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March 10, 2017

NCAA Indoor Champs: Day 1 Recap

Day one’s in the books. It was a good day full of surprises and unfortunate, retroactively enforced DQs (going forward, please don’t be a snitch). In both the men’s and women’s DMRs, the teams with the slowest 400m split actually wound up winning the whole thing! And Cheserek began his assault on the trifecta of 5k, 3k, mile (but not the quadruple as once speculated). For full results and tomorrow’s schedule and entry lists, click here. For some rapid-fire analysis from Jeanne and me, read on.

Oregon gets ducked over by DQ (still does well, anyway)

Going into day 2, Oregon only has 6 points, but they remain strong through their sprint squad and will be looking to collect on some of the top qualifying marks they had in the 100m and 200m (Hannah Cunliffe and Ariana Washington in both, and Deajah Stevens in the 60m). They’ll be hurt by Stevens being retroactively DQ’ed from the 200m, which stings even more, because it means her blazing collegiate and American records are now wiped off the board. How much time does stepping on an inside line really save, anyway? Oregon didn’t field anyone in the 400m.

(It’s also worth noting that the Oregon Ducks were probably banking on a W in the DMR which did not pan out, as well as Stevens getting them at least 8 points in the 200m. Could make them vulnerable from a team standpoint.)

Women’s 5,000m: The Schweizer Anti-Surprise

Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer said no to pussyfooting and bravely took it out, basically from the gun, which eventually broke the race into a lead pack of her, Erin Finn from Michigan, and then Karisa Schweizer of Missouri right on both of their tails. The NCAA XC rematch separated from the rest of the field before even hitting 1600m and stayed in that formation until 4600m. That’s when Schweizer took the opportunity of lapping some of the other runners to swing wide and pass into first. The same head-tilting kick that won her the NCAA D1 Cross title this past Fall got her to the finish line in first with a 15:19.14. She closed her last 400 in 65, and Erin Finn went around Rohrer for second place with 15:27.36. Rohrer was third with 15:29.83.

Ches’s first W of the meet

It was an honest 5,000m pace-wise, and Tulsa’s Marc Scott (who wound up in second) looked very good. But at this point, Ches seems to be in a class to himself. He ran his two races today looking like a fella with a lot left in the tank, and waited until the very end of both to open up, do that weird thing with his hands, and start turning over. When that happens, it’s going to take a very special day from anybody else to hang on and give themselves a chance.

An EXCITING Women’s DMR

The DMR started out with Penn State, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, and BYU handing off on top. LSU took over in the 400 leg, splitting a 53.4 and mixing up the order a little. Michigan moved to second, Indiana was third, then Penn State, then BYU. Michigan took back over after the 800, but Oregon closed fast, running the second fastest 800 of the field in 2:05.04 to hand off for third, right behind Indiana. Wondering which team ran the fastest 800? Well, hold on to that question. Then came the last leg! The long one! And boy, was it a whopper. Indiana was in second, behind Michigan with Katie Rainsberger for Oregon taking the baton and looking calm when disaster struck! Indiana dropped the baton! Rainsberger made a move, which was immediately covered by Stanford’s Elise Cranny who expertly avoided the baton drop. Cranny was closing with a little less than 200 to go, with Rainsberger hanging on into the final stretch when out of nowhere, Dani Jones from Colorado came and STOLE THE SHOW and the crown. You guessed it, Colorado had the fastest 800m leg, splitting 2:05.02. And while Jones’s 4:31.71 split was enough to come from behind for the win, it was only second fastest in the field, with Notre Dame’s Jessica Harris clocking a 4:27.01 to move up from last to 8th place.

Three Cheers for the The Mustacheod Men of Ole Miss

After a physical 800m prelim from which he failed to advance, Craig Engels more than redeemed himself with the 1,200m leg for his Ole Miss DMR squad. Closing fast off a slow 61 second first 400m, he handed off in the lead with a 2:56 split. Some pandemonium ensued over the next two legs, as Ole Miss was promptly gobbled up by the field’s stronger 400m legs. Which let Sean Tobin drop the Irish Hammer over the course of his 800m leg. His 1:47 split brought the boys in blue back into contention, and set up his teammate, Robert Domanic, to capitalize on a fading Kyle Mau from Indiana. Domanic split 3:57, giving Ole Miss the win in an honest 9:31.32.

