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Month: February 2018

February 28, 2018

Shelby Houlihan’s Focus

Shelby Houlihan gives us a look at how she went from injured in January to a U.S. champion and now a world indoor championship medal contender.

February 27, 2018

CITIUS MAG First Summer 2018 Tee Available

We have unveiled our first CITIUS MAG summer 2018 t-shirt design to keep you looking fresh even when the temperatures start to rise.

February 27, 2018

CITIUS MAG Track Club Shirts Have Arrived

CITIUS MAG Track Club t-shirts are now available for pre-order. Rep your favorite running website wherever you go and support the site.

February 26, 2018

A Brief History of the World Indoor Championships

The IAAF World Indoor Championships are upon us in Birmingham, UK but learn a little bit of history on how these championships came to be.

February 26, 2018

Mt. Rushmore of U.S. Women’s Marathoners: Did Amy Cragg Just Snag A Spot?

Amy Cragg clocked a personal best of 2:21:42 at the Tokyo Marathon so does that put her among the greats on the Mt. Rushmore of U.S. Marathoning?

February 26, 2018

Where Did The Athlete Special Go?

A LetsRun thread popped up with the title: “Where did “The Athlete Special” (Spencer Brown) Go?” Well, here’s your answer.

February 23, 2018

GET 15% OFF AT RUNNING WAREHOUSE

We are happy to announce that we’ve partnered with Running Warehouse to offer members of the CITIUS MAG Track Club 15% off to their products.

February 23, 2018

The 30-year old ice dancing routine I think about daily

I haven’t been able to get Maurice Ravel’s Bolero out of my head for the last ten or so days.

There are a lot of reasons we like sports. Many times they merely act as a distraction from the weight of the world. It’s certainly been that way for me over the last two weeks, which have been very difficult for me personally, both physically and emotionally, as I deal with a series of family issues. Sitting back and watching track meets or the Winter Olympics has allowed me to decompress. Usually, though, it’s more than that which draws us to the action.

The most popular sports draw their popularity from tribalism, the belongingness to a particular group. This is absolutely true for soccer on a global basis and for football, basketball, and baseball in the USA. The act of supporting a team and opposing the other teams is what those sports are all about. It is the reason that four college football teams averaged a home attendance over 100,000 last year. It’s also the reason why fans of opposing teams can sometimes clash violently.

Fans of individual-based sports in general and track and field in particular don’t tend to find our interest based on tribalism. While we might cheer for certain athletes based on their national or collegiate affiliation, we very often just like seeing athletes perform on a high level. We are in it for a different kind of experience.

Look back at the 2012 Olympic men’s 800 meter final. You probably were cheering for the Americans, Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds. Neither won a medal, but the race is probably seared into your memory as a transcendent experience. Kenya’s David Rudisha ran a stunning world record of 1:40.91. It was one of the greatest performances of all time, something well beyond what we thought possible.

Which brings me back around to Ravel’s Bolero. For some reason I’ve always been more fascinated with the Winter Olympics than their summer counterparts. I’m going to guess that’s because I’ve almost always seen the Summer Olympics as a really big track meet muddied up with a bunch of other stuff I don’t care about, but it may also be because the first two Olympics I remember were both winter games, since there was little US hubbub surrounding the 1980 summer games in Moscow.

I’ve never been a fan of judged sports, but in 1984 you watched what the network was showing you, tape delayed or not, because there wasn’t any other option and the relatively slow pace of the news cycle meant you didn’t yet know what had happened. I was 12 when ABC broadcast the winter games from Sarajevo and whatever they put on screen sure beat doing homework or going to bed. So I watched the ice dancing that year.

I remember the British duo of Torvill and Dean and their gold medal performance set to Bolero. I was transfixed. I don’t know diddley-squat about ice dancing, now or then, but even my 12-year-old self instinctively knew that I was seeing something special. It is considered ice dancing’s greatest performance ever, one of the immortal moments of the Olympics.

The Olympics at their best are a blend of the tribal and the transcendent. Who we cheer for is highly dependent on the nation they represent, but there are also ample opportunities for the kinds of things you instantly realize you and the rest of the world will never see again.

College track has much of this, albeit on a much lower level. Everyone has an allegiance to a college and that drives quite a bit of our interest. Still, we recognize a great athletic accomplishment when we see one, and appreciating those accomplishments no matter who achieves them is part of being a track fan.

LAST WEEK’S MEDAL WINNERS

Handing out the medals for the best in college track…

Gold – NEC Women’s Championship
Is there anything better than a conference meet that comes down to the 4×400? The Northeast Conference women’s championship matched up four-time defending champions Sacred Heart against LIU Brooklyn. LIU held a 99-74 lead with three events remaining, only to see it vanish in the 5k as Sacred Heart went 1-3-4-7. LIU gave up another point to Sacred Heart in the distance medley, meaning they led by a score of 103-102 going into the concluding 4×400. Workhorse sprinter Shantae McDonald gave the LIU Blackbirds a big third leg that more or less sealed the win.

