later for another bite at the apple in the San Antonio half; he was second in 1:05:44.  Hmm, not bad but maybe the weather was too nice for Jeffrey’s tastes.

Muddy and Rutty

Is in the description of the course for the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championships at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.  Also steep drop-offs.  Oh, and slimy and slippery too.  Details here.

Didn’t seem to scare off ABers Kimber Mattox and Polina Carlson, who went 1-2 in the championships.  Mattox defended her title from last year and Carlson was the 2012 winner.  They were 8th and 11th overall so it’s clear that they were ready for the course.  Afterwards Kimber provided some insight into her motivation:

“Last year I imagined I was being chased by dinosaurs, but this year I got some advice to pretend I was the dinosaur, so I did,” smiled Mattox.  “It was like Polina (Carlson) and I were the girl dinosaurs trying to chase down the boy dinosaurs in front of us.”

Various and Assorted Distances

Donn Cabral, Meghan Peyton, and Amy Van Alstine all did well at the Manchester (CT) Road Race, contested over the ever popular distance of 4.748 miles.  Cabral took 2nd while Peyton and Van Alstine were 9th and 13th respectively.  Van Alstine had been seen earlier in the month at the Richmond 8K taking 6th; fellow ABer Donnie Cowart was in that one too, finishing 2nd.  Road warrior Heather Kampf was in Minneapolis for Thanksgiving and took the Turkey Day 5k there.

At the California International Marathon in Sacramento, Samantha Bluske ran 2:41:10 for 9th.  More important than the place was the time, which is an Olympic Trials qualifier.  Mind you, it’s much easier to hit the standard when they only ask you to cover the official distance, unlike in her earlier attempt in which she had to run 27.2 miles (http://www.runnersworld.com/newswire/first-time-marathoner-wins-race-by-a-mile-literally); the money quote from that article for me is from the Race Director – “At least we caught her before she got too far out.”  Really?  I guess he thinks if you’re already running 26.2, what’s another mile.

And speaking of an extra mile or two, Camille Herron continued her outstanding season with a win at the IAAF 50K Championships in Doha.  It was another dominating performance for Herron as she took the lead early and increased it lap by lap. Tyler Andrews finished in 12th for Team USA.

Back on the Track

The folks at Sacramento State set up a chance for athletes to take a shot at the Olympic Trial qualifying time for the 10k in an event they called the Pacific 10K Pursuit.  Alas, no one on the men’s side was able to dip under the 28:00 standard but three women were able to best the 32:15 requirement, include AB’s own Chelsea Sodaro-Reilly.  She was 2nd with a time of 32:05.04.  Sara Hall was in the hunt but her 32:35.87 in 6th was a little short.

We Haven’t Even Put Away Our Cross Country Stuff

Indoor season is already here.  We’ll be back later this month to preview the schedule.  But apparently some couldn’t wait for the preview.  Je’von Hutchison opened his season with a speedy 1:18 for 600 meters at Christopher Newport University.  Jake Hurysz closed with a 57 final quarter to post a 4:03, a W, and a facility record at the state-of-the-art Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island.

Speaking of Cross Country

The Bay Area played host to the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, affectionately known as Club Nats. Garrett Heath and Amy Van Alstine continued their reign on the XC season, taking home the individual titles and a plane ticket to Scotland. Craig Lutz finished 16th helping HOKA One One NAZ Elite to the Team Championship on the men’s side, with Kaitlin Goodman, Bridget Franek, and Jamie Cheever coming in 7th, 16th, and 21st respectively, for their squads.

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