The Oxy Performance Meeting, held last Thursday, May 18, was a success on all levels. As I followed the meet from London, it was obvious that the meet has a fine place on the calendar, and some great opening performances for many of the top distance runners in North America and Europe. Here are my five lessons from the meet.
1. Matthew Centrowitz is ready to roll. With 54.5 last lap, Centro seperated himself from Mo Farah and Chris O’Hare, who both valiently challenged the Olympic champion at 1500 meters. Mo Farah battled past Chris O’Hare, and took second in the race. O’Hare, the two time European bronze medalist at 1,500 meters, took a half second off his PB. Matthew Centrowitz thrives on racing, and he is seldom not ready to race.
2. Sheila Reid is past her injury demons, and ready to race. Sheila Reid and Shannon Rowbury provided some of the highlights of the Oxy Performance meeting, with their battle over the 1,500 meters. Reid the Villanova grad and NCAA champion, has battled back from injuries and frustration, to get within five seconds of her PB. More to come this summer.
3. Brenda Martinez wants to run fast. With the Meet record and US leader, Brenda Martinez dominated the 800 meters for women at the Oxy Perfomance Classic. Under the watchful eye of her husband/coach, and with the workouts of Joe Vigil, Brenda Martinez is in good hands as she builds for London 2017.
4. Laura Weightman uses her 1,500m skills to win her debut 5000 meters. The 5000 meters is a tough race, with 12.5 laps and as many ways to screw up the race. Laura and Natosha Rodgers battled over the last lap, to the very last steps before the cool Weightman took control and won the race. That type of skill will come in handy in a World Championshp race.
5. Mel Lawrence has found her event. Mel Lawrence and two team mates from Oiselle lead the performances in the women’s steeplechase. Running 9:40, Lawrence showed control, technique and focus in her win at the Oxy Performance. She will have to run fifteen to twenty seconds more to make the US team in Sacramento, but do not be surprised if that comes. Lawrence has the grit and guts needed to make such an increadible improvement.