Those middling middle distances…

The women’s and men’s 800 meter and mile prelims went off with fairly few hitches. The usual suspects breezed into tomorrow’s women’s 800m final; Texas A&M’s collegiate record holder Jazmine Fray, Olivia Baker of Stanford, BYU’s Shea Collinsworth, and defending champion Raevyn Rogers of Oregon. You know the drill.

On the men’s side, 600m world lead holder Emmanuel Korir of UTEP showed a last-second gear shift that was really impressive. Penn State’s Isaiah Harris and Georgetown’s Joseph White also looked good, although the early rounds were pretty physical, and literally and metaphorically knocked out a few contenders, namely Florida’s Andres Arroyo, Ole Miss’s Craig Engels, and Virginia Tech’s Patrick Joseph who all failed to advance.

No real surprises in either the women’s or men’s mile prelims. The two women who have dipped below 4:30 both advanced easily (OK State’s Kaela Edwards & UNH’s Elinor Purrier). And on the men’s side Cheserek opened up his NCAA meet with an easy 3:59.30, which is totally understandable, given that he’s run over seven seconds faster this season. He has another gear that not many he’ll face in the final can summon, so it’ll be a surprise if anybody beats him tomorrow in this event.
And Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley ran the fastest 400m of the day, going 45.10. He already has run the fastest indoor 400m in the world this year. Today’s showing is good enough for the second fastest.

March 9, 2017

Some reasonable solutions to the NCAA’s trouble with ties

Yesterday, Twitter user Jake Hesson (@HessonJake) slid on into our DMs like a dawg and posed the following question:

Hey so I know NCAAs this weekend could be a possible tie on paper (FL vs Oregon). I’d love to hear about/know, what would happen if there actually was a tie.

Great question, Jake. We didn’t know the answer off the top of our heads, so we dove into the meaty .PDF document that is the NCAA’s 2017/2018 rule book and found… nothing.

Turns out there’s no protocol for breaking a tie in team scoring, so should Oregon and Florida tie, that’s it. The tie is not to be broken.

That doesn’t sit well with us. It’s called the National Championships. Not the National ChampionSship, ya know? So we — Paul, Jeanne, Stephen, Ryan, Nicole, Chris and Scott, the rule-loving, tie-hating members of the Citius Mag staff — have offered up some suggestions on how to best determine a true winner in the event of a team tie.

We want Malcolm: After his shockingly inaccurate performance for USA indoor predictions, it is only the most logical possible conclusion to allow Malcolm The Cat to decide the winner. Place him in the infield and whichever team’s huddle he meanders closest toward after five minutes gets the crown and the spoils and the cake. Which brings me to another idea: why on earth does the NCAA D1 champion team get a trophy instead a giant 100 pound cake with all of their faces on it? -JM

Rerun the entire meet as a dual meet: That’s right, everybody. Put those spikes back on and take off the Minions pajamas. You’re doing your event (or events) again. Potentially against nobody, if the team your team tied didn’t field anyone in your event. If it’s an Oregon-Florida tie, we get to see Ches basically solo nearly six miles worth of racing. It’s the cruel, sadistic solution we both need and deserve. -PS

A Human Pyramid: Since this is a question of who was the best team, the winner should be determined through a superior display of Teamwork. I’m taking a page out of Corporate Team Building books everywhere when I say there’s no purer exhibit of teamwork than erecting an enormous human pyramid. Plus, you have all the building blocks: sturdy throwers for the base and pale, feeble distance runners for the top. If each team manages to build a human pyramid of the exact same height, it then turns into a feat of strength and endurance, the winner crowned after the losers collapse. -RS

Coaches 4×400: Yeah, a coach from each event group has to run the 4×4. Sure, you might have more than four staff members. Cool, you have choices. You just can’t choose two coaches from the same event group to be on the relay. Everybody stands on the track and screams. Whoever wins this, wins it all. NB

A-Ha: Each team selects three team representatives. They all sit in a room and have to sit through every single Take On Me cover that is on Youtube. Last person standing wins it for their team. – CC

