Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alan Webb leaves Alberto Salazar's Nike Oregon Project group...

The major buzz around the world of American track and field over the last 24 hours is that Alan Webb (left/photo by Paul Merca), the American record holder in the mile, has decided to leave Alberto Salazar's Nike Oregon Project training group out of the Beaverton campus.

Many outsiders felt that Webb was the odd man in a training group that is catered mainly to longer distance runners, as opposed to him, who is more of a middle distance runner.

The news of Webb's departure was reported earlier on Wednesday through a tweet posted by Race Results Weekly's David Monti, and confirmed by media partner Flotrack, and TrackFocus. LetsRun.com also got a statement from Ray Flynn, Webb's agent on his departure from the Salazar camp.

In a statement posted on TrackFocus.com, a Nike spokesman said, "We can confirm that Alan Webb has decided to make a change in coaches and training groups. He will pursue a group where he can train with more middle distance runners. We wish Alan all the best and continued success as one of the all-time great milers."

Where will Webb go? LetsRun has a list of coaches with a middle distance background where he could end up. Among those are retired Michigan coach Ron Warhurst (who coached Webb before); current Arizona distance coach James Li, who currently coaches Bernard Lagat; Australian Nic Bideau (who used to coach Craig Mottram); and, Jason Vigilante of Virginia (formerly coached Leo Manzano and currently coaches Robby Andrews). Webb could also possibly move to Eugene and train with Vin Lananna and Mark Rowland, where there is a middle distance group that includes Olympians Nick Symmonds and Andrew Wheating.

As they say, stay tuned…

TrackFocus.com has a great interview posted on its site with former UW assistant coach Kelly Strong (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field), who is now an assistant at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Strong, who I had the opportunity to work with a few weeks ago in Punta Umbria, Spain at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, speaks about her Spanish experience, along with the reasons why she left the University of Washington and ended up at CL/SLO with the web site's Doug Binder.

She also talks about her upcoming summer camp that will happen shortly after the USA Championships in Eugene, called the Cascade Distance Camp, in which she states, "The ultimate goal at the end of the week is that each individual leaves motivated and inspired to take themselves and those around them to new heights."

paulmerca.blogspot.com hopes to talk with Strong in depth about her camp and what she's up to soon.

You can read Binder's post with Strong here.

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