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c o n t e n t s & P u b l i s h e r ’s N ot e



Starting Blocks


Track Construction



elcome to Spring 2010! We hope you enjoy this issue. John Godina is writing for you, to show you how to be a better throws coach. Greg McMillan is writing on how to improve your coaching distance runners. We also have pieces on training shoes, track spikes and ASBA guide to spring cleaning your track facility. American Track & Field is now in its sixteenth year (most of you have supported us since 1989, when we started American Athletics). You’ll see five print issues (always available digitally same day we mail the isssue at this year, plus daily updates on the web and new news on James Dunaway, our editor for the past six years, is now our executive editor. James, a very young and irrascible 82, will continue to advise us, and focus on building important stories, opinion pieces and one other role. I see James as our ombudsman, watching how the NCAA, USOC, IOC and USATF truly support our sport, especially coaches and their role working with athletes. At this time, the U.S. track team wins more Olympic and World Championships medals than any other team in U.S. sports history. We average 22–24 medals in major events. Even without any involvement or support from USATF, we’d get approximately 15–18 medals due to the amazing breadth of our development programs (high school, junior college and college). Another four to six medals come from a group of athletes coached by six or seven coaches in this country. That gets us to 22–24. How do we get to the 30 medals that USATF CEO Doug Logan For Team USA to go from 24-30 medals, USATF will have to focus much of its resources on that goal for London 2012. Young athletes have to learn that nothing comes easy — that being a worldclass athlete takes twelve to fifteen years of hard work, great coaching, a holistic approach (strength training, core training, endurance, speed development, periodization, competition) and the knowledge that the ONLY way to compete is clean and ethical in a style that honors yourself, your family, your coaches and your country. That way, you’ll never have to experience the lifelong shame of a drug cheater. We at AT&F hope that we will continue to resonate with your coaching team. If you have suggestions on how to make your magazine better, please email us at and

Larry Eder, Publisher


Finishing The Throw Without Falling Out

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ATF Talks with Greg McMillan

Group Publisher: Larry Eder,

In loving memory of Violet Robertson, 1913–2003

Group Editor: Christine Johnson, ph: 608-239-3785; fax: 920-563-7298

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Running Network 2010 Spring Review

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2010 Track Spike Review

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American Track & Field (ISSN 1098-64640) is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2010 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility 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. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. American Track & Field 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.

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Starting Blocks A

fter some 25 years of successfully providing expert instruction to more than 25,000 American high school, college and club coaches — the leadership level of USA Track and Field’s Coaching Education program appears to be in some disarray. Chairman Boo Schexnayder started a chain reaction in February by resigning to protest recent USATF changes in the Coaching Ed program. Other highly esteemed coaches followed Schexnayder quickly, including ex-Illinois coach Gary Winckler, a founder of the program in the mid1980s and developer of the sprint curriculum; Mike Corn, director of coaching schools; Mississippi State coach Al Schmidt, who developed the distance curriculum and once chaired the committee; Scott Christensen, endurance director; Jack Rasone, sports science director; and Mike Young, director of biomechanics. Most of their concerns apparently involve the advanced Level Two and Level Three schools rather than the basic Level One program. In that respect, it’s as if much of the academic level of a university department — the provost, the dean, and many of the leading professors and emeritus professors — had resigned in protest. They cited lack of commitment from USATF and its paid staff for the program, which was designed to educate U.S. coaches from grassroots to world-class levels. “It reached a point where I felt, Why am I beating my head against this wall?” said Schexnayder. “I’ve been in coaching education for 21 years in one shape or form.” Now USA Track and Field is faced with the task of quickly rebuilding its outstanding coaching education committee after the resignations of these key contributors. They were part of a group that educated a generation of young coaches such as Miami’s Amy Deem, who produced 100-meters world champ and Olympic medalist Lauryn Williams. At the center of the dispute is Terry Crawford, named last August to