Bone Density: That’s right folks, the name of this game is: Bone Density. We all know this is the most important aspect of running, so why not settle a few days of racing, throwing and smiling

with some good old fashioned hopping. In an homage to vitamin D and collagen, each team will have their athletes hop on one foot until:

  1. Cowardice kicks in
  2. A tibial stress fracture

This is the right way to see who’s been preparing their bodies for a season’s worth of pounding the mondo and who hasn’t. This makes a lot of sense and should be adopted immediately. -SK

Democracy: Each member of the opposing team and coaching staff forms a nice, orderly line and casts a vote, Survivor Style. This, in my mind, is the truest test of team allegiance. Perhaps there’s a few people who just hate their teammates’ guts, or a coach with a personal vendetta against their Athletic Director. Maybe two star crossed lovers from opposing teams would rather die than see the other’s team lose. There will be inevitable cries of mutiny and I imagine more than one person will be thrown off the loser’s team bus while flying down the Interstate.

(We’re aware that teams come in all shapes and sizes. For the sake of this tiebreaker, a few people will have to sit out. We’ll round down to the nearest ten.) -RS

Video Games: If I know student athletes,and I did at one point, they love and live to game. Get some sports stars in a room with an XBox, Call of Duty and a Jay-Z/Linkin Park CD playing and chances are you’ll have to intervene after several days to remind them to eat, use the toilet, and bathe themselves. So why not settle the score on the track, by determining who is best at manipulating some joysticks. The meet’s host school must provide a 32” LCD TV purchased on special at Best Buy, one XBox 360 with four controllers, and any old video game. The teams then select their designated gamers, who will duke it out in the virtual realm, for the spoils here in meatspace. -PS

Alternates: Oh yeah. That’s right free-loaders, you’re on the hook. All of the alternates who traveled with the team for various relays must put down the soft serve ice cream and don a speed-suit for a winner-take-all Mile race. You’re a 400 meter runner? Deal with it. You’re a senior coming off a very bad injury and the coach just wanted you at the meet for “leadership?” Don’t care, not my problem. Lane seeding will be assigned by the amount of per-diem that you received and anyone who got more than $200 has to wait an extra 5 seconds after the gun goes off to start. -SO

March 9, 2017

2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships: Projections, predictions and contest

Data, predictions and projections for the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, which take place this weekend in College Station, Texas.

March 9, 2017

How to beat the NCAA jump favorites

Part two in our ongoing series of how to topple this weekends NCAA titans. Please take all advice with a grain of salt. FIND PART ONE HERE.

THE JUMPS

If sabotage isn’t your thing, then perhaps it’s time to consider cheating.

Since this is indoor track, cutting the course or jumping in mid-race aren’t viable options–things are just too tight, the fields too small. The greatest opportunity to lay waste to your competition through bending of the rules and sleight of hand is in the field events. And if you’re attempting to seal the deal in the high jump, long jump, or triple jump, we have a few surefire ways to leave the favorites scratching their heads.

HIGH JUMP

People to beat: (men) Randall cunningham, (women) looks like a toss up. Ladies,  you’re all more than welcome to this foolproof advice.

The main hindrances to an otherwise great high jump is not jumping high enough to clear the bar.

Given that Texas A&M has the 11th ranked engineering program in the country, it should be no problem for you, an athlete who has qualified for NCAAs in the high jump, to shake down some Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering student and have them slap together something like what’s pictured on the left.

Do you see? That’s right, you almost missed it. That’s why it’s perfect. A clear, plastic step ladder will help you glide up to the bar like Vanna White, and step over it like ol’ Dick Fosbury intended.  

 

LONG JUMP/TRIPLE JUMP

People to beat: (women) Keturah Orji (LJ, TJ), Sha’Keela Saunders (LJ), Quanesha Burks (LJ) (men) Keandre bates (LJ), Julian Harvey (LJ), Clive Pullen (TJ)

The high jump was as easy as molding a clear plastic ladder and setting it up before you jump. But to really do some work in the long jump and triple jump, you’re going to have to case the joint beforehand. Now brace yourselves, because we’re about to go Hollywood on your ass.

