In one of the most exciting (and well done tv broadcasts) NCAA outdoor track championships in years, CBS focused their coverage on a very close team event. On the men’s side, it was determined in the last event, the 4 x 400m and the difference between Texas A & M and Oregon was two points. On the women’s side it was seven points that separated Texas A & M and Oregon. Coach Pat Henry’s teams won the double, not done since 1990, over Coach Vinn Lannana. Each team had its heroes and heroines.
Consider, for one moment, the case of Galen Rupp. Galen Rupp ran a tough 10,000 meters and won from Shawn Forrest and Samuel Chelanga, with the race coming down to a 1:58.96 last half mile. 20k of racing n three days for Rupp, who also ran semis for the 5,000 m, final for the 10,000m and final for the 5,000 meters, all within 72 hours! His 5,000 meter win was a bit more problematic, pulling a Bill Rodgers and stopping to fix his shoe ( Rodgers did it in a marathon). Calmly, Galen Rupp showed his real talent, moved from eleventh to fourth with three laps to go, finally taking the lead with 600 meters to go. His last 1,600 meters? 4:00.10. Kind of Bill Rodgers meets Lasse Viren-no actually, the Galen Rupp style.
Galen Rupp has gone, over the past five years, from being the good Oregon kid whispered about as the next good one, to one of our top US distance hopes. He has matured in both his racing tactics and his times. Most fascinating of all, with someone with so much pressure on him, Galen Rupp seems to handle it in stride. The difference over the past five years? His coaching relationship with Alberto Salazar, his development in college with Vinn Lananna and his absolutely classic tactics, which keep his legion of fans fascinated, with his videos on Flotrack.com, dyestat.com, and photos everywhere else. Rupp races, fans watch, Ducks rejoice.
Oregon did not win this year. That is, alas, sport. Sometimes teams win, sometimes they loose. In the process, we, the sports fans, become engrossed with herculean battle that happened in Fayetteville, Arkansas last week between Texas A & M and Oregon. A true battle of the collegiate track gods.
And in that herculean battle for team supremacy, Galen Rupp, who did it for his team, stood out, because he did it for his team. A class act and another reminder of why we love our sport of track & field!
Photo by PhotoRun.net.
Rupp named Athlete of the Week
INDIANAPOLIS – Galen Rupp has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning both the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 meters last week at the 2009 NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Having already won three NCAA individual titles this school year, Rupp ran the 5,000m prelims on Wednesday, won the 10,000m on Thursday and came back on Friday to win the 5,000m, all in the span of about 45 hours. In the 10,000m final, Arkansas’ Shawn Forrest and Liberty’s Samuel Chelanga set out on a fast pace but Rupp kept them in his sights the entire way and with 600m to go he passed the duo and then won the race in 28:21.45, his last 800m ran in 1:58.96.
In the 5,000m, Rupp had to stop to fix his shoe on the second lap and ran from the back of the pack for much of the race. With three laps to go, he moved from 11th to fourth place and then surged again with 600m to go, running away with the win in 14:04.12, running his last 1,600m in 4:00.10. Rupp is the first athlete to complete the 5,000m/10,000m double since 2000.
Also in Fayetteville, the Texas A&M women’s 4x100m team of Khrystal Carter, Porscha Lucas, Dominique Duncan and Gabby Mayo set a collegiate record in winning their third consecutive title in 42.36. The previous record of 42.50 was set back in 1989 by LSU. Lucas came back the next day to win the women’s 200m title in 22.81.
Oklahoma freshman Will Claye won the men’s triple jump in American junior record fashion, with a hop, skip and leap of 17.24 meters/56 feet 6.75 inches. Claye broke his own record of 16.94m/55-7 set in May in Lubbock, Texas.
