Page 1

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/21/12 10:34 AM Page 1

Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2012


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 2

We’re behind Team USA at the start.

© 2012 BP Products North America Inc. 36 USC 220506

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 3

BP is honored to fuel the future of Team USA in 2012 and beyond. As the Official Energy Sponsor of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, we’re pleased to partner with the Houston Marathon Host Committee, USA Track & Field and the USOC. The dedication and drive embodied in every Olympic Hopeful inspires each of BP’s 23,000 employees in America. Join us and get behind the athletes at

We’ll be there at the finish.

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/22/12 2:23 PM Page 4

Publisher’s Comments My first 2 years as a track & field athlete were pretty dismal. You can only finish last so many times and get lapped by much of the field in the 2-mile. So, at the end of my sophomore year, I asked my coach, Father Devlin, what I should do. Father Devlin, whom we called Rocket Ray, was pretty succinct. “Run a lot.” So, over 4 weeks, I went from 2 miles to 16 miles a day. For 12 weeks, I ran 2 hours each morning, running from my parents home to Lake Vasona. I was wearing shoes (Onitsuka Tigers) that I would religiously clean after my runs and place glue on the heels to keep the shoe in good shape. They had cost me $36, and my father was not happy with the price. I had run, up to that time, in shoes that cost $5 at Kmart. When cross country started the next year, I actually finished in the top 10 in most races, in JV, which was a huge improvement for me. Later in the season, I took 10th in conference, and spent the winter running with my buddies. The next spring, I improved in the 880, mile and 2-mile. I learned a major lesson. Our sport gives back to you what you put into it. This issue is a celebration of how top athletes, high school, college and postcollegiate can run, jump or throw faster than one can imagine. The key is to see how far you can go! (Oh, don’t run 2 hours at a time, you’re way too young for that). In our next issue, you’ll see an issue dedicated to summer and fall training, plus an amazing feature on high school athletes who made the Olympic team!

ON THE COVER: Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, and Desi Davila




28-30 • ON COURSE IN HOUSTON The Despair Of Fourth

Oh, if you want to follow my travels to track meets around the world, sign up on for a free subscription or follow me on twitter at runblogrun. See you at a track meet!


Publisher, Athletes Only twitter: @runblogrun 608.239.3785 4

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.

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 5

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 6

new balance

INDOORS DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTED BY FINN’S 5000m NATIONAL RECORD (c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved NEW YORK (March 10) – Day 1 of New Balance Indoor Nationals 2012 concluded with a bang, as Michigan junior Erin Finn clocked 16:19.69 in the Girls’ 5000m, a national high school record by 15 seconds. From the gun Finn played her usual hand, setting a fast pace and charging to the front early. By 400m, the West Bloomfield, MI. native was in the lead, where she would stay for the remainder of the race. Running consistent 38-and 39-second laps, Finn would pass 1600m in 5:07.2 with a 10-second lead over Delaware’s Haley Pierce, North Carolina’s Wesley Frazier—the reigning New Balance Outdoor Nationals champion at 5000m and the mile—and New York’s Brianna Nerud. Strong, steady and smooth, Finn would continue to lengthen her lead despite the trio’s hard-fought effort to catch up. Well ahead of national record pace at halfway, Finn continued to press on alone. A runner-up last year to Frazier outdoors in the 5000m, Finn was ready to record her first national title. “I knew if I went out and held on as long as I could, I knew I’d be able to do it,” said Finn, an AllAmerican in both track and cross country. “I told myself this is my chance. I have come in second and third too many times, and I knew this was my race, my night.” Picking the pace up at the bell, it was sure that Finn would break Waverly Neer’s national record of 16:35.15, set here last year. The real question was by how much. The answer: 15 seconds. As she crossed the line, hands in the air, 16:19.69 froze on the clock trackside. “Oh my gosh, I’m a national champion,” said Finn softly when she came to a stop,

By Chris Lotsbom In the Girls’ distance medley relay, another record attempt came from Grosse Pointe South, also of Michigan. Running in the front for most of the race, the quartet made up of Haley Meier, Ersula Farrow, Kelsie Schwartz and Hannah Meier were eyeing the meet record of 11:38.6, set by Saratoga Springs in 2010. As Hannah Meier, the anchor and winner of last year’s New Balance Indoor Nationals mile got the baton, she knew she would have to run fast in order to reach the mark. With The Armory crowd cheering, Meier came down the stretch as strong as she could, arms pumping on either side of her black vest. Her mile split would be 4:47.5, the team’s time 11:39.29, just short by less than a second “Our goal now is to return and get it next year,” all four said in unison postrace. Edward Cheserek and the boys of St. Benedict’s Prep were busy at work on The Armory’s oval, trying to earn the win in the distance medley relay. After receiving the baton in sixth place, Cheserek charged hard in his opening 400m, eventually taking over the lead. Coming down the stretch, the junior from New Jersey held off Piscataway, NJ’s Tim Ball, who was gaining, hoping to snag first. Ultimately, Cheserek crossed the line first in 10:10.08. Piscataway was second in 10:10.63, while Marshfield (MA) was third. The Boys’ 5000m was won narrowly by Daniel Lennon, who outleaned Dallin Farnsworth at the line, 14:37.25 to 14:37.32. Action continues tomorrow, highlighted by five relay events. In total, more than 4,000 athletes will compete this weekend at New Balance Indoor Nationals.

