Page 1

Volume 17, Number 2, Olympic Trials Review


• Olymp Publisher’s Comments The summer of 2012 was an amazing summer for American track athletes. A great Olympic Trials in Eugene is featured in this issue (we will cover the Olympic Games in our next issue). In the London Olympics, 29 American athletes won medals. That’s a tribute to the athletes, their coaches, their families and USA Track & Field—the entire community contributed to their success!

Watching Ashton Eaton break the world record in Eugene was one of the Trials highlights of the Trials for me. Ashton ran a 4:14.65 for the 1500 meter. That is a 4:36 mile, which is pretty good for most of you reading this magazine. And that was after nine other events. Ashton's coach is Harry Marra. I’ve known Harry for 22 years, and there is not a happier guy on the planet right now. Harry has coached all over the U.S. and is known for coaching multi-event athletes. His enthusiasm is one of his talents that convinces an athlete that he can do it. Harry Marra was one of the coaches, along with Fred Samara of Princeton, who started the VISA Decathlon program in the 1990s. Multi-event athletes take many years to grow into their events. Harry gets that. The decathlon has a long history in the U.S. Attending the Olympic Trials this year were the sons of Jim Thorpe, who won the first decathlon in 1912 in Stockholm; Bruce Jenner, who won at the Montreal Games in 1976; Bill Toomey, who won in 1968; Rafer Johnson, who took the Silver in 1956 and won in 1960; and Milt Campbell, who took the Bronze in 1952 and won in 1956. All were there to greet Ashton when he crossed the finish line, setting his new decathlon World Record of 9,039. One of you reading this could be the next world record holder in the decathlon. Who will that be? Stick with it. Larry Publisher, Athletes Only twitter: @runblogrun 608.239.3785

ON THE COVER:  Ashton Eaton


30 • Athletes Only Salutes

Athletes Only is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0067; 920.563.5551 phone; 920.563.7298 fax; Christine Johnson, President; Larry Eder, Vice President. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed. Publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. Copyright © 2012 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Publisher. Athletes Only is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc. Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.

• Olympic Trials Review •



stop d and you will se is m e b ill w s speed, mess, birthday your run, your a to e b ts p ill a w d a e g lif Your social e cushionin nothing Its progressiv to care about t. u u o yo d ce te n vi vi in n g co oe to be. bein reat ride. It will u want your daily running sh g a u yo g in iv while g rything yo his shoe is eve T . g in n n ru t u b



sTARTEd Running

2 3

While at the specialty running store, get yourself some comfortable running clothes and socks. Tech shirts, jog bras, tights and shorts as well as synthetic socks are the way to go, as comfort is imperative while working up a sweat and having that sweat wick away from the body and feet, This will prevent chafing in spots where it could be very unpleasant and avoid foot blisters. If you are starting up during the winter months, I'd suggest hitting the health club treadmill to get your feet wet. Going outdoors in frigid temperatures could easily steer you back to the couch. When theweather is conducive to being outdoors, find trails or roads that aresmooth and even, avoiding the concrete which is hard on the body. If youare starting up from scratch, I recommend a walk/run schedule for the first two months, something like this:

1st 2 Weeks: Walk/Run 3 Times a Week (Tue/Thu/Sat) Start with 5 min Easy Walk as a Warm-up. Then 4x4 min Power Walk followed by 60 sec Easy Run = Total Time of 20 minutes (excluding warm-up and cool-down) End with 5 minutes Easy Walk as a Cool Down 2nd 2 Weeks: Walk/Run 3 Times a Week (Tue/Thu/Sat) Start with 5 min Easy Walk as a Warm-up. Then 5x3 min Power Walk followed by 2 min Easy Run = Total Time of 25 min (excluding warm-up and cool-down) End with 5 min Easy Walk as a Cool-down 3rd 2 Weeks: Walk/Run 4 Times a Week (Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun) Start with 5 min Easy Walk as a Warm-up



The most important piece of equipment you'll need is a good pair of running shoes. Visit your local specialty running store and get a gait analysis. Take in your old pair of shoes so the shoe salesperson can look at your wear pattern and get you in the right shoe. There are three types of runners: over-pronators, supernators and neutral foot strikers. Whichever one you are is determined by doing a gait analysis. Trust me when I say your feet and body will thank you daily for taking good care them.


Other than some comfortably fitting clothes, all you need is a pair of decent running shoes and off you go窶馬o fancy bells or whistles. Although running may not be for everyone, it's one of the best forms of exercise you can do and is great for the heart, your body and burning those extra calories. I did not say it would be easy though. It will take dedication, sacrifice and a strong will to get you through the initial phase. It will take time to build your endurance and strength to run for even a short time. And even if you have been cross training with biking, swimming or some other form of activity, running is a weight-bearing activity and is more taxing on the body. Don't be disillusioned. There's always a way to become a runner without injuring yourself if you're patient and persevere. If you have not had a physical in some time, I recommend visiting your MD and getting a medical clearance before starting out.


One of the easiest activities to partake in is running. Why you ask?

Continued on page 6

窶「 Olympic Trials Review 窶「



sTARTEd Running Then 6x2 min Power Walk followed by 3 min Easy Run = Total Time of 30 min (excluding warm-up and cool-down) End with 5 min Easy Walk as a cool-down 4th 2 Weeks: Walk/Run 4 Times a Week (Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun) Start with 5 min Easy Walk as a Warm-up Then 7x1 min Power Walk followed by 4 min Easy Run = Total Time of 35 min (excluding the warm-up and cool-down) End with 5 min Easy Walk as a Cool-down

Running is an easy way to get in shape, burn calories, make your heart healthy and increase bone density. It takes consistency, though. Do that and you'll be itching to run your first race.

