June 7, 2009
Complete analysis of events
Men’s 100 meters
With Asafa Powell, Walter Dix, Travis Padgett, Richard Thompson and 2009 new star Monzavous Edwards, Mike Rodgers had his hands full. Rodgers did not let that top him. With a +.1mps wind, Mike Rodgers got a great start and kept sprinting down the straight. Asafa Powell got out slow, stood up and started to move, looking like he might take, until seventy meters. Rodgers went by and did not stop, running a fine and legal 9.94 to Powell’s 10.07. Walter Dix held on for third in 10.07, with Travis Padgett in fourth in 10.08 and Richard Thompson of Trinidad in fifth in 10.09.
Men’s 300 meters
LaShawn Merritt, all of twenty-two (his birthday numero 23 is the last day of the US champs), is an Olympic champion. In our interview with LaShawn on Saturday, Merritt told us that he ” loved to compete, but I know I have to do the work to continue to run well.”
The world record for 300 meters was set at altitude-in my mind, it is a non record and one of those things that totally screws up the perception of our sport. Either it is a record or not. If altitude is aiding, then 30.85 by Michael Johnson is a very fast run, but no real cigar.
LaShawn Merritt showed that he is fit, and that he can run 300 meters. Merritt got out hard and blew the field away, running the fastest SEA LEVEL time EVER, with his 31.30, faster than his 31.31 from 2007. Xavier Carter was second in 31.93, Wallace Spearmon was third in 32.14 and Shawn Crawford was fourth in 32.47.
Is Merritt ready for the US champs? After his 20.7 at adidas, his windy 44.75 at Reebok, and now this 31.30, LaShawn Merritt is ready to race!
Men’s 800 meters
In a killer field, Nick Symmonds showed, once again, why he is a racer and how deadly he can be. Hitting 24.6 at the 200 meters and 50.55 at the 400 meters, rabbit Matt Scherer was leading at the 600 meters in 1:20, with Christian Smith, Gary Reed of Canada, Nick Symmonds on Reed’s shoulder, with Khadevis Robinson trying to make a move. Yuriy Borzakovsky of Russia, he of 44.1 speed, and one of the deadlest kickers in the sport, not in shape.
Symmonds took off at six hundred meters and willed himself into the lead, with Robinson, Reed and Smith following. As soon as Symmonds took the lead, Christian Smith (aka Lazarus to the RBR crowd, due to his rising from the dead
in the US Trials 800 meters), went wide.
Nick Symmonds ran a 25 second last 200 meters, and had the race in control, winning in 1:45.86. Alfred Kirwa Yego, who was always lurking, could not respond, and finished second in 1:46.21. Yego got Christian Smith, who finished third in 1:46.36. Gary Reed of Canada was fourth in 1:46.37 and Khadevis Robinson was fifth in 1:46.64 with a spent Borzakovsky in sixth in 1:47.05.
A wide eyed, but bloodied (figuratively) Oregon prep champ, Elijah Greer ran 1:49.15 for eighth place, running with the titans. We shall see more of Mr. Greer,
that is sure, as the soon to be Duck moves to Eugene, Oregon. We wish him much
I love watching Symmonds race. He has the ability to medal internationally, and he has a devastating finish, which will come in handy in Europe this summer.
The Bowerman Mile is a tradition here. There have been over 400 sub four minute mile performances done by over three hundred different runners in the thirty-five years of the meet!
This year was a superb race. Mosie Joseph took the pack through 55.00 and 1:52.98, with Haron Keitany, NIcholas Kemboi, Nathan Brannen, Asbel KIprop
and Shedrack Korir running hard. Evan Jager was following closely, as was Lopez Lomong . Leonel Manzano, after two strong races, was running near the back of the pack. Alan Webb was a bit farther back.
The weather was perfect as Moise Joseph took them through the first two laps and Jackson Kivuna took them to the 1200 meters, in 2:52.92.
Haron Keitany took off, followed by Asbel Kipruto, Nicholas Kemboi, Belia Mansoor Ali , Lopez Lomong and a gutty Evan Jager.