the new USATF post of director of coaching. Schexnayder termed his relationship with Crawford as a “professional disagreement,” adding, “She may be caught in the middle between her desires to do more and budget constraints.” Another resignee agreed with the description “creeping bureaucratism,” as a probable major reason for the uprising. Doug Logan, CEO of USATF, who created the new position and hired Crawford to fill it, said that USATF is “very, very pleased” with Crawford’s work. Crawford, who told AT&F she indeed finds herself, “ kind of in the middle,” is not happy with the resignations, but is proceeding with possible (but as yet unannounced) changes in the Coaching Ed program. She said, “In any organization you always hate to see capable and knowledgeable people step away. Certainly that was my first reaction as I started to delve into it, myself being relatively new to Coaches Ed. But I also know from my 35 years of experience in USATF … that there have been others in our expert coaching ranks who have come and gone over the years. We’ve produced some great programs and had capable people step up to the plate to contribute. I anticipate that happening as we go forward. “There are numerous other coaches who would like the opportunity to teach and instruct in the schools. This will give us an opportunity to offer some young coaches who have been groomed through the program by Boo or other people. That’s a positive thing about it.” Crawford added that all 2010 coaching schools will be held as scheduled. More than half of the Level One schools have already been conducted, but so far only regular Level Two school is on the schedule for the year, along with another newly organized and just-announced Youth Level Two school, which “will have special emphasis on growth and development, health issues, training loads and theory for the youth age athlete.”

As for Level Three — which many coaches consider the Ph.D level of track and field coaching — the USATF website says only, “The USATF Level 3 program is currently undergoing a significant restructuring. Additional information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.” For Schexnayder, it was business as usual that led to his resignation. “USATF has never, in my opinion, been committed to this program,” he said. “They wanted to have it, but it’s always been under a self-sufficiency mandate, meaning we basically had to earn our income. We’re the only group in USATF that does that.” He added that Crawford told him last year that she wanted to support the program and increase the budget, but that it wound up being cut (despite the current USATF budget being several million dollars larger than the 2009 budget). She declined to give the amount of the 2010 Coaching Education budget because “it’s fluid. Some can be added; some can be cut.” According to Mike Corn, the 2006 allotment — the last he saw broken out of the overall USATF budget — was $230,000. Like Crawford, CEO Logan declined to provide a budget figure for coaching education “because it comes out of many pots.” He did say that the 2010 budget for Coaching Education exceeded that of 2009 by more than $100,000 as part of an overall budget of $21 million. Schexnayder thought the 2010 cuts jeopardized a couple of priorities, including the Level Two school for youth coaches (see above), where he had made compromises about when and where the course would be held, and Level Three, the crown jewel of the program. In addition, he was frustrated by lack of progress for a Level I course on-line. “We’ve been bashed for years and years: why don’t you have something online? Why don’t you have Level One online? “We want Level One online, but it takes upfront money to put the pro-

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gram on line. They would never make a commitment. Terry had me doing all this stuff to prepare to put Level One online … but there was no commitment from the organization of any dollars to put it online despite that it could have made a bajillion dollars for them.” Logan says he hopes Schexnayder, Corn and the others might return to coaching education: “Maybe I didn’t communicate in the best of ways regarding some of the changes.” He says getting coaching education online and a coaching certification program are priorities. Logan, the onetime commissioner of Major League Soccer, was asked if he envisions a certification program for track like the one established in soccer from youth through elite divisions. “I’ve looked at a variety of certification programs outside the sport” Logan said. “I think this is a unique sport where we need to take from the best and adapt to ourselves. There’s not one clear cookie cutter approach out there. “I think we’ve been faulty in the past (in not adopting certification). Some of it has to do with fear of assuming risks. We’ve always said in the past, ‘OK, we’ve educated them; it’s up to you to determine if they’re any good or not.’ “We can’t take a pass on that.

