Hello from Albuquerque, New Mexico! We’re here at the Albuquerque Convention Center to bring you all the latest and greatest from the final day of the 2017 U.S. Track and Field Indoor Championships. Paul Snyder and Stephen Kersh have infiltrated the mixed zone to share results, analysis and quotes from trackside.
If you want to read our blog from yesterday, here it is!
Stay tuned on this page for the latest from ABQ:
5:30 PM: Thanks a lot for joining us over the past two days. We look forward to bringing you more coverage of the U.S. professional scene during the outdoor season. Be sure to check in with us throughout the upcoming week for our attempt at NCAA coverage. Signing off. It’s been a pleasure! – Paul Snyder, Stephen Kersh, Scott Olberding, Jason Suarez and Chris Chavez
5:26 PM: Ronnie Baker closes out the 2017 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a world-leading 6.45 for the U.S. indoor title. He becomes the sixth fastest performer at the distance. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s able to crack that old guard for Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin and Mike Rodgers in the 100. We did see some young stars on the 100 team last year with Trayvon Bromell and Marvin Bracy.
5:14 PM: Morolake Akinosun, who went viral for making good on a tweet that she posted in 2011 about making the Olympic team, defeated Dezerea Bryant in a personal best of 7.08. Bryant was second in 7.10.
5:06 PM: Aries Merritt still has it. Runs 7.51 for the win in the men’s hurdles. As noted on Twitter by our own Kevin Liao, track is more fun with Merritt. He immediately said that he’s excited to contend for this world championship in outdoors. Forget about that kidney transplant. – CC
4:56 PM: Keni Harrison won the women’s 60 hurdles but did not get the world record as many had expected. We actually had a pre-written article ready to go for when it happened. Well, we’ll save it for another time. Harrison has said that she intends to chase all the hurdle world records. One just didn’t happen on Sunday. It was a good step forward for her at a championship stage. Last summer, she finished fourth and missed the Olympic team. In 2015, she committed a false start at the world championships. The jitters are starting to go away. -CC
4:50 PM: No disrespect whatsoever to distances run under 61-meters, but I’m taking this opportunity to sign-off.
Albuquerque proved magical to some, but disastrous to plenty. Overall, it was a world-class event and an awesome experience to become a blobbing-amoeba in front of so many cameras and legitimate journalists.
We are going to drink some beers and eat something covered in chile, thanks for tagging along! – SK
4:48 PM: With 3 laps to go, the games ended for Shelby Houlihan and she commandeered the lead. With a lap to go, she cemented her second victory of the weekend! Houlihan is really good. Also shouts to Flagstaff for having the dankest thin air out there as Shelby trains there quite a bit. – SK
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4:40 PM: Well, they certainly are setting this up for Houlihan. Coming through the mile in 5:37. I’m bullish on Houlihan’s final lap speed. – SK
4:37 PM: Katrina Coogan just smiled at me. We went to Georgetown together. They are running extremely slow. – SK
4:35 PM: Houlihan bouncing back from last night’s mile victory to line up for this two-mile race. Some people may think this is some sort of mental game she’s playing and won’t actually race – I think she races and I think she wins!
Katie Mackey another strong bet, though. Anyways, here we go! -SK
4:32 PM: My own personal PA system just alerted me I will be signing off after the women’s two-mile because my computer juice is cooked and the other press folk took over the outlets! – SK
4:30 PM: The new body art must have helped! Murphy LOL’d on everyone and stole the show with a 2:18.60 which I heard over the PA system was the fastest time in the world this year. Seems right as that was certifiably quick.
Brannon Kidder closed down the last lap hard and exhibited his famous arm pump, but came up short in 2:19.10. Andrew Wheating scored a third-place finish in 2:20.39. – SK
4:23 PM: Clayton Murphy now has the Olympic rings tattooed on his right shoulder. I didn’t notice this yesterday and have reason to believe he got a tattoo last night. – SK
4:20 PM: Charlene Lipsey with an absolutely dumb show of strength as she pretty much led this thing wire-to-wire and scored the big bucks with a 2:37.97 – also, a new meet record! Ajee Wilson is her training partner and was cheering at her from the infield the whole time which was a very kind thing to do.
Sammy Watson bettered her own high school record with her 2:40.72. Blazing fast and a time I never ran in high school myself.
