Native Californian Rowbury Lands Bronze on Day Four of IAAF World Indoor Championships

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Rowbury_Shannon1-USind16.JPgRowbury winning US title on March 12, photo by PhotoRun.net

While watching Shannon winning the 3000 meter US title, I noted in my brain's notebook that Shannon Rowbury waste no motion. She is a predator in championship races, watching her competition and making the move that will take the most real estate and give her the strongest position. Shannon Rowbury is a racer.

In the women's 3000 meter World Indoors, Shannon Rowbury made her move within the last kilometer and kept her head as others were making their moves. Her final lap was solid and gave her an international medal on a day that many American fans will remember as one of the greatest in American T&F history.

Here is Mark Wintiz's story on the fine performances by Californians on Day 4! We hope that you like it!

Native Californian Rowbury Lands Bronze on
Day Four of IAAF World Indoor Championships
By Mark Winitz

March 20, 2016 - On the fourth and final day of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Portland, Ore., California native Shannon Rowbury brought home a bronze medal for the U.S. as she finished third in the women's 3,000-meter final in 8:55.55.

Rowbury also captured the 3,000m win at the U.S Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend in 8:55.65. After conferring with her coach, Alberto Salazar, Rowbury decided to forego her specialty event, the 1,500m, at the U.S. Champs and concentrate on the 3,000m for Worlds. Last July, Rowbury etched her name in the history books by breaking Mary Decker's 1,500m outdoor American record with a 3:56.29 at the Herculis meet in Monaco.

In 2008, Rowbury recorded the top performance ever by an American woman in the Olympic 1,500m final when she finished seventh in 4:03.58. At the 2012 Olympic Games, she placed sixth in the women's 1,500m final.

On Sunday, Rowbury was among a closely spread front group of women competing in the women's 3,000m final over 15 laps of the 200m oval in Portland's Oregon Convention Center. The pack, led early by Kenya's Betsy Saina, went through 400m in a relatively slow 1:20.8. Just past 1,000m, Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba moved into the lead, strung out the field, and proceeded to a 8:47.43 victory, repeating her 2014 World Indoors 3,000m win. Eight-time World and Olympic medalist Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) secured the silver in 8:54.2 followed by Rowbury for bronze.

"It started out just like Worlds two years ago," Rowbury said. "I knew watching videos from the past that there would be a hard move and I needed to test my toughness. I tried to stay with the lead pack. I thought it was a little bit closer. At a certain point, I knew I needed to close ground on the chase crew. Over the last few laps in the race, I knew it was getting tough. Everyone else was working hard too. The crowd helped bring me home. I brought home a bronze in 2009. You only get so many opportunities in a championship. You only get this once in a lifetime to get Worlds at home and I wanted to take full advantage of that."

Rowbury's PR in the 3,000m indoors is 8:47.18 which she set in Boston in 2010. She grew up in the Sunset District of San Francisco where she attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep School before moving on to Duke University where she set multiple school records at distances from 800m through 5,000m. Although she now trains in Beaverton, Ore. and is guided by Coach Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project, Rowbury's heart is still in San Francisco where she has strong family connections.

In other day four action among Californians competing at the World Indoor Champs, Jeff Henderson (Chula Vista, Calif.)--the 2014 U.S. outdoor long jump champion--placed fourth with a second round leap of 8.19m/26-10.5. Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) came to Portland as the world leader in the long jump, and he left as the world champion. He also posted his best mark in round two, leaping to victory in 8.26m/27-0.
"I have a lot to focus on and work on," Henderson said after the competition. "I was hoping to get the win but I didn't. I'm not worried about it, because I haven't jumped this much in a while. But I PR'd, so I know I'm in good shape."

Home-field advantage paid off in a huge way for Team USA at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships. The U.S. broke its own championship record for number of medals won, with 23, and number of golds, with 13. The medal tally crushed the previous records of 19 medals overall from 1999, and 10 gold medals from 2012. Ethiopia finished second in the medal tables with five medals and two gold, as Team USA totaled 249 points on the placing table to Ethiopia's 56.

Many congratulations to TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee for these excellent championships, and to Vin Lananna who serves as President of the organizers. We have much to look forward to in TrackTown: The 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials this coming July and for the first time on U.S. soil, the 2021 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

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