Silver – Martha Bissah
The sophomore at Norfolk State had a hand in 46 of her Spartans’ 70 points at the MEAC Championships. She won the 800, mile, and 3000, and ran on the winning distance medley and third-place 4×400.

Bronze – GNAC Women’s Championship
This meet was even closer than the NEC. Central Washington trailed Seattle Pacific by three points going into the 3000 meters and appeared to pull ahead by virtue of a third-place finish…but SPU’s Mary Charleson won the slow heat by over 23 seconds and actually bumped CWU’s runner in the fast heat to fourth. That plus a SPU seventh meant CWU trailed by six going into the 4×400. CWU overtook the lead halfway through that relay, then had to hold off a furious finish by Simon Fraser. SPU took fifth, which meant the meet was a tie.

THIS WEEK’S MEETS

The top meets of the upcoming weekend are rated from one to three dip finishes for sheer watchability…

Three Dips: Every Conference Championship Meet

Conference championship meets ROCK. Doesn’t matter if it’s the SEC or the lowest level of Division III, they’re all a blast. Not only does every race and every field event matter, every scoring place in every event matters. Two weeks ago I was the PA announcer for the championship meet of one of the NAIA’s less competitive conferences, and it was a blast. The athletes were running less for themselves and more for each other, and for me that’s the best thing I can ever watch.

So if there’s a meet near you, go. Just go. Set aside time on Saturday or Sunday and get there. Doesn’t matter if it’s Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, junior college, or USports, just go and soak it all in.

That said, if you’re going to be that guy who just sits on your couch and watches a meet on TV or the internet and aren’t intensely following your particular college, the SEC Championships is the meet to watch. It’s not just that it offers up the highest level of competition, it’s that the team championship is likely to be close and unpredictable.

BAD MOVIE OF THE WEEK: BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA

This is actually the title of the film, and, shockingly, it gets worse from there.

Lugosi was the pre-WWII horror film star best known for portraying Count Dracula in the classic 1931 film. His roles became ever more limited as time went on, and by 1952 he was doing movies like this one.

The IMDB description merely says Two goofy entertainers meet a mad scientist on a jungle island. Lugosi is the mad scientist, of course, and the two “entertainers” are doing obvious ripoffs of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. I’ve long thought that Lewis was the single most annoying person ever put on camera, but I now know that he has been supplanted only by A GUY DOING A BAD IMPRESSION OF JERRY LEWIS. Egad.

This film was reportedly shot in nine days, and it shows. It’s the work of a director known as William “One Shot” Beaudine, so dubbed because of his reluctance to ever shoot a second take.

The two “entertainers” are stranded on a South Pacific island and are rescued by a local tribe. One of the “entertainers” falls in love with a pretty young member of the tribe, but there’s a mad scientist (Lugosi) running evil experiments on the island and he wants the young woman too. Lugosi hits him with a syringe full of growth hormone which turns him into a gorilla, and it gets worse from there.

Bad dialogue, bad acting, bad filming, bad plot – what more could you want? Wonderfully awful.

Enjoy the conference meets, everyone!

February 22, 2018

An Investigation Into Yelp Reviews of Major Marathons

In our latest investigative report, we examine our favorite one and two-star reviews of major American marathons and fire back at the haters.

February 21, 2018

Katie Nageotte On Her Road to Her First U.S. Title: “It Still Doesn’t Feel Real”

Jesse Squire chats with 2018 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Champion Katie Nageotte on her breakthrough performances and her career track.

February 19, 2018

How Old Is Ben Blankenship? We Have A Theory

A LetsRun thread questions “The Mysterious Age of Ben Blankenship” so we came up with out own theory on when he was born.

February 19, 2018

The Scenes and Emotions of the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships

R.J. McNichols gets behind the camera for CITIUS MAG at the USATF Indoor Championships this weekend to capture the emotions of athletes headed to Worlds.

February 18, 2018

Christian Coleman Breaks The 60m World Record, Wins First U.S. National Title

He ran fast earlier this season but the time didn’t count for a world record. This time, Christian Coleman made it count.

February 18, 2018

A LOT OF DOUBLING HAPPENING IN ALBUQUERQUE; CHELIMO WINS THE 1500

Shelby Houlihan was not just the only athlete to double up and win at the US Indoor Championships, Paul Chelimo roared back from the 3,000 meters.

