Van Zyl runs WL 44.86, VCB clocks 52.25, Hall steeples 9:50.68, Pixler runs 15:25.58 WL, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder


Hall_Sara-FifthAve09.JPGSara Hall, 2010 Continental Fifth Avenue Mile,photo by

The Stanford Invitational, always held the last weekend in March, has been a traditional opening salvo for U.S. distance running for a couple of decades. I remember running the 10,000 meters there in 1980 (Martin Luther King Games that year), and then, year, after year, watching it from the stands.

When I moved to Wisconsin, it was one of the weekends that I would return to the Bay Area, catching up with friends, and watching some great racing over the years. Apparently some great racing this year as Sara Hall showed that she can hurdle, steepling a fine 9:50.68 early season run. Jessica Pixler ran a superb 5,000 meters, running a world leader 15:25.58.

You heard it here, make sure you are at the 2011 Payton Jordan Invitational Distance Carnival, which will be the first weekend of May. Should be some sparkling competitions!
You will find me, hopefully, sitting up in the stands with Joe Mangan, and a few other track geeks, worshiping the sport as we should, on such a cool, hopefully calm, Sunday evening, watching a national record or two, or three, go into the record books. 

IAAF World Challenge

Image via Wikipedia


DUDINCE (SVK, Mar 26): Slovak World Cup winner Matej Toth celebrated another big win of his career. In his fourth 50 km he was not only first home winner at "30th Dudinska patdesiatka" (EA Walking Permit) after six years but also clocked new national record and road world leading 3:39:46. Toth (28) improved his national mark from Dudince 2009 by 1:46. He was leading nearly from the beginning of the race and even at 40th km he was still ahead of meeting record pace (3:38:45 Yohan Diniz in 2009) by two minutes and it looked like he might go under 3:37. But strong wind at the end slowed him down. Still it was third best time in the history of the race. "It was like I wanted, fast begin and try whether I can keep the pace. Only last five km did not work. But I must be satisfied, sub 3:40 was always my dream," he was quoted. Poland´s olympic top 8 placer Rafal Fedaczynski was second in personal best 3:46:05 and was national champion as Toth. Third another Polish walker Rafal Sikora and another life-time best 3:46:16 ahead of Lukasz Nowak 3:46:40 and title defender Rafal Augustyn 3:46:56 (PB´s for both) showing great depth of Poland´s walking. 2007 World champion Nathan Deakes was sixth in 3:48:02 in his first finished 50k race since 2007. Best of Mexicans was seventh Omar Zepeda in 3:50:26 ahead of Bertrand Moulinet of France who improved to 3:50:49 in his first sub 4 hours race. At 9th place Berlin 20 km medalist Eder Sanchez of Mexico debuted at the distance with solid 3:53:19. Top ten was completed by Cedric Houssaye of France, another personal best 3:53:24. Former European 20 km champion Francisco Fernandez of Spain did not finish his second 50k of the career at the 35km level walking at 3:50 pace. In total 13 walkers achieved sub 4 hours time, last was Igor Kazakevics from Latvia getting also the national title in 3:59:43. Portugal´s record holder Antonio Pereira was initially 11th in 3:54:09 but was later disqualified. From 67 starters 47 finished. Ireland´s world championships medalist Olive Loughnane won women´s 20 km in 1:32:40 beating Czech Zuzana Schindlerova (1:33:51) and Ukrainian Nadya Borovska (1:33:59). In the men´s 20 km Andriy Kovenko of Ukraine posted 1:21:44 to win ahead of German Carsten Schmidt (1:24:39). Junior 10 km winners were Igor Puzanov of Ukraine (43:28) and Ireland´s Kate Veale (46:43), in youth 10 km Patrik Spevak of Slovakia clocked excellent 43:23 to fulfill Lille standard and was faster than the best junior. Czech Anezka Drahotova was the best in youth girls 5 km (23:03).