Keitany was running all out as Asbel Kipruto KIprop, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist at 1,500 meters comes loping by. To say Kiprop has wheels, and a developing rock star ego, is an understatement. Pulling a move out of the Usain
Bolt book of style, KIprop pulled a Steve Ovett, waving to the crowd with fifty meters to go, and just missing the Bowerman record with his 3:48.50! Keitany ran 3:48.78 for second, Nate Brannon battled all the way to third in 3:52.63, near the Canadian’s personal best. Belai Mansoor Ali of Bahrain was fourth in 3:53.05. In fifth, Nicholas Kemboi was fifth in 3:53.43. Lopez Lomong was sixth in 3:53.47. Evan Jager was rewarded with his smart racing with a nice 3:54.35 in seventh place. Shedrack Korir ran 3:54.77 for eighth. Henok Legesse was ninth in 3:54.81, with Alan Webb of the US in tenth in 3:55.99. In eleventh, Peter van der Westhuizen of South Africa was eleventh in 3:56.26. Will Leer, fourth in the US Trials last year, was the twelfth sub four minute miler. Leonel Manzano, who had won both in St. Louis and New York on consecutive weekends, was the thirteenth runner under four minutes, in 3:58.68. Josephat Mitunga Kithiii was fourteenth in 4:01.09.
After the race, Asbel Kipruto Kiprop visited with the media, he noted, ” I have never run a mile before and it was fun. If I had known how fast we were going, I would not have waved so much…this summer I am planning to do well in Berlin (smiles)…I thought that we were running 3:52 pace, not 3:48, or I would have run much faster!”
Men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase
Paul Kipsele Koech gave a clinic in how to run the steeple, winning here in 8:13.44. Luke Watson took Koech and Roba Gary through the first kilometer, and Koech took off. But Paul, last year’s winner, had too much time by himself. He steeples well, hurdling better than many of his Kenyan teammates, and ran a 64 last lap effortlessly. Roba Gary of Ethiopia was second, Josh McAdams was first American in 8:26.55 in third. with Rob Watson of Canada in 8:27.09 for fourth, with Ben Bruce in 8:33.11 in fifth.
Men’s 3000 meters
Bernard Lagat is way ahead of last year. He ran a 3:36 for 1,500 meters at the adidas meet, then ran a hard, and windy 5,000 meters in 13:03 at New York, and now, a flat 3,000 meters.
” I felt great during the race,” Bernard Lagat told us after the race. Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar, one of our most colorful global athletes, took off and stayed upfront, as the pacer Steve Sherer took them through 61.34, 2:01, 3:02, 4:01.6 for the 1,600 meters. The 2,000 meters, then lead by Julius Achon, was hit just over 5:10.
By this time, Bernard Lagat was on Shaheen’s shoulder, with Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegankamp, followed by Alistair Cragg and Eliud Kipchoge. Scotty Bauhs was in the next pack.
The bell was hit in 6:40 as the pace quickened with Saif Saaeed Shaheen pushing, pushing, and Bernard Lagat relaxing and looking poised to pounce. Right behind them, Chris Solinsky, who has run 13:18 this season, started to move with three hundred meters to go, and Matt Tegenkamp and Alistair Cragg were right there.
At the top of the straightaway, Bernard Lagat went by Saif Shaheen and just kept running to the finish, taking the win in 7:35.92. Said Shaheen held onto second, in 7:36.87, but just barely. Chris Solinsky, running a blistering last hundred meters, took Alistair Cregg (fifth in 7:37.84), Matt Tegenkamp (fourth in 7:37.32) with his third place, hard charging 7:37.05! Eliud Kipchoge was sixth in 7:38.44.
After the race, Chris Solinsky told us, ” My legs were bugging me a bit, so I wore the performance socks, and my legs felt better.” This was after we asked about the new long socks!
Men’s 400 meter hurdles
Bershawn Jackson, aka Batman, did his thing for the second week in a row. Jackson came charging down the final three hurdles, and took the race from Isa Philips, 48.38 to 48.55. The ten hurdles in the intermediates make this race a sadist’s delight-the endurance of the 400 meters and the technique of a hurdler. Kerron Clement was third in 48.73, Angelo Taylor was fourth in 48.79. Michael Tinsley in fifth in 48.88. The US championships in two weeks are going to be a
real battle for the US title.
