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Vicaut_Jimmy200Q-Worlds13.jpgJimmy Vicaut, photo by

Vicaut ran twice
LUZERN (SUI, Jun 14): The jubilee 30th Spitzenleichtathletik meet (EA Classic) had despite cold and partly rainy weather excellent crowd which saw three important Swiss wins. Nichole Buchler in pole vault with 470 (and attempts at 481) ahead of Wilma Murto 450 (equaled her outdoor national junior record) and Fabiana Murer also 450. Kariem Hussein after strong finish at the 400 m hurdles 49.47 over US Jeshua Anderson 49.51. Also in women steeple Fabienne Schlumpf 9:53.61. In the 100 m World leader Jimmy Vicaut first clocked 9.98 but the race did not count after a false start where the gun was not well heard by 3 sprinters who finished the race. After ten minutes Vicaut won again in 10.08 (-0.6). Second Ibrahim Meite 10.26 and tie for third for Brits James Dasaolu (he clocked earlier 10.15 +0.9) and Richard Kilty both 10.31. In the 200 m Beejay Lee who was one of the 3 finishing the first 100 m was not running for second time but instead won the longer sprint in 20.66 (-2.3) over Aldemir Gomes 20.72, Danny Talbot 20.79 and Ameer Webb 20.80. In women sprints Briton Darryl Neita 11.30 (-1.2, equaled PB) and Gina Luckenkemper of Germany 22.91 (-1.4, ahead of South African Alyssa Conley 23.00 PB) were the winners. US Queen Harrison 12.84 (-0.7) and Briton Lawrence Clarke 13.42 (-0.7) were the best in the hurdles sprint. Denmark´s record holder Sara Petersen opened her summer season with winning the 400 m hurdles 55.20 ahead of British Eilidh Doyle 55.57. Women 800 m winner Lynsey Sharp clocked 2:02.87 ahead of Anita Hinriksdottir 2:03.17, on the men side Bosnia´s World medalist Amel Tuka 1:45.56 beating Kenyan Alfred Kipketer 1:46.00. In technical events Valerie Adams got women shot 19.37, men competition for Brazilian Darlan Romani 20.36. Australian Kathryn Mitchell topped javelin 62.97 and Canadian Christabel Nettey long jump 656 (-1.0) in difficult conditions.

Holusa_Jakub-Pre16.JPGJakob Holusa, photo by

I like watching Jakob Holusa run. I first became familiar with him in 2014, and then, watched him win the Euro Indoors in a gut wrenching finish where the crowd went bezerk! In the 2016 World Indoors, Jakob almost stole the show, taking silver in the 1,500 meters with a brilliantly timed finish.

Enjoy the Euro Results Report 5, by our friend from Catalonia, Carles Baronet, a man who juggles compiling 28 plus countries in Europe while dealing with me. A difficult task, I must say.

This story has been reposted on May 27, 2016. I wanted people to remember one of the prime reasons that the Pre Classic is around was because of my late friend, Geoff Hollister. A man of much complexity, Geoff Hollister loved his family, friends and his brand, Nike. The Friday Night at Hayward is here in honor of this guy, who fought every day of his nearly 40 years at Nike for the importance of his brand's core, or as Mark Parker, CEO of Nike calls it, "Nike's DNA is running."

The Pre Classic and Friday night at Hayward Field are the yearly affirmations of Nike's beginnings and Nike's DNA: athletics. Helping people run, jump and throw with some form and function. For much of that, we need to take a moment and think of Geoff Hollister, reminding me that Bill Bowerman did not like the word 'Coach', among other things.

I miss our friend.

Goeff Hollisterw-uIx.jpg

Geoff Hollister, courtesy of

Geoff Hollister, one of the original Nike employees, and a University of Oregon track team member from the Golden age, has died, after a long and heroic fight against cancer. Geoff was sixty-six (he celebrated his birthday this past Friday).

Hollister, who took his degree in art from the University of Oregon, was, along with his friend, Nelson Ferris, the keeper of history of the company with the swoosh. Much of that history, Hollister was involved with personally.