GERMISTON (RSA, Mar 26): World leader at 400 m hurdles LJ Van Zyl showed excellent shape at Yellow Pages meet here. He won the flat 400 m in excellent world leader and personal best 44.86. Second Willie de Beer also good with life-time best 45.68. World champion Caster Semenya won the 800 m in 2:01.77 and was second in the 400 m achieving personal best 52.54 (beaten by Tijpekapora Herunga of Namibia 52.32). 2008 World Indoor Champoon Khotso Mokoeana leaped to excellent 817 (-1.0) in long jump. Sprinter Hannes Dreyer (coach national record holder Morne Nagel) registered a double with wind-assisted 10.17 (+2.1) and 20.88 (-1.8). In javelin duel Justine Robbeson (59.82) beat African record holder Sunette Viljoen (57.34).



ORLANDO (USA, Mar 26): Two-time Olympic Games 200 m champion Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, had a very good 400 m outing at University of Central Florida Invitational. Campbell-Brown went out fast and took early control of the race, before faded in the closing metres to hand American Mary Wineberg the victory. Campbell-Brown clocked an impressive outdoor personal best 52.25 seconds for second behind Wineberg 52.00. Joel Brown achieved 13.47 (+1.3) at 110 m hurdles beating Jamaican record holder Dwight Thomas (13.49). Croatian discus record holder Martin Maric got 62.59 m.



DUNEDIN (NZL, Mar 26): Olympic and World shot put champion Valerie Adams finished off her down-under competitive season with a New Zealand all comers and resident record of 20.54 during second day of national championships. It was her eleventh national shot put title. Informs NZ Athletics. In perfect conditions in front of a bumper crowd Adams opened with 20.33m, fell out of the front in the next round with the record coming in her third attempt. Her national record set overseas is 21.07m. Supert talent Jacko Gill knocked off another world age record in the shot put claiming the world bests for 16 and 17 year old with the 6kg shot with his performance of 21.34m. This improved on his own 16 year best of 20.76 m and bettered the 17 best of 21.08m set by German David Storl in 2008. While pleased to get another couple of records Gill was disappointed he didn't get out to 22.73m which would also give him the official IAAF World junior record. Double silver medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games Nikki Hamblin comfortably won the first of her double title defenses the 800m in 2:05.49. Alex Jordan was outstanding in the senior 400 m winning in the third fastest time by a New Zealander of 46.40.







KINGSTON (JAM): Antiguan sprint record holder and Berlin 100 m fourth placer Daniel Bailey plans to open his season after relay appearances at the Kingston Invitational on May 7 (IAAF World Challenge). Confirms his agent Cubie Seegobin. Bailey has a best of 9.91 from 2009 and is member of Racers TC of Glen Mills.


LONDON (GBR): The second staging of the Newham London Run on Sunday will have a rather special name amongst the thousands of runners on the start line as Ireland's greatest ever distance runner, Sonia O'Sullivan, takes to the streets for the 10k run.


SOFIA (BUL): Olympic and world semifinalist at 400 m hurdles Tsvetelina Kirilova became on Friday a mother for second time. Her daughter Yavora is 3.6 kg and 50 cm. Her first child is a boy Emil. Bulgarian media are pointing out that high jump world record holder Stefka Kostadinova celebrated also on friday her 46th birthday.


VIENNA (AUT): Austrian Athletics Federation OLV has a new president. 55-years old marketing specialist Ralph Vallon was voted on Saturday new head of the national body. He is replacing Johann Gloggnitzer who was president since 2000.


KINGSTON (JAM): The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, has been collaborating with the international sports gears manufacturing firm, Adidas, and the local Racers Track Club in the providing of sports equipment to a number of schools in Jamaica. The contributions are used by the schools in the development of their track and field athletics programmes. Informs the ministry in a release.


