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March 12, 2017

PHOTO GALLERY: 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships – By Brandon Sotelo

Photos from the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. All photos taken by Brandon Sotelo for Citius Mag.

March 11, 2017

A ramshackle NCAA Indoor day two preview

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

   The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

   Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

   Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

   The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

   The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

   The best lack all conviction, while the worst

   Are full of passionate intensity.

-From William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming”

With Citius Mag founder, editor-in-chief, and supreme puppetmaster Chris Chavez on a weekend-long sabbatical, we — the schlubs of the Citius staff — are struggling to hold things together. Birthdays are fast approaching. Cross-continental trips in the name of love abound. And general deficiencies of character and skill are presenting themselves in the most untimely of fashions.

But the world cries out for more track & field content, so we will hobble onward, and with our death rattle, croak something out just shy of “pithy,” and off-center of “accurate.”

At 4:00pm CST, we’ll fire up both of my virus-riddled Dell laptop computers, and live tweet the second and final day of action from College Station, Texas. Will the Oregon women have a big showing, and pry the team title out of current leader Georgia’s hands? Will Cheserek win two more individual events? (He’s already the winningest individual in NCAA track history.) Will the other storylines we’ve hyped up also come to fruition? Tune into our Twitter page (@CitiusMag) to find out, instead of suffering through another day of ESPN 3 broadcasting.

As you absorb the happenings from the meet, one tweet at a time, just keep the following things in mind:

  • In the women’s mile, top- and second-ranked Kaela Edwards and Elinor Purrier both advanced to the final comfortably. But the race shouldn’t be a duel between them. Lesser seeded Therese Haiss and Karisa Nelson, among others, looked strong in the prelims and should keep things interesting.
  • On paper, Cheserek should take the men’s mile without too much concern. But as many of my youth basketball coaches would say to my clearly inferior teams, “that’s why they play the game.” Josh Thompson and Ben Saarel look best-poised to upset King Ches, but it’s a long shot of an upset.
  • In the women’s sprints, we’ll miss out on another Deajah Stevens crack at an American Record in the 200m, following her super lame DQ yesterday, but she can redeem herself in the 60m, along with teammates Ariana Washington and Hannah Cunliffe, who are slated to run both short sprints today. Oregon’s team title hopes depend on a strong showing from these women, as Georgia currently holds a big lead, thanks to their multi- and field-eventers.
  • Jazmine Fray should win the women’s 800m, as she’s the clear class of the field. On the men’s side, there isn’t quite as dominant a presence, and given how physical yesterday’s prelims were, really anything can happen. Expect lots of jostling and contact.
  • Both of yesterday’s 5,000m champions return to the track for the 3,000m today, and considering how strong both Cheserek and Karisa Schweizer looked over 25 laps, it’s not out of line to suggest they’ll win this one too. Challenging Ches most will be Justyn Knight and Marc Scott. And on the women’s side, DMR hero Dani Jones, along with Elise Cranny and Katie Rainsberger will keep things honest for Schweizer.
  • The fastest heat of the women’s 4x400m relay should be insanely good, and could even determine who wins the meet outright. USC, A&M, Oregon, and Alabama. That’s all.
  • After the meet, don’t miss the nationally televised (on ABC) Spurs vs. Warriors game, which will probably be a tremendous letdown for the casual fan. For the Warriors, Thompson, Durant, Iguodala, Curry, and Green are all out. And the Spurs aren’t suiting up Leonard, Aldridge, Parker, or Murray. As a San Antonio-native who enjoys watching unheralded role players stepping up, I’m just about vomiting in anticipation!
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

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

On the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s murder, track’s strange ties to the case

What we know about the case surrounding former Oregon track standout, David Mack who was a person of interest in the unsolved killing of hip-hop legend Biggie Smalls.

March 7, 2017

Nobody remembers anything: Five under-appreciated, legendary runners for Millennials

There’s more to American distance running history than Frank Shorter and Pre. Kyle Merber shares five legendary runners that everyone should know.

March 7, 2017

When is it time to leave behind short shorts?

There comes a moment in a man’s life when it may be time to leave behind the short shorts and start wearing longer shorts to run. We explain.

March 6, 2017

Flagstaff Strong: What’s the hardest workout witnessed at altitude?

Flagstaff is one of the most popular destinations for distance runners to train at altitude. Pros, coaches share the craziest workouts they’ve witnessed.

March 5, 2017

Photos: 2017 USATF Indoor Championships Day 3 – By Jason Suarez

Photos from the final day of the 2017 USATF Indoor Championships. Jason Suarez was trackside to capture all the record-setting performances.

March 5, 2017

Liao: USATF gets it right with off-distance races at USA Indoors

The off-distances at the 2017 USATF Indoor Championships provided us with many races of intrigue and several record-setting performances. So kudos to USATF.

March 5, 2017

USATF Indoor Championships: Day 3 live results, analysis and quotes

Live updates from the 2017 USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Live blog, results, analysis, reactions.