Starting in 1967, Hollister sold running shoes out of the back of his car at track and cross country meets. Hollister's interview with Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike (with Bill Bowerman), is that of legend. Knight offered Hollister a job, commission only, over lunch at the Dairy Queen then on U of Oregon campus. Hollister had run the steeple while at Oregon, Knight, a decade older than Hollister, had run the mile. Only one issue, Knight had forgotten his wallet, so Geoff paid for lunch.

In 1968, Geoff founded the BRS West store, in Eugene, Oregon. He then served three years in the US Navy, on the USS Guadalupe, as a navigator. Goeff returned in 1971 to BRS, when it was at a crisis point.

Phil Knight & Bill Bowerman were in a epic struggle with Onitsuka Tiger, and the little BRS was faced with the challenge that many small companies have-financing. Knight was able to develop a financing arrangement with Nissho Iwaii, which allowed Knight the capital to develop their own product and break away from Onitsuka Tiger. (There was a lawsuit between the two, which Knight & Bowerman won).

Hollister was one of the people who got Bill Bowerman. He understood, that beneath the curmudgeoness, was a brilliant educator, who, with all of his foibles, was a hell of a track coach, and businessman. "Never, ever call Bill Bowerman a coach, he hated that word, " Geoff once told me. Hollister was the keeper of the flame.

Geoff Hollister was the Nike promotions department for the 1972 Olympic Trials, held in Eugene, Oregon. He gave out many of the Nike shoes to young American athletes, especially about three dozen members of the Olympic Trials marathon participants.

Hollister worked closely with the late Steve Prefontaine, and developed a strong friendship. It was coming home from a party at Geoff's home, after a Hayward Field Restoration meet, that Steve Prefontaine, who had been the promo guy for Nike, died. Hollister then took over Prefontaine's job of sending notes in boxes of Nike running shoes, to athletes across the world, asking them to try the new shoe brand.

Prefontaine's death in 1975 was tough for Hollister. Most had thought that Steve would be Nike's first Olympic medalist in 1976. It was not to be.

By 1976, Nike was established, but the brands such as adidas, PUMA and Onitsuka did not give Nike an easy time. Hollister did prepare running shoes for Frank Shorter, who had legendarily difficult feet, and while Geoff did prepare shoes for Shorter, it is a matter of some conjecture, to this day, whether Shorter actually wore those shoes.

Between 1976-1980, Geoff Hollister developed his promo team, and helped develop Athletics West, a club that provided not only running gear, massages, sports psychology and nutrition, but helped get the athletes ready to race in Europe so that they could be prepared for 1980. No one could have known that President Jimmy Carter, in reacting to Russia's involvement in Afghanistan, would boycott those Olympics.

It was in 1980, that Nike had its first Olympic medalists, none other than Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. Geoff Hollister had brought Sebastian Coe and Bill Bowerman together in Eugene, during his build up to the Moscow Olympics.

Hollister had become the man who knew Nike's history, the man who protected the soul of Nike, the man who remembered what Steve Prefontaine was really like. Geoff took those roles seriously, and his love
for Nike was immense.

1984 was a watershed year for Nike. They were a global sports power by then, and the LA Olympics were tremendous, both good and rough. Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first women's Olympic gold medal. Sebastian Coe became the only man to defend 1,500m titles and also win consecutive silvers in the 800 meters. They also had the tragedy of Mary Slaney falling down in the 3,000m and not finishing. Nike had gone big time, and there was a bit of a let down after the 1984 Olympics.

From 1984 to 1996, Geoff Hollister was really the man behind the scenes, using his relationships to help athletes compete, get into better coaching relationships, and continued to show off the Nike brand. He always saw himself as a runner. And he looked at the world through the tinted glasses of an athlete. It was one of his best qualities.

Geoff Hollister & Nelson Ferris became the guys who protected Nike's legacy, probably in the 1990s. Geoff knew that Bill Bowerman was not getting any younger, and did a video with Arthur Lydiard and Bowerman,
which is said to be a classic.

As Nike became a bigger and bigger sports power, there were people who just did not get that Nike was founded by runners, and as basketball, soccer, baseball eclipsed some of the early track & field days, Geoff spung back into action, fighting to keep grass roots promotions going in the late 1990s. It was no mean task at the then $10 billion company.