Now in its eighth year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2009 USATF Athlete of the Week Winners: January 6, Mason Finley; January 13, Amber Campbell; January 20, Josh Cox; January 27, German Fernandez; February 3, Ashton Eaton; February 10, Shalane Flanagan; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 25, Dexter Faulk; March 3, Terrence Trammell; March 10, Diana Pickler; March 17, Galen Rupp; March 25, Sumi Onodera-Leonard; April 1, German Fernandez; April 7, Cyrus Hostetler; April 14, Curtis Beach; April 21, Kara Goucher; April 28, Mason Finley; May 5, Chris Derrick; May 12, Natalie Willer; May 19, Will Claye; May 27, Nadine O’Connor; June 2, Tyson Gay; June 9, Dwight Phillips; June 17, Galen Rupp.
BEST MARKS WEEK ENDING JUNE 14
100 – 10.00 Trindon Holliday (LSU) – Fayetteville, AR 6/10
200 – 20.40 Chris Dykes (Texas A&M) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
400 – 44.83 LaShawn Merritt (Nike) = Toronto, CAN 6/11
800 – 1:45.73 Khadevis Robinson (Nike) – Toronto, CAN 6/11
1500 – 3:39.00 German Fernandez (Oklahoma State) – Fayetteville, AR 6/13
Mile – 3:56.75 David Torrence (unat) – Toronto, CAN 6/11
3000SC – 8:29.24 Kyle Perry (BYU) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
5000 – 13:34.00 Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike) – Toronto, CAN 6/11
10,000 – 28:21.45 Galen Rupp (Oregon) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
110H – 13.18 Dexter Faulk (Nike) – Berlin, GER 6/14
400H – 48.47 Jeshua Anderson (Washington State) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
HJ – 2.31/7-7 Jesse Williams (Nike) – Vancouver, CAN 6/14
PV – 5.70/18-8.25 Jason Colwick (Rice) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12 & Tim Mack (Nike) – San Diego, CA 6/12
LJ – 8.11/26-7.25 Bashir Ramzy (unat) – Chula Vista, CA 6/13
TJ – 17.19/56-4.75 Will Claye (Oklahoma) – Fayetteville, AR 6/13 AMERICAN JUNIOR RECORD
SP – 20.91/68-7.25 Ryan Whiting (Arizona State) – Fayetteville, AR 6/10
DT – 62.92/206-5 James Dennis (unat) – San Diego, CA 6/14
HT – 72.82/238-11 Jesse Doty (Syracuse Chargers) – Marietta, GA 6/14
JT – 81.80/268-4 Chris Hill (Georgia) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
Dec – 8241 Ashton Eaton (Oregon) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
100 – 11.02 Alexandria Anderson (Texas) – Fayetteville, AR 6/10
200 – 22.38 Porscha Lucas (Texas A&M) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
400 – 49.57 Sanya Richards (Nike) – Berlin, GER 6/14 World leader
800 – 2:00.80 Geena Gall (Michigan) – Fayetteville, AR 6/13
1500 – 4:09.77 Kara Goucher (Nike) – Vancouver, CAN 6/14
3000SC – 9:25.54 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12 U.S. leader
5000 – 15:53.91 Molly Huddle (Saucony) – Waltham, MA 6/13
10,000 – 33:39.97 Cecily Lemmon (BYU) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
100H – 12.76 Damu Cherry (Nike) – Berlin, GER 6/14
400H – 54.71 Lashinda Demus (Nike) – Prague, CZE 6/8
HJ – 1.95/6-4.75 Destinee Hooker (Texas) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
PV – 4.40/14-5.25 Kylie Hutson (Indiana State) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
LJ – 6.61/21-8.25 Ola Sesay (unat) – Houston, TX 6/12
TJ – 13.34/43-9.25 Tahari James (Boston U.) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
SP – 17.58/57-8.25 Sarah Stevens (Arizona State) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
DT – 55.83/183-2 Jere Summers (Louisville) – Fayetteville, AR 6/11
HT – 68.08/223-4 Stevi Large (Akron) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
JT – 59.62/195-7 Rachel Yurkovich (Oregon) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
Hept – 5892 Liz Roehrig (Minnesota) – Fayetteville, AR 6/12
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org
Special thanks to Vicki Oddi, USATF communications.
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