Men’s high jump
Ivan Ukhov of Russia took the high jump in 2.34 m clearance over Yaroslav Rybakov, who cleared 2.31m. Jesse Williams of the US was third in 2.26m, with Raul Spank of Germany at same height in fourth. Andrey Silnov of Russia, the
Olympic champion, was fifth in 2.21m. With Donald Thomas of the Bahams, Jamie Nieto of the US and Germaine Mason of the UK, this was the deepest high jump
of the year, and perhaps until we get to the World Champs!
Men’s Pole Vault
The swirling winds did not give the vaulters much help. Alhaji Jeng of Sweden got over, and won at 5.51m, with Tim Mack of the US at 5.41m and Jeremy Scott of the US at 5.41m in third. The rest of the field could not get a mark!
Men’s Long Jump
Dwight Phillips is a man possessed by the long jump. With the help of Loren Seagrave, one of our top technical coaches, Dwight has set a personal best at 100 meters (10.06) and now gives us the tenth best performance in the long jump, and the best since 1991! Jumping 8.74 in his second round, or 28-8 3/4, Phillips made Irving Saldino jump a personal best of 8.63, and still the champion from Osaka and Beijing did not get the win!
Fabrice Lapierre of Australia was third in 8.02 and Trevell Quinley of the US took fourth in 8.01.
But the story is Dwight Phillips. The 2004 gold medalist in Athens, the 2005 gold medalist in Helsinki and the 2007 bronze medalist looks poised to do well in Eugene, Oregon in two weeks and perhaps a fourth medal, dare we say, in Berlin?
Phillips keeps jumping like this and he will find another medal for his collection.
Men’s Shot Put
The men’s shot is a strong event for the US. Reese Hoffa, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson and Dave Taylor. Dave is now lifting for the first time, under the watchful eye of former throw deity John Godina.
Dan was leading up to round six, with a throw of 21.29. (His best this season has been 21.79). In round six, Reese Hoffa, having a bad day, cleared up the bad day memory with a throw of 21.89m, or 71-10, for the win and the farthest throw in the world in 2009.
Among the carnage was Olympic champ Tomasz Majewski of Poland, in third in 21.16m and Christian Cantwell, Olympic silver medalist, in fourth in 20.99.
We met Tomasz Majewksi the day before in the Valley River Inn. The man is huge and while quite polite, he was a bit confused that an American writer might know who he is not be stalking him. Once I convinced him I was not a stalker, he was quite amused that track fans in the US knew who he was.
Women’s 100 meters
Kerron Stewart of Jamaica went by Muna Lee and Shelly-Ann Fraser. Lauryn Williams had lead through fifty meters, but Stewart just kept flying. Stewart must not have known that Carmelita Jeter had other plans, as Jeter crashed the party, about 90 meters and ran 10.85 to the 10.90 of Stewart. Muna Lee was third in 11.02, Shelly-Ann Fraser was fourth in 11.10 and Lauryn Williams was fifth in 11.12.
The night before, coach John Smith, coach of Carmelita, who has been blazing this entire season, told me that she was just coming into shape. Was that an understatement. (Sorry, the times were wind aided–+3.2mps).
Women’s 400 meters
Sanya Richards is in shape. Real shape. On Saturday, Sanya told us that Coach Hart had told her to focus on the third hundred meters and come off the turn well.That is exactly what she did. In fact, Sanya had control of the race by 200 meters!
Coming off the final turn, Sanya Richards just kept flying, and pumping her arms, finishing in a world leading 49.86. Sherika Williams of Jamaica was second in 50.72. Yulina Gushchina of Russia was third in 51.17, with Amantie Montsha in fourth in 51.31. Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica in fifth in 51.32.
Sanya looked great. She should be great for the US championships.
My concern now is with the women’s 4 x 400 meters. Jamaica is looking great, and so is Russia. The US has Dee Dee Trotter injured, Mary Wineberg pregnant, and several of our key women just not in shape. Allyson and Sanya need two more teammates, will be interesting to see who they place there.
