Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We interrupt the coverage of the marathon trials...

...to pass along a link from the IAAF on our own Brad Walker:

"For a man normally prepared to meet risk head-on – he has a passion for extreme sports, likes fast cars, and won a World Pole Vault title despite suffering concussion from a nasty fall in warm-up – Brad Walker is contrastingly cautious in one respect. Ask him if he is the athlete to extend the United States’ proud Olympic tradition in his event and he takes no chances with his answer".

The full article can be accessed here...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's Marathon Trials Week!

Leading up to the coverage this Saturday of the US Olympic Team Trials-Men's Marathon (yes, that's the official name of the event, even though everyone out in cyberland calls it the US Olympic marathon trials) in New York, I've set up a poll to find out who you think will be the three runners that will make the team.

Please pick up to three runners, and don't forget to watch the race online Saturday beginning at 7:30 am eastern (4:30 am on the west coast) at NBCSports.com!

I'll have some previews up in the next few days, and I'll reveal my picks on Friday!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lambie & Stanford repeat as Pac-10 champs; Kiptoo-Biwott wins conference crown to lead Oregon...

Teresa McWalters & Arianna Lambie of Stanford pull away from the pack in Saturday's Pacific-10 Conference cross country championships in Corvallis, Oregon. Lambie won her third straight Pac-10 harrier crown. /photo by Paul Merca

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Top-ranked Stanford captured its 12th-consecutive Pac-10 women's title with 48 points at the Pacific-10 cross country championships at the Trysting Tree Golf Course Saturday.

Meanwhile, Cardinal senior Arianna Lambie made history by becoming just the second woman to win three-straight Pacific 10 individual cross country titles.

Under ideal conditions, Lambie's winning time of 19:40.7 over the 6,000-meter course was just four-hundredths of a second faster than runner-up teammate Teresa McWalters. Second-ranked Oregon finished second with 64 points, barely edging No. 5 Arizona State and Washington, which tied for third with 68 points.

Anita Campbell and Katie Follett both posted top-10 finishes, leading the No. 9 Husky women's cross country team to a tie for third at the Pac-10 Championships in a talented and tightly bunched women's field.

Campbell's sixth-place finish in 20:10 garners her first team All-Pac-10 acclaim for the first time, after earning second team honors a year ago. Follett came in ninth in a time of 20:26, nearly three full minutes faster than her time one year ago.

Freshman Marie Lawrence also earned All-Pac-10 second team honors with a 13th-place finish, adding to her outstanding rookie campaign. Lawrence was third among all frosh.

Barely missing out on making it four Huskies on the All-Conference team was junior Amanda Miller, who placed 15th in a new personal-best time of 20:38, her first time under 21-minutes. Senior Trisha Rasmussen also broke the 21-minute barrier, finishing 25th overall and fifth for UW in a time of 20:56. Rounding out the UW's top-seven was sophomore Brooke Anderson in 37th-place (21:19) and freshman Lauren Saylor in 41st-place (21:27).

Andrea Brown was 58th in 21:54; Dani Schuster 59th in 21:59, and Anna Imperati 62nd in 22:04 for Washington.

"This is as good as I've ever seen the Pac-10," said head coach Greg Metcalf in regards to the women's field. "We had raced Oregon and Arizona State earlier this year and they beat us pretty solid, so we are very pleased with what our women did today, that was a pretty monstrous step forward for our women's program.

The Washington State women's cross country team was led to a fifth-place team finish by Isley Gonzalez, who placed eighth.

Gonzalez clocked a 20-minute, 26.6 second time on the 6,000 meter course for the Cougars.

"Honestly, it was a little surprising and I am still in shock," said Gonzalez. "All of the training paid off."

Sophomore Sara Trané (20th, 20:47) and junior Meghan Leonard (23rd, 20:55) were followed across the finish line by senior Collier Lawrence (36th, 21:19) and sophomore Lisa Egami (51st, 21:44) to round out the top five scorers for the women. Sophomore Chelsea VanDeBrake (60th, 22:02) and freshman Ashlee Wall (65th, 22:06) also scored for the Cougars. The other WSU women competing were freshman Amanda Andrews (75th, 22:39) and sophomore Marisa Sandoval (83rd, 23:06).

"That is the best that Isley Gonzalez has run in a Cougar uniform," said WSU Head Coach Jason Drake. "Overall, this was the the best race the women have had since I have been here."

The No. 1-ranked Oregon men won their second-straight Pac-10 title with 39 points. Duck teammates Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott and Galen Rupp finished one and two overall, with Kiptoo-Biwott's winning time at 22:54 over the 8,000-meter course.

Number 15 Stanford placed second with 55 points as they placed three runners in the top-six. No. 8 Cal was third with 70 points, No. 19 UCLA was fourth with 97 points, and No. 25 Arizona State took fifth with 105 points. The Huskies finished with 162 points.

Harding, a junior, led the men for the third time in four meets this year, finishing 20th in 23:34. Running second for the Dawgs in a surprise performance was junior Caleb Knox, who had never before placed in UW's top-five, and had not competed at the Pac-10 Championships since his freshman year in 2004. Knox finished 31st in a personal-record time of 23:52.

"Caleb is making steady progress and you could tell he was calm, cool, and collected on the starting line, and he went out and ran a very solid second half of the race and did a very good job," Metcalf said."

Sophomore Kelly Spady and freshman Max O'Donoghue-McDonald were 35th, and 36th, respectively, and senior Carl Moe was fifth for UW in 40th place. Sophomore Colton Tully-Doyle had one of his strongest Husky outings since transferring from UC Santa Barbara, as he placed 45th in a time of 24:25. Sophomore Riley Booker rounded out UW's top-seven in 49th-place with a time of 24:36. Brian Govier was 59th in 24:40, and Chris Ahl 65th in 24:54.

