Webb Sizzles, Solinsky and Galaviz Astound!

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Alan Webb, the new American record holder at the mile, broke his 800 meter record AGAIN! His 1:45.8 dropped to 1:43.84 with a scintillating last 50 meters as he went from second to first in the race! This new Webb, this ability to pull something from his very insides, his soul, is what is needed to medal at the world championships. But, did't Alan show us that at Gaz de France, when he went by Baali with fifty meters to go?

Two time NCAA 5,000 meter champ, and former Badger, Chris Solinsky ran 13:12.24, to move to numero ten on the All time U.S. 5,000 meter list. Solinsky has run personal bests at 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters and now, 5,000 meters this summer. They must be doing something right in Madison, WI!

And then, there is Lisa Galaviz. Lisa was the 2006 U.S. champ at the steeple. This year, she took fourth. But at Huesden, Lisa ran 9:28.75 for the American record at the steepelchase.

The performances above are the results of some hard training, year long focus, good coaching and great racing. There is an American renaissance in middle distance running and it is happening all over North America!

Walt Murphy, in his unique style, wrote a superb piece about the Huesden meet, we hope that you enjoy!

LE

Courtesy of Walt Murphy's News Service

HEUSDEN, BELGIUM (July 28, 2007) As Alan Webb said in an e-mail after his race today in Heusden, Belgium, "I'm on a roll." No kidding. A week after setting the American Record in the mile (3:46.91), he took almost a full two seconds off his previous personal best in the 800-meters (1:45.80), winning in a sensational 1:43.84.

As the runners broke for the inside on the first lap, Webb tucked in right behind the rabbit, who went through the first 400-meters in a blazing 49.72. Canadian Gary Reed took the lead on the backstretch and it looked for a brief moment that Webb might start drifting back in the pack. But this is a new and improved Alan Webb this year. Not content with just hanging on for a fast time, Webb the competitor stuck with Reed around the final turn and edged back into the lead for good with about 30-meters left in the race. Reed's 1:44.03 wasn't far off his Canadian Record of 1:43.93. Finishing 4th in the race with a PR of his own (1:44.69) was Jonathan Johnson, who was 4th at the U.S. Nationals. 5th was U.S. runnerup Nick Symmonds, who ran 1:45.49. David Krummenacker was 10th in 1:47.01.

Webb, who (and some people forget this) ran 1:47.74 in 2001 as a senior at South Lakes (VA) H.S., moved into the #8 position on the All-Time U.S. list. While some might be surprised by his breakthrough performance, not so his long-time coach, Scott Raczko, who felt that his charge was ready to run 1:43-1:44.

ALL-TIME U.S. LIST Performers)
1:42.60 Johnny Gray 1985
1:43.20 Mark Everett 1997
1:43.35 David Mack 1985
1:43.38 Rich Kenah 1997
1:43.5 * Rick Wohlhuter 1974
1:43.62 Earl Jones 1986
1:43.68 Khadevis Robinson 2006
1:43.84 Alan Webb 2007
1:43.92 John Marshall 1984
1:43.92 James Robinson 1984
1:43.92 David Krummmenacker 2002

There were a number of other fine performaqances by American athletes at the meet, which served as the last chance for some to cement their position on the U.S. team that will compete at next month's World Championships in Osaka.

Surviving a near-fall with less than 2 laps to go, Chris Solinsky, less than two months removed from his outstanding collegiate career at Wisconsin, finished 4th in the men's 5000-meters with a lifetime best of 13:12.24. Former Cal All-American Bolota Asmerom also had a big PR, running 13:15.16 to finish 8th. Solinsky's time is the 2nd fastest by an American this year, but he was only 7th at the U.S. Championships and it would take an unusual set of circumstances for him to get to compete at the Worlds. Solinsky moved ahead of Matt Centrowitz on the All-Time U.S. list. (See below)

However, Jonathan Riley, who was 4th at the U.S. Nationals, gave himself at least a shot to compete in Osaka by running a PR of 13:19.92 in the "B" 5000. That gives him an "A" qualifier and he would go if U.S. champion Bernard Lagat decides to concentrate on the 1500 or if the rumors about an injury to 3rd-placer Adam Goucer are true. The winner of the "B" race was former Stanford All-American Ian Dobson, who ran 13:18.87. Dobson, a member of the 2005 U.S. World Championship team, was only 9th at the Nationals.

ALL-TIME U.S. LIST
12:58.21 Bob Kennedy 1996
12:59.22 Bernard Lagat 2005
13:01.15 Sydney Maree 1985
13:04.90 Matt Tegenkamp 2006
13:10.00 Adam Goucher 2006
13:10.86 Alan Webb 2005
13:11.77 Meb Keflezghi 2000
13:11.77 Tim Broe 2005
13:11.93 Alberto Salazar 1982
13:11.93 Anthony Famiglietti 2007
(10) 13:12.24 Chris Solinsky 2007
13:12.91 Matt Centrowitz 1982

Tom Brooks was 3rd in the steeplechase at the U.S. Nationals and was hoping to run faster than the World "A" standard of 8:24.60 to guarantee his spot on the U.S. World team. He fell short with his time of 8:30.65, but he made it onto the team through "the back door" when Aaron Aguayo ran 8:20.34 to improve from a "B" qualifier to an "A". (A country can send two A's and a B--U.S. Champ Josh McAdams was already an "A"). Brian Olinger, who didn't make the final at the Nationals, ran a personal best of 8:19.29, the fastest time by an American this year.

After finishing a surprising 4th in the women's steeplechase at the U.S. Nationals, Lisa Galaviz probably won't be competing at the World Championships (unless one of the top three pulls out), but she can lay claim to the title of American Record holder after running 9:28.75 today. The previous record of 9:29.32 was set by Brianna Shook in 2004.

(It should be noted that the above references to various U.S. team scenarios are based on my understanding of USATF's sometimes confusing [to some] selection policies)

Their berths on the U.S. team already secure, former North Carolina teammates Erin Donohue (1500) and Shalane Flanagan(5000) battled each other in the women's 1500-meters. Flanagan held the lead at the bell and gamely held off Donohue's repeated challenges until the final straightaway, when Donohue, a former New Jersey H.S. and ACC champion in the javelin(!), moved ahead and won with a personal best time of 4:05.56. Flanagan finished 2nd in 4:06.24, not far off her best of 4:05.86. Both Donohue and Flanagan are coached by John Cook, the former head coach at George Mason. One of Cook's assistants at Mason was Scott Raczko, Alan Webb's coach.

Full results at www.timetronics.be/results/WebfilesHeusden2007

Archived video of the meet will be available at www.wcsn.com (to subscribers)

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