March 5, 2017

PHOTOS: USATF Indoor Championships (Day 2, March 4) by Jason Suarez

Photos from Day 2 of the USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships. Noah Lyles & Phyllis Francis broke records. Shelby Houlihan, Paul Chelimo dominated.

March 4, 2017

USATF Indoor crowns several first-time national title holders with Shelby Houlihan, Paul Chelimo

The 2017 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships crowned several first-time winners on Day 2. Shelby Houlihan won the mile. Paul Chelimo won the two-mile. The 300s saw records fall.

March 4, 2017

USATF Indoor Championships: Full Day 2 recap, analysis and results

The latest updates from the 2017 USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Live blog, results, analysis, reactions.

March 3, 2017

In defense of takin’ er easy: Why slow races rock

Slow races make for relatable and great comedy. At the 2017 U.S. Indoor Championships, we explore why it might be better to not watch the clock.

March 2, 2017

2017 USATF Indoor Championships: Distance previews

The 2017 USATF Indoor Championships are upon us. We preview all of the major distance races and share our predictions. We will be live from Albuquerque.

March 2, 2017

A Citius Guide to Albuquerque

A runner’s guide to all the places to run, eat and have fun in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Written by New Mexico’s native son Stephen Kersh.

March 1, 2017

Why the indoor 1,000-meter race is weird as hell

No one truly knows how to race the 1,000 meters. It’s strange. We also examine 600 meter and two-mile races are run and whether positioning matters.

February 28, 2017

Altitude Works in Mysterious (and Well-Documented) Ways

How does altitude effect a distance runner, sprinter or thrower’s performance? Examining a study Michael John Hamlin, we are able to chart the answer.

February 27, 2017

Ford Palmer reflects on 3:54 mile at BU: Spike Untied? Don’t care.

Ford Palmer reflects on his big personal best at the BU Last Chance Meet, where he ran 3:54 for the mile with one of his spikes untied. In the same race, Edward Cheserek set the collegiate record of 3:52.02.

February 27, 2017

Welcome to USA Indoors Week!

This week, Citius Mag will be bringing you all the coverage that you need regarding the 2017 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships in New Mexico.

February 26, 2017

An honest appraisal of cinematic running scenes: Jason Bourne, Blue Crush, Juno and Charlie Chaplin

Analyzing and breaking down the running technique and form in running films like Jason Bourne, Charlie Chaplin classics, Crush and Juno.

February 25, 2017

What we learned about Alberto Salazar, alleged drug infusions and an email to Lance Armstrong

What we learned from the Sunday Times report that says Alberto Salazar used prescription drugs to boost athlete performance. Mo Farah mentioned in the report.

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 23, 2017

On the long run: How to physically and emotionally recover from injury

Dear Nicole, Throughout your running career what were some of the things you did that helped you recover from an injury, physically and emotionally?

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 23, 2017

Watch: Happy Hour with Jack Daniels

Spend some time with famous running coach Jack Daniels in his Flagstaff home. He is world-famous for writing Daniels’ Running Formula.

February 22, 2017

How you ended up on the track team

Hormones, sucking at basketball or a deep all-consuming yearning for acceptance and/or moral superiority may have landed you on the track team.

February 21, 2017

Rachel Schneider opens up about her rise in the professional ranks, breakout indoor season

Rachel Schneider, the former Georgetown Hoya discusses her rise as a professional middle distance runner based in Flagstaff and her breakout indoor season.

February 21, 2017

Imagining an attempt to train with 2012 Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi

Imagine trying to keep up with Taoufik Makhloufi during a workout. Imagine no more. Here’s a sample workout and how a human being like Stephen Kersh would fare.

February 20, 2017

Get to know unsponsored World Cross Country qualifier Emily Pritt of the Bowerman Track Club

Catching up with Emily Pritt, one of the biggest surprises of the U.S. Cross Country National Championships.

February 20, 2017

All around the world: Your weekend track wrap-up from Birmingham, New York, Kenya and more

Another action-packed week of running. Here’s what you may have missed.

February 19, 2017

Track and Field lineup for an All-Star Game that will never happen

A little homage to the NBA All-Star game with some silly track comparisons.

February 18, 2017

Sports with Balls: How Far Are They Actually Running?

Thanks to NBA Advanced Statistics, we now know how much these NBA players have been running throughout the season.

February 17, 2017

New Jersey-New York Track Club sets new 4xMile World Record

The New Jersey-New York Track Club squad of Donn Cabral, Ford Palmer, Kyle Merber and Graham Crawford set a new world record in the 4xMile.

February 16, 2017

A Presidential Race: What if every U.S. president raced a 5K fun run?

What If Every United States President Raced a 5K Fun Run? Let’s have fun with history!

February 14, 2017

Just give NJ-NY Track Club the 4xMile world record already

NJ-NY Track Club will attempt to time trial their way to a new indoor 4 x mile world record

February 13, 2017

Real talk: Kristi Castlin on gun violence in America, history in Rio and more

Kristi Castlin speaks out on gun violence in America and using her voice for more since Rio.

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 12, 2017

PHOTOS: 2017 Millrose Games by Jason Suarez

Check out our shots from this year’s Millrose Games.

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