“I knew if I went out and held on as long as I could, I knew I’d be able to do it.”


looking for someone to confirm the fact. “This is a dream come true, it really is.” When photographers asked her to pose in front of the clock—as all of her running idols have at one time or another—she asked, “Me, really? I get to do that?!” More than an hour after her race, the smile was still etched across her face, medal draped around her neck and flowers by her side. “I’m just so excited,” she reiterated.

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 7




AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 8

new balance

INDOORS RECORDS FALL AT DAY 2 OF NEW BALANCE INDOOR NATIONALS By Chris Lotsbom NEW YORK (March 10) – Continuing the tradition that is Day 2 of New Balance Indoor Nationals, one national and many more meet records were broken here in New York City. Chariho TC of Rhode Island surprised everyone in the 4xmile relay, running 17:20.02 to barely dip under the 3-year-old national record of 17:21.58, previously held by West Windsor-Plainsboro. Com-

ing into the race, many had focused their attention on reigning national champion Brothers TC (Christian Brothers Academy, NJ), as well as Shaker TC of New York. But Chariho, the admitted underdog, knew they had a chance to take the championship, and possibly the national record. “We knew we had the talent all along,” said Mike Marsella, a senior and the team’s anchor. “We knew adding up our [personal best] splits, we had a chance to not only win the race, but set a national record. It was definitely on our radar since the beginning of the season.” Through the first two legs, Chariho and Shaker were stride for stride, two abreast as they circled The Armory’s blue oval. Not until 800m remaining in the third leg did Shaker begin to pull away, with John Vallecorsa separating from the chasing Jake Kilcoyne. Exchanging the baton to Christian Delago, Shaker had a 10-second lead. But Chariho TC still had their sub-4:10 miler to come—Marsella. Marsella, who will attend the University of Virginia next fall, began to charge, gaining with each completed lap. Eventually he would draw even and pass with 800m to go. “When I got the stick, I had one thing in mind—to catch the guy in front of me,” he said. “All I wanted to do was run him down to the best

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 9

new balance

INDOORS of my ability, and with four to go, I was on his back shoulder. I knew I was stronger and I knew I had to go after the record.” Marsella broke the tape first with a second and a half to spare, clocking 17:20.20. Shaker crossed right behind in 17:21.56, also under the previous national mark, while BC Cubed was third in 17:30.44. “I knew there was nothing to lose. You don’t come here to come in second, you come here to win,” Marsella said. “What a way to end my senior year indoors. To close it out in a national record in a national championship is crazy.” Joining Marsella and Kilcoyne on the winning team were Bryce Kelley and Dan Kilcoyne. Meet records were set in abundance throughout the 12 hours of competition. Just prior to Chariho’s national record, the girls of Adrenaline TC (Tatnall School, DE) just missed setting a national record, running 20:00.97. Julie Williams (5:03), Rebecca Salter

(5:03), Reagan Anderson (5:00) and Haley Pierce (4:54) combined to run the secondfastest high school 4xmile ever, just a tad behind Saratoga’s 19:59.24 of 2005. Edward Cheserek and St. Benedict’s Prep earned their second national title of the meet, winning the boys’ sprint medley relay in a new Meet Record of 3:25.88. Cheserek was able to hold off reigning New Balance Indoor Nationals 800m champion Zavon Watkins of Liverpool down the stretch. “It was fun to really go fast at the end, and I wanted to win another national championship,” said Cheserek. When asked if he is still planning to run the 2-mile and mile on Sunday, he responded with an excited, “Of course!” Sprint Athletics of Georgia ran a meet record of 1:36.79 in the prelims of the 4x200m. The finals of the 4x200m will be run at noon tomorrow, when Felecia Brown, Tiffany Camper, Alexis Smith and Jada Martin will try

to lower their mark. Also setting a meet record was Trinity Wilson in the 60m hurdle prelims, when she ran 8.26 seconds. Though she did not set a record, Kendell Williams won her second national championship in two days, successfully defending her title in the Girls’ pentathlon. Last night, the native of Georgia won the high jump, and tomorrow she will go for the 60m hurdles title. If it wasn’t for a bump with lapped traffic, Stotan Racing (Fayetteville-Manlius, NY) may have their own national record in the 4x800m. The quartet of Katie Sischo, Jillian Fanning, Heather Martin and Katie Brislin ran 8:58.48, just ahead of La Salle Academy (RI). The boys’ 4x800m was won by Boys and Girls in the second-fastest time ever, 7:41.10. Tomorrow, the final day of competition, finals in 12 disciplines will be contested.

