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March 29, 2017

Some thoughts on the just-released Stanford Invite heat sheets

Well folks, we’ve got good news. The Stanford Invite Heat Sheet Lackey, a red-cheeked, leathery old man, crooked in posture but virtuous in morality, has emerged from his dusty lair after nearly a year of meticulous record keeping and deep, deep meditation.

In his gnarled hand, he brandishes the seeded entries for this weekend’s meet, a several-feet-long scrap of continuous-feed paper, plucked from a sputtering dot matrix printer. He cackles and coughs — the result of radiation poisoning from the room-sized super computer he uses to calculate the heats — as he shares his gift of fairly sorted race, with the world of American distance running.

His keeper rips the yellowed page from his arthritic fingers, then shoves him back into his den, to return to work on the Payton Jordan entries.

We have seen the scrolls, ladies and gentlemen, as they have been posted online.

And for the most part, they are not that interesting.

However, a few oddities did pop out at us, and we — two of Citius’s prize idiots — will share them below:

Allie Ostrander of Boise State is slated to make her steeplechase debut

We’re pretty intrigued by this one for a handful of reasons. Ostrander has proven herself as a national caliber 5,000m-runner (she’s run 15:21.85i, and placed 8th at last summer’s Olympic Trials for the event) so the transition to the steeple is surprising. Doubly so when you consider her height and history of injury. Steeplechase tends to be an event that has skewed in favor of the tall athletes in recent years and the jarring nature of bounding off a water barrier has screwed up many a season. But Ostrander, before cementing herself as a stud on the track, was running down a 4,000 foot mountain every summer for fun. Due to a shared emphasis on athleticism and agility, there’s a certain crossover between steeplers and trail runners (think Max King), so assuming the injury bug is behind her, this could very well be Ostrander’s event. – PS

Oregon’s Edward Cheserek is in the second heat of the men’s 10,000m

Why? We can only assume he’s looking to run a controlled effort in the ballpark of 29:20, which should be more than enough to get into the regional meet. He’s got a few teammates in the field as well, so it’s possible ol’ Ed’s looking to kill not two, but three birds with one stone: 1) high-quality tempo effort; 2) secure a spot at regionals with minimal effort; 3) pace three teammates to regional marks as well. – PS

German Fernandez: A RETURN TO FITNESS?

It’s been a year (I think? Don’t trust me. After all, I’m one of the idiots!) since German last ran this meet. Technically, it’s been a year since anyone ran this meet because that’s how time and our agreed upon calendar work BUT ANYWAYS the last time German was in Palo Alto he ripped a 28:06 debut and had LetsRun posters holed up in basements from Temecula to Tarrytown speculating as to if he was “back.” After a few sub-par performances since his breakout, the mystery remains. He’s lining up this year in the fast heat of the ol’ 12.5 lapper. Yep, that’s right. The 5,000m run. It is by no means a stacked field, but someone has to have built up enough fitness over their spring break in Boca Raton to run in the mid 13:30s. I don’t think this field boasts the talent to drag German to a performance worthy of an “IS GERMAN FERNANDEZ BACK?” sort of inquiry, but I sure hope he ties up both spikes and lets his fitness flow through the famed tartan oval. – SK

Karissa Schweizer’s undefeated streak to continue?

Karissa Schweizer is going to win the 5,000m and I wish she were running the 10,000m. If you don’t want to read any more, that’s fine. But, allow me to riff for a bit longer. I don’t see any names in the 5,000m that will bother current collegiate stud Karissa Schweizer. Katie McMenamin (Roots Running, surname of my favorite Northwest restaurant chain) was impressive at the USATF Indoor Nationals as she ramped up the pace pretty nicely before Shelby Houlihan ripped everyone’s face off but I don’t think she’s a match for Mizzou’s Schweizer.

The women’s 10,000m features a more name-brand start list. Kellyn Taylor (4th at the 2016 Olympic Trials 10,000m), teammate Steph Bruce (32:14.42 at last year’s Stanford Invite), 5,000-meter British Olympian Eilish McColgan (15:05.00!!!), and fellow Midwestern-fast-collegiate Anna Rohrer. That much talent in a field usually ends up in a whirlwind of PRs. Perhaps Young Schweizer isn’t interested in the 10,000m (which makes sense), but I would have liked to have seen her mix it up with those ladies (which also makes sense). – SK

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