Christian Taylor, photo by PhotoRun.net

Christian Taylor, the Olympic triple jump champion, is aiming to compete at the next two Olympic Games, report 
thecitizen.com. The 24 year old American will follow his coach, Rana Reider, to the Netherlands, where he plans on living for the next two years. 

(Editor's note: Christian Taylor is one of my favorite athletes. I have met his family, and enjoyed their comments and support of Christian. However, having watched Christian compete, I became even more impressed with his Coach Rana Reider. Christian rediscovered his muse with the Triple Jump this past season, as he duplicated what he did in college, racing the 400 meters once again.

At the Birmingham DL Meeting, I spent some time catching up with Rana. He had been coaching the British womens 4 x 100 meters, and several British athletes in the UK. 

Fascinating that Rana is headed to the Netherlands. Reider is one of those amazing American technical coaches who have worked with athletes around the world. Fascinating that Rana Reider moves to the Netherlands, and Charles van Commenee, now Director of Performance for the Dutch Olympic Committee worked with Reider while Van Commenee was technical performance director in British athletics. 

Rana Reider is on my bucket list for interviews for 2015.

Christian Taylor is one of our most talented jumpers in the world. It will be fascinating watching Christian over the next several years. The coach and athlete relationship is very important. )
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Sergey Bubka and Renaud Lavillenie, European Indoors, March 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

Lavillenie with two trophies

PARIS (FRA): Pole vault World record holder and IAAF Athlete of the Year Renaud Lavillenie won on Friday evening another award. Actually two during one evening. He became the Champion of Champions in the World and in France in the end of the year poll of the French sports daily L´Équipe. The World trophy was presented to him by the IAAF Vice President and 35 time World record breaker in the pole vault Sergey Bubka. "Enjoy your title and seek new goals," Bubka said. Lavillenie mentioned that he had a poster of Bubka in his room when he was younger. "It was he who invited me to Donetsk and put me in the best conditions to beat his record," added the French athlete.

(Editor's note: For many years, I just did not think anyone could jump 6.15m or better. Heck, 6.10m was amazing. 

I was lucky enough to hear, from Sergey, the story of his first pole vault world record. I remember when Sergey vaulted in the states in 1995 at the Bruce Jenner; over four thousand fans stayed and watched, after the meet was over, except the pole vault. 

Renaud Lavillenie broke Bubka's record. Then, he tried at 6.21m and needed twelve stitches in his foot. Lavillenie had jumped for the stars, and cleared them, but that was not enough. Renaud went for 6.21m, and missed it, this time. 

I have watched Lavillenie in great times and in tough times. His performance at Stockholm was his only sub par in 2014. Yet, the new king of the pole vault showed class: no excuses, and in his next event, he won once again. 

For me, champions are not made with their victories, but coming back from rough events, injuries, or set backs. That is why Renaud Lavillenie is the champion of champions.)

Justin Lagat writes his column for RunBlogRun on a weekly basis, giving us A View from Kenya. In this column, Justin Lagat explains what truly motivates Kenyan runners to better themselves. 

Justin Lagat, photo from Justin Lagat
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Deon Landore & Laura Roesler, 2014 Bowerman Athletes of the Year

(Editor's note: This was my first Bowerman Awards, and it will not be my last.  I can not recall a finer awards ceremony. The level of production was fantastic, and the interviews of the six candidates just proved once again, how amazing track & field athletes are, in both their sports and academic lives. 

Sam Seames has created an award series that truly elevates the sport of track & field and gives collegiate track athletes awards worthy of their sacrifice. An amazing night of track & field, ending four days of clinics, meetings and celebrations of the profession of the tracka nd cross country coach. If you are a high school, college or club track or cross country coach, you need to go to the USTFCCCA convention in 2015!)

Streamed live on Dec 17, 2014

The Bowerman Presentation (7pm MT) and The Red Carpet Show at The Bowerman 

(6:25pm MT). Held in conjunction with the 2014 USTFCCCA Convention at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Ariz.

(Editor's Note: This was my first visit to the Bowerman Awards and I was truly impressed. I can 

not recall a higher level award ceremony in the sport of athletics. The quality of the production was impressive, but most importantly, the quality of the athletes, was the most impressive. )

2014 SPAR European Cross Country U23, photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for European Athletics Association (Copyright retained by Getty Images)

This piece, by Alex Mills, captures the breakthrough race that Rhona Auckland had at the U 23 SPAR European Athletics Cross Country Championships last weekend. A wonderful race for the Scottish athlete, who placed seventh last year. 


Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

European Athletics Results 2014-15 (weekend 13-14.12.2014)

Brest (Belarus), 5-6.12.2014
-International Youth Match- (indoor)

60mh u18 (0.76m) Greta Plechlaityte 8.74; SP (3 Kg) Alesia Sokolovic 15.57

CZECH REPUBLIC Praha (Czech Republic), 13.12.2014 (indoor)

60m u16 Stefan Hampl (1999) 6.97
60m u16 Anna Kerbachová (2000) 7.65; 150m u16 Anna Kerbachová (2000) 18.46


Eaubonne (France), 15.11.2014 (indoor)

PV Sami Berhaiem (tun) 5.00
SP Jessica Cerival 15.66
Eaubonne (France), 5.12.2014 (indoor)
60m Gildas Toyb (97) 6.93; 60mh u18 (0,91m) Quentin Mouyabi 8.04
Voneuil-sous-Biard (France), 6.12.2014 (indoor)
60mh Margaux Hinschberger 8.64
Nice (France), 6.12.2014 (indoor)
50mh Chloe Maurin 7.60; 50mh u18 (0.76m) Nina Brino-Forgnon 7.51
Reims (France), 7.12.2014 (indoor)
5 Kms Walk Yohann Diniz 18.16.76
Eaubonne (France), 12.12.2014 (indoor)
60m Gildas Toyb (97) 6.86; 200m Bruno Naprix 21.73
Laxou (France), 12.12.2014 -Mémorial Louis Félix Labridy- (indoor)
50m Pauline Lett 6.61 1s1; in heats: Louise-Anne Bertheau 6.64 1h2; 50mh Pauline Lett 7.33
Viry-Chatillon (France), 13.12.2014 (indoor)
50mh Rosan Mirefleur 6.98
50mh u18 (0.76m) Tiphaine Selbonne (99) 7.65
Lille (France), 13-14.12.2014 (indoor)
Pentathlon Lea Fleury 3.657p (8.95; 1.63; 12.35; 5.59; 2.41.51)
Val de Reuil (France), 13-14.12.2014 (indoor)
Heptathlon Jeremy Lelievre 5.728p (7.02; 7.12; 14.79; 1.89
- 8.44; 4.60; 2.40.73)
Pentathlon 1 Gaelle Le Foll 3.930p (9.28; 1.76; 11.93; 5.53; 2.22.86); 2 Odile Ahouanwanou (ben) 3.680p (8.80; 1.67; 12.53; 5.18; 2.37.25)
Lyon (France), 13-14.12.2014 (indoor)
Heptathlon Bastien Auzeil 5.423p (7.29; 6.90; 14.81; 1.81
- 8.43; 4.83; 2.56.28)
Pentathlon 1 Marisa Schwendemann 3.690p (8.95; 1.57; 11.49; 5.55; 2.27.28); 2 Yasmina Agbi 3.562p (9.24; 1.69; 10.53; 5.26; 2.32.22)

European Athletics Results - by Carles Baronet - Folgueroles (Barcelona) car.baronet@gmail.com

Click here for a complete pdf of this weeks' EUROPEAN ATHLETICS RESULS (weekend 13-14.12.2014).pdf

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Duane Solomon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nice to see the fastest man at American 800 meters over the past two years continuing to work with Saucony. Duane Solomon has had a very busy year, besides some fast times, he is a new dad as well! 

Footwear companies are the backbone of supporting athletes in our sport. Nice to see a press release about track and field endorsements as well! If you have not seen the new WHOA campaign from Saucony, check out your favorite local running site! 

Saucony has a Molly Huddle, Ben True, Ashley Higginson, and Duane Solomon, among others. 

Jenny Simpson racing in Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

The New Balance Indoor GP on February 7 has an amazing line up for their three hours of fantastic competition! If you are within an hour or two of Boston, be there! If you are farther away, use those miles and come to Boston. I have missed this meet once or twice since 1996--it should be on your bucket list!

When Elliott Denman heard the cyclical rumor that the IOC wants to make the Olympics more attractive to younger sports fans, and that could include the cutting of many events that Elliott holds dear to his heart. 

Tokyo 2020 proposed stadium

While I have been told that the IOC is not looking to cut track and field events from their wonderful schedule, I felt that Elliott Denman's piece was worthy of reading. 
The North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA) has given track & field coach Jon Drummond an eight-year ban, for as they noted, "multiple anti-doping violations". 

This case was being watched with much interest as Mr. Drummond, a former Olympic athlete, had been involved at some of the highest levels of the sport. His involvement with USA Track & Field ended recently, as noted by CEO Max Siegel in a recent press release. 

My thoughts on this sordid affair?

Coaches are role models, not only for athletic endeavors, but for life. We must protect the profession and the sport at all costs. I welcome the AAA, WADA and USADA in imposing such strict sentences. I believe that coaches involved in such activities should face life bans. 

Doping in Sports is something that must be combated daily. Through education in sports ethics, out of competition testing, and draconian bans so that athletes, and others involved will know that the pain, suffering and shame from being involved is not worth the benefit. For some now, it is just a business decision, as one keen observer related to me. 

For those who love the sport, doping kills the sport a little with each offense. But it does come down to how we value sport in society. 

And there is always one question I ask. At the end of one's life, when you look at yourself in the mirror, do you want that mile or long jump pb to be from  your God given talent, hard work and self knowledge gained working with an ethical coach, or is it a centimeter or lower time at any costs? 

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