COMPETITION CONCLUDES WITH A BANG AT NEW BALANCE NATIONALS By Chris Lotsbom NEW YORK, NY (11-Mar) -- Day three here at the New Balance Indoor Nationals did not disappoint, as numerous Meet Records came tumbling down and one athlete in particular separated himself from the rest of the field. Edward Cheserek of St. Benedicts Prep in New Jersey won his third National Championship of the weekend in the Two Mile, then came within one-half of a second from earning his fourth in the Boy’s Mile. Cheserek, a junior, separated early in his longest event of the weekend, the two mile. Hitting halfway in 4:25.1, Cheserek already had a seven second lead on his closest competitors. Breaking the tape in 8:50.53, the 18-year-old earned his third gold medal. On Friday, he helped the St. Benedicts Prep team win the Distance Medley Relay, then came back on Saturday to anchor the school’s Sprint Medley Relay. Turning his attention to the Mile, Cheserek

away from the field. Over the next 800m, the native of Kenya would surge then slow, surge and slow again. “It was like a fartlek,” said Brad Nye of Utah. “The field would surge and then come back and surge again and come back.” Around the final bend, Nye began to come up on the tired Cheserek’s outside shoulder. With meters to go, Nye realized he could win the event. “I wanted to give myself the best shot, and the race went perfect,” said the BYU-bound Nye. “I kept saying over and over ‘this is perfect.’ I had more gears [left].” Crossing in 4:08.67, Nye let out a big scream, overwhelmed by emotions. But soon after, he turned to Cheserek and congratulated him on his performance. “What a stud. His whole attitude, his ability,

“I just knew I couldn’t let up until the finish line. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m a National Champion,” was a bit tired, but wanted to close out the competition with another victory. After two laps of The Armory’s track, Cheserek was back in front, trying to surge

just what he does on the track -- I’m absolutely amazed,” said Nye. Cheserek explained that fatigue caught up to him in the final laps.

• Spring 2012 •



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 but running. T


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 10

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 11

new balance

INDOORS the 1:50 barrier, becoming only the second high school boy to do so in history. Passing Ned Willig on the final turn, Malone would break the tape in 1:49.94, a meet record. “I just knew I couldn’t let up until the finish line. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m a national champion,” he said. Michigan’s Hannah Meier defended her title as the girls’ mile champion, setting a new meet record of 4:42.6. The only meet record to fall in the field events took place in the girls’ triple jump, where Massachusetts’ Carla Forbes leaped 42-05.25 feet.




“I was kind of tired coming to the end in the last event,” said Cheserek, who was still pleased with his effort. “I was focused on the DMR, the SMR, and the 2-mile. I was 50/50 in the mile, so if it worked out good.” On the girls’ side, Junior Striders Ariah Graham (Wakefield, NC) was the star of the show. The senior helped her team earn wins in the 4x200m and 4x400m, and also took the individual title in the 400m. Meet records fell consistently here, including in the boys’ 800m, where Ben Malone dipped under

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 12



ll things are relative to their frame of reference. This simplified explanation of relativity pairs well with a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, who had a passing acquaintance with the topic: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Our frame of reference, from a running perspective, was explained almost 225 years ago by Isaac Newton. Newton observed, theorized, and described gravitation and the three laws of motion (among many other things). Simply speaking, our frame of reference is about running on Earth, where the mass of the planet is greater than ours, so we are pulled toward it. We apply a force to the Earth and it gives back an equal force. In this Review, we’ve looked at and weartested shoes in the three basic categories of motion stabilizing, neutral cushioning, and faster-paced/performance running. We describe their attributes and point out if and how the familiar has been changed, and we share some of our weartesters’ feedback. So whether you’re trying to find out what’s new, what’s changed, or what’s best for you, we’ve got you covered. As we’ve said many times before, knowledge is your best ally. To make good choices for you, you must know the shape of your feet and understand the way they move. If you don’t, you may find your local running specialty store to be a source of good advice and information. There are many shoes appropriate for your running, but if you know your foot shape, foot motion, and footstrike, you can focus on shoes that meet your needs, not someone else’s.