We’ve got to get out there, and after an education program and decent background check, put our seal of approval on them or not. I think at the end of the day the sport will be better for it.” Now Logan, Crawford and USATF must rebuild the program that was started by immortals Joe Vigil, Al Baeta, Vern Gambetta and Winckler in 1984. The idea is to harness the potential of the country in the sport and increase the number of top athletes by exposing prospects to excellent instructors. According to USATF veterans, in the early years of the Coaching Ed program, TAC (and then USATF) staff were involved chiefly in administration: taking care of scheduling, handling fees and disbursing expenses and similar housekeeping functions. Gradually, Coaching Ed came under increasing control by USATF, and the current controversy may well be an expression of Logan’s often-stated view that all USATF activities should be “staff-driven,” which in itself could be considered a cookie-cutter approach. “Coaching education is still my passion,” Schexnayder said, “but I don’t necessarily need (USATF) to help people. I always enjoyed being in coaching education because the people in it were primarily teachers. “The people came in and enjoyed

Another Reason to Celebrate Lagat Bernard Lagat began his 2010 season by winning his record eighth Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games and the next weekend setting the U.S. 5000 indoor record at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. It’s hard to believe he’s 35. Born in Kenya, and a U.S. citizen since 2004, you get the feeling that the man with Olympic silver and bronze medals in the 1500, as well as five medals at the World Outdoor Championships, including gold in ’07 at 1500 and 5000, is not done with major achievements. He’s been around long enough to serve as an inspiration to younger American runners and get inspiration from them. Dathan Ritzenhein’s U.S. 5000 record set last summer is serving as motivation to Lagat. Gradually, Lagat is shifting from the miler to the 5000 runner, logging many of his longer runs with Abdi Abdirahman, a three-time U.S. Olympian at 10,000. “I’m doing a lot of long tempo runs,” said Lagat, who has been coached by James Li since his days at Washington State. “I run with Abdi all the time now. He likes to take it hard 10 miles, 13, even 14.

teaching and helping. They weren’t political figures. Maybe that was our downfall — that we weren’t political enough to defend our turf. Suffice it to say the pressure from the (USATF) politicians kept coming down on us. It was keeping us from achieving what I thought were important initiatives.” Mike Corn noted there were coaching programs before this group was assembled and schooling will go on now that they’ve resigned. The real question is: How good will the programs be without the great coaches who created and led them for 25 years? Says Corn, “For the coaches out there continuing to look for educational opportunities, I hope (USATF) eventually gets it to the point where we had gotten it and continue to deliver a good product,” Corn said. “I think they’re going to be struggling in the short term at least. It depends on who’s willing to do it and who they ask to do it.” Responds Terry Crawford, “The program will go forward, and a bulk of distinguished and capable coaches will be a part of the programs this summer. So to paint a doomsday picture… would do a huge disservice the coaches choosing to be on board this year and the coming years, and would be sending misinformation to the public who are signing up for the Level Two school as we speak.”

“My coach now is preparing me for summer so that I can do the 5K. I feel like my body is responding to the distance.” But, he adds, “I don’t want to lose the speed. I think everything is going to plan.” To help him with speed work, Lagat has Boaz Lalong, a new member of his training group. “I will benefit because he’s an 800m runner,” Lagat said. “And I’ll be benefitting from Abdi, and they’ll benefit from training with me. It’s perfect training.” With no OUTDOOR Worlds (there was an Indoor Worlds, March 12-14, Doha, Qatar) or Olympics until 2012, it’s a year to experiment. Lagat’s goal in the 5000 is 12:50, significantly faster than his PR of 12:59.22 and Ritzenhein’s U.S. mark of 12:56.27. His 13:11.50 in Boston, which broke Galen Rupp’s year-old U.S. mark by about seven seconds, came in his first indoor 5000. It looked easy enough that 12:50 this summer seems realistic. Lagat has the complete package — impressive range, closing speed for a charismatic style and a friendly, gracious personality. Yet he remains underappreciated.