"Coming in we were probably supposed to be sixth," said Metcalf of the men. "Jon Harding came in and ran solid, but right now we're just not entirely healthy. We're battling through some nagging pains and we've got two weeks to get it straightened out. A year ago we walked into the Pac-10 Championships and finished sixth and wound up 12th in the nation. But we've just got to go build some more momentum and get fresh and emotionally ready to go at Regionals. For our men to get to the NCAA Championships we've got to run much better than we did today. It's kind of gut-check time."

For the Cougars, junior Andrew Jones was 23rd (23:43), senior Alex Grant finished 30th (23:49), and junior Drew Polley crossed the line just behind at 34th (23:54), to help the Cougars to a seventh place team finish. Other top finishers included sophomore Daniel Geib (48th, 24:15) and sophomore Dominic Smargiassi (57th, 24:34). Rounding out the scorers for the WSU were senior Chris Concha (64th, 24:50) and freshman David Hickerson (67th, 24:58). Senior Chris Williams (74th, 25:32) also competed for the Cougars.

"Andrew Jones, Alex Grant, and Drew Polley all had good days," Drake said. "It was nice to see Alex run a little better than the last race."

The next race for both the Huskies and Cougars is the NCAA West Regionals in Springfield, Oregon on Saturday November 10th, hosted by the University of Oregon. A top two finish will automatically earn a berth in the NCAA Championships on November 19th in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Please click here to see the photo gallery of the men's race, and here for the women's race from the Pacific-10 Conference cross country championships.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the Pacific-10 Conference all contributed to this report.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oregon State set to host Pac-10 cross country championships Saturday...


CORVALLIS, Oregon--Conference titles are up for grabs Saturday as the Washington & Washington State men’s and women’s cross country teams head for Corvallis to run in the 2007 Pac-10 Championships.

The ninth-ranked Husky women will look to go toe-to-toe with three other top-10 teams and stay the course for an NCAA berth, while the Husky men have a great opportunity this weekend to make a move on some of the nation’s top teams.

The meet will be contested at the Trysting Tree Golf Course, home of Oregon State. The men’s race begins at 9:30 a.m. and the women start at 10:30 a.m.

Pac-10 Championships Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Men’s 8K Race: 9:30 a.m.
Women’s 6K Race: 10:30 a.m.

Pac-10 Championships Preview: This year’s Pac-10 Championships are highlighted on both the men’s and women’s side by the current unanimous No. 1 team in the nation. Oregon on the men’s side and Stanford on the women’s side each received all 13 first place votes in the most recent coaches’ poll. Both are the defending Conference champions, and the Stanford women are the defending NCAA champions.

The women’s field can easily claim to be the toughest conference in the nation, as the ninth-ranked Huskies are only fourth in the rankings among Pac-10 teams heading into the meet. The women’s field boasts No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 Arizona State, and the No. 9 Huskies. The Big Ten is the only other conference with four top-10 teams, but No. 6 Michigan is its highest-ranked member.

On the men’s side, the Huskies will face five ranked opponents, starting at the top with Oregon, and followed by No. 8 California, No. 15 Stanford, No. 19 UCLA and No. 25 Arizona State.

Top individuals on hand include Stanford senior Arianna Lambie, who will attempt to become the second woman ever to win three consecutive Pac-10 titles. Oregon junior Galen Rupp (pictured above, /photo by Paul Merca) is the defending men’s champion, however he has yet to compete this year, after an extended summer season, which included running at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Osaka, Japan.

"The top five teams are ranked in the top 30 in America, UW just fell out of the rankings, and I think us and UW are really close to each other," WSU Head Coach Jason Drake said. "If anyone messes up or has an off day we can sneak in and beat them. I think both teams are stronger than we've had in the past few years and we're excited to see what happens."

"The top four teams are all ranked in the top 10 in America," Drake said. "We want to try to close in on the gap a little bit but it will tough for us. There are the top four and then everyone else is racing for fifth, and I feel our women are better than the rest of the conference. We are hoping to be in that top five."

The following are the projected entries listed by Washington and Washington State for Saturday’s race in Corvallis:

WASHINGTON MEN

Name Yr. Hometown (High School)
Austin Abbott Jr. Chehalis, Wash. (W.F. West)
Chris Ahl So. Seattle, Wash. (Bishop Blanchet)
Riley Booker RFr. San Diego, Calif. (University City)
Brian Govier RFr. Mercer Island, Wash. (Mercer Island)
Jon Harding Jr. Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)
Caleb Knox Jr. Mill Creek, Wash. (Jackson)
Max O’Donoghue-McDonald Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep)
Carl Moe Sr. Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside)
Kelly Spady So. Mukilteo, Wash. (Kamiak)
Colton Tully-Doyle So. San Diego, Calif. (Rancho Bernardo)

WSU MEN: Cougars will have 10 competitors in Corvallis...senior Andrew Jones looks to improve on his team-leading performances...WSU will also look to seniors Alex Grant, Drew Polley, and Chris Williams, as well as sophomores Dominic Smargiassi and Dan Geib for strong performances at the championships...other competitors for the men include senior Chris Concha, sophomore Sam Ahlbeck, redshirt freshman Luke Lemenager, and freshman David Hickerson.