When you get to the venue the night before, you’ll want to bring your engineering friend because the setup of a stunt wire rig they use in movies like The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle are completely lost on me. Just show your engineer co-conspirator this video of Neo jumping from building to building and they should know what to do with the Mobile Towers, Steel Decks, Hoists, Trussing, Scaffolding, Drapes, Ship Chandlery, Descenders, Nitrogen Rams, Flying Track, Harnesses and Stunt Mattresses that you’ve secured beforehand.
On the day of your competition, just snap in to your flying girdle and sail to victory like Bob Beamon in Mexico City.

There you have it. If you want to be a winner, take my advice.

March 9, 2017

The Citius Mag Guide to College Station

What to do, where to eat, where to drink and what to see if you’re in town for the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track Championships in College Station.

March 8, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA men’s 3,000m final

Get your morning started with a kick that would make you choke on that coffee that you’re drinking. Centro? Leonard Korir? Hicham El Guerrouj? Nah, it was Elliott Heath. Elliott woke up the crowd during the 2011 Men’s 3000m race with a scintillating last 200 meters.

At the time, we didn’t know that there were four future Olympians in the field. Factor in a few tired legs from the 5000m race the night before and the men’s 3000m final in 2011 was sure to put on a show.

A beardless Ben Blankenship, Matthew Centrowitz, Lenny Korir, Sam Chelanga, Lawi Lalang and Tom Farrell were among those on the start list. It was a race that was bound to be exciting and one that couldn’t be easily predicted.

The previous night, Korir held off Sam Chelanga and Diego Estrada to win the 5,000m national title. He was one of the studs to watch. But that 3k/5k double isn’t always the easiest to pull off (unless you’re Edward Cheserek). The race got underway, German Fernandez DNF’d in the first few meters and the pace wasn’t anything too extreme half way through. Roughly 8:10 pace, very doable considering most of the field had already run 7:57 faster to get in.

But as championship races tend to do, the pace quickened with 400m to go and again on the bell lap. Nothing out of the ordinary. Heath took off and took the win.

Give the race a watch above, re-live the excitement and get pumped for this weekend’s meet, again down in College Station, TX.

View the race results below

Elliot

March 8, 2017

How to beat Edward Cheserek…(well almost)

In the spring of 2011, Edward Cheserek hadn’t quite become the household name he is today, mostly because he was, like, 15 or 16 years old and a high school student in New Jersey.

Me? I was an even lesser known college sophomore, whose name recognition has not really changed since.

On the evening of April, 22nd, he only beat me in a 5,000 meter race in Princeton, NJ, by five seconds, during the fastest 5,000m I’ve ever run and probably most objectively impressive athletic feat I’ve ever accomplished. Naturally, this makes me an expert on dethroning the King, ya know?

The first rule for beating Ches, is to go out slightly faster than your current PR pace and focus only on clicking off even splits. With 800 meters to go, begin your long, drawn-out kick. Since Cheserek is six years older and faster than he was when I didn’t lose to him by that much, you’ll then have to rely on two things: the first being that you are much better than I was, which shouldn’t be hard; the second is that you need a weakened Edward.

Through deceit and trickery, try luring him through some sort of warp in the spacetime continuum before the race, from which he will emerge a meek, teenage version of himself. That or have a bunch of friends leave favorable Yelp reviews for a College Station restaurant that almost assuredly gives most of its patrons botulism, then hope that the Oregon team selects its pre-meet dinner based on the strength of an institutions online reviews. For best results, try to artificially inflate the reputation for a place whose name follows the formula: Health Condition + Name + Household Location + Cuisine, i.e., One-eyed Larry’s Basement BBQ.

Godspeed.

March 7, 2017

On John Ross’ impressive 40 yard dash record

As we employ our binary system of FAST or NOT FAST, we have determined that John Ross’ 40 yard dash time of 4.22 is fast.

March 7, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA Men’s DMR

Over the last seven to eight years, the Men’s Distance Medley Relay has been very quick in the NCAA. The top time by a collegiate school of 9:25.97, (Texas with Leo Manzano as the anchor) was once the world record until Team USA recently broke it. Many teams have close to that mark recently and we once thought 9:30.00 was very impressive.