—Cregg Weinmann, Running Network Footwear Reviewer


American Track & Field Athletes Only Athletics (Canada) Austin Fit California Track & Running News Club Running Coaching Athletics Quarterly Colorado Runner Get Active! Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes Latinos Corriendo MarathonGuide Michigan Runner Missouri Runner & Triathlete Running Journal & Racing South RunMinnesota RUNOHIO Track & Field News USATF’s Fast Forward USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone The Winged Foot The Winged M Youth Runner

WELCOME TO THE RUNNING NETWORK’S 2012 SPRING SHOE REVIEW I just returned from the 2012 U.S. Open, an indoor track meet held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Among the performances there were the fastest women’s 50 meters in 12 years (6.08 seconds, Veronica Campbell-Brown), the second-fastest men’s 50 meters ever (5.64 seconds, Asafa Powell), and a spirited battle over the mile between Silas Kiplagat and Bernard Lagat. Kiplagat prevailed, 4:00.65 to 4:00.92. Two weeks before, I witnessed the first Americans to make the 2012 Olympic team in our sport. Meb Keflezighi surprised everyone but himself and his coach, Bob Larsen, by running with Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman for 23 miles, and then pulling away to win. On the women’s side, Shalane Flanagan and Desiree Davila dueled for 24 miles before Shalane gained some daylight. Kara Goucher held on for third, after being challenged by the surprising Amy Hastings, who finished fourth. Most of these athletes, as well as local road races and running events, are sponsored by the very companies featured in our 2012 Spring Shoe Review. While companies like adidas, ASICS, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, PUMA, and Saucony are major sponsors, all 44 brands we monitor put back into the sport that they market to—to the tune of over $100 million a year! As you look over this Spring Shoe Review to determine what shoe you’ll run in over the next few months, we ask that you visit your local running store—that bastion of the running community— and support the brands that support your local running. And please, follow your local heroes in our sport. Several of them will be big surprises in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon June 22–July 2. See you on the roads and at the track!

Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC Reviewer:: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 608.239.3785, Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2012 Spring Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2012 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.






RIN G 201

adidas Supernova Glide 4

RIN G 201


Mizuno Wave Elixir 7



Motion Stabilizing



RIN G 201


Nike Lunar Eclipse+ 2

Brooks Pure Cadence





Saucony PowerGrid Hurricane 14 i | Running Network 2012 Spring Shoe Review



Scott MK 4

on ears ec-

ort. yan

CS, we

few y— n eld

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 13

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 14


$1 10


$11 5


RIN G 201


adidas Supernova Glide 4 $13 5

Brooks Defyance 5

K-Swiss Blade Max Glide

$1 10


Mizuno Waverider 15 $12 0 BEST NEW SHOE SPRING 2012

New Balance 1080 v2 $80

adidas adiZero F50

ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 7

$1 20


Brooks Pure Cadence $105

BEST SHOE Performance SP

Li-Ning Liede $13 0

RIN G 201


Mizuno Wave Elixir 7

New Balance 890 v2

$ 1 30


Nike Zoom Elite+ 5 $11 0


Pearl Izumi Kissaki $115

Scott MK 4

Under Armour Charge RC

$ 1 35






Motion Stabilizing



Mizuno Wave Inspire 8

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

RIN G 201

Nike Lunar Eclipse+ 2


Puma Faas 800

ii | Running Network 2012 Spring Shoe Review

Saucony PowerGrid Hurricane 14

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 15




AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 16

All photos for the World Championships, Istanbul 2012 are by


• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:41 AM Page 17

The picture to the left, in our minds, says it all. Brittney Reese is the world champion in the long jump, indoor and outdoor. In Istanbul this past March, Reese defended her World Indoor Championship title from 2010, with a last, make-itor-break-it jump. This had been a seesaw long jump battle among Shara Proctor of Great Britain (two NRs), Janay DeLoach, and Brittney Reese. On DeLoach’s last attempt, she jumped 6.98 meters to take the lead. Reese had to either make a huge jump or be relegated to the Silver. Reese gathered her speed, flew down the runway and just flew. And she flew some more. When she landed, she immediately knew it was long, but how long? 7.23 meters, or 23 feet, 7 1/2 inches, the longest jump indoors since 1994 and one Jackie Joyner-Kersee! With 18 individual medals (10 Gold, 3 Silver, 5 Bronze), this was one of the best USA performances in many years. The 2012 team was a combination of new performers and veteran performers, in a stadium built in Istanbul to show the IOC that Turkey is ready to host the big event: the Olympics. How fitting that there were such tremendous performances. Here are the medalists whom we celebrate in the coming pages:

Team USA Medals - 2012 World Indoor Championships Gold (10) Ryan Whiting, men’s shot put, 22.00m/72-2.25 Ashton Eaton, men’s heptathlon, 6,645 (WR) Sanya Richards-Ross, women’s 400m, 50.79 Chaunte Lowe, women’s high jump, 1.98m/6-6 Justin Gatlin, men’s 60m, 6.46 Bernard Lagat, men’s 3000m, 7:41.44 Aries Merritt, men’s 60m hurdles, 7.44 Brittney Reese, women’s long jump, 7.23m/23-8.75 (AR) Will Claye, men’s triple jump, 17.70m/58-1 Men’s 4x400m, Frankie Wright, Calvin Smith, Manteo Mitchell, Gil Roberts, 3:03.94

Silver (3) Janay DeLoach, women’s long jump, 6.98m/22-10.75 Christian Taylor, men’s triple jump, 17.63m/57-10.25 Women’s 4x400m, Leslie Cole, Natasha Hastings, Jernail Hayes, Sanya Richards-Ross, 3:28.79

Bronze (5) Natasha Hastings, women’s 400m, 51.82 Brad Walker, men’s pole vault, 5.80m/19-0.25 Michelle Carter, women’s shot put, 19.58/64-3 Tianna Madison, women’s 60m, 7.09 Erica Moore, women’s 800m, 1:59.97

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:42 AM Page 18

Justin Gatlin showed the world that his legs and his heart work in unison, as he took the Gold in the 60 meters, running 6.46 and adding to his collection of world championship medals. Gatlin took the Gold, with Jamaica’s Nesta Carter in 2nd and Dwain Chambers (GBR) in 3rd. Gatlin noted, “I came here dominating and I wanted to follow up. I just had to make sure that once the gun sounded, I went out.” In the women’s final Tiana Madison and Murielle Ahoure took off from the start. Veronica Campbell-Brown ran an epic race, coming from behind to push Ahoure into the Silver, and


US’ Madison into 3rd and the Bronze, running 7.09 for the 60 meters. “This is a good end to the indoor season and a good step for the outdoor season. I worked on my speed for the long jump. I am happy with the medal,” commented Madison. Many will recall, that Madison won the Gold in the long jump at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships. The women’s 400 meters was a challenging race. Sanya Richards-Ross took the lead at the break and did not let up, running a mighty finish, with her time of 50.79 taking the Gold from Russia’s Aleksandr Fedoriva (51.79), who could not

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:42 AM Page 19

catch Richards-Ross. Natasha Hastings, who went out very hard, achieved her dream of a World championpship medal, running 51.82. “To be honest, I was a bit tired from yesterday’s qualifying rounds. I’m happy that I came out and took the lead early,” noted a tired but jubilant Richards-Ross. Hastings, after her Bronze medal, told the media, “I feel good. My goal was to win a medal but the focus is still the summer. I changed coach 2 months ago so I am glad things still went well here. You will have to look out for team U.S. in London.”

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:42 AM Page 20

The men’s shot put started off with David Storl, the young German world champion from 2011, taking the lead, with a throw of 21.89. He would lead up until Ryan Whiting’s fifth throw. Whiting is one of the young shot stars, fighting to get recognition in the U.S. men’s shot put team, which is pretty tough competition. In round 5, Whiting put the shot 22 meters, or 72 2-1/4! To make sure he had it, Whiting came back in round 6 with a 21.98 meter throw! Storl couldn't respond,


and Whiting took his first gold medal! Whiting put his Gold medal in perspective: “We stumbled in Daegu so I am happy to give another Gold to the U.S. in the shot put and to start the year on the right foot.” Aries Merritt defeated Liu Xiang, the fastest indoor hurdler in the world, in a very close race. One keen observer called Merritt’s victory the biggest upset of the World In-

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:43 AM Page 21

doors. After his victory, Merritt commented, “I feel really good and I am very pleased with the result. Being a world champion feels great, I worked so hard.” Merritt, the former world junior champion, has been one of those hurdlers whom many expect great things from. In Istanbul, Aries Merritt delivered. Michelle Carter took the Bronze medal in the shot with

her third-round throw, a seasonal best of 19.58m, or 64 feet, 3 inches. Her team mate, Jillian Camerena Williams, finished in 4th. Carter, quite happy with her Bronze medal, commented: “I am excited to have produced my season’s best here. Jill and I have been working so hard this year and we want to show the U.S. can also do well in the women’s shot put. It is a great confidence booster for the Olympics, and I’ll continue to work hard.”