The power walk should be done at a brisk pace using the arms to power you forward and walking from the heel through the ball of the foot onto the toes...mimicking a race walk. The running should be done at a comfortably conversational pace. As you gain strength, this pace will feel easier. You'll notice that you are going somewhat faster, but still managing to stay controlled and comfortable.


As a running novice or "newbie," there are so many things to remember, whether it be about nutrition or not getting over-zealous and ending up hurt or how much cross-training do I add to my weekly schedule. All these questions can be answered by joining a running club or looking for a coach to write your weekly schedule and monitor your training. Side stitches are fairly common when you start running. We are not sure why they occur, but there some things you can do to prevent them. One cause is running to soon after eating a meal that you have not had time to digest, resulting in stomach cramps. You should wait anywhere from 2–4 hours after a large meal before heading out on a run.. Another reason for side stitches is weak stomach muscles. Your abs do a lot of work to keep your body in position while running. Doing consistent core strength work strengthens your torso and reduces those side stitches. Running injuries are unpleasant, but, can be prevented by following the simple "rules of running”: Stick to your schedule. Don't increase your mileage in huge chunks. Make sure you keep the intensity under wraps. Start your training regime with new shoes ... And keep it FUN.


• Olympic Trials Review •

Coaching 101 Warm Up & Cool Down for Distance Runners

Distance runners need a solid warm-up to prepare physically and psychologically for their races and training sessions. The benefits of warming up include boosting the oxygen concentration in hemoglobin and increasing oxygen and blood flow to the working muscles. In addition, the warm-up dilates the alveoli in our lungs, increases

By Roy Stevenson

our heart rate, and facilitates the biochemical cascade in our muscles that enables us to tolerate more lactate and burn more free fatty acids as fuel.

tant, warming up helps nervous young athletes stabilize their adrenalin rush, helping them control their pre-race nervousness.

If we time it right, the warm-up meshes our neuromuscular, skeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, bringing about our second wind. Just as impor-

Research shows that for the standard high school distance events (800m, 1600m, 2-mile), warming up improves performance; but the intensity must be above 40% of VO2 max. Studies also show that if we wait longer than 10 minutes between the warm-up and starting our race, we lose some of its benefits. Distance runners should start their warm-up about 30 minutes before their event or training session. Phase 1 of the distance running warm-up begins with 10–15 minutes of slow jogging to increase body temperature, increase muscle elasticity and decrease blood viscosity.

• Olympic Trials Review •


Coaching 101 Warm Up & Cool Down for Distance Runners Phase 2 immediately follows phase 1: a 10-minute stretching session, starting with static stretches, progressing to dynamic and ballistic stretches through a full range of motion, such as leg swinging. Distance runners should concentrate first on the calf, hamstring, and quadriceps muscles, and then the hips and groin area, with a few stretches for the upper body. Proceed as quickly as you can from static to dynamic stretching. Research shows that static stretching may actually reduce the power and force of muscle contractions, not a condition that we want our runners to start their workout or race with!

or running), heel kick drills, lunge walking, calf walking, skipping, practice starts out to 20 meters, plyometrics, calisthenics like squat thrusts, short uphill sprints, downhill sprints, etc—you get the idea. There are whole books dedicated to these drills. It is not unnecessary to do all these drills in every warm-up—just do a few in each warmup to keep it interesting and fun.

A warning here to coaches: The stretching phase of the warm-up often takes far too long, negating the previous warm-up effect, so keep it short, active and sweet.

Having completed these three phases, the distance runner is now ready for the main workout. The teenage distance runner's total warm-up time should not exceed 35 minutes or a total of 3 miles. Anything longer runs the risk of fatiguing, overheating, and dehydrating the runner, and depleting his or her glycogen stores.

Once the runner is generally limbered up, it's time for the third warm-up phase, consisting of specific drills. These usually include leg speed drills, and it is here that pre-race and pre-training warm-ups diverge. The pre-race warmup needs a few (3–6) easy "acceleration stride throughs" over 50 meters, but no longer than this. This phase should finish 5 minutes before the race start, and all the runner needs to do until then is walk/jog to keep warm. If the warm-up precedes a workout, the runner can go through a series of 5–10x100 meter acceleration stridethroughs where he or she focuses on correct running technique and staying relaxed while maintaining a fast leg turnover. These should be done with rolling starts, where the runner gradually picks up the pace after slow jogging for the first 10 meters. Each stride-through should be a little faster than the previous one, with the final one being at about 95% of top speed. After these faster efforts, many coaches have their runners do a series of drills ranging from sideways walking or running (aka carioca), backward running, quick foot turnover in ladders and other ladder drills, cone running for agility, short high knee lift drills (walking 8

Following this, some coaches integrate a longer interval in the third phase, usually consisting of one repetition of 600–1200 meters at around 75%–85% of the athlete's current best time for 800 meters.

The key to a good warm-up is to make sure your distance runners are ready to race without these side effects. One other warning: In hot or humid conditions, make sure your runners hydrate during the warm-up with water or diluted electrolyte drink. They should avoid sugary soft drinks because of the risk of sugar spike followed by the inevitable blood sugar crash. Those drinks can also make the runner feel sick during the race. Other things to note about the warm-up If the temperature is very cold, a passive warm-up, where external heating agents like hot tubs, hot water bottles, and hot showers are applied, is effective prior to going outside into an active warm-up. The cool-down consists of an abbreviated warm-up, i.e., an easy 5–10 minute jog followed by static stretching. And should not be neglected.