WASHINGTON WOMEN

Name Yr. Hometown (High School)
Brooke Anderson So. San Diego, Calif. (University City)
Andrea Brown Jr. Bellingham, Wash. (Mt. Baker)
Anita Campbell Jr. Vancouver, B.C. (Aldregrove)
Katie Follett So. Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
Anna Imperati So. Portland, Ore. (Jesuit)
Marie Lawrence Fr. Reno, Nev. (Reno)
Amanda Miller Jr. Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont)
Trisha Rasmussen Sr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)
Lauren Saylor Fr. Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan)
Dani Schuster Jr. Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin)

WSU WOMEN: Nine women will compete for the Cougars Saturday...leading WSU is sophomore Sara Trané who hopes to improve on an already strong season...seniors Isley Gonzalez and Collier Lawrence, and junior Meghan Leonard should place well for the Cougars...sophomores Chelsea VanDeBrake and Lisa Egami, as well as freshman Ashlee Wall have a chance to score...also competing for WSU are redshirt sophomore Marisa Sandoval and freshman Amanda Andrews...six of the Cougar runners competed last year at the Pac-10 Championships.

Results will be posted at osubeavers.com, and at www.pac-10.org.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the Pacific-10 Conference all contributed to this report.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

November's Northwest Runner...


If you have not checked it out, the November issue of Northwest Runner is now out!

I have a article on Mike Sayenko and Mike Heidt, two of the three runners from the Seattle area who are running in next week's US Olympic Team Trials-Men's Marathon on November 3rd in New York (try to say that several times without stumbling; that's the official title! I'm sure because of legal issues with the US Olympic Committee, it can't be called the Olympic Marathon Trials, but that's another story).

Also, the photo I shot of Uli Steidl in Osaka (above) is featured in Uli's first-person account of the IAAF World Championships marathon.

Northwest Runner is available at most Seattle area running stores, or go online at nwrunner.com.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sometimes, honesty IS the best policy...

Monday, I had the opportunity to work for the newly-created Big 10 Network as a scorer at the Big 10/Pac-10 Golf Challenge at the Chambers Bay Golf Course just outside of Tacoma.

So you ask, what do you do when you're scoring a golf match?

Basically, you walk with the group you're assigned to, and keep track of each individual's score, then radio in the results of your group after every hole to the scoring coordinator that's tracking results in an office. Pretty simple, if you ask me.

The group that I was assigned to included Oregon freshman Jack
Dukeminier going up against Minnesota sophomore Ben Pisani.

While walking with them, I couldn't help but admire how they were playing, especially in light of the fact that I've only been playing golf since 2005, and I've broken 100 for the first time last month!

As Pisani was getting ready to putt on the eighth hole, he suddenly called for an official to make a ruling. Seems that as he was addressing the ball, his ball moved ever so slightly, even though his putter never touched the ball.

After explaining the situation to the rules official, it was determined that since Pisani was in the address position, it counted as a stroke
even though he never touched the ball with his putter; therefore he had to take a one-stroke penalty.

While Pisani was obviously disappointed with the decision, I had to give him a lot of credit for being up-front with his opponent and with the official on that matter. I know that in our informal games, we would have looked the other way.

As I heard later from a tournament official, "The golfers do a good job policing themselves".

Dukeminier finished in a tie for 10th place, while Pisani finished in a tie for 23rd.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Black Cactus update...

Last month, I wrote on this site a link to Flocasts.org on two-time US Olympic 10k runner Abdi Abdirahman, aka the "Black Cactus".

Well, he's looking for some intrepid designer to come up with a Black Cactus logo!

If you want in on this, go here for the details...oh, yeah--good luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Joan Benoit Samuelson speaks to the media at Nike Women's Marathon...

SAN FRANCISCO—Joan Benoit Samuelson, the winner of the first women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, spoke to members of the media Friday in conjunction with Sunday’s Nike Women’s Marathon through the streets of San Francisco.

Samuelson, who is qualified to run in April’s USA Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston was pleased that some 20000 women are entered to run Sunday’s marathon, and accompanying half-marathon, making this event the largest women’s only run in the world.

The fact that there are 20000-plus participants here in San Francisco speaks volumes to one of the messages she conveyed—that running is an accessible sport that gives individuals the ability to cut loose and air it out.

However, the battle is still not over. Benoit Samuelson, citing this country’s high obesity rate, said, “we need to get more people out there running.”

When asked to recollect cyclist Lance Armstrong’s attempt to run the New York Marathon last year, where he barely finished under the three-hour mark (she served as one of Armstrong’s pacers, along with retired middle distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj, and marathon great Alberto Salazar), she told the seven-time Tour de France winner to quit worrying about mile markers, and instead to concentrate on the people in front of them.

Shortly after the 25-mile mark, Benoit Samuelson moved in front of the tiring Armstrong and told him to stay with her for the remainder of the race.

She says that the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston next April will be her last competitive marathon, even though she is not a big fan of the criterium-type course.

At another event Saturday morning at Tiffany & Company, Benoit Samuelson helped unveil the finishers’ necklace, as well as the keychain for the 3000+ runners participating in the Nike+ virtual half-marathon tomorrow.



The finisher's necklace for Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco is in the center, while the keychain for the Nike+ half marathon is on the left. /photo by Paul Merca

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pat Tyson resurfaces at South Eugene HS...

If you follow Washington high school track and cross country, the name Pat Tyson is synonymous with excellence, particularly in the distance events.

After a stint coaching at the University of Kentucky last year, Tyson, a graduate of the University of Oregon, who made Mead High School in Spokane one of the state's distance powerhouses, returns to the prep ranks as the new track and field coach at South Eugene High School in Oregon.

To read the full story, go here...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Whew...


I recently had to buy a MacBook to replace the iBook that was on the verge of death when I returned to Seattle from the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Osaka, Japan.