For everyone keeping track on Carl’s dumb cat Malcolm: he picked Lipsey. Not so dumb… Maybe! – SK
4:15 PM: “I’m very nervous for this race,” said our own Scott Olberding. He isn’t nervous because one of these women may get flung off this IMO dangerously banked track – I’m a flat track truther – but he’s nervous because his girlfriend Eleanor Fulton is racing! As are some other women. They all look fast, fit, and ready to have some fun! – SK
4:09 PM: I WAS RIGHT! Sowinski crushes it with a 1:15.07 to take the championship. He took over the lead with a lap to go and held off 600-meter Assassin Casimir Loxsom at the line. Loxsom finished second, which probably was not what he wanted. – SK
4:04 PM: Ceremonial baskets are back on the track, but will be taken off shortly before the men’s 600-meter gets underway. The child volunteers have shown uncanny poise when asked to remove the baskets. This should be noted, and appreciated.
Erik Sowinski vs. Donovan Brazier is my “Race within a Race.” They both looked good in qualifying and have historically run fast. – SK
4:01 PM: NICE. Ajee Wilson covers the distance in 1:23.83 and takes the dub. Okolo looked like to be gaining over the last few ten’s of meters, but that 800-meter strength came in handy for Ajee to hold off the charge. This is also a good time to announce Malcom (Carl Stone’s dumb cat) picked incorrectly… AGAIN – SK
4:00 PM: The ceremonial baskets are off the track and the women’s 600-meter final is about to kick off! 6 athletes, 6 lanes I’m pretty sure, but only one winner! Stay tuned – SK
3:49 PM: StatMan Scott Olberding just shared a graph with us (internally) and he had Paul Chelimo listed as the Y-axis. Whew – we’re tired out here, guys! Hopefully that’s the last goof-up of the day for this crew. – SK
CHECK OUT STATMAN’S GRAPH:
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3:41 PM: Bunched from the gun, but not a terribly slow start to the race. Soratos took over and injected some pace with 800-meters to go and held the lead until the final lap when BEN BLANKENSHIP stormed by him over the final 50-meters. Soratos really made that one a race, and Blankenship pretty much just waited until the perfect moment to strike.
A great race by my account, and exciting to see Soratos mixing things up in the pro ranks. I did some strides near Ben Blankenship the other day when he was in Flagstaff so I can attest to his wheels. I knew he would win. Definitely knew. I’m not sure how many US titles he’s garnered, but I’m not going to bet this was his first – or last! – SK
3:30 PM: Watching the men’s mile field doing strides and I really just need to come out and say it: they’ve got nice legs!
Strides are a pre-cursor to the race, so stay tuned because it’s coming up soon.
HEADBAND COUNT: 3 (Palmer, Merber, Blankenship) – SK
3:10 PM: THE MEMBERS OF THE PRESS ARE WREAKING HAVOC ON THE FACILITIES.
The red and green chile intake has been astounding over the last few days, and the ancient plumbing system of the Albuquerque Convention Center is taking the brunt of this disaster. While many think the athletes are the real heroes of this championship weekend, I’m going to just come out and say the real heroes are this press crew. Juggling hard-hitting e-journalism with multiple bathroom breaks each half-hour, these guys and gals keep me humbled and grounded. Cheers to red chile dropped in your margarita and hashbrowns drowned in green chile! – SK
2:45 PM: In an attempt to kill some time, we are going to preview the Men’s Mile! Paul is barking orders in my ear while sucking down seltzer, and thinks 7 out of the 13 entrants all have a chance to grab the win. Obviously, as humans, each of these athletes have their strengths and weaknesses. Some speedier milers in the field will thrive off a slow race that ends with a very spicy penultimate and ultimate lap (Lopez Lomong, Kyle Merber, and Johnny Gregorek, maybe?), while some of the more strength-based milers are banking (no-pun intended!) on a hot pace from the beginning. We think runners like Evan Jager, Ford Palmer, and Garrett Heath fit this mold.
Personally, I like Cristian Soratos to do something wildly silly and perhaps SHOCK THE WORLD. He tends to run with a cocaine confidence a la J.R. Smith. I like that.
Ben Blankenship didn’t look like himself yesterday in the two-mile, but as more a seasoned veteran who can cover the mile distance very quickly, I’d like to think his panache will show today. If anyone reading this has any other pressing analysis, tweet us @CitiusMag!
AN ASIDE ABOUT SELTZER: I was moved from my seat by a fellow Capital J Journalist, and in my panic, I spilled my seltzer all over the media table. I’m not well liked in these parts. – SK
2:00 PM: So, I’m back! Right now we (myself, Paul Snyder, Scott Olberding, and Jason Suarez) are watching the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles. This is a fun event because the athletes just slam into a wall after they finish. I generally do my best to avoid walls.
A nice woman just brought us all trail mix – bless these folks.
Don’t worry nerds, the distance events will get going in a few hours. I’ll be back soon to hold your hand as we adventure through the muck and the mire that is indoor track and field! – SK