February 18, 2018

Houlihan unleashes a monster kick, melts the entire field’s collective face

Shelby Houlihan returned to the track less than 24 hours after winning the 3,000 meters and then won the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Indoor Championships

February 18, 2018

Donavan Brazier just barely misses Johnny Gray’s indoor American record

Johnny Gray’s indoor American record in the 800 meters got another scare from Donavan Brazier as he fell just .10 seconds off it.

February 18, 2018

Death, taxes and Ajee Wilson winning an 800-meter race

Ajee Wilson must have a very big closet at home because she is just racking up these US national titles and added another one in Albuquerque.

February 18, 2018

Fred Kerley stumbles, mounts a furious comeback, comes up short

Michael Cherry won one of the oddest 400 meter indoor races ever as Fred Kerley was bumped off the U.S. team for Worlds on the second lap.

February 18, 2018

Talking shop with the Citius bloggers ahead of day 3 at the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships

Previewing all the second day’s action at the USATF Indoor Championships with CITIUS MAG bloggers Stephen Kersh, Scott Olberding and Ryan Sterner.

February 18, 2018

Katie Mackey Makes Her First U.S. national team for Worlds

Katie Mackey has qualified for the IAAF World Championships for the first time in her career with a second place finish in the women’s 3,000 meters.

February 17, 2018

2018 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships: Live Results, Analysis, Commentary (Day 1)

Bringing you all the best commentary from the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center for the weekend.

February 16, 2018

Quamel Prince Is The Unsponsored Underdog You Should Root For At USAs

Get to know Quamel Prince: the 23-year-old who never qualified for NCAAs and has broken 1:48 a grand total of once in his life.

February 16, 2018

What Have We Done?

If you start to see kids running a mile in blue jeans in their P.E. classes in Illinois, it’s totally normal. Major props to Glenbrook North High School.

February 15, 2018

You’re Killing Me, Smalls

Could new collegiate record holder Grant Holloway go on to a 13.00 clocking this spring like Renaldo Nehemiah did in 1979? He’s on the way.

February 14, 2018

What I’m Doing Now That I’m Injured

Now that you’re injured, you have a boatload of free time. But how do you spend it all? From training and everything that went along with it to binging…

February 14, 2018

Four Valentines Day Cards That Only Runners Will Appreciate

We know what you’re really trying to say to another runner so why don’t you just send them one of these Valentine’s Day Cards that we made.

February 13, 2018

The Teammate Credit System

The Chinese government is currently in the process of rolling out a system called the Social Credit System so how would it work for teammates?

February 12, 2018

Russia to hold alternative to Olympic Games for banned athletes

Perhaps you’ve heard: Russia was banned from competing at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But they’re hosting their own party!

February 12, 2018

Winter Olympics: Where did these sports come from?

Coming up with a short back story for some Winter Olympic sports. Sit back and watch us set flames to the annals of history.

February 12, 2018

Remembering Jon Grey

Boulder Track Club distance runner Jonathan Grey took his own life after losing his battle with depression at 29 years old.

February 9, 2018

Ten laps to the mile: The story of the first indoor marathon

If you’re from the Great Lakes region, you maybe familiar with indoor marathons held during the winter season. Here’s the story of the first indoor marathon

February 8, 2018

It’s heat check time for Edward Cheserek in Boston

Edward Cheserek is attempting to break 3:50 indoors for the mile this Friday at Boston University’s Valentine Invitational.

February 8, 2018

The Spectacle

I was happy with Super Bowl LII because the Eagles used to play in Franklin Field, home of the greatest annual track meet in America.

February 7, 2018

Documenting Ethiopian Running Culture

What happens when you drop one of the toughest New Yorkers in Ethiopia to document the country’s running culture? Jason Suarez has his boots on the ground.

February 6, 2018

How far could Giannis Antetokounmpo triple jump?

Giannis Antetokounpo posterized Tim Hardaway Jr but does Giannis have the build, the fundamentals & intangibles for triple jump?

February 6, 2018

Life Lessons Learned From Eliud Kipchoge’s Speech At Oxford

Self discipline, teamwork, consistency, planning and preparation are just some of the keys to success according to Eliud Kipchoge.

February 6, 2018

On training, racing, and growing as a gay runner

“If my story has any lessons, it should be that being the first gay runner in your world means you won’t be the last.” – David Melly

February 5, 2018

The Cardiff Kook 10k: A race for pride, against the clock

A race report of Tim Cummings and Stephen Kersh racing each other for the first time since college. It also marked Stephen’s first race in five months.

February 5, 2018

CITIUS MAG Track Club Singlets Unveiled – Vote Now for the Best Design

We have decided to unveil the three designs of the CITIUS MAG Track Club singlets and put them up for a vote for which kit we will rock in 2018.

February 5, 2018

How far does Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Long Jump in Skyscraper?

How far can The Rock long jump in the Skyscraper movie? Mike Powell’s long jump world record is 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in) from 1991.

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