Track Shorts 2016: Lap 9

Joseph Gray following his win at the World Mountain Championships, "So proud of how hard my teammates fought today, we earned every step gentlemen" - via @joegeezi on Instagram

Sorry for the absence.  A bit of an Olympic Trials/Olympic Games hangover.  Plus, my dog ate my password.  Wait, my dog is my password.  Anyway, a lot to report on since August, including the end of the track season and a hot road racing fall.

Another Olympian

While we wish we could be reporting on Jarryd Wallace’s double gold performance at the Paralympic Games in Rio, his efforts there were still impressive.  In his signature event, the 100m, he was just .13 short of reaching the medal stand.  The 4 x 100 was even more heartbreaking; the US team appeared to have won in a world record time but was disqualified for a pass outside the zone.  Solid performances on a big stage so hats off to Olympian Jarryd Wallace.

Related: US Weekly, 25 Things You Don’t Know About Paralympic Sprinter Jarryd Wallace

Diamond League wrap up

The OG were not the end of the track season, as the Diamond League finals continued into late August and early September.  Best result for AB’ers came from Cassandra Tate, who closed fast with a 4th place at Lausanne and a big win in Brussels (double points – woo-woo) to win the DL 400 meter hurdles title.  In that final she clocked a season best 54.47 and beat all her main rivals in the process; in others words, this was no cheap win.

The smile you give when you realize your season is officially over and goal was accomplished. ????

A photo posted by Cassandra Tate (@sassysandra7) on


Other ABers who closed well were Sandi Morris, who won in Brussels to capture second place for the season and Jasmin Stowers, who took a pair of 4ths in Paris and Zurich to move up to third place in the DL competition.  Stowers helped complete a 1-2-3 USA sweep of the Diamond League rankings at 100m hurdles along with Kendra Harrison and Dawn Harper-Nelson.

Seems to us that Cassandra, Sandi and Jasmin sent a clear message that they are primed for 2017.

Top of the Mountain

Veteran Joseph Gray is showing no signs of slowing down.  He took first at the World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria and it wasn’t really all that close.  His margin was almost two minutes.  “The icing on the cake,” as Joseph put it, was the US men’s one point victory over Italy in the team competition.  Details can be had here.

All Kinds of Distances

Readers may recall the USATF Running Circuit, a series of road races from 1 mile to the marathon (and a cross country race thrown in to boot) that take place from February to October.  Points (and prize money) are awarded based on finishes in each race and the top five in the standings at the end get additional remuneration.  September and October saw the 20k, 5k, 10 mile and women’s 10k races and the season is completed.  Final results are here.

You’ll see ABers up and down the tables in the individual races and the overall standings.  Ryan Hill won the 5k with Donn Cabral 10th and Tyler Pennel grabbed 8th in the 10 mile.  Tara Welling got 10th in the 20k, Sara Hall picked up 4th in the 10 mile and Kaitlin Goodman snuck in for 10th in the 10k.  You’ll find Tara Welling near the top of the standings (4th) on the strength of strong performances at 15k, half marathon and 20k.  Craig Lutz took third overall (cross country win and 15k), Jared Ward was fourth (marathon and 25k) and the ageless Meb Keflezghi got 7th, needing only his second in the marathon (double points – woo-woo).

A cool season-long competition.  Hope it continues.

The Big Apple

New York City hosts two of the fall’s premier road racing events – the 5th Avenue Mile and the NYC Marathon  Both races draw strong fields and a host of ABers.  In the dash, ABers Kyle Merber, Donn Cabral and Riley Masters were 10th, 12th and 13th respectively.  In the women’s mile – hold on, this must be a typo, can somebody check this?  Verified?  Okay, it’s confirmed that Heather Kampf did not win.  Her first ever sub 4:20 mile (4:19.7) was, however, good for third place.  She was followed by no less than eight other ABers, including Amanda Eccleston in 4th, Katie Mackey in 8th and an apparently not-so-retired Ashley Higginson in 13th.


At the longer distance, ABers excelled. Neely Gracey was the 2nd American finisher and set a PR while finishing 8th.  Sara Hall was in the top ten throughout much of the race and finished 9thEsther Atkins blitzed the last 3+ miles and moved up to 11th.  On the men’s side Tyler Pennel ran a brilliant tactical race just months after a major injury and finished 8thMatt Llano got some great TV time while running in the lead pack early, but finished a less-than thrilled 17th.  He later noted:

Yes, I had some troubles in NYC, but hopefully taking a little break from the marathon now will help me when I run my next one!

Though maybe not yet in the same league as those two races, NY was also the site of the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5k held the day before the marathon.  Looked a little bit like the AB club championship – you can’t spell Abbott without AB?  Donn Cabral won the event with Kyle Merber not far behind.  For the women, Alexi Pappas was second and the retired-but-still-not-so-retired Ashley Higginson was 5th.

Outside of NY

Richmond hosts a good fall Sunday of events including an 8k, half marathon and marathon.  ABers Amy Van Alstine (4th at 8k) and Susanna Sullivan (2nd in the marathon) took advantage of the venue.

Venturing even farther from NYC, to Doha, Qatar, we find Tyler Andrews taking second in the International Association of Ultramarathoners 50k World Championships.  Tyler and his teammates – Anthony Migliozzi (who finished first) and Bryan Morseman (9th) – also brought home the team title for the US.

Silver medal for me, gold for #TeamUSA. Thank you all! @hokaoneone @nuunhydration #NuunElite #HOKAONEONE #HeavyInTheGame

A photo posted by Tyler Andrews (@tylercandrews) on

Down Under

Continuing our journey eastward – to New Zealand – there’s news of Erin Taylor-Talcott pretty much destroying the field at the New Zealand Long Distance Walking Championships.  She completed the 50k course in 4:15, about 13 minutes ahead of second.  Did I read this right?  The course consisted of 50 1k loops?  If so, that’s an impressive feat of concentration as well as stamina.

Related: The Timaru Herald, American Talcott out walks opposition to claim New Zealand title

Indoor is just around the corner.  I don’t plan on waiting three months for the post.

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