USA Indoor, 2011, Day two: So the big guns sat out, so what? 9 WL, 2 AR's, by Elliot Denman, note by Larry Eder

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MileMenStart1-USAInd11.JpgMen's mile: a little bit of roller derby, and a lot of elbows! 2011 USA Indoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

On day two of the USA Indoors, I was in Seattle, watching a supremely satisfying Brooks PR invitational. The USA Indoors had nine world leaders and two ARs, and yet, a race that many said was the most satisfying of the day, the men's mile, did not get on ESPN (would love someone from the production team to explain that).



Mike Rodgers 6.49 and 6.48 were highlights, as was the AR of 15-11 1/2, 4.86m from Jenn Suhr and the shot put of Jill Camerena-Williams, which gave Jill the AR with a massive 65-2 1/2.

Rodgers_MikeDat-USind11.JPGMichael Rodgers: " You must bring out your A game all of the time!" photo by PhotoRun.net

I see the opportunities in our sport! It is not that people won't watch or come to our elite meets, it is how, I believe that messaging in done. Media is about developing a conversation with the consumer. This conversation must be constant.

We have learnt with Runblogrun.com and the runningnetwork. The more content, relevant and timely, the more our numbers grow. Check out USATF's web goddess, Katie Landry, who is posting interviews, video and developing their social networking opportunities. One of the best examples of how the digital world can help running is Jean Knaack at the RRCA. Jean has developed the 1,300 club RRCA (177,000 members) website with newsletters, email blasts,
relevant information, so that the members of RRCA always have access.

If you are going to sell tickets for a track meet, then you need to a) do it early, b) build up to the event and c) stay consistent.

The story by Elliot tells it all. There were amazing performances. Let's make sure that the crowds build so that future sponsors and TV shows the excitement of our sport!

By ELLIOTT DENMAN
 
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M - So some of America's biggest guns sat this one out ?.
 
So what?
 
 The USA National Indoor Championships, which concluded a two-day run at the Albuquerque Convention Center Sunday, hardly fretted over the absentees.
 
Instead, it opened the doors to a parade of new talents, many of the young men and women who can be confidently expected to give the old guard the challenges of their lives in the run-up to the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea, this August and the London Olympic Games of 2012.
 
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice. practice, goes the old New York yuk line.
 
How do Uncle Sam's nephews an nieces remain the world's number one track and field team - still quite true despite the amazing progress seen in so many other nations? Turnover, turnover, turnover.

Solomon_Duane-USind11.JPGDuane Solomon, 2011 USA Indoor 800m champion,
photo by PhotoRun.net
.
 
With an amazing pipeline continually refreshed by the youngsters emerging from the high school and collegiate ranks, America can, with some degree of confidence, expect to keep on keeping on.
 
Put down such names as Ryan Whiting (the new main man of shot putting, a 70-0 1/2 winner Sunday), Omo Osaghae (60 hurdles king at 7.52) , Michael Courtney (400 champion at 46.11) and long jumper Jeremy Hicks (25-2)  as guys who have all it take to be even-bigger time winners.  Along with youngish vets Michael Rodgers (60 sprint king at 6.48) and Duane Solomon (800 winner at 1:48.03.)
 
And on the roster of leading young women's candidates: hurdler Kellie Wells (7.79), long jumper Janay DeLoach (22-11 1/4), 60 sprinter Alex Anderson (7.12). and 800 winner Phoebe Wright (2:02.27.)
 
Oh, the younger already-elite weren't exactly treading water: Jenny Barringer Simpson (doubling in the women's mile Sunday after the 3000 meters Saturday), Jill Camarena-Williams (extending the American indoor shot put record to 65-2 1/4), and Natasha Hastings (hasting 400 meters in 50.83)

Suhr_Jenn-USind11.JPGJenn Suhr is back! 4.86m AR at 2011 USA Indoor Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net
 
And, of course, the now-fully healthy Jenn Suhr (clearing a USA indoor-record 15-11 1/4) remains in an American pole vault class all her own.
 
That was just Sunday.
 
Saturday's summaries showed that high jumper Jesse Williams and triple jumper Rafeeq Curry have global leaping talent. And that pole vaulter Mark Hollis, weight thrower Jake Freeman and 3000-meter racewalker Patrick Stroupe have huge upside potential, too. 
 
Likewise for the women: high jumper Epley Bullock,weight tosser Amber Campbell, and 3000-meter racewalker Maria Michta, all zooming up the ladder.
 
Last but surely not least, let us continue to applaud the still-amazing Bernard Lagat.
 
At 36, he remains at the top of his game, proving it with Lagat gusto in Saturday's remarkably easy 3,000-meter verdict over 24-year-old Galen Rupp, complete with a 26.9-second final 200-meter sprint.
 
With three Olympic appearances (and silver and bronze medals) to his credit, Lagat will surely pose a major obstacle to any young bloke brash enough to challenge his right to a fourth Olympic appearance.
 
Then again, anything can easily happen in the next year and a half.
When the eager and talented practice-practice-practice, who knows how far and how fast those good habits are going to take them?
Stay tuned, track and field fans.

Rodgers-SuhrVisa-USind11.JPGMichael Rodgers & Jenn Suhr Win VISA Championship Series! 2011 USA Indoor, photo by PhotoRun.net


 
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