• Olympic Trials Review •

Cross Country Shoes Fall 2012 Cross country is elemental in its simplicity: You and your teammates run as fast as you can over hills and valleys against worthy opposition. We’ve taken a look at six newly released or updated cross country shoes that will help you do just that. After all, footwear designed to provide traction and protection is your most essential piece of equipment. Differences in fit from one brand (or model) to the next allow most runners to find a racing shoe best suited for their particular foot type. Two key factors should influence your selection of a cross country racing shoe: how well it fits you and how it feels when you run in it. For more tips on choosing your cross country shoes, see the next page.

# * (#$

(#$ % **

The XCS series takes its performance cues from the adidas track and field line, here mirroring the profile and features but adapted to the natural surfaces of cross country. The upper is a closed mesh with synthetic suede overlays and is close-fitting like a track spike. The midsole is a thin, full-length layer of foam with a slight (4mm) drop from heel to toe. The outersole has a grid-like tread on the heel that works well on dirt, grass, tracks, or pavement. The spikeless version features rubber nibs in place of spikes. Sizes Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6.5–12 Weight Men’s 6.6 oz./6.3 oz. (size 11 w/6 spikes/spikeless); Women’s 5.3 oz./5.0 oz. (size 8 with 6 spikes/spikeless) Fit snug throughout

.( ) (#$ % ** In this update to its long-running spikeless cross country workhorse, ASICS incorporates some advances to the Hyper XC. The upper is a closed mesh with a thin tongue that’s padded only at the top. HF-welded film overlays offer a close fit that’s smoother than previous versions and add support without restricting the upper’s flexibility. With just a bit of cushioning, the midsole retains its low profile as a testament to what works. The proven outersole affords effective traction on all surfaces, thanks to its full-length rubber sole. Sizes Men 4–13,14,15; Women 5–11,12 Weight Men’s 7.0 oz. (size 11 spikeless); Women’s 5.3 oz. (size 8 spikeless) Fit snug heel, close forefoot

)''$* (#$

" (#$ % **

The Mach 14 lengthens an already-impressive legacy. As with other shoes, here the midsole and outersole have been retained, as its effective grip and touch of cushioning have been vetted through previous cross country seasons. The upper shows a flair for dramatic change, however, adopting the radical asymmetrical lacing of its road racing sibling, the T8 Racer, that rakes toward the little toe instead of medially. It securely anchors the shoe to the foot thanks, in part, to the closed, grid-like mesh. The versatile Mach 14 is suited for roads, tracks, and natural surfaces. Sizes Men 6–13,14,15; Women 6–12 Weight Men’s 6.3 oz./6.1 oz. (size 11 w/5 spikes/spikeless); Women’s 5.0 oz./4.8 oz. (size 8 w/5 spikes/spikeless) Fit snug heel, close forefoot


• Olympic Trials Review •


% &

(#$ % **

The XC900 enters the New Balance line as its premier cross country offering. The upper is a thin, soft, and closed stretch mesh supported by laser-cut–welded overlays that give a barely-there feel while supplying just enough structure. The midsole is a low-profile, compression-molded EVA foam that provides enough cushioning for hard or rocky courses, but not so much that it adds unnecessary weight. The outersole features an array of tiny lugs through the heel and center of the forefoot, with six spikes (or rubber nibs on the spikeless version) providing traction in the mud. The XC900 is a well-designed cross country racer. The spikeless version is versatile on all surfaces, while the spiked version takes natural courses in stride. The combination of soft and supportive materials, light weight, and effective design earned the XC900 our Best New Shoe award for Cross Country.


Sizes Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–11 Weight Men’s 6.1 oz./5.7 oz. (size 11 w/6 spikes/spikeless); Women’s 5.2 oz./4.8 oz. (size 8 w/6 spikes/spikeless) Fit snug heel, close forefoot

#$ # +'). (#$ % **


Victory is an appropriate name for Nike’s top-end cross country shoe, as the company takes its name from the goddess of winged victory. The upper is a close-fitting micromesh with a saddle of welded film reinforced with Flywire. The thin tongue and flat laces secure the foot effectively, and the foam ankle lobes are plush while anchoring the heel securely. The midsole is Flashlon foam—light, resilient, and flexible—that protects unobtrusively. A mini-waffle pattern covers the outersole with rubber nibs in place of spikes, providing effective traction on all surfaces. Sizes Men 4–13,14,15

Weight Men’s 5.2 oz. (size 11, spikeless)

, '&. (#$

Fit snug heel, close forefoot

" . (#$ % **

Round 3 of the Shay XC sports some improvements to the shoe’s proven strengths. The upper is a closed, ripstop mesh with synthetic suede at the heel. A full-length Flexfilm matrix provides support, while lightening the shoe a bit. The midsole uses the same tooling—compression-molded EVA—with no more cushioning than necessary. The outersole continues with the same six-spike setup and whimsical foot-shaped pattern in the rubber, while its triangular-shaped lugs assist with the traction. The spikeless version manages road, trail, and track with equal ease, while the spikes work best on natural surfaces and muddier environs. Sizes Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 Weight Men’s 6.8 oz./6.5 oz. (size 11 w/6 spikes/spikeless); women’s 5.3 oz./5.0 oz. (size 8 w/6 spikes/spikeless) Fit snug throughout






While cross country racing shoes are more alike than they are different, we can’t emphasize enough that the differences in fit and cushioning are crucial to individual comfort and performance. Try on shoes from a variety of shoe companies. Differences in fit from one brand (or model) to the next allow most runners to find a racing shoe best suited for their particular foot type. Two factors should influence your selection of a cross country racing shoe: how well it fits you and how it feels when you run in it.