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A Great Read

Facing the Music

An Honorable Run, a first book by ex-Colorado cross country walk-on Matt McCue, ought to be required reading for all serious high school distance runners and coaches. McCue was a good but not great high school runner at Iowa City’s Regina High School who developed a fascination with becoming a member of the Colorado cross country team after reading Chris Lear’s Running with the Buffaloes. The book chronicles McCue’s efforts to make the team as a walk-on and become one of the top seven runners on an NCAA title team. In doing so he describes the personalities and influences of Colorado coach Mark Wetmore and Regina coach Bob Brown, the hero of the work. Both coaches are highly successful using different approaches. Wetmore is all about results; Brown is more concerned with the process. The book turns into a paean to Brown, with whom McCue occasionally clashed in high school. The runner found the coach, who had won several state titles, to not be as serious as McCue wanted at times. The coach was big on inclusion and team hugs; McCue was so cutthroat he once threw the team’s silver medals from a district meet into a farmer’s field. The book is written in journal form but reads more like a novel. The successes and disappointments of McCue’s quest at Colorado and Brown’s battle with pancreatic cancer are better than fiction. McCue, an ’05 Colorado graduate, is applying the same approach to his writing career as he did with cross country. McCue showed up in New York City with not much more than ambition, running shoes, a few clothes plus the lessons and values he learned from Brown and Wetmore. An Honorable Run is self-published and available through McCue’s website,

The Florida State track team took a stiff penalty from an academic cheating scandal that included 61 athletes from 10 sports and also led to football coach Bobby Bowden forfeiting 12 wins. Some Seminole track team athletes involved in the incident, which centered around cheating on an online exam for an online course, Music Cultures of the World. The team lost the 2007 NCAA men’s outdoor title, with LSU becoming the champion as FSU moves to second place, minus the points scored by the offending athlete. “It’s just a bad thing all around, but it's a lesson to be learned,” Braman told the St. Petersburg Times. “Whatever you do, it could have consequences.” No coaches were involved in the scandal according to investigations by the school and the NCAA. “Obviously we’re disappointed with the NCAA’s vacation of wins and how it affects our track and field program,” Braman said in a statement released by the school. “None of our athletes involved in the academic misconduct case needed the course in order to be NCAA eligible, so it’s unfortunate that certain student-athletes made wrong choices when they clearly didn’t have to. “Our men’s track and field program is learning a very painful lesson. “We understand and accept the NCAA’s penalty, but want to point out that without any gained eligibility we gained no unfair advantage over our opponents. We would have won that title with or without that online course. “ The irony is the FSU track team has had academic accomplishments. Garrett Johnson, the 2006 NCAA shot put champion, was a Rhodes Scholar. According to Braman, the Seminoles had more Academic All-Americans than any other track team in the country the past five years.

Bell Lap • The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association deserves a compliment for establishing the Bill Bowerman Award to be given annually to the top male and female runners in the country. The recipients of the 2009 award, named for the former Oregon coach and co-founder of Nike, were Oregon’s Galen Rupp and Colorado’s Jenny Barringer. The USTFCCCA wants the award to become the Heisman Trophy of track and cross country. Let’s hope that happens. • The U.S. relay problems are increasing and not just because 4x100 teams have trouble passing the stick. The women’s 4x400 team from Athens could lose a gold medal in the wake of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspending Crystal Cox, who ran the qualifying round of the 2004 Games, for four years based on non-analytical positive and invalidated all results beginning in 2001. Cox did not test positive for an illegal drug but was penalized because of her involvement with BALCO, the San Francisco–area lab that provided performance-enhancing drugs to several athletes in a variety of sports beginning around 2000. Cox issued a statement denying the use of drugs, saying she was forced to sign the agreement with USADA because she lacked the funds to fight the charges.

• Does anyone think that Dathan Ritzenhein’s U.S. 5000 mark from last summer (12:56.27) will last another summer? The real question seems to be who may break it. It could be Bernard Lagat (see page 7), now focusing on the 5000 rather than the 1500; Galen Rupp, who lost his U.S. indoor record to Lagat but also ran faster than he did in setting it last year despite being ill prior to the Boston Indoor Games; Matt Tegenkamp, who joined Ritz in the sub-13 club last year; or Ritzenhein himself, winner of the 2010 U.S. cross country title in February, who is making a fall marathon a priority and would like to go sub-27 in the 10,000 on the track this year. • After ending her collegiate career, Jennifer Barringer chose Ray Flynn to be her agent, signed with shoe sponsor New Balance and switched coaches from Mark Wetmore at Colorado to Juli (Henner) Benson, the cross country coach at the Air Force Academy. According to Barringer, Wetmore would be too involved with the Buff men and women to give her the necessary attention. Benson, a former Olympian at 1500 meters, has coached other world-class runners, including miler Chris Lukezic, who recently announced his retirement.