This iBook served me well since I bought it in late 2001, and survived six World Cross Country Championships, three World Track & Field Championships, the Athens Olympics, my niece Krista spilling water on the keyboard, a fall out of my backpack in St. Etienne, and several sets of wandering eyeballs in Mombasa (where unfortunately, I knew of two IAAF staff members who had their laptops stolen at World Cross).

It's also gone through two Mac OS updates, from OS 9 to OS 10, then last year to 10.4 (Jaguar) in order to be Nike+ compliant.

While working on several blog-related items last month, I noticed that the screen was acting up. Turned out that the LCD needed replacing; only problem was that my laptop was too old for Apple to look at it, but they were nice enough to refer me to an outside repair facility, Advanced Laptop Service in Ballard.

When disassembling the unit, they found the logic board was bad, with a failing video circuit.

As I need a laptop, my only recourse was to buy one, as I have two events to cover in the next few weeks, including the Nike running summit and San Francisco women's marathon this weekend, and the US Olympic Trials-Men's Marathon in New York on November 3.

Here's a picture of me holding my trusty iBook...I will be able to do some work with it, but not enough to be able to stand the rigors of going through airport security, being hauled to meets and races, etc. By the way, I found out that I wouldn't be able to update my iBook to the new Leopard operating system that Apple will release on the 26th.

I hope this MacBook will serve me well for the next six years...

Huskies ranked # 9 in new USTFCCCA poll...



The University of Washington women’s cross country team, fresh off its fourth place finish in the White section of the Brooks Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute, Indiana, jumped three spots to number 9 in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association polls, released today.

Pac-10 rivals Stanford and Oregon hold down the top two spots, while Florida State, Princeton, and the Pac-10’s Arizona State Sun Devils round out the top five.

Anita Campbell
(right, /photo by Paul Merca), led the Huskies in last Saturday's race in Terre Haute with her twelfth-place finish, running the 6k course in 20:33.

Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Washington and Illinois are the number 6-10 teams in this week’s poll.

Meanwhile, the Washington men’s team dropped out of the top 30 for the first time this season. The Huskies were ranked #30 in last week’s national poll.

The Husky mens and womens squads next compete at the Pac-10 Championships in Corvallis, Oregon on October 27th, followed by the NCAA West Regional Championships on November 10th in Springfield, Oregon.

The NCAA Cross Country Championships conclude the season on November 19th in Terre Haute.

The voting panel for the USTFCCCA Division I men’s and women's polls consists of nine elected regional representatives and four at-large members of the USTFCCCA.

For more information and a complete listing of this week’s USTFCCCA poll, please visit ustfccca.com.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Felnagle second, Husky women fourth in White section at Pre-Nationals...


TERRE HAUTE, Indiana--Bellarmine Prep standout Brie Felnagle (hip #14 in center, /photo by Paul Merca), now competing for the University of North Carolina, finished second in the White section of the Brooks Pre-National Cross Country Meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Sports Center.

Colorado’s Jenny Barringer, who competed for Team USA at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships this summer, was the individual winner of the White section, running the 6000-meter course in 19:49.

Anita Campbell was the Huskies’ top performer, crossing the line 12th in a time of 20:33. 2007 NCAA 1500-meter finalist Amanda Miller followed in 35th place in 21:02, with sophomore Katie Follett one place behind (21:02).

Freshman Mel Lawrence was 45th in 21:10, and Dani Schuster rounded out the Husky scorers in 59th, running 21:20. Senior Trish Rasmussen was 81st in 21:34, while freshman Lauren Saylor finished 129th in 22:05.

Eighth-ranked Princeton won the team title in the White section with 149 points, followed by sixth-ranked Pac-10 rival Arizona State with 171, and 13th-ranked Michigan with 173 points.

The 12th-ranked University of Washington women’s cross country squad finished fourth, scoring 187 points.

In the women’s Blue section, the Washington State Cougars finished 17th, scoring 474 points.

Florida State’s Susan Kuijken took top honors in the Blue race, winning in 19:56, with Stanford’s Teresa McWalters and Ari Lambie going 2-3 in 20;01, and 20:02.

Pac-10 steeple champion Sara Trane led the Cougs, finishing in 21:07, placing 39th. Isley Gonzalez (71st, 21:26), Meghan Leonard (80th, 21:30), Collier Lawrence (115th, 21:55), and Ashlee Wall (169th, 22:28) were the other four Washington State scorers.

Chelsea Vandebrake (180th, 22:38), and Lisa Egami (202nd, 22:58) rounded out the WSU finishers Saturday.

McWalters and Lambie’s 2-3 individual placing propelled the number-1 ranked Cardinal to the team title with 102 points, while the 11th ranked Florida State Seminoles took second with 123 points, and ninth-ranked Michigan State was third with 178 points.

The Husky men, who came into the Pre-Nationals ranked #27 in this week’s United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings, finished 16th in the Blue section, scoring 381 points.

Fifteenth-ranked Northern Arizona, led by individual winner Lopez Lomong (23:03 for 8 kilometers) took the team title, scoring 124 points. Fourth-ranked Iona finished second with 136 points, and unranked California finished third with 157 points.

Behind Lomong were Robert Curtis of Villanova in 23:10, and Emmanuel Bor of Alabama in 23:19.

The Huskies were led by Sundodger champion Jon Harding in 24:11, good for 52nd place. Senior Carl Moe finished 64th in 24:15, followed by Kelly Spady in 67th (24:15). Austin Abbott was 95th in 24:37, and freshman Max O’Donoghue-McDonald rounded out the Washington scorers in 103rd in 24:41.

Riley Booker (117th, 24:47), and Adam Shimer (165th, 25:07) were the final two Washington finishers.