Some of Geoff's longest lasting influences will be on grass roots promotions, his documentary film, " Fire on the Track" and his work on the film, "Prefontaine" kept the story of Steve Prefontaine alive. It also allowed there to be a recognition, perhaps a rekindling of concern for where running was to live in the Nike culture.

Hollister supported the development of several generations of grass roots promotion guys, some still at Nike, some in other companies, who realize, that it is still about getting a kid who just broke five minutes for the mile to see the newest shoe and dreaming about running a 4:55 mile, or long jumping twenty feet, or throwing the shot forty-five feet.

Geoff Hollister kept the soul of Nike alive. He was a complicated man, who was quick to tell us a story, and to talk about his family, and also quick to make sure that the legacy of Nike was remembered. He was not in it for the bucks. He loved his sport and the people involved.

While Geoff retired in 2002, he consulted for Nike for several years after that. His friends were lucky to have updates from his wife, Wendy, who cared for him with love and concern. Geoff had three children, his son Tracy, daughter Kaili and step daughter, Abi .

Over the weekend, Galen Rupp, AR holder in the 10,000m, a man coached by Alberto Salazar, who was signed to Nike by Geoff Hollister, told the media at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, that Mo Farah , Galen and Ciaran O'Lionaird (winner of the mile), would be wearing GHAC gear in honor of Geoff. Geoff would have liked that....

Please keep Geoff, his wife Wendy, and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

And, what would make Geoff most happy? Go, take a walk or run, and consider how lucky you are, on this small planet.

Here is an article on Geoff Hollister, from

Kipyegon_Faith1-Brussels15.jpgFaith Kipyegon, photo by

The Shanghai DL is a fantastic way to bring global athletics to China. In 2016, it delivered, but there were some snafus. Beyond the issues, Faith Kipyegon showed that she should be able to battle with Genzebe Dibaba over 1,500 meters with her fine run.

David Rudisha was not happy, and after his difficult race, packed up and left for home. Renaud Lavillenie had a strange night, finishing second to Sam Kendricks, who scored an outdoor PB.

Here are the full results from the meeting.

This is our third report on the European Outdoor Athletics season for 2016. This report was compiled by our friend from Catalan, Carles Baronet.

Kilty_RichardFL-Worldi14.jpgRichard Kilty, photo by


SI Cover courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

The story of this article is another example of the potential with our sport. Jeff Benjamin, an early adaptor if there ever was one, began writing for American Athletics back in 1991, I believe. Jeff then did articles on Jim Spivey, the Dream Mile and Abel Kiviat. Jeff loves the sport, and has suggested articles and ideas for the past two decades. I always enjoy his notes.

What does a running geek with two daughters (Amanda & Brianna) do? Encourage them both to run, of course. Well, Amanda, his oldest, has joined her father at Millrose for the past several years. Amanda Benjamin wants to write about sports, and she is now a second generation in the Benjamin family to write for our publications and website.

The Dream Mile is a magic moment in our sport. Jeff and Amanda have captured the scene, the zeitgeist tremendously well. Sports fans watch the Dream Mile on ABC Wild World of Sports! In an era when track & field is fighting with professional walleye fishing for money, 1971 was a time of promise, but also a time of challenges. The fact is, the sport missed continued chances to resonate.

With many of our new sports stars, track & field has some tremendous opportunities. So, dear readers, who will be running the next Dream Mile?

erin talcott34378cb6-21f5-4961-b415-479bb75a99b4.jpgErin Taylor-Talcott, photo courtesy of

The 50,000 meter Race Walk is the longest event on the Olympic platform. It has much history and deserves much respect. Race walkers possess the VO2 Max of cross country skiers. Think about walking for nearly four hours at 7 minute per mile pace, and keeping form!

Erin Taylor-Talcott is a trail blazer. 1956 Olympian Race Walker Elliott Denman wrote this piece on Ms. Taylor-Talcott, who will make history in Rome the weekend of May 7-8!