Although we don’t have the video of that record setting relay from 2008, I do want to have you wake up to the 2011 Men’s DMR from NCAA’s back when the meet was in College Station, the site of this weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Looking back at the results, I was surprised to not see Oregon win with Matthew Centrowitz as the anchor. I even figured with Ben Blankenship as Minnesota’s anchor, they’d have a really good chance now. But no…It was the the BYU Cougars that were crowned victorious six years ago, anchored by Miles Batty, who is now retired and studying medicine.

Watch the video above

Below are the results from the 2011 NCAA Indoor Champs. 

DMR

Below this are the top teams heading into this weekends meet.

DMR

Ole Miss has been on a tear these last few seasons and coach Ryan Vanhoy has been an excellent fit at the school. Stanford, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and the rest of the heavy hitters are all in the field as usual. But let’s not forget the defending champs, Oregon with Edward Cheserek as the anticipated last leg. With a race that isn’t at elevation and many of these teams with fresh legs, I won’t be surprised if this race has about eight teams dip under 9:29, which would blow away the already impressive results from 2011. Give the above video a view or five and get pumped for this weekend’s meet down in Texas.

March 6, 2017

Citius Mag Does NCAA Indoors Week

We’ll have all sorts of content this week ahead of the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship before we will be on site to bring you coverage.

March 6, 2017

Wake up to Lawi Lalang vs. Chris Derrick at NCAA Indoors 2012

The 2012 NCAA Indoor meet featured some future stars of track and field but the big battle up front was Lawi Lalang vs. Chris Derrick.

February 26, 2017

Edward Cheserek runs 3:52:01, sets mile collegiate record: Quick thoughts

Edward Cheserek of Oregon ran a collegiate record of 3:52.01 in the mile at the BU Last Chance Meet to beat a field of professionals. More analysis here.

February 25, 2017

Why I love Heps: Former Ivy League athletes share stories

Former Ivy League track and field athletes share their memories from competing at the Ivy league championships. Welcome to the Heps.

February 25, 2017

No country for fast men: How a coin toss determined a race at Big-12’s

Yesterday, at the Big-12 Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa, there was a tie for the 8th fastest preliminary time in the men’s 60m dash. Two athletes finished in 6.809 seconds. Without consulting any sort of rule book, my gut tells me a run-off would have been the logical means of determining which of the two men (Baylor’s Malik Wilson and Texas’s Charles Anumnu) should advance to the final. Instead, it was decided via coin toss that Wilson would move on.

tie big 12 60m final

This is crazy, but it’s also the most Texas way of making a decision. (I know this meet is being held in Iowa…but like, half of the teams in the Big-12 are from Texas.) And by extension, it’s kind of a stupid way of making a decision. We will quickly turn to popular culture to validate my correct opinion. (And beforefriday night lights anybody gets pissed at me for saying Texas is really dumb, I’m from San Antonio so I’m allowed to good-naturedly disparage my home state, okay?)

Having never seen the critically-acclaimed television series Friday Night Lights, I can confidently say the movie is better. I’ve heard snippets of conversation describing ridiculous plotlines from the TV program and yeah, the movie’s just way better. Explosions in the Sky’s soundtrack is wonderful and the version of “Your Hand in Mine” featured in the film (which has a string quartet backing) makes me cry with about a 75%-success-rate.

I digress.

In the superior film version, the Permian Odessa Panthers qualify for state via coin toss, held at some random truck stop, presumably because if people knew where it was happening, somebody would get killed. The movie wants us to infer that Odessa, Texas, doesn’t have anything going for it except its high school football team. So this is just a cruel way to either buoy or crush a town’s hopes. Why not go to like, point differential or something that takes chance out of the equation? People can live with defeat, so long as it’s earned.

The other example that immediately comes to mind is when Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, in the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men (based on the Cormac McCarthy novel), enters a West Texas gas station and threatens to kill the attendant, just based on the results of a coin toss.