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:43 AM Page 22

Never take any medal for granted. In the 2012 World Indoor Champs, there were surprises on all three of the event days! The women’s 4x400m pitted Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine and the United States. Great Britain broke open the race on the third leg, as 2007 world champ and 2008 Olympic champ Christine Ohuruogu gave it all she had, giving a lead to GBR anchor Shana Cox. Sanya Richards-Ross, the world indoor champion at 400 meters, fought off Russia and the Ukraine to finally get a game run on Great Britain. Giving it all she had, the U.S. team took the Silver in one of the most exciting races of the weekend. “The race was good. I got bumped up a couple of times. I didn’t realize how close Russia and Ukraine were. I tried to keep my composure and thought I would have sufficient space and time to catch the British, but unfortunately I didn’t. I have had a lot of races, but did not want to let the team down. I am happy to represent the U.S. with those ladies. This World Championships felt like a hard week of training, but I accomplished what I came here for.” Women’s 4x400m, Leslie Cole, Natasha Hastings, Jernail Hayes, Sanya Richards-Ross, 3:28.79 The excitement over Great Britain’s upset of the U.S. 4x400m women’s team put more pressure on the U.S. guys. Actually, it probably focused them. From the start, GBR’s men’s team took off, with U.S. close behind. Frankie Wright commented on the changing speed


• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:43 AM Page 23

in leg 1: “It was a good start for us. But with the British runner speeding up and slowing down I messed up my rhythm. I could not do my own rhythm.” For Calvin Smith, running the second leg, he knew his job was to keep the U.S. in striking distance for Manteo Mitchell and Gil Roberts. “I stayed with the British guy (Nigel Levine), stayed behind him. I just worked it out on the home stretch to put it to my teammate.” By Wright and Smith keeping the Brits close, Mitchell, who knew he had to move and knew who his competition was, gave the U.S. its first lead: “I knew that I was stronger than Michael (GBR Michael Bigham), so I overtook him and was able to give Gil a good lead. Coming in, I knew I could take the lead because in college I ran against Michael. I seized the opportunity, I just made the move I had to make.” Roberts took the lead that Mitchell gave him and expanded it. “I am blessed to be able to run with these guys. My teammates put me in a good position, so I just had to put it home. I just had to hold the lead. The necklace? Oh, it is just my style. It is definitely a big luxury to be in the U.S. with such a lot of talent.” Roberts let it loose on the anchor leg and the U.S. won, 3:03.94 to GBR’s 3:04.72. For the U.S. this was a lesson, as the relays in London will be much more complicated.

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:43 AM Page 24

Brad Walker of the U.S. took the Bronze in the pole vault, with a jump of 5.80m, or 19 feet, 1/4 inch. He had gambled on winning the vault, but this time, Renaud Lavillenie of France cleared 5.95m, and Bjorn Otto of Germany took the Silver. “I am coming back after a couple of injuries, but I have never left the World Championships empty-handed. This is my first World Championships medal. I had some good jumps but was inconsistent in

others. I cleared 5.80 for Gold in 2006 and the same height gave me Bronze today. I am happy with my result and I know what I need to sort out between now and London,” said the Bronze medalist. Brittney Reese defended her world indoor Gold from 2010, with her monstrous 7.23m, or 23 7-1/2 inches. “I am blessed to become the first woman to win back-to-back indoor titles, plus the

American and the championships record,” noted Reese, who is both indoor and outdoor world champion. Janay DeLoach, Silver medalist in the long jump, with her sixth-round 6.98m, 22’ 10-3/4 effort, noted, “I gave 100%. I gave the best that I can. There was nothing more to do. I gave it all and here I am with a Silver medal. I am so grateful. I am really excited about it. This is amazing. I could just scream! My jumps were OK. Only the last one felt really good: I had it. Now I will take a little bit of a break and then I need to work on a few things. I guess the prize money is the biggest money I ever got. This will help me for 24

the whole year.” The men’s triple jump was another 1–2, with Will Claye taking the Gold, and Christian Taylor taking the Silver. Taylor lead four rounds with his 17.63m, (57 10-1/4). Claye took the led in round 4, with a world-leading 17.70m, or 58 feet, 1 inch, the longest indoor jump since the late 1990s. Claye then followed up with a 17.63m and a 17.53m jump. Claye told the media, “I felt a lot different today. I saw my team— the Florida Gators—won the national college championships and that motivated me a lot. I felt excited already from the warm-up and every jump was crazy.”