In the White section, 20th-ranked Texas-El Paso took top honors, scoring 129 points, followed by third ranked Colorado’s 155, and 10th ranked North Carolina State with 182 points.

The Cougars of Washington State finished 19th with a team score of 478 points.

Two-time Team USA member Josh McDougal of Liberty ran the fastest time of the day over the 8000-meter course, speeding through the course in 22:57, with Eastern Kentucky’s Jacob Korir second in 23:01, and Colorado’s Stephen Pifer third in 23:17.

The Cougs were led by Andrew Jones in 62nd, running 24:12. Drew Polley (83rd, 24:21), Alex Grant (100th, 24:30), Daniel Geib (108th, 24:34), and Dominic Smargiassi (125th, 24:49) rounded out the scorers for coach Jason Drake, while Chris Williams (132nd, 24:52) was the final WSU runner across the line.

Today’s meet at Indiana State was an opportunity for every team entered to run on the NCAA championship meet course, gauge themselves against the nation’s top teams, and to move themselves up in the national rankings when at-large berths for the NCAA Cross Country Championships are handed out in November after the conclusion of the regional meets.

Both Washington and Washington State compete on October 27th at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships in Corvallis, Oregon.

For complete results from today’s Indiana State Pre-Nationals, visit gosycamores.com.

WASHINGTON & WASHINGTON STATE RESULTS

Women

4. 187 Washington ( 21:02 1:45:07)
==========================================================
1 12 1464 Anita Campbell 20:33
2 35 1470 Amanda Miller 21:02
3 36 1466 Katie Follett 21:02
4 45 1469 Marie Lawrence 21:10
5 59 1473 Danielle Schuster 21:20
6 ( 81) 1471 Trisha Rasmussen 21:34
7 (129) 1472 Lauren Saylor 22:05

17. 474 Washington St. ( 21:42 1:48:26)
==========================================================
1 39 1492 Sara Trane 21:07
2 71 1489 Isley Gonzalez 21:26
3 80 1491 Meghan Leonard 21:30
4 115 1490 Collier Lawrence 21:55
5 169 1494 Ashlee Wall 22:28
6 (180) 1493 Chelsea Vandebrake 22:38
7 (202) 1488 Lisa Egami 22:58

MEN:

16. 381 Washington ( 24:24 2:01:59)
==========================================================
1 52 1479 Jon Harding 24:11
2 64 1481 Carl Moe 24:15
3 67 1484 Kelly Spady 24:15
4 95 1475 Austin Abbott 24:37
5 103 1482 Max O'Donoghue-Mcdonald 24:41
6 (117) 1477 Riley Booker 24:47
7 (165) 1483 Adam Shimer 25:07

19. 478 Washington St. ( 24:30 2:02:26)
==========================================================
1 62 1502 Andrew Jones 24:12
2 83 1504 Drew Polley 24:21
3 100 1500 Alex Grant 24:30
4 108 1499 Daniel Geib 24:34
5 125 1505 Dominic Smargiassi 24:49
6 (132) 1506 Chris Williams 24:52

Friday, October 12, 2007

The road to nationals goes through Terre Haute for UW & WSU harriers Saturday...


Both Washington and Washington State will send their cross country squads to Terre Haute, Indiana for Saturday’s Brooks Pre-Nationals race, Hosted by Indiana State, the race takes off at LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.

The Brooks Pre-Nationals is the final regular season meet for both the Cougs and Huskies, making it all the more imperative to build momentum.

Washington's 12th-ranked women and 27th-ranked men will both be on hand, looking to stand out from the 166-team crowd by knocking off a few highly-ranked squads.

Both the men's and women's races are divided into two seeded sections, Blue and White, that have the teams divided equally to ensure top competition in each race. The Cougar men will face off against 79 other teams, including eight of the top 10 teams in the nation and 26 teams of the top 30 teams will compete...Oregon (No. 1), Stanford (No. 5), UCLA (No. 19), Arizona State (No. 20), and Washington (No. 27) will all compete from the Pac-10.

The WSU women's team, led by Collier Lawrence and Sara Trane (pictured above, /photo courtesy WSU Sports Information) is one of 76 teams expected to take part in the event with 23 of the top 30 teams in the country represented, including Pac-10 rivals Stanford (No. 1), Oregon (No. 3), Arizona State (No. 6), and Washington (No. 12)...8,000m men's races will begin at 11 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. ET...women's 6,000m races will follow at 12:20 p.m. and 12:55 p.m. ET.

Both Husky squads continue a steady climb up the rankings since the first polls were released. The Husky men have moved up three spots to No. 27 after their initial No. 30 ranking, while the women's team has ascended from the 19th spot all the way up to 12th in the nation in the Oct. 9 poll.

The Oregon men received 10 of 13 first place votes this week to lead No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 3 Colorado. Regional rankings place the UW men fifth in the difficult West Region that features four Top-20 teams including Oregon and No. 5 Stanford.

The women's West Region is even stronger, as No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Oregon, and No. 6 Arizona State are ranked ahead of the Husky women.

