Recently in Track & Field Category

On April 3, Shalane Flanagan battled Gelete Burka for 24.5 of the 25 laps of the 400 meter track at Stanford University. Burka defeated Flanagan in the 10,000m race, but Flanagan was chipper and relaxed within five to ten minutes of her race finish. 

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Shalane Flanagan, 2014 Boston marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shalane Flanagan had run a 10,000m in 31:09, a very fast time, on a day where she was quite tired. 

The interview that follows was Shalane Flanagan chatting about the upcoming Boston marathon this weekend. 

Mark my word, Shalane Flanagan is her to race, and she wants to improve her time, but most importantly, Flanagan wants the winner's wreath in Boston. 

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Rodgers, Gay, Bailey, Zurich 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Gay for Kingston

KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaica Observer informs that US sprint record holder Tyson Gay has been added to the Jamaica International Invitational line-up, replacing compatriot Justin Gatlin, who was forced to withdraw due to other commitments. Gatlin, was earlier announced to compete in the 100m at the May 9th meet set for the National Stadium. Gay is expected to face the likes of Americans Ryan Bailey and Walter Dix in the event, with Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Nickel Ashmeade also confirmed for the meet.

(Editor's note: Tyson Gay is a crowd favorite. He took his lumps like a man should, and he still has the rights, per WADA and IAAF to compete. I am so tired of the drug cheat reference after athletes serve their time and are allowed by international sport to compete. I applaud European Athletics events and DL for putting their line in the sand. That is their right. Not sure what else to say.)
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Hightower steps down as USATF board chair; Miller selected to serve

INDIANAPOLIS -- USATF President Stephanie Hightower on Wednesday stepped down as chairman of the board, with the board selecting Steve Miller to replace her as chair.

 

This August, Hightower will stand as USATF's nominee for election to the IAAF Council. The upcoming IAAF election and the transition of her role was the impetus for her decision to resign as board chair.

 

"As USATF President and our candidate for Council, I wish to help provide continuity and stability in leadership change as we move into the next phase of the IAAF election process," said Hightower, who as USATF President will assume the role of board vice chair, in accordance with USATF bylaws. "Recognizing that to be successful at the IAAF I must devote significant time and effort to that endeavor, I submit my resignation as chairman of the USATF Board of Directors. It has been a true honor and privilege to serve as chairman, and I look forward to continuing to serve on the board as President and to actively pursuing a new role for USATF at the IAAF."


Hightower was elected as USATF President at the organization's 2008 Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada. At its first meeting in March 2009, a newly constituted USATF board elected Hightower as chair. She was re-elected as USATF President in 2012, and the board most recently re-elected her to serve another two-year term as chair at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Miller will serve the remainder of that term as board chair, through 2016.


Hightower is CEO of the Columbus (Ohio) Urban League, the first woman to hold the position, and previously was Vice President for Institutional Advancement for the Columbus College of Art & Design. A former world-class hurdler, she has served USATF in countless capacities, beginning with USATF's Athletes Advisory Committee and including as USATF women's track & field chair and as team leader, team manager and chef de mission for Team USA at international competitions. During her athletic career, she was named to the roster of 12 national teams, held American and world records in the hurdles, and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team. As a civic leader in her hometown of Columbus, Hightower served for five years as President of the Columbus Board of Education. She recently received the Distinguished Service Award from her alma mater, The Ohio State University, currently serves as an Advisory Officer for US Bank and is a member of several education and cultural boards.

 

A board member since 2009, Miller is CEO of Agassi Graf Holdings, the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, and BILT by Agassi and Reyes. He previously served as the Executive Chairman of the Board for Power Plate International, President and CEO of the Professional Bowlers Association, Director of Global Sports Marketing for Nike, adjunct professor at the University of Oregon Warsaw School of Sports Marketing, and Director of Athletics for Kansas State University. He has more than two decades' experience as a high school and collegiate track and cross country coach, is a five-time NCAA Coach of the Year and is a member four Halls of Fame, including the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.