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/21/12 10:36 AM Page 25

Taylor, the Silver medalist, gave the Gold–Silver performance this comment: “It is a huge PB for me indoors. Will and I have competed together in college and to come 1–2 today at the world stage, it is amazing. I have a lot of faith in Will and myself. I will continue to work hard on my approach to the board and get ready to jump far in London.” And then, there’s Chaunte Howard Lowe. At the U.S. indoor, Howard Lowe set a new indoor high jump record. In Istanbul, surprising even herself, Chaunte competed against many of the world’s best, and cleared six of her seven attempts at heights. The winning height, 1.98m, or 6-

6, was one of the lowest in years, but behind her were Antoinetta DiMartino of Italy (silver) and Anna Chicherova of Russia (bronze). Howard Lowe told us last summer that she wanted an Olympic medal. Now she has a World Indoor Championship Gold and here is how she places it: “It is a huge PB for me indoors. Will and I have competed together in college and to come 1-2 today at the world stage, it is amazing. I have a lot of faith in Will and myself. I will continue to work hard, on my approach to the board and get ready to jump far in London.”

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 26

Ashton Eaton was on task from the first event. He sprinted 6.79 for the 60 meters, taking 1st and 958 points. In the long jump, the 2012 U.S. long jump winner jumped 8.16m, again, 1st in his event, with 1,102 points. In the shot put, Eaton finished 3rd, with a throw of 14.56m, and 763 points. He finished with the high jump, again taking 3rd, clearing 2.03m, and taking home 831 points.

On day 2, Eaton came out ready for business. He hurdled 7.68m for the win and 1064 points, and then he won the pole vault, clearing 5.20m for 972 points and putting himself in a good place to break the world record. In the 1000 meters, Eaton ran from the front, hitting 28.73 for 200m, 59.77 for 400m, 1:31.41 for 600m, 2:02.61 for 800m, 2:32.78 for 1000m! WR of 6,645! A world record is never easy. Eaton is one of the fittest all-around athletes in the world. To sprint, throw, and leap,


and then run a 1000 meters—Eaton earned his money today. Here is how the new WR holder felt after the heptathlon: “It feels good. Coming into the competition, I knew I could break the world record. The competition was solid, everything was good. I did not have any bad event. It’s a good beginning into the season and I will be now preparing for the Olympic Trials, which you know are very competitive in the U.S.”

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 27

Erica Moore has pushed from the front on several races this year and won them. At the World Championships, she kept her cool and took off! Moore led at 200 meters, in 28.13, 400 meters at 57.69 and, just before the 600 meters, Elene Kofanova of Russia took over, but not for long. Pamela Jelimo flew past her, keeping her lead and running a world leader, taking the Gold in 1:58.83. Natalie Lupu of the Ukraine went by Moore, taking the Silver in 1:59.67, a PB. Moore, the U.S. woman who set up the race, held on ferociously, dropping just past the finish, holding onto the Bronze, with a PB of 1:59.97. Fantu Magiso of Ethiopia was 4th, finishing in 2:00.30, a PB, as she tried to chase down Moore. We learned several things from this race. Jelimo is definitely back, giving Kenya a wonderful medal at 800 meters. And for the U.S., Moore has given them a new medal and a new face at the 800 meters. Moore saw the race as, well, “It was terrifying. I was scared on the home stretch but I held on. I didn’t think I had a chance to medal here, but after watching the video of the prelims I realized I was one of the strongest. My coach told me I could run 2 minutes flat and I was comfort-

able at that pace. I am happy with my personal best, my first World Championships medal. It is a great boost in my preparation for the Olympics.” 3000m The pace was fast, but not too fast. 2:38 for the first kilometer, 4:14 for the mile, and 2000 meters in 5:16, pretty even pace. Mo Farah, the 5000m world champion, took the lead for just about a half-mile, increasing the pace to a 4-minute-mile pace. But that wasn’t enough, as Edwin Soi, Augustine Choge and Bernard Lagat were right there. Lagat took the lead with 150 meters to go and, running the last 200 meters in 25.5, he defended his title, with Choge taking the Silver, and Soi taking the Bronze. Farah, who had moved into lane 3 to get around, finished 4h. Lagat goes into London 2012 as the prohibitive favorite. London 2012 will be amazing. Lagat, on defending his three 3000m titles: “It feels so good. I played it safe, I just wanted to make sure I stayed safe i.e., not get behind position 7 or so, i.e. within reach of the two Kenyans.”

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 28

ON COURSE IN HOUSTON 2012 US Olympic Trials • Women’s Marathon • Houston

By Dave Hunter

Saturday, Jan., 14, 2012

T he Despair of Fourth Emotions Run High at Conclusion of Epic Battle As they crossed the finish line, each of the first four finishers of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials wept without restraint. For the first three—Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher—the tears were a product of a myriad of feelings: joy, fatigue, relief, and the exhilaration of knowing that they had made the U.S. Olympic team and would be competing in the Marathon in August in London. For the 4th finisher— Amy Hastings—the emotions were vastly different. No words were necessary. As the flag-draped Olympians embraced Hastings in a spontaneous gesture of support and respect, Hasting’s tear-streaked face evidenced her tortured reality. For her there would be no Olympic marathon. While the top three were whisked away for TV interviews and photo ops, Hastings was left to walk alone, to sob, and to gather her thoughts.