"' *

Choosing between spiked or spikeless models should be based on the racing surfaces you’ll encounter during your season. Cross country spikes are slightly better than spikeless shoes at gripping muddy or soggy ground, but they are limited to use on all-natural courses. In California, they are not allowed for cross country at the high school level; however, they are permitted during track season. Spikeless models work almost as well as traditional spiked shoes in the mud. In addition, they can manage pavement, sidewalks, and rocky surfaces, as well as indoor and outdoor tracks.

Wear your racing shoes before the actual race, since the low profile of the shoe coupled with the intense effort of racing can be tough on your soft tissue if you haven’t prepared well.

CREGG WEINMANN is footwear and running products reviewer for Running Network LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at Copyright © 2012 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Reprinted here with permission.

• Olympic Trials Review •


Five Questions to

Alberto Salazar N

ot every great athlete can become a successful coach. But Alberto Salazar is an anomaly. Salazar was a great athlete, and he has become a successful coach. Detail-oriented to the nth degree, his concern for his athletes knows no bounds. Kara Goucher told ATF, after her 2007 World Championships bronze medal in Osaka, “Alberto prepares you so that you know you have done everything possible, so you can focus on the race.” Salazar’s relationship with Galen Rupp began ten years ago when Rupp was in high school. He wanted to see how far he could go, and Alberto was amazingly frank. Developing into a world class athlete, into one of the best in the world, would take dedication beyond imagination. It was during the developing coaching relationship that Alberto saw what he needed to do, how to get American distance runners to the starting line, where they could actually compete. Alberto Salazar used his cachet inside Nike and proposed the Nike Oregon project. In 2010, Rupp ran 27:10.4 for 10,000 meters, just under Meb Keflezighi’s American Record (AR) of 27:13.83. But Rupp didn’t get the AR. In the same race, Chris Solinsky did, becoming the first American under 27 minutes. Later in the summer Rupp broke his PR for the 5,000m. “Each year, I hope to improve,” he said in a press conference. In early 2011 Mo Farah joined Rupp as a member of Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project. Shortly afterward, Salazar confided in me his happiness at how well Mo and Galen were working together. Ian Stewart, UK endurance chief, was also pleased that Mo and Galen were training together. In 2011, Farah won a spectacular 10,000m at the Nike Pre. At the World Championships, Farah took silver in the 10,000 and won the 5,000, with Rupp performing at his best in both the 10,000 and 5,000. A few weeks later, Rupp became the second American under 10,000 meters, running a spectacular 26:48.00 in Brussels. 2012 has been a magical year. In the Olympic Trials, Rupp showed that he was ready, orchestrating the 10,000 until he took off with 800m to go and winning easily. In the 5,000, he registered his first-ever win over Bernard Lagat, coming back to overtake Lagat with 50 meters to go, thanks to a gutty last lap of 52.48. The Olympics showed that Alberto Salazar’s coaching, his attention to detail, was paying off. You will see the details in this issue. Farah and Rupp going 1–2 in the 10,000 meters has to be the high point of the program so far. Farah added an exclamation point by coming back to win a tactical 5,000m with a mad homestretch dash.


We caught up with Alberto Salazar between plane flights and asked him the following five questions: ATF 1.

How has your approach to coaching changed from when you started until now?

Salazar: It’s much more comprehensive, and I’m always trying to learn more from outside of the running world as well. If you just talk to other distance coaches, you find out that they don’t really know anything new. It’s the same old knowledge and ideas with small tweaks.

ATF 2. You told me once that Mo and Galen are just about perfect training partners. What makes them that? Salazar: They care about each other’s success almost as much as their own, so they are willing to sacrifice for their teammate.

ATF 3. Give us five lessons that high school coaches can learn from what you do with the Nike Oregon project. Salazar: • Gradual progression • Biomechanics is vital • Raw speed is vital • Sports psychology is vital • Strength training is vital

ATF 4. What do you love about coaching? Salazar: Helping my athletes achieve their goals and be happy, and ultimately I hope to have helped them to be better people.

ATF 5. You once said that your goal was to give American distance runners a chance to compete well in World and Olympic championships. Where do you go from here, with Galen Rupp taking the silver in the 10,000m? Salazar: We go forward and try and do it again, not only with him, but with other Americans.

Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET • Olympic Trials Review •

May 18, 2012 e real name of the meet is the USATF High Performance Meet at Occidental College, hence, USATF Oxy Meet. Held on May 18, the goal was to give runners from the 800 meters up a chance to hit the “A” or “B” standard for the Olympic Trials, or better yet, the Olympics. Mo Farah, Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhein came down from high altitude training in Park City, Utah. Farah and Rupp were to run the 1500 meters and then help Dathan run the 5000 meters “A” standard of 13:20 (about 4:20 per mile pace). Farah and Rupp went 1–2 in the 1500 meters, running 3:34.64, 3:34.72, respectively.

en they paced their training buddy, Ritzenhein, who had taken 4th in the U.S. marathon trials, missing the marathon team by eight lonely seconds, and was trying to make the 5000 meter standards. Farah and Rupp traded the pace in fourth, fifth and sixth, with Galen in sixth, running through 1, 2, 3 and 4 kilometers well under 13:20 pace. Rupp dropped out at 4 kilometers, but Farah stayed right there, making sure Ritzenhein was doing fine—and he was. It was not until the last lap, with four runners in contention, that Farah took off, running a fine 13:12.51 for the win, finishing a double of 1500m/5000m in 90 minutes. Dathan Ritzenhein ran 13:15.52, well under the “A” standards. Nine days later, Ritzenhein would try for the “A” standard in the 10,000 meters in Hengelo, the Netherlands.

