This is our second week with Just Athletics podcasts. We love them. We love their love of the sport, their questions, their enthusiasm.
This Tuesday and Thursday, you will be able to find Just Athletics up on our sites. Today, it is all about Ben Blankenship, one of the true icons of the sport.
The guest this week is an athlete known for his fierce competitiveness on the track, but the pod allows us to see another side of Mr. Ben Blankenship.
Ben competes for the Oregon Track Club Elite team in Eugene, OR, where he is coached by Mark Rowland. He grew up in Minnesota and ran at Stillwater Area High School for the Scott Christensen, a friend of the show. Ben was a State Champion in the 1600m in 2006 and 2007.
Although he began his collegiate career at Mississippi State University, he transferred after a year to the University of Minnesota where he ran for Steve Plasencia. Ben had success as a Golden Gopher. He was a Big Ten Champion in the Mile and finished third at the NCAA Championships in the 3000m. He also twice ran a leg on a DMR team that finished third at the NCAA Championships. Ben was also the first University of Minnesota athlete to break four minutes in the mile.
Ben was unfortunately injured going into his senior year of college, but despite that uncertainty, he has become a world-class competitor and an Olympian. Ben made the USA team for the 2016 Olympic Games in the 1500m, where he finished eighth in the Olympic final. Another highlight of Ben’s professional career include anchoring a the USA DMR team at the 2015 World Relay Championships where they won and set a World Record in the distance medley relay. Stepping up greatly in distance, Ben won a US National Club Cross Country title in 2018 over a 10k cross country course in 29:21. Ben Also holds the fastest mile time ran in the state of Alaska, which is 3:57.85. He also won the 2016 USATF Road Mile championships in a course record time of 3:55.8. Ben has personal bests of 2:34.26 in the 1500m, 3:53.13 in the mile, and 7:38.08 in the 300m.
This is a very entertaining pod. We threw a lot of different questions at Ben and he had fantastic answers. Ben is an outstanding competitor, it was fun for us to learn more about what makes Ben tick and fuels that competitive drive. We hope you all enjoy the show as much as we did recording it.
Thanks for chatting with us Ben!