BOSTON (USA): The Boston Athletic Association, founder and organizer of the Boston Marathon, has added a new race to their annual event calendar. With the cooperation of the City of Boston, the B.A.A. 10-K debuts on Sunday, June 26, and will feature a $30,000 prize money purse. The race will start and finish on Charles Street at Boston Common. "The B.A.A. 10-K offers runners an uncommon summer racing opportunity in Boston," said B.A.A. Executive Director Tom Grilk through a statement. He continued: "Having already begun to work proactively with the neighborhood, community and business groups along this beautiful course, participants in the B.A.A. 10-K can expect to receive a warm welcome during the race."


NEW YORK (USA): The winner of next month's More Magazine | Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon in New York City will receive the Meyerhoff award to honor the race's late champion, Sally Meyerhoff, who was struck and killed on March 8 by a pick-up truck, while cycling near her home in Maricopa, Ariz. Meyerhoff won the 2010 edition of the race last April in a course record 1:14:40, despite running in cold temperatures accompanied by heavy rain.


LUZERN (SUI): Third best Swiss one day meeting of Luzern (EA Classic) finalised its date for 2011 to July 21 (Tuesday). The Allmend Stadium was rebuilded and is having new main tribune for this years edition with new 2000 places. Because of the works in the stadium last year the meet was held in nearby Nottwil.


LOS ANGELES (USA): World champion Allyson Felix said for IAAF: "I am getting ready to open my season at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on 14-16 April with my training group. I'm really excited. I love starting my season off here. It's always great to get to run at home, and a meet I've been racing at since high school."


TOKYO (JPN): Mizuki Noguchi, 2004 Olympic Marathon Champion, donated 500,000 yen (her own money) to earth quake/tsunami victims.







AZPEITIA (ESP, Mar 26): Kenyan Stanley Biwott won the 18th Azkoitia-Azpeitia half-marathon in new course record 1:00:23. Women winner was also a Kenyan Fridah Domongole clocked 1:11:32.


JERUSALEM (ISR, Mar 25): The Jerusalem International Marathon was resumed over the full distance after 16 years. Some 1000 runners took part in the 4th edition of the race, which was held over a hilly course. Kenyans Raymond Kipkoech, John Kipkorir Mutai & Michael Njoroge, who led towards the end, were misdirected to a different finish line, but were reinstated later. Winning time 2:26:43 ahead of 2:26:54 and 2:27:18. Ethiopian Worknesh Shashe was the best woman in 2:50:04 just one second ahead of Kenyan Rosaline David (2:50:05) and Wioletta Kryza of Poland (2:51:20).


AUSTIN (USA, Mar 25): Marek Niit clocked new Estonian 100 m record 10.21 (+1.9) at a Tri Meet. Jamaican former world junior medalist Keiron Stewart improved at 110 m hurdles to 13.44 (+1.8).


PALO ALTO (USA, Mar 25): At Stanford Invitational solid 9:50.68 personal best by Sara Hall in the steeple. Jessica Pixler won the 5000 m in 15:25.58 ahead of US multiple road champion Jen Rhines 15:32.70. In men´s distances Andrew Bayer 13:32.74 and Kenyan Robert Cheseret 28:29.69. Briton James Alaka sprinted 10.37 at 100 m (+2.3) and French 17-years old Youth Olympic Games winner Alexia Sedykh improved with senior hammer to 62.87.


BATON ROUGE (USA, Mar 25): Fast relay time from 4x100 m heats by LSU in 38.87 (Nugent, H. Williams, Talley, Mvumvure/ZIM).


RALEIGH (USA, Mar 25): Francena McCorory posted solid 51.98 at 400 m during Raleigh Relays. Ronnie Ash got in his hurdles heats 13.58 (+1.6) and Kenyan Sam Chelanga achieved 28:15.64 in the 10 000 m.


KINGSTON (JAM, Mar 25): Carrie Russell and Jacques Harvey, both of the University of Technology, won the women's and men's 100 m finals during the opening day of the VMBS Intercol Track & Field Championships, being staged at the Usain Bolt track, at UWI. Russell, in the women's section, sped to victory in 11.44 seconds, Harvey ran 10.37. Informs Track Alerts.



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