• Olympic Trials Review •


Hengelo is a small town in the Netherlands, near the German border. The FBK Games are named after Fannie Blankers Koen, the famous woman athlete from the Netherlands, who won four Olympic medals in the 1948 Olympic Games.

wards. He stayed with the nine best Ethiopian runners until a lap to go. Tariku Bekele, the brother of WR holder Kenenisa Bekele, won the 10,000 meters in 27:11.70, with Gebrselassie in 7th in 27:20.39.

Dathan Ritzenhein was going to run the 10,000 meters in Hengelo. As it was going to be the Ethiopian 10,000 meter trials. Tariku Bekele, Gebre Gebremariam and Haile Gebrselassie— the 26-time world record holder, 1996, 2000 Olympic Gold medalist at 10,000m; and World Champ in 93, 95, 97 and 99— was coming to the end of his track career.

“That was my last track race. I will be changing my track suit for a business suit now,” said a smiling but tired Haile Gebrselassie. He gave it all he had. In 12th place, Dathan Ritzenhein had run his own race, only to fall short by 5 seconds of the “A” standard, running 27:50.82. Ritz had to hope that the Olympic Trials final was fast. Gebreselassie was thinking about a fall marathon. As writer Kurt Vonnegut said, “So it goes.”

The race was run in hot and humid conditions. “I ran my last race in Hengelo to honor this city,” a tired Gebrselassie told us after-


• Olympic Trials Review •

The Prefontaine Classic is named after the late Steve Prefontaine, who died on May 31, 1975, at the age of 24. American record holder in all events from 2000 meters to 10,000 meters at his death, Pre was the rock star of running in the 1970s. Brash, young, outspoken, liked a good time with his friends and loved to challenge himself.

The 2012 meet became a 2-day affair, with Friday, June 1 being Hollister Night at Hayward, named after the late Geoff Hollister, who died of cancer in February 2012. Geoff was the second promo guy for Nike, and great friend of Pre.

The highlight of Friday night was the Kenyan 10,000 meter Olympic Trials, won by Wilson Kiplagat in 27:01.98. Allyson Felix won the 200 meters in 22.23, and Sanya Richards-Ross won the 400 meters in 49.39 over Amantle Montsho, the 2011 World Champion. Mo Farah won the 5000 meters in 12: 56.98, with Isaiah Koech, 12:57.63, in 2nd and Galen Rupp, 12:58.01, in 3rd. Kenenisa Bekele was 4th, “I am trying to race into shape [for London],” he told us. Could he make it?

• Olympic Trials Review •


June 9, 2012 First question answered. After 11 months of no racing, Tyson Gay, the AR holder in the 100 meters at 9.69, was going to race. Running in the 100 meters, Gay won his first race in nearly a year in 10.00, into a head wind. “There is a little pain, but I am fine. I was nervous when I saw who I was running against. My manager had said I was running in a little 100 meters, and not to worry,” smiled Tyson.

Sanya Richards-Ross won the 200 meters, doing some fine-tuning on her road to Eugene and London. Bernard Lagat won the 1500 meters after having had a middle-of-the-field effort at the Nike Pre Classic, in 3:34.63. And Tirunesh Dibaba, fresh off her 10,000m victory in Eugene, won a tactical 5000m over Meseret Defar, running a 60-second last lap to seal the deal.


• Olympic Trials Review •

good throw. The energy was through the roof, everybody was into every throw, and I was excited about it,” noted Amber Campbell, who took 1st over Amanda Bingsson and Jessica Cosby. Kibwe Johnson won the men's hammer with his best throw of the year. “Coming in, I wanted to have a seasonbest throw and I got that, so I am definitely happy,” commented Johnson. A great competition and some fantastic performances before appreciative fans. That's how a track meet should be done!

Five thousand people witnessed the men’s and women's Olympic Trials for the hammer throw on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon. Lance Deal, 1996 Olympic Silver medalist in the hammer, beamed. “When have you ever seen a crowd like this at women's hammer qualifying?” Answer: Never. A non-Nike footwear person told me, “It was the power of the brand. Nike did it right.” And the fans, made up of Nike employees, coaches, athletes and track geeks watched fantastic men’s and women's hammer competitions. “I knew I needed a big throw going into the fifth round. As soon as I let it go and hit it, I knew it would be a

• Olympic Trials Review •


The women's 10,000 meters came down to the finish, as Amy Hastings used a last lap of 65 to win in 31:58.36. Natosha Rogers, was 2nd with a huge PB of 31:59.61 to Shalane Flanagan's 31:59.71. As Rogers lacked the "A" standard and Flanagan was running the marathon, Lisa Uhl and Janet Bawcom would represent the U.S. on the 10,000 meter team. And on Day 1, Ashton Eaton showed he meant business in the decathlon, setting world decathlon records in the 100 meters and long jump! After the race, a smiling Galen Rupp put it all in perspective, “I’m really happy with it. It was my goal coming in to win. I feel lucky to run here at my home track. I had a rough lead coming into this race. It was every man for himself, but it worked out great that my teammate [Ritzenhein], and [Tegenkamp]were both able to make it.”

The first night in Eugene, Mother Nature showed who was boss. 100 heats and decathlon be damned. Rain or shine, athletes ran, jumped and threw. The men's 10,000 meters was the Galen Rupp Show. Rupp ran with teammate Dathan Ritzenhein and Oregon TC's Matt Tegenkamp until 800 meters to go, ensuring that Ritzenhein would not only make the team, but make the “A” standard as well. Rupp, running a crisp last 1000 meters in just over 2:38.4, set a new Olympic Trials record with his win in 27:25.33. Tegekamp was 2nd in 27:33.94, with Ritzenhein in 3rd in 27:36.09.