Here are the assignments for the two men’s and women’s races:

11:00 a.m. Men’s 8,000 Meter Blue Race:
Air Force, Alabama, Arizona,
BYU, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Columbia, Dartmouth, Dayton, Duquesne, Florida
State, Georgia, Indiana, Iona, Iowa, Iowa State, IUPUI, Kent State, Louisville,
Miami/Ohio, Michigan State, Montana State, Morehead State, Northern Arizona,
Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Mississippi, Portland, Tennessee,
Tulsa, UCLA, Villanova, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming. (39)

11:40 a.m. Men’s 8,000 Meter White Race:
Arizona State, Belmont, Cal
Poly, Coastal Carolina, Colorado, Cornell, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Florida,
Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana State, Kansas, Lamar, Liberty, Marquette, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi State, Montana, NC State, Notre Dame, Oakland, Ohio U., Penn,
Princeton, Providence, Southern Illinois, Southern Utah, Stanford, Syracuse, UC-Santa
Barbara, Utah State, UTEP, William & Mary, Western Kentucky, Washington State,
Weber State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Yale. (40)

12:20 p.m. Women’s 6,000 Meter Blue Race: Akron, Boston College,
Butler, Central Michigan, California, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State,
Columbia, Dartmouth, Eastern Kentucky, Florida State, Georgetown, Indiana, IUPUI,
Kansas State, Loyola (IL), Marquette, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Mississippi State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, NC State, Nebraska, New
Mexico, Notre Dame, Penn, Rice, Stanford, Tulsa, UC-Santa Barbara, Utah State,
Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin. (38)

12:55 p.m. Women’s 6,000 Meter White Race:
Arizona, Arizona State, Ball
State, Baylor, Belmont, BYU, Colorado, Duquesne, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech,
Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kent State, Liberty, Louisville, Michigan, Morehead
State, Oakland, Ohio U., Portland, Princeton, Providence, Purdue, Stony Brook, UAB,
UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNLV, William & Mary, Western Kentucky, Washington,
Weber State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wyoming, Yale. (38)

The sports information offices of Indiana State University, the University of Washington, and Washington State University all contributed to this report.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Jesse Owens Award poll results...

In paulmerca.blogspot.com's first poll, we asked you in cyberland who should receive USA Track & Field's Jesse Owens Award for 2007.

On the women's side, 72% voted for Allyson Felix, with Shalane Flanagan receiving 28%.

The men proved a different story--it was a dead heat between Bernard Lagat & Jeremy Wariner at 33%, with Tyson Gay at 22%, and Alan Webb at 11%.

No question on who I ended up voting for--Allyson had by far the best season of any American woman in 2007.

On the men's side, it was a lot tougher to decide. Using many of the same criteria Track & Field News uses to make its annual rankings (honors won, major wins vs. significant opponents, consistency over a season, times), here's how I ranked them:

7--Webb: American record in the mile, and the world's fastest time at 1500, but no medal.
6--Greer: American record in the javelin, best throw in the world this year, but only a bronze in Osaka.
4 (tie)--Hoffa/Walker: Gold medals for both in Osaka; both had the best marks in the world in their events, but hampered by some losses.
3--Lagat: I thought that he was shaky early in the season; losing to Webb at nationals in June was a big strike against him, along with his early European results.
2--Gay: Three gold medals in Osaka, dominant against other Americans, but not quite as dominant against the rest of the world.
1--Wariner, in a very close call! This one will be argued by voters, fans, etc., but at the end of the day, the only thing that stood out was his dominance of the 400 against the rest of the world.

Look for another poll soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Unplugged with...KARA GOUCHER


Kara Goucher, fresh off her victory in the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday in Newcastle, England where she ran 66:57 to beat Paula Radcliffe in the Brit’s return to competition after the birth of her first child, spoke to members of the national running media Wednesday morning from her home in Portland, Oregon.

The 2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist, Goucher made her half marathon debut a memorable one in setting a new American best time of 66 minutes 57 seconds in the nationally-televised race. Her time bettered the previous U.S. record of 67:34 by Deena Kastor set last year in Berlin, but due to the downhill nature of the course, it will not qualify as the American record.

Goucher posted splits of 47:36 (15 km), 50:59 (10 miles), and 63:33 (20 km), which are quicker than any U.S. competitor has run before.

Goucher's time was the eighth fastest half-marathon in history and 10 seconds faster than Radcliffe's time of 2000.

Goucher forged ahead after six miles and continued to apply the pressure on Radcliffe with two sub-five-minute miles.

The American established a 10-meter gap in the seventh mile, which she completed in 4:57, but the gap increased as Goucher clocked 4:49 in the eighth.

Goucher then discarded her running mitts and the gap grew as she retained her pace around the five-minute mark with Radcliffe unable to respond.

After a whirlwind season, she and her husband Adam (who was eleventh in the men’s 5000 on the final night of the world championships in Osaka) are taking some time off to visit their families before starting the base training that hopefully puts them on the plane to Beijing for next summer’s Olympics.

Shortly after the conclusion of this morning’s teleconference, Goucher was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Great North Run.


Q: Tell us about your weekend?

Kara Goucher: (the Great North Run) was something that was proposed to me after Osaka. My coach (Alberto Salazar) and I talked about it, and he said that I should do it—you’re really strong right now, and you have no expectations, and I said, ‘okay!’.

I actually came back to Portland for seven days after running in Berlin (a personal best of 14:55.02 for 5000m on September 16th). I did a long run (15 miles), then a 9-mile tempo run. Going into the race, I felt like I could handle 5:10 (per mile) pace.

Q: What was the longest distance you’ve raced, and how did you find the change in distance?

KG: 10k. I felt comfortable and really relaxed, like my body was handling it really well, until we hit two miles to go, then my lack of preparation for a half marathon started to kick in. The last kilometer was really, really hard.

Q: How much road racing have you done?

KG: This was only my third road race, (Providence 5k in Rhode Island in 2005, and a 10 k last year), and by far this was the most exciting. It was loud and people were cheering, although people kept calling me Paula, and not Kara! It was really awesome-I’d never been a part of a scene like that before!

Q: It’s been a unbelievable year for you. What sticks out for you, or is it all a blur?