“What’s the most you’ve ever lost in a coin toss,” he croaks to the frightened gas station-owner and it’s remarkably creepy. Bardem is perfect in this role and Chigurh is the best villain in any movie of the last 20 years, except maybe the mean prince from Shrek.

javier bardem no country for old me

Back to West Texas. The man facing death stammers around for a bit and eventually calls the right side of the coin. Chigurh tells him to keep the coin, as it’s now lucky. Crazy stuff. But the point is, that a coin toss shouldn’t decide life or death matters. Or really any matters.

There is always a way to make an informed decision in the world of athletics without turning to chance. The only acceptable time to act based on the landing of a coin, is if you can’t decide between Papa John’s and Dominos. And even then you should just go to Little Caesar’s and get a Hot-N-Ready. (We were not paid by Little Caesar’s for this but we wish we were.)

February 24, 2017

Harvard women go for five-peat at indoor Heps

The Harvard women will go for their fifth consecutive indoor Heps championship this weekend in New York City. Here’s a quick preview of their chances.

February 24, 2017

Harvard’s Heps hype video will make you want to run through a brick wall

Heps is a big deal for those in the Ivy league. We’ve explained why but get a real feel for why it matters with a new hype video from Harvard.

February 23, 2017

Heps: The Hype Behind the Good Conference Meet

What is Heps and why is it such a big deal? Paul Snyder, a Columbia graduate, breaks down the hype behind the Ivy league’s conference championships.

February 21, 2017

The Athlete Special: Q&A Edition ahead of Big Easts

Get to know Spencer Brown a little better in the latest episode of The Athlete Special. Spencer answers questions from the viewers ahead of Big Easts.

February 21, 2017

Wake up to a flashback of the Charles Jock-Ryan Martin rivalry

Take a moment to watch one of the iconic races in California track and field lore and part of the Ryan Martin vs. Charles Jock rivalry.

February 21, 2017

WATCH: This may be the Hurdle Fail of the Year

Hurdle fail videos never get old. The worst crash of 2017 may have happened in this video from Northern Iowa.

February 17, 2017

Wake up to Georgetown’s 1987 Penn Relays DMR – Gags’ last world record until tonight?

Frank Gagliano’s last world record-setting squad until tonight possibly.

February 16, 2017

Who were sub-four U.S. Milers No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

As we approach 500 U.S. sub-four minute milers all-time, who were No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

February 16, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA Indoor Men’s 4x400m Final

What’s home-field advantage? Texas A&M’s 4×400 taught us in 2011.

February 12, 2017

On the long run: What goes into choosing a post-collegiate team?

Factors to consider when selecting a post-collegiate situation.

February 6, 2017

Weekend Track Wrap: U.S. XC, Odd Nitro Meet and Armory Track Invitational

It’s a happy Monday in Boston after the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl title under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady but that’s totally not what you came to this site for.

Lets catch up on the weekend’s action around the world:

Aliphine Tuliamuk and Leonard Korir win rugged U.S. Cross-Country Championship titles

Aliphine Tuliamuk handily won the women’s race by 48 seconds to cross the finish line in 34:23.5. It marked her fourth USA Championship title since becoming a USA citizen in 2016.

On the men’s side, Leonard Korir was the last man standing from a pack that included fellow Kenyan-born stars Stanley Kebenei, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Sam Chelanga. Korir won in 30:11.8.

Several people took to Twitter to question whether there was anything wrong with the picture of the United States’ distance events now being won by Kenyan-born athletes. It’s not a problem but the question that may be posed is what changes could be made when it comes to athletes switching nationalities. The foreign-born trend is sometimes more obvious to us in weaker race fields or some of the smaller road races.

We’ll have more on this discussion throughout the week and since you’re maybe curious now: Chris Derrick was the top U.S.-born man and took fifth. Laura Thweatt was the top U.S. born woman and was second behind Tuliamuk. Thweatt has opted not to race the World Cross Country Championships as April’s London Marathon is her primary focus.

The Instagram Shot of the Weekend

This one comes to us from Ciaran O’Lionaird, who captured the perfect snap of how slippery and chilly the conditions were in Bend.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQG09IgAmRM

Paul Chelimo dominates back on N.C. soil

When we caught up with Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo last week, he mentioned to Pat Price that his goal for 2017 is not to lose a single race.