(Editor's note: What does this mean? I am not sure. Ms. Hightower remains as Vice Chairman and President of USATF. This was done, my guess, to show IAAF that Ms. Hightower is clearing some of her time to potentially do more to support the IAAF as the Board has recommended her to represent USATF interest with the IAAF. In global sports federations, the perception of an action is much more important that the actual action. This is an action to show Ms. Hightower's desire to serve the international sport's largest global federation, the IAAF)

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JEH for London DL

LONDON (GBR): Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill will compete at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games London Diamond League, which will be held at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 24 and 25. It has not yet been announced what event(s) she will compete in. The 29 year old is returning to competition this year after missing 2013 due to an injury and then giving birth in 2014. She plans to make her heptathlon return in Gotzis at the end of May; the Great CityGames Manchester on May 9 is also on her schedule.

(Editor's note: Jessica Ennis Hill is the 2012 London Olympic champion back from injuries in 2013 and the birth of her baby in 2014. A widely popular athlete with fans and sponsors, Ennis Hill will be competing in Gotzis. RunBlogRun will be in Manchester for the Great City Games on May 9 to see her compete.)


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Sammy Mitei, Coach for Pace Sports Management, 
photo by Justin Lagat

Justin Lagat writes for RunBlogRun on a weekly basis, sometimes more. In this piece, Justin writes about his observations of Coach Mitei, his coaching methods and the workouts of his athletes. One can feel the enthusiasm in Justin Lagat's writing: his love of his country, Kenya, and respect for his athletes and coaches. 

Enjoy the read! 
A few months ago, Dwight Stones, a man who knows something about the high jump, sent me an email noting his expectations on the amazing jumping of Mutaz Essa Barshim. 

I had witnessed most of Barshim's highest jumps in 2014, and was watching, with the adidas GP crowd as Barshim and Bondarenko dueled in Icahn Stadium last June. 

What can Barshim do in his sponsor's biggest meet of the year? 

Well, be ready for a big jump.

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The Nike Pre Classic is the celebration of all things track & field, but most importantly, it is the celebration of all things Nike and Nike's involvement in global athletics. For most of two decades, the Pre Classic was the closest thing in North America for a young track fan to see how the sport was treated in the hallowed stadiums across Europe. 

Now in it's 41rst year, the two day meet prides itself in putting together the best fields that they can find. While I love the middle distance events, I have to admit, I totally geek out over the field events. 

Mutaz Essa Barshim is a shining example of good things in our sport. His love of his event, his fierce pride in his performances and his emotional responses to great jumps electrify the crowds. On top of that, Barshim is a class act: he and his competitors are relaxed and put all their energy into competing, and challenging each other. 

Less than two months from now, we will see Barshim at Hayward field. With the crowd behind Barshim, it will be interesting to see how high he can jump! 
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Genzebe Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Prefontaine Classic is the two days each year that Nike sets aside to celebrate the world of athletics. At Hayward Field, the place that the late Steve Prefontaine loved to race so dearly, many of the top athletes in the world come to compete on these two special days.

The women's 5000 meters is no different. Genzebe Dibaba, the world indoor record holder at 1,500 meters, 3000 meters, two miles and 5,000 meters. The field will feature seven of the top ten women athletes in the world, including Americans Molly Huddle and popular Oregon graduate, Jordan Hasay. 

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The world's most popular track athlete will be competing at the World Relays in 2015! Here is the release from the IAAF. 
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James Dunaway, photo courtesy of USA Track & Field


Jim Dunaway wrote the following story, at the request of Walt Murphy, for his readers. As most of our readers know, Jim Dunaway, life long track fan, life long chronicler of all things track & field, and a person who loved a good story, told well. 

Enjoy the chronicles of James Dunaway on the 1956 Olympics...
Last year, Peter Abraham, writing for RunBlogRun noted that the Oxy Performance Classic, now the HOKA ONE ONE MIddle Distance Classic, could become one of the best meets in America. Over the past three years, the performances and the duels have captured fans of middle distance running. 

With HOKA ONE ONE coming on board, the investment in the meet will be upped and the performances, with the World Champs later this season, should be spectacular! Stay tuned on May 14 for this fine event! 

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Oxy Classic 2012: Farah, Ritz and Galen, photo by Photo Run.net

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