It all began at sunrise. On a perfect morning for road racing, 182 of America’s finest women distance runners launched on what had been billed as “the First Step to London.” After a dawdling opening mile of 6:11—which left the crowded field looking like Houston’s Interstate 610 during rush hour—the elite field began to sort out. By the 5th mile, a tidy pack of 9 runners – Flanagan, Davila, Deena Kastor, Adriana Nelson, Katie McGregor, Goucher, Janet Cherobon-Bawcon, Serena Berla, and Hastings—grouped at the front of the race. After gliding through the first 10K in 35:23, an impatient Davila decided it was time to inject some additional honesty into the race pace. Flanagan—who would later admit that she could tell “Desi was getting a little ‘twitchy”‘—knew the extended warm-up miles were over.


Davila took matters into her own hands. From that point on, the per mile pace began to drop—the 9th mile was covered in 5:22—and the war of attrition was on. By mile 12, the lead pack had discarded both Nelson and McGregor, and only seven warriors remained. Not long thereafter, Serla would also let go. After the 15th Mile was run in 5:31, only a quartet of Olympic hopefuls remained. It was a foursome that was at once beautiful, intense, and expected: Goucher—whose upright and statuesque stride belied her abbreviated preparation, Flanagan—whose steely focus exemplified her pre-race mantra of “cold execution,” Hastings—whose rhythmic bounce suggested she had plenty of run left in her; and Davila—sporting the seemingly effortless, but relentless leg speed she displayed on Patriots’ Day. The regular season was over—this was the Final Four.

• Spring 2012 •

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 29

ON COURSE IN HOUSTON 2012 US Olympic Trials • Women’s Marathon • Houston

The next miles found this group searching for chinks in the armor of the others. Hastings was the first to show the strain. At times, she would drift back. But suddenly she would claw her way back to the lead trio. Then, amazingly, she would make a bold move to open a small gap at the front—“Hey, I was feeling confident at that point.â€? She wasn’t the only one taking stock of the situation. Goucher, who later admitted that her pre-race crisis of confidence left her “a wreckâ€?— knew she couldn’t leave it until the end. “I kept pressing the pace because I had to break Amy. I knew that the pace was taking me beyond my fitness level. I was digging a little hole for myself. But I knew this is what I had to do.â€? And so Kara soldiered on—staying at or near the front of the pack to ensure there would be no pace relief. Goucher did not need to worry about pace droop. Flanagan, the Cold Executioner, would never allow that to happen. Controlling the race from the front, Flanagan pressed on, forged a gap from the lead trio and Hastings, and began her end-game drive to the finish. In the post race frenzy at the finish line, Flanagan offered this: “My primary goal here was to make the team ‌ But, I love to win. When I made my move, I wanted to make sure it was real and that I could sustain it through to the finish. I didn’t want a wobbly legged finish.â€? Her winning time of 2:25.38 provided her with a 17second margin over Davila who finished 11 seconds ahead

“Join me in pledging to be sun smart!�  ‡‡�ƒƒ•–‘” ‡‡�ƒƒ•–‘”

‡‰‹•–‡”‘™ ‡‰‹•–‡”‘™‘—–”—�–Š‡•—�Ǥ‘”‰ ‘—–”—�–Š‡•—�Ǥ‘”‰

• Spring 2012 •


AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 30

ON COURSE IN HOUSTON 2012 US Olympic Trials • Women’s Marathon • Houston

of Goucher. A disconsolate Amy Hastings, who unraveled in the final miles, crossed the line in 2:27.17—more than a minute behind Goucher. By the time the post race press conference was held an hour or so later, Hastings had regained her composure. With a brave front, she methodically fielded inquires from the media about her race. “It [my race] was pretty solid through 20. I ran out of fuel. It was an emotional last mile. It’s OK. I’m fine with the way I raced today.” The pervasive disappointment of finishing 4th will undoubtedly postpone serious consideration about Hastings’ plans for the U.S. Track & Field Championships in Oregon in late June. But her bona fide track credentials—she was a 5000 meter finalist in the 2011 World Championships—make her an authentic candidate to make the Olympic team in one of the two distance races. If, as is ultimately expected, Hastings does compete in Eugene, the runner her coach calls “little Deena” can expect to receive heartfelt support from the knowledgeable fans at Hayward Field.



AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 2:17 PM Page 31

AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:44 AM Page 32

AO-Spring2012 Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2012 AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/21/12 10:34 AM Page 1 AO-Spring2012_Layout 1 5/18/12 8:40 AM Page 2 ©...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you