KG: It’s hard to pick a favorite moment. Running in Boulder (where she finished third in the USA Cross Country Championships, running 28:01 for 8k) was so awesome, especially seeing so many people there. I wished I’d won there. At the USA Nationals in Indianapolis, I ran a conservative race, but I made my first world championship team, and I was extremely emotional there. Osaka was so amazing, and this past weekend was great. It’s hard to pick the best moment. A lot of it hasn’t sunk in, as I’ve just been going, going, going. It’s been overwhelming, but in a good way.

Q: As you lined up that night in Osaka, what were your thoughts on getting a medal?

KG: I had thought about it, and my husband and I had talked about it. (Adam) said that “your workouts have been amazing--I’ve never seen you work so hard in all the time I’ve known you”. It was in the back of my mind, but I didn’t want to go there and have an unbelievable race and be tenth and be disappointed with that. On the bus ride to the meet, my coach said “you are in the best shape of your life. On paper, you are ninth, and I know you can run faster than 31:17.72 (set last year), so you are probably fifth or sixth. If you put yourself in a good position, you could get a medal”.

That night, I was really focused. I was focused on not letting the lead pack get away from me. I wanted a medal, but I wasn’t consciously thinking about it until the last lap.

Q: With all the running videos of you on the Internet, is this the kind of achievement that instantly changes your running life?

KG: To be honest, nothing’s changed. Adam and I did this video for Nike, and the first thing I said on the video was that people would be shocked at how big my goals are. I always wanted to do something memorable. I’ve always wanted to make a World or Olympic team. I still can’t believe it happened, and it still surprises me.

This past weekend, I still can’t believe I’m running with Paula Radcliffe. Anyway, nothing’s changed in my normal life.

Q: What was going through your head during the last few kilometers of the half-marathon?

KG: I had no idea that Paula and I had a big gap between us. I was thinking that I might beat Paula-this is crazy! With two miles to go, it started to set in how tired I was. It was really loud down the homestretch—it was about a 1600m straightaway. I honestly thought she was going to be flying by me at anytime. I kept telling myself that this is the last race of the year and try to stay relaxed. My arms tend to creep up and my neck goes back when I’m tired, so I could hear Alberto in my head telling me to drop my arms and put my neck down, and readjust my body’s urge to stop.

Adam and I were on the bus after the race, and we were driving on the course (Adam finished sixth in 63:17). He pointed out something and asked me if I remembered it. I don’t remember a thing. I stared at Paula for the first five miles, then I moved alongside her. After that, I stared at the lead car the rest of the way.

Q: Did you and Paula speak at all either before or after the race?

KG: I had never met Paula before the race, and the night before the race, she and her husband, her parents and her baby sat down at the table where we were. I was dying--I was so geeked out that she was sitting there! I was so excited that I was dead quiet, and getting shy! She was so nice to us.

After the race, she didn’t talk too much about the race, but she did say ‘good job’ to me. It was so awesome to meet her. She’s so amazing, and she shows that anything is possible through hard work and dedication

It was weird (beating Radcliffe). My coach thought I could beat her, and Adam’s always like that. In my mind, I had no idea what to expect. She’s Paula Radcliffe—it was crazy to beat her, but at the same time it wasn’t awkward, because she didn’t make it that way.

Q: Does this effort make you more or less inclined to try the marathon?

KG: I have to say that the half-marathon was really hard, so the thought of going twice as far is like, no thanks right now.

The past month and a half since Osaka, I’ve been basically tapering. I did one hard week of training after Osaka, then I was tapering since I wanted to PR at 3k & 5k. There’s a part of me that’s intrigued if I had the time and if I had the mileage put in,

I think I could run faster in a half-marathon. If I had a better base put in over the last few weeks, I think I could have handled those last two miles better. That makes me excited over what I could do in the marathon, but I’m still not ready to do it.

Q: Why was this year a breakthrough year for you?

KG: Actually, last year was a breakthrough year for me. It was the first time I had been healthy for more than four months. I’ve been healthy now for about a year and a half, and this is the longest I’ve been healthy, dating back to the seventh grade.

I think it’s been a combination of being healthy, being able to do the work because I’m healthy, and because I’ve been able to do the work, I have confidence, and because I have confidence, I can think the way I need to think.

Q: What was it like to battle the consistent flow of injuries that you went through before last year?

KG: It was awful. If it wasn’t for Adam and my family, I would have quit. I’ve had big goals, and I love running. There were times where it would make me sad that my body won’t let me do it. It was really frustrating, but I had a really great support system.

I could never express how much Alberto has helped me. Alberto didn’t give up on me. He said you have to get healthy, and your body is a miraculous thing, and it has to heal. I never had to earn his approval. He believed in me and coached me. He didn’t baby me. He asked a lot out of me. He just made me work hard and believe. He’s so positive, and he opened my eyes to what’s possible. I can never thank him enough, and that’s the heart of the turnaround for me.

I don’t think I’ve reached the end of my potential. There’s so much more that I want to do. If I never run any faster, this has been an awesome experience. I feel that I can run faster; I feel like I can run smarter races; I feel like I can do more.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jesse Owens Award nominees...


I recently received an email stating that I have a vote as a track and field journalist for the 2007 Jesse Owens Award.

This year’s awards will be presented at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ceremony is held in conjunction with USA Track & Field’s 2007 Annual Meeting in Honolulu.

The Jesse Owens Award was established in 1981 as a tribute to the man whose accomplishments are forever enshrined in sports history. It is USA Track & Field’s highest accolade, and is presented annually to the individuals selected through a nominating and voting procedure as the outstanding American performers of the year in Athletics.

Just to get your opinions in cyberland, I've set up a poll on the right side of this blogspot site, (below my bio) where you can vote for who you think should be the Jesse Owens Award winner.