Hurdles-Worlds16.JPgHurdles in Portland, photo by

The World Indoor Champs, March 17-20, held in Portland, were fantastic. For a World Indoor champs in an Olympic year, the fields were quite good. A nice combination of new and veteran. The crowd was enthusiastic and the US team was rewarded with many medals.

After the last session, on the last day, I turned on my micro recorder and opined on the World champs, the facility and the top performances.

I hope you enjoy it.

Gebrselassie_HaileR1b-Tokyo12.jpgHaile Gebrselassie and Jos Hermans, February 2012, photo by

Happy Thirtieth to Global Sports Communications and Jos Hermans. While we could not be at the celebration, we were there in spirit. Jos Hermans was the long haired runner from the Netherlands who broke the one hour world record in May 1976, just before the Montreal Olympics, that I read about in Track & Field News. Watching Jos Hermans manage and develop some of the finest athletes around the world, and attending meetings that his company sponsored showed a man and a fine team who loves the sport of athletics. I posted the photo above as it is one of my favorites of Jos Hermans and one of his key athletes. Jos and his team have always been helpful and Hermans understood, more than many, the need of the media, athletes and sport to work together.

30th anniversary of GSC
PAPENDAL (NED): Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication at the National Sports Centre here. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of track meets and road races, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens. GSC in the words of today's keynote speakers--Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis--is the past, present, and future of athletics. And the keywords are ethics, values, integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation. The binding theme of the day and conference was "past/present/future of the athlete". Haile Gebrselassie said during the conference about 2 hours barrier in marathon: "It is no longer a matter of if but rather when". In summary 44 World Championship & Olympian athletes and 23 nationalities attended the celebration.

dennis mitchell .jpgDennis Mitchell, photo courtesy of

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): Dennis Mitchell will stay on as the American relay coach for the Rio Olympics after officials at USATF decided to delay implementing a new policy for the job, informs Reuters. Mitchell, who coached Justin Gatlin, said in February he stepped down from the role due to a conflict of interests. USATF added a provision that prohibits a person from being the national relay coach if they coach someone with a member of the relay pool.

Larry Eder comments:

Dennis Mitchell was controversial when he was named to this position as relay coach. Frustrating to Dennis Mitchell, most members of the media note that Dennis had a drug positive in 1998. So does the social world. USATF spent much time defending Mitchell.

Is Dennis Mitchell a good coach? Sure seems so. He coaches Justin Gatlin, and Gatlin continues to improve. But a coach is more than someone good at coaching technique. A coach is a role model, for both young and veteran athletes. In the U.S., we are big on second chances. Dennis Mitchell has developed a fine coaching business and is developing fine athletes. This was all after he tested positive nearly twenty years ago.

As USA Track & Field represents the best of our sport, from the young kids running relays to our Olympic teams, they have to realize that EVERYTHING that they do is under the microscope. Sometimes, that microscope is not fair, but, that is the world. USATF teams are the role models for a million plus teenagers running track 46 weeks a year, six days a week. Sometimes, it seems like that is forgotten. I question whether USATF should have considered Dennis Mitchell in the first place. The message is winning is winning.

Then, a rule change comes and, in February 2016, Dennis Mitchell tells Reuters that he is not longer relay coach, due to the new USATF provision regarding the prohibition of a coach being made relay coach if they coach someone on the relay pool.

Many think, that this issue is over.

But, wait!

On April 4, 2016, we read that: 1) Dennis Mitchell never did ACTUALLY resign, and 2) USATF has decided, in their magnifiscence, to not institute the rule until the NEXT Olympic cycle.

I am no doctor, but what is going on here? Not a conspiracy suggestion, but someone made an error here. USATF had a proverbial focus of the media go away, and now, they have to justify why Dennis Mitchell is still around.

I am not sure that this is very good for our sport.

It makes USA Track & Field look like they will do anything to win a medal. It also makes USA Track & Field seem like they are above any rules, unless those rules work for them. As Rolling Stone magazine said years ago: Perception is reality.

USATF shot themselves in the proverbial foot here.

To read the original stories from Reuters, click here:

March 1, 2016: Dennis Mitchell resigns as Olympic relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters

April 4, 2016: Gatlin Coach to remain relay coach, by Gene Cherry for Reuters (posted on Newsday)

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