• Olympic Trials Review •

Dawn Harper, 2008 Olympic 100 meter hurdle champion, won the 100 meter hurdles, with Kellie Wells in 2nd and LoLo Jones in 3rd. Carmelita Jeter won the 100 meters in 10.92, with Tiana Madison in 2nd, the 2005 long jump world champ running 10.96. That is undisputed. What became a mess was the third place tie between Allyson Felix and Jenebah Tarmoh. Tarmoh would eventually withdraw before the race that was to determine who would represent the U.S. in London. In the end, even though many of the efforts to resolve the dilemma were well intentioned, the officials' handling of the tie was a fiasco. But the day belonged to Ashton Eaton, who scored the first world record in a U.S. Olympic Trials since 1996, with Michael Johnson's 200m WR of 19.66. “It is a representation of all the work I have put in, but also my friends, family support and staff have put in. … There is not much I can say,” is how Eaton put it. Well said.

• Olympic Trials Review •

The decathlon, as the late Bob Mathias once told us, is 10 events in which one can make 10 or more mistakes. 2008 Olympic Gold champion Bryan Clay ran 16.81 for the 110m hurdles. After, he was told he had been DQ'd. Despondent, he threw poorly in the discus, only to hear, after, that he had been reinstated. Clay went on to finish win the decathlon, showing the Olympic spirit. Ashton Eaton (2012) was having a great second day after his superb first day. Needing a 4:16.23 in the 1500 meters, Eaton called on all his workouts, efforts, friends, family and coaches, and ran a gutty 4:14.48, with Curtis Beach, who had been leading the 1500 meters, pulling over to give Ashton Eaton his moment. Breaking the 11-year-old WR of decathlon great Roman Sebrle, Eaton scored 9,039, in front of all living U.S. decathlon Gold medalists and 20,000 of his closest friends.


Day 4 of the Trials gave us the 100 and 400 meter finals for the men, 400 meter finals for the men, long jump for men and pole vault for women. Jenn Suhr, the 2008 Olympic Silver medalist, had a bit of a scare early on. She said, “When I missed the first mark I knew I didn’t want an ’08 repeat, so I focused on the second to get it right.” Suhr took control and won the pole vault. Joining Suhr on the team were Becky Holliday and Lacy Jansen. In the men's long jump, George Kitchens, Will Claye and


• Olympic Trials Review •

so special in competing at Hayward. ... It's a dream come true. You really can’t think about [the Olympics] until you get past this. I’m excited to rep[present] Team USA. ... I feel like I have one of the best coaches in the world.” Reese Hoffa won the men's shot put, with Ryan Whiting in 2nd and Christian Cantwell in 3rd. Cantwell Commented "I screwed up my back on April 17, I just can't find my rhythm.” In the men's 400 meters, LaShawn Merritt won the 400 meters, building on his return to the sport after a 2-year suspension in 2009–2010.

Marquise Goodwin made the team, with Christian Taylor, the TJ world leader, missing the team. The 100 meter for men was highly anticipated, as Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin battled for 1st, with Ryan Bailey taking a clear 3rd. Gatlin won in 9.80, with Gay in 9.83 and Bailey in 9.88. Sanya Richards-Ross won the Trials for the 400 meters with Francesca McCorory in 2nd and DeeDee Trotter taking 3rd. Richards-Ross said it for everyone who made the Olympic team: “Today was phenomenal. There is something

• Olympic Trials Review •


Alice Schmidt, who took 3rd, and Gail Gaul, who took 2nd using a swift (in fact, the swiftest) last 200 meters of the race, 1:59.24 to 1:59.42. Jamie Nieto, all of 35, made his second Olympic high jump team (he missed 2008), joined by Erik Kynard and Jesse Williams, in 4th but had the “A” standard, which Nick Ross, unfortunately, did not. And how can we not end with a quote from Nick Symmonds, basking in the glow of his second Olympic team and Trials victory? “I am really proud of myself. The community has really embraced me. It’s a testament to the community. I have really made this my home. They give me a huge shot of adrenaline, which gives me a great advantage.”

Nick Symmonds drew his line in the sand at the Trials. He was going to defend his 2008 Oly Trials win, and there was no other way about it. Symmonds was as good as his word, winning in 1:43.92, using a crisp last 200 meters, covered in 27.09. Khadevis Robinson, who had taken 4th in 2008, waited 4 years. This time he went from 7th to 2nd, hell bent on making the team. He ran a final 200 meters in 26.83 to make the team, running 1:44.64! Duane Solomon used the simple tried and true: run a huge PB of 1:44.65! Alysa Montano runs a hard first lap, and then says, “Come get me.” Running 55.87, Montano held on for 1st, winning in 1:59.08. Molly Beckwith, who ran a perfect race up to the last 30 meters. At that point she was passed by


• Olympic Trials Review •


Steve Prefontaine's Olympic Trials record for 5000 meters of 13:22.8, dating back to 1972, of 13:22.8 was broken by Rupp's 13:22.67. In the women's race, Julia Lucas took the lead with six laps remaining and built up a lead that looked like she had made the team. Julie Culley, Molly Huddle and Kim Conley ran hard to catch her. Culley and Huddle battled each other, with Culley taking 1st to AR holder Huddle. The real battle came down to the last few steps as Julia Lucas faltered. Sometimes one's heart, one's brain, one's limbs do not follow the plan. Julia Lucas had run a near perfect race, pushing the pace to sub-“A” standard, as Kim Conley, running her PB, went by Lucas in the last 5 meters of the race, to prove once again that the U.S. Olympic Trials for track & field are a trail of joy and a trail of tears.

