Matt Tegenkamp, A short conversation


At the Border Clash each year, Nike brings in a few of their top athletes, this year,
it was Matt Tegankamp and Kara and Adam Goucher as well as Michelle Sykes. I spent a few minutes with Matt and this is what he had to say...

Matt Tegankamp is one of the most dangerous distance runners in America. He has the tools to not only run fast times, but to medal, in a World or Olympic championships. Under the tutelege of Jerry Schumacher, the mason grise of Wisconson distance running, Tegankamp went from good college runner to fourth placer in the Osaka, World championships.

Tegankamp's run in Osaka was amazing. It was as if he came alive with fifty meters to go. " About fifty meters to go, I was not sure what was going to happen, but with thirty to go, I just took off!" commented Matt during our conversation this past Sunday.

I asked Matt when he knew that Craig Mottram was in trouble, and he said just after three kilometers. He also noted that the race went to plan. " We were not going to lead early on. We wanted to be ready with one kilometer to go."

And go they did. Tegankamp covered each move in the last kilometer, run under 2:26, so it was screaming fast-and was there over the last few meters as well!

But Matt is focusing for Eugene and Beijing. His wife is in residency, so Matt will be in the warm weather of Arizona in Jan-March of this year. He is training well, getting to his 90-95 miles a week soon and he has few plans for indoor racing.

Tegankamp learnt alot in his second year as a professional. He raced well in the Worlds and came back and raced up and down in Europe. A long, exhausting season, but Matt knows what his goals are-next year in Eugene, and then in Beijing.

From this writer, do not be suprised if two of the 5,000 meter U.S. male team members are University of Wisconsin trained. Matt Tegankamp should be in the thick of that team in 2008 and his road to Beijing will be fascinating to watch. The battle to make the toughest sports team in the world, USA Track & Field , has begun, and Matt Tegankamp will be there!

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