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track construction

Spring Cleaning, Trackwise


he birds are chirping, the new grass is sprouting, and the last of the snow has melted away. Is your track ready to come out of hibernation? It’s probably time for some spring maintenance. And here are five things you can easily do, ideas suggested by experienced track builders.

1. Use your eyes Take a hard look at your facility. Look for problem areas on the track, such as cracks in the asphalt or irregularities in the surface including bubbles, surface wear, peeling and flaking. Some may be a sign of normal wear and tear, but others may signify more serious problems. Ask a track builder to examine the problem and make recommendations. If winter winds have left debris on your track — leaves, pine needles, dirt or seeds, etc., which may be causing or covering up damage to the surface — use a leaf blower.

Carefully inspect all striping and marking, recommends track builder Jon Renner of Line Design, Inc., Littleton, Colorado. With use and exposure to the elements, marks tend to wear and fade. Problem is, he notes, sometimes owners take too long to contact a professional. And with a limited number of qualified track stripers, and a lot of tracks, there’s a very strong chance that the track in question won’t get done right away. “Think ahead,” says Renner. “If you are looking at your running track two weeks prior to the start of track season, and thinking ‘Wow, I should probably get this thing re-striped,’ remember that there might be another 3,000 track coaches or maintenance supervisors around the country thinking the same thing at that exact same moment.” (Many managers, he notes, have learned to get striping and marking work done in fall or in summer, which are off-peak work times for stripers.) Under no circumstances

should the job be attempted by anyone other than a striping professional, since a botched job often results in the need to have the entire track resurfaced and restriped. Look for stains on the surface as well. Spot-clean them using the mildest treatment first: plain water. If that doesn’t work, try a gentle cold water detergent and a soft brush, rinsing well. If the stain is stubborn, ask the track contractor for advice.

2. Use your feet Walk the facility. Do you feel any depressions, bumps, soft areas, etc.? If so, call them to your track contractor’s attention. Walking the field, check for problems in the artificial turf such as seams coming loose, high spots or other issues. Remember that taking action now may prevent an athlete from tripping and getting injured. It may also save you from having to do more complex (and costly) repairs down the road.

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track construction

If you come across persistently wet or spongy spots in the facility, your drainage system may need fixing. Check the drains and clear drainage structures and pipes. If something isn’t functioning correctly, it may be because of damage to structures or pipes, or because something is blocked or knocked out of alignment. Inspect the entire facility for evidence of erosion or vegetation overgrowth that might contribute to such problems. Remember that even the best and most expensive drainage systems won’t work if they’re not kept clean. “The drains (if any) in pole vault pans, long-jump trays and steeplechase pits should all be checked; they should be free of debris and working,” says Sam Fisher of Fisher Tracks, Boone, Iowa. “Otherwise all of these should be cleaned out and, in some cases, a bleach product even used depending upon growth, if any, and as a deterrent to creating a mosquito haven. Any surface drains also should be checked for blockage.” Spring also means that sprinklers will be turned on: occasionally track problems may occur because of overwatering of athletic fields, or because of poorly aimed sprinklers. If matting, boards or other coverings are put down across your track to give maintenance crews access to the field, or to keep athletes from running over the track while wearing cleated shoes, it is essential that these coverings are not allowed to remain on the track. Sam Fisher notes that coverings often will be left in place, allowing moisture to collect underneath and damaging the track surface. If any type of covering must be used, keep it on the track for no longer than necessary, then remove and store it as soon as it is no longer needed. (Conversely, sand pits always should be kept covered when not in use to keep sand in place and off the track and field).