He is now 3–0 after clocking a 7:45.49 for the win at the Camel City Invitational at the JDL Fast Track facility in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Laura Muir upsets Helen Obiri with record-setting 3,000m 

I managed to hop over to my laptop briefly on Saturday afternoon after Laura Muir ran 8:26.41 for a new European record, world lead, Scottish record and British record. With all of the action going on, I thought for sure we would probably overlook this brilliant upset and record-setting performance as we have in the past with Muir’s 3:55.22.

Only four Ethiopians, including Genzebe Dibaba, have ever run faster than Muir’s time and she stripped the European title from convicted Russian doper Liliya Shobukhova. It’s a remarkable performance by Muir and we’re hoping that she gets more credit and appreciation in 2017 as the sport starts looking for new stars.

The odd Nitro Athletics meet happened in Australia

Innovation is always interesting within track and field but it may be time to go back to the drawing board for the Nitro Athletics meet that took place in Australia. The IAAF is trying very hard to also push it as the next cool thing but some of it would be tough to get a new audience to understand.

The three-minute run was a novel concept but then we just saw too many rules in the elimination mile.

 

The silliest of moments during the meet came from the commentator during the javelin competition, which incorporated targets and led: “This is the first time she has ever competed in a hat. And that’s what Nitro is all about!”

The mixed relays had no set order for men and women to face off against someone of the same gender on their respective legs and just looked messy. I’d much rather see an ol’ fashion distance medley relay but some of these new meets (TrackTown Summer Series, World Relays) are moving away from that. The Great Edinburgh cross country race’s mixed gender relay is the best version of the race model because it’s at least XC so we aren’t pretending times matter

The better commentary came from the mixed relay and putting the spotlight on hurdler Ryan Wilson:

Arizona’s Sage Watson breaks collegiate 500 meter record

It’s nice to see some athletes reach the apex of the sport and compete at the Olympics but then return to finish competing for their college (or in Sydney McLaughlin’s case…high school) as opposed to signing a professional contract. Arizona’s Sage Watson is one of those athletes. She took 11th in the 400 meter hurdles semifinal in Rio and was a member of the 4×400 meter relay team that took fourth in the final. 2017 is off to just as fast of a start for her as she set a new collegiate record for the 500 meters by running 1:08.40 for the win at the Armory Track Invitational.

Check out our gallery of photos from some of Saturday’s session.

More from the Armory Track Invitationsl

  • 16-year-old Tyrese Cooper became the first high school runner to crack 33-seconds for 33 meters as he clocked a 32.87 to finish behind Olympian Lalonde Gordon’s 32.37. He chucked up the three-goggles for a picture with the clock, which is perfect.

  • The 600 is super popular this year. Ajee Wilson became the second-fastest American at the distance all-time with her 1:24.48 for the win. Alysia Montano holds the American record with her 1:23.59 from 2013. Sammy Watkins pulled off another strong performance by lowering her high school record from 1:28.67 to 1:27.13.
  • I remember seeing Sam Penzenstadler run in person for the first time at the Meyo Invitational three years ago and I was blown away by how not-great his form looked but how he still managed to run under four minutes. He’s also one of the most humble guys so I was happy to see him do well last weekend by upsetting Robby Andrews on the final leg of the 4×800-meter relay. The District Track Club took the victory in 7:22.92.

Missing the Meyo Mile

Speaking of which…for the second year in a row, I have missed the thundersticks party that is the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. This year’s race was won by Indiana’s Kyle Mau 4:00.37. The race creates a great atmosphere at the Loftus Center when the winner happens to have an ND uniform on and when multiple people go under four minutes. I definitely miss that.

Now we move on to Millrose Week on Citius Mag so be sure to check back often and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest on one of indoor track’s most historic meets.

February 5, 2017

The Athlete Special: SUB 4 MILE ATTEMPT GONE WRONG!

Spencer bleached his hair and attempted to break four minutes for the mile in Boston.

February 2, 2017

Breaking up with running: A reflection

A running love story.

February 2, 2017

The Athlete Special: Georgetown wins DMR at Penn State National

Spencer Brown’s “Athlete Special Series” gives us an inside look into life as an NCAA athlete.

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