The 5000 meters is a near-perfect distance race. Twelve and one half laps on a 400-meter track. Milers are deceived by the distance, as the pace seems gentle at first. Distance runners know that if they can make laps 5 to 9 hurt, they might be able to make the miler wish he or she were doing anything but racing the 5000 meters. Galen Rupp had an epiphany. Running a last lap in 52.28, he was overtaken by Bernard Lagat, the 37-year-old world indoor and outdoor champion, who has a kick so swift, so beautiful that most watch in awe as his eyes roll back into his head and he just races to the finish and another victory. That was not the way it was on this cool evening in Eugene. Rupp took the lead back with 50 meters to go and held Lagat off. Rupp, who must have dreamed of this moment for years, let out a roar that surprised only himself. A classic race, two great competitors and 20,000 Eugene fans. And


• Olympic Trials Review •

took 2nd, with Shayla Kipp and Ashley Higgenson duking it out for 3rd, with Kipp getting the nudge. The women's shot put shows just how far this event has come for the U.S. Jillian Williams and Michelle Carter went 1–2, as they always do, with Tia Brooks in 3rd. Williams and Carter give the US a great representation at major events, with Williams having set new American records and given the U.S. its first women's shot medal last summer, the first time since 1960! Jillian gets it and she commented, “I am so happy I made it through. I did it and I am so excited to get to go out to London. Last year I injured a joint in my hand and occasionally it’ll still slip, but it is always a little tough on the first throw. But I can acclimate for the next five throws pretty well.”

The women's steeplechase was Emma Coburn's race to win or lose. She won it, in stylish fashion. “I’ve had this goal since last year. This was a goal that I was hungry to receive. It’ll be great to run in London with these girls.” Coburn is a fine hurdler and the NCAA champion made sure all knew this was her race. Bridget Franek,

• Olympic Trials Review •


Two days to go in the Olympic Trials.

Allyson Felix showed that she is supreme in the 200 meters, running 21.69, making her performances the fourth best ever. A paradigm shifter, as Felix had real estate between herself, Carmelita Jeter (22.11—a personal best) and Sanya Richards-Ross (22.22). Perhaps it was all the emotion over the 100 meter race. Felix made it clear that this was her beach, and you would have to fight her for the furlong.

Aries Merritt won the 110 meter hurdles in 12.93. Jason Richardson, the 2011 world champ, came in 2nd, running a PB 12.98, his second time under 13 seconds in one day. Jeff Porter in third, in a huge pb of 13.08, held off David Oliver, the 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist, from the team. Merritt has had a tremendous season so far in the 110 meter hurdles, as the U.S. sends one of its best 110m hurdle teams ever to the Olympics. Chaunte Howard Lowe is giving a high jump clinic with


• Olympic Trials Review •

Hyleas Fountain scored 6,419, hitting the “A” standard that would send her to London, after her fine heptathlon performance. Trevor Barron, the 20-year-old wunderkind in the 20K walk, not only won, but set ARs at 15K and 20K in the process!

her win in 6-7/2.01m, with Brigitta Barrett in 2nd in 64.75/1.95m and Amy Acuff making team as well with her clearance of 1.95m as well! Christian Taylor needed two jumps to call it a day in the rain-soaked conditions in Eugene, winning the triple jump Olympic Trials with a jump of 17.63m/57-10.5, a world leader. Will Claye, Taylor’s former teammate, jumped 17.55m/57-7. Olympian Walter Davis took 3rd, but did not have an “A” standard of 17.20m.

• Olympic Trials Review •


Using a kick that makes him dangerous in any race, Leo Manzano took 53.08 seconds to run his last lap, which won the 1500 meters. Matt Centrowitz and Andrew Wheating following in 2nd and 3rd. Manzano ran 3:35.75 for the win. In the women's 1500 meters, Morgan Uceny took the lead with 400 meters to go and was unchallenged. Shannon Rowbury took 2nd and 2011 world champ Jenny Simpson took the 3rd position. Uceny ran 60.14 for the last lap to win in 4:04.35. LaShinda Demus ran 53.98 for the 400m hurdle win, showing that she was fit and ready to race. Georgia Moline ran a nice PB to take the Silver and T'rea Brown took 3rd in one of the toughest races of the Trials. In the men's 400 meter hurdles,

The last day of the Olympic Trials were all finals. 21,000 fans once again saw the hardest team to make in the world, period: the U.S. Track & Field team. In the long jump for women, it was, by any standards, the best field ever to compete in the LJ, as three women jumped more than 23 feet to make the team. Chelsea Hayes jumped 7.10m/23-3.5 on her sixth attempt, after four fouls! Janay DeLoach had cleared 7.03m/23-0.75 legal jump and then a wind-aided 7.08m/23-2.75, putting her in 3rd. Brittney Reese was being challenged. Five straight champs and she was down to her last jump, where she and the crowd thought she had won. It was ruled a foul. Reese protested and, lo and behold, her protest was shown to be a legal jump of 7.15m/23-5.5 Reese had won!


• Olympic Trials Review •

2012 U.S. Olympic Trials provided 10 days of drama and terrific competition. Part of the drama is that one must be ready on the exact day, for one day out of four years, to make the U.S. Olympic team in track & field. Brutal, yes, honest, yes. In my earlier years, I thought it was a less-thanhuman system. Now, having seen how other countries appoint their teams, I think our Trials may be the only athletically honest way to select a team: Let the athletes select themselves with their performances. The wait, 4 years, to rectify something that happened in 2012 must be excruciating. We, the fans, will return.