Women’s 800 meters
Jesse Carlin takes the field out fast, through 56.7 for the first lap, as Pamela Jelimo takes off, still leading when the field hits 600 meters in 1:28. As Pamela just crumbles, finishing sixth in 2:05.32, Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica takes the lead, with Jemma Simpson of Great Britian running on Sinclair’s shoulder. Hazel Clark was in the mix as well.
Running a smart race, the fourth placer in the US Trials 800 meters and 1,500 meters, Maggie Vessey, ran a brilliant final straightaway and took the field in
2:00.18, much to everyone’s surprise. The smile on Maggies’ face told it all–she
had won the 800 meters and the Pre Classic!
Women’s 1,500 meters
This was a monumental race. Geleta Burka has already broken four minutes this season. In a very deep field, the pace was fast and the racing furious. Nikeya Green took the field through 62.6, 2: 06, 2;57 at 1,100 meters, and the fun began.
Shannon Rowbury, Gelete Burka and Anna Alminova had been upfront, with Anna Willard, Christin Wurth-Thomas, Muria Fernandez in tow.
As Burka hit the 1,200 in 3:12, the race was on, and Shannon Rowbury started to fade, finishing in sixth in 4:03.92 (her season opener!). Christin Wurth Thomas, Anna Willard, Anna Alminova were all fighting down the backstretch, as Burka took off. Coming off the final turn, Gelete Burka had the race in control, or so she thought, as Alminova, Willard, Wurth-Thomas and Rowbury were charging for the finish. Charging the hardest, however was Colorado’s Jenny Barringer.
Barringer came blazing down the final stretch, step by step gaining on Wurth-Thomas, then passing Willard, then Alminova, and finally, Burka. Literally coming within two steps of taking the race from Gelete Burka, Jennifer Barringer took second in 3:59.90 to Burka’s 3:59.89! These were the first sub four performances in
Pre Classic History!
Gelete Burka took first in 3:59.89, Jenny Barringer become number three All time US, in 3:59.90, Anna Alimonova ran 4:01.44 for third. Anna Willard improved five seconds, running 4:01.44, Christin Wurth-Thomas ran 4:01.94 for fifth. Shannon Rowbury, who tried to race Burka, fook sixth in 4:03.92. Nuria Fernadez of Spain was seventh in 4:04.75. Nancy Lagat was eighth in 4:05.05. Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia was ninth in 4:05.99. Erin Donahue of the U.S. was tenth in 4:06.70. Shalane Flanagan was eleventh in 4:06.91.
A smiling Jenn Barringer told the media, ” We had done a one k time trial last week, with my teammates pacing me. Coach figured I could run 4:04. I have not had time to feel bad for not winning, as I broke four minutes!”
Jenn Barringer, per reports is planning to run the 5000/steeple at the US champs. Anna Willard the steeple/1,500 meters. Could be interesting races!
Women’s 2000 meters
Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya won this five lapper in 5:31.52 with Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain in second in 5:31.88, both under the 1982 All comers record of one Mary Slaney of 5:32!
It was a fast race, as the leaders hit the 1,600m in 4:25 and just kicked. Amy Begley was sixth in 5:38.34 and Kara Goucher was seventh in 5:41.28, with Jenn Rhines in eighth in 5:51.69 and Sara Hall in ninth in 5:54.07.
Women’s 100m hurdles
Michelle Perry took the hurdles in 12.74, with Damu Cherry in second in 12.74 and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep in third in 12.75. Perdita Felician was fourth in 12.78.
Women’s Long Jump
Funmi Jimoh of the US won in 6.69m to Ksenija Baita of Estonia, who jumped
6.68m. Yelena Sokolova of Russia was third in 6.68m, and Javenne Jarrett of Jamaica was fourth in 6.66m. Briana Glenn was fifth in 6.60. Brittany Reese was sixth in 6.60m, and Grace Upshaw was seventh in 6.59m.
Stephanie Brown Trafton continues her domination of the discus with her 63.98 throw or 209-9. Sumner Pierson was second in 60.53m and Bekcy Breisch was third in 60.06m, with Aretha Thurmond fourth in 60.04. US record holder Suzi Powell Roos threw 59.99m for fith place.
Betty Heidler threw 72.81 to take the hammer. Sultana Frizell of Canada was second in 72.07m and Jessica Cosby of the US was third in 70.68m.
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