Let me be frank. I don’t love the city of Boston. It just doesn’t do it for me. The only things that I found redeeming about ol’ Beantown were Good Will Hunting, The Departed, The Pixies and the city’s fierce brand loyalty to Dunkin Donuts.
That said, I wouldn’t mind being in the vicinity of a bunch of Pats fans this weekend, if it meant getting to see a few pretty stacked races at the BU Last Chance Meet. Basically every pro who trains in Boston or Providence, R.I., (a far superior city for those keeping score at home), will be looking to get one last hard effort in before USA Indoors next weekend. Add to the mix a slew of NJ-NY men and women and a handful of Oregon-based Nike athletes and you’ve got yourself one hell of an indoor distance carnival.
Let’s preview it now, recap it later and call it square, okay?
This race isn’t quite as loaded as some of the others, but keep an eye out for NJ-NY rookies Ce’aira Brown (Hampton University) and Cecilia Barowski (Princeton University). Barowski’s already gone 2:01.52 this year and is listed in the entries for the 600m at USA Indoors.
In a similar scenario to the women’s 800m, the mile looks to be front-heavy with defending NCAA 1,500m champion Marta Freitas of Mississippi State and NJ-NY teammates Stephanie Schappert and Kenyetta Iyevbele leading the way. Schappert’s 4:30.07 PB is the fastest in the field, but Freitas did compete in the Rio Games for her native Portugal this past summer.
With just six entries, it’s easy to overlook the women’s 3k. But, you really shouldn’t do that. NB Boston teammates Cory McGee and Katrina Coogan, Mississippi St.’s Freitas and Lennie Waite (who repped Great Britain in the steeple in Brazil) could make this li’l race pretty interesting.
Once again, the field is tiny, but so what, who cares! Molly Huddle is listed as an entry as is Emily Sisson. With Huddle coming off of a great showing at the NYC Marathon and gearing up for next month’s NYC Half, it might not be the blowout victory we’ve come to expect from Huddle in domestic competition. Her training partner Sisson is also slated to compete in the NYC Half, so it’s likely they’ll be on the same page training wise, with a more volume and less speed-oriented last few months. Waite is also listed as an entry, but who knows what will happen with the women who have entered multiple events. I’m not a prophet, I’m just a guy with some entry lists and a shitty Dell laptop.
Coming off a 3:56.55 mile win at the February 10th Husky Indoor Classic in Seattle, BTC’s Lopez Lomong seems poised to run a quick half mile in Boston. He’ll be pushed by NJ-NY newcomers Goaner Deng (University of Minnesota), Joe McAsey (University of Illinois), and Chris Giesting (University of Notre Dame), a former 400m runner now being groomed by Coach Gagliano into a middle distance guy.
This is a dumb field. It’s very deep, and has the ability to go very fast. But in the absence of a rabbit, I could also see it being won in a tactical 3:57. There were rumblings of Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz headlining the field, but it appears that he’s scrapped the remainder of the indoor season to focus on regrouping for outdoor. Instead, we have a field led by Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, Drew Hunter, Dan Huling and an NJNY cadre of Kyle Merber, Colby Alexander, Johnny Gregorek, Ford Palmer, Graham Crawford, and Donn Cabral. Keep your eyes on the collegiate record of 3:52.88 by Lawi Lalang’s 2014 Millrose Games run.
There’s a 3,000m for the boys too, but you animals don’t care about anything that won’t be won in 7:45. It’s all college guys. Grow up.
Anyway, in the event of an unpaced men’s mile, or one or two key scratches from the women’s tiny distance fields, the men’s 5,000m should be able to salvage the entertainment value of the meet. Eric Jenkins has run phenomenally this year and Ben True is coming off of a Millrose two-mile victory in which he looked both nimble and burly. But the intrigue comes from Bowerman basically dumping their entire roster onto the starting line. Mo Ahmed, Evan Jager, Ryan Hill, Chris Derrick, Matt Hughes, Lopez Lomong, Dan Huling, and Woody Kincaid are all listed entries. Who the heck is Woody Kincaid? Find out here. Who is to say if any of these fellas are meant to be rabbits (we’ve heard 13:20 pace has been called for, which should mean we’ll see a very fast final mile) or if they’ll all actually show. But if even half of the listed studs wind up racing, it should be a good one.
Well, that’s all, folks! Don’t worry, Chavez ought to be the one providing a recap, so you’ll get less personal opinion on bad US cities and more actual analysis of the races that transpired. As a friendly reminder, Mark Wahlberg was convicted of felony assault in 1988 for beating a man to the point of blindness in one eye, and because of said felony status, he is having a difficult time franchising his Wahlburger restaurant chain despite the latest reports that two more are opening in the Detroit area.