To make things interesting, I'd like to hear your comments on who should get the award, and why. On the women's side, an argument could be made to have Kara Goucher as a finalist, based on her accomplishments after Osaka, particularly with her half-marathon performance on Sunday in England.

Here are the men's and women's finalists for the Jesse Owens Award, listed in alphabetical order, followed by their accomplishments in 2007:

Men


Tyson Gay

--World Outdoor Championships gold medalist at 100m (9.85), 200m (19.76 Championship Record) and 4x100m relay (37.78).
--USA champion at 100m (9.84 CR) and 200m (19.62CR), the fastest 100-200 double in history
--Undefeated in 100 and 200
--5 of 6 fastest times by an American in 100; also ran wind-aided 9.76 and 9.79. 3 of 4 fastest times by an American in 200 and 2007 world leader (19.62).
--Visa Champion as top male performer of Visa Championship Series


Breaux Greer

--Broke American record in javelin twice: 90.71/297-7 at adidas Track Classic and 91.29/299-6 at AT&T USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
--World Championships bronze medalist; first medal for Team USA in the javelin since 1983
--2007 world leader (91.29/299-6); #9 thrower all-time. Eight longest throws by an American in 2007
--2007 USA Outdoor champion (91.29/299-6)


Reese Hoffa

--World Outdoor gold medalist in shot put (22.04m/72-3.75)
--Top 2 throws in the world outdoors, including WL 22.43m/73-7.25; 3 of the top 4 marks and 10 of top 19
--USA Outdoor champion and World Athletics Final Champion


Bernard Lagat

--World Outdoor gold medalist in 1500m (3:34.77) and 5,000 (13:45.87)
--First man to complete 1,500/5,000 double wins at World Outdoors
--Became first American to win 1,500m gold and first American to win any medal in 5,000 at World Outdoors
--First American in 99 years to win 1,500m gold at Worlds or Olympics
--Indoors, broke American record at 3,000m (7:32.43) and had the fastest time by an American in the mile (3:54.36).
--USA Outdoor 5,000m champion (13:30.73)


Brad Walker

--World Outdoor gold medalist in pole vault (5.86m/19-2.75)
--Top 2 marks in world, including 2007 world leader (5.95/19-6.25); 4 of top 6 marks in the world and 5 of top 6 marks by an American
--USA Outdoor champion (5.70m/18-08.25) and World Athletics Final champion


Jeremy Wariner

--World Outdoor gold medalist in 400m (43.45WL) and 4x400m relay (2:55.56)
--Anchored Team USA to third-fastest time in history in 4x400m relay at World Outdoors
--Two fastest times in the world and 5 of top 7 times; his WL 43.46 makes him the third-fastest man in history.
--Undefeated at 400m


Alan Webb

--Broke American record in mile (3:46.91; #8 man all-time)
--2007 world leader in mile (3:46.91) and 1,500m (3:30.54); #2 in world in 800m (1:43.84)
--USA indoor mile (4:01.07) and outdoor 1,500m (3:34.82 Championship Record) champion
--Set personal bests at 800 (1:43.84), 1,500m (3:30.54) and mile (3:46.91).


Women

Allyson Felix

--World Outdoor gold medalist in 200m (21.81), 4x100m relay (41.98) and 4x400m relay (3:18.55; split 48.0), becoming the second woman in history to win three gold medals at a single World Outdoor Championships
--Winning 200m time was fastest by a woman since 1999 and was the largest margin of victory in World Outdoor history (.53)
--Undefeated at 200m; ran top 3 times in the world at 200m
--Set personal bests in 100 (11.01), 200 (21.81) and 400m (49.70)
--Ran American record indoors for 300m (36.33)
--USA Outdoor Champion (22.34); 4th in 100 (11.25)


Shalane Flanagan

--Broke American record indoors at 3,000m (8:33.25) and outdoors at 5,000m (14:44.80)
--USA Indoor 3,000m (8:56.74) and outdoor 5,000m (14:51.75) champion
--Eighth in 5,000m at World Outdoors (15:03.86)
--Set PRs at 1,500m (4:05.96), 3,000m (8:33.25i) and 5,000m (14:44.80).
--2nd at USA XC Championships


Michelle Perry

--World Outdoor gold medalist in 100m hurdles (12.46)
--Major victories at Rome, Paris, Lausanne, Eugene, Carson and World Athletics Final
--2007 world leader (12.44); 6 of 9 fastest times by an American


Sanya Richards

--Won half of Golden League Jackpot by winning all six GL meets at 400m; other major wins include Nike Prefontaine Classic and World Athletics Final
--Ran five fastest times in the world at 400m, including eight sub-50 clockings
--World Outdoor 4x400m relay gold medalist (3:18.55); fifth in 200 (22.70)
--200m runner-up at USA Outdoors (22.43)
--Ran PR 11.05 in 100m


Jenn Stuczynski

--Broke American record outdoors in pole vault twice – 4.84/15-10.5 at adidas Track Classic and 4.88/16-0 at Reebok Grand Prix.
--Ranks as #2 jumper (tie) all-time outdoors and is only American to clear 16-0.
--USA Indoor (4.60m/15-1) and Outdoor (4.45m/14-7.25) champion
--Top 4 jumps by an American outdoors and top 3 indoors; #2 vaulter in world outdoors


Tiffany Williams

--Visa Champion as top female athlete of Visa Championship Series
--USA Outdoor 400m hurdles champion (53.28); 7th at World Outdoors (54.63)
--2007 world leader (53.28)
--5 of top 7 times by an American in 2007

You can read each of their bios by going to usatf.org.

Blog Archive