2000 and 2008 Olympic champ Angelo Taylor was run down by Michael Tinsley, who ran hurdles 9 and 10 with a new-found agility. Taylor took 2nd with 2007 and 2009 WC Kerron Clement in 3rd, holding off Bershawn Jackson. Brittany Borman upset Kara Patterson in the javelin, with her last throw of 201-9. Patterson had a knee issue on her fourth attempt, and elected not to throw any more. Rachel Yurkovich, who had the “A” and was 4th, was the final person to make the javelin team for London. The final event of the Trials came down to the 200 meters for men, as Wallace Spearmon, in his inestimable style, sat back until there were about 50 meters to go and just flew by the field. Taking 2nd was Manteo Mitchell, running 20.14 to Spearmon's 19.82. Isiah Young was 3rd in 20.16. In a team of surprises and not-so-surprising athletes, the

• Olympic Trials Review •


• Olympic Trials

salutes the entire Team USA track & field team, Team USA track & field team, coaching staff and support staff on a tremendous London 2012 Olympic games!

aff on a tremendous London 2012 Olympic games! We thought you would like to see the names of the 29 medalists and their events. see the names of the 29 medalists and their events. We also have two great comments from Amy Deem and Andrew Valmon, the two ments from Amy Deem and Andrew Valmon, the two Team USA head coaches.



Team USA Medal Count

29 total "

A men’s head coach


% "

" "




" $

Gold –Andrew (9) Valmon, Team USA men’s head coach Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 21.88 Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.55 Women’s 4x400m relay (D. Trotter, A. Felix, F. McCorory, S. Richards-Ross), 3:16.87 " # Women’s 4x100m relay " (T. Madison, A. Felix, B. Knight, C. Jeter), 40.82WR Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 7.12m/23-4.25 Jenn Suhr (Churchville, N.Y.), WPV, 4.75/15-7 " Aries Merritt (Bryan, Texas), M110H, " 12.92 " Christian Taylor (Daytona Beach, Fla.), MTJ, 17.81m/58-5.25 $ Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.), MDEC, 8,869

–Amy Deem, Team USA women’s head coach

women’s head coach

Silver (13) Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.78 Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), W100H, 12.37 Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.77 Brigetta Barrett (Tempe, Ariz.), WHJ, 2.03m/6-8 Leo Manzano (Austin Texas), M1500, 3:34.79 Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), M10,000m, 27:30.90 Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, Calif.), M110H, 13.04 Michael Tinsley (Round Rock, Texas), M400H, 47.91 Men’s 4x100m relay (T. Kimmons, J. Gatlin, T. Gay, R. Bailey), 37.04AR Men’s 4x400m relay (B. Nellum, J. Mance, T. McQuay, A. Taylor), 2:57.05 Erik Kynard (Manhattan, Kans.) MHJ, 2.33m/7-7.75 Will Claye (Imperial Beach, Calif.), MTJ, 17.62m/57-9.75 Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), MDEC, 8,671

Team USA Medal Count

29 total Gold (9) Allyson Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.), W200, 21.88 Sanya Richards-Ross (Austin, Texas), W400, 49.55 Women’s 4x400m relay (D. Trotter, A. Felix, F. McCorory, S. Richards-Ross), 3:16.87 Women’s 4x100m relay (T. Madison, A. Felix, B. Knight, C. Jeter), 40.82WR Brittney Reese (Gulfport, Miss.), WLJ, 7.12m/23-4.25 Jenn Suhr (Churchville, N.Y.), WPV, 4.75/15-7 Aries Merritt (Bryan, Texas), M110H, 12.92 Christian Taylor (Daytona Beach, Fla.), MTJ, 17.81m/58-5.25 Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.), MDEC, 8,869

Silver (13) Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W100, 10.78 Dawn Harper (Los Angeles, Calif.), W100H, 12.37 Lashinda Demus (Palmdale, Calif.), W400H, 52.77 Brigetta Barrett (Tempe, Ariz.), WHJ, 2.03m/6-8 Leo Manzano (Austin Texas), M1500, 3:34.79 Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), M10,000m, 27:30.90 Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, Calif.), M110H, 13.04 Michael Tinsley (Round Rock, Texas), M400H, 47.91 Men’s 4x100m relay (T. Kimmons, J. Gatlin, T. Gay, R. Bailey), 37.04AR Men’s 4x400m relay (B. Nellum, J. Mance, T. McQuay, A. Taylor), 2:57.05 Erik Kynard (Manhattan, Kans.) MHJ, 2.33m/7-7.75 Will Claye (Imperial Beach, Calif.), MTJ, 17.62m/57-9.75 Trey Hardee (Austin, Texas), MDEC, 8,671

Bronze (7) Bronze (7)


Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W200, 22.14 DeeDee Trotter (Orlando, Fla.), W400, 49.72 Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.), W100H, 12.48 Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colo.), WLJ, 6.89/22-7.25 Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Fla.) M100, 9.79 Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.23m/69-8 Will Claye (San Diego, Calif.), MLJ, 8.12m/26-7.75

Carmelita Jeter (Gardena, Calif.), W200, 22.14 DeeDee Trotter (Orlando, Fla.), W400, 49.72 Kellie Wells (Orlando, Fla.), W100H, 12.48 Janay DeLoach (Fort Collins, Colo.), WLJ, 6.89/22-7.25 Justin Gatlin (Orlando, Fla.) M100, 9.79 Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.), MSP, 21.23m/69-8 Will Claye (San Diego, Calif.), MLJ, 8.12m/26-7.75




AO 2012 Olympic Trials Review  

AO 2012 Olympic Trials Review

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you