3. Use a notebook Keep a log of what you’ve checked and problems you’ve discovered. If, for example, you’ve discovered cracking, make a note of where the crack is, how

big it is, and when you discovered it. If a crack is growing wider or longer, or showing other problems, you’ll want to make a note of that, as well. Carry a digital camera and take photos of problem areas, so that you can keep a visual log, as well. Your track contractor will find this information helpful when considering what repairs are necessary. Create a checklist to help you keep track of changes to the track surface, curbing, drainage, field, fencing, gates, walkways, lighting and more. Some items may need only periodic checking, but others should be looked at almost every day.

4. Use a calendar Not all maintenance takes place in the spring. It’s a year-round process, according to Sam Fisher: “If open and visible cracks are not addressed in the fall, depending upon the geographic location of the track, heaving can occur as a result. “Not only are cracks in the asphalt an issue but so are the joints that occur between the asphalt or concrete and jump boards, curbs, sidewalks, fence posts, etc. They can all be areas where water collects and causes heaving or settling through the winter and early spring months. “Spring is often not the best time to address cracks,” notes Fisher. “If any are found in the spring, they should be noted and, depending upon the severity and type of crack, the appropriate measures taken in the summer or early fall to prevent additional moisture from collecting below and, more importantly, to prevent that moisture from freezing and thawing through the late fall, winter, and spring months.” And keep an eye out, he adds, for weeds growing in the facility; they’re far from harmless. “ If any vegetation has taken root in the summer and fall and not been addressed at such time, these sources of growth are a conduit for moisture. The root structure may be between the rubber and the asphalt, into the asphalt or down into voids and cracks to the sub-base below. Any

such vegetation should be treated with a systemic herbicide product, and then after it is dead, it can be pulled. If it is pulled prior, the job of the herbicide is mitigated.”

5. Use common sense In addition to seeing increased use from your athletes, your track is going to get more foot traffic from new users. Spring is when students and community members start getting the urge to get outside and get in shape. Consequently, you may have plenty of people who don’t know the rules. If you’ve been waiting to put up signs about appropriate footwear, about which lanes walkers and joggers should use, about the fact that dogs are not allowed on the track or field, and about whether other vehicles, like strollers or scooters or bikes, are allowed (most track builders caution against allowing such traffic onto the track as it degrades the surface), don’t wait any longer. Do it right now. There’s a definite science to spring cleaning and track maintenance, but happily, it’s not rocket science, and it’s easy enough to do. It’s even easier with a good network that includes your local track builder, as well as fellow ADs and track coaches. The more input you get on common problems, the better off you’ll be, and the more your athletes and community will benefit from using your facility.

Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality sports facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including running tracks. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or

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Finishing the Throw Without Falling Out


lmost every beginning thrower, whether shot put or discus, has had a problem falling away to the left of the ring as he or she releases the implement to the right side of the sector. (I will be talking about right-handed rotational throwers for the purpose of this article. Please reverse for left handed throwers.) As a coach, it can be frustrating trying to solve the problem. It seems no matter what you tell a thrower to do at the front of the ring to correct the problem, nothing will work. The trouble is, falling off to the left of the ring as the thrower releases to the right is not the problem. It is the symptom. If we move back in time in the throw to the moment when the right foot lands in the middle of the circle, we can predict whether the falling off problem will occur, and thus we can correct the problem before it materializes. Let’s assume the thrower has pushed off from the back of the ring to the middle of the ring on balance. The athlete should be landing on the right leg with the head and chest

upright and over the right foot as viewed from the rear of the circle. Almost every athlete who has the falling-off problem has pushed the head and chest around and down toward the ground as the right foot and body descended in the middle of the throw — which forces the center of gravity to the left side of the ring while the foot remains in the center. Obviously, retaining balance in this position while trying to rotate another 270 degrees is virtually impossible. The result is that the athlete spends the rest of the throw trying not to fall over. The athlete will pull the left side of the body around hard — and much too early — to save himself or herself from falling. This in turn creates a stretch reflex on the chest that causes the early release to the right side of the sector while the body still is falling to the left. Not only does the athlete create two separate, diverging force vectors, but the athlete also is forced to throw before the legs – the primary power generators — have time to finish their job.

How to fix it To correct this problem, the World Throws Center uses the “Fall to a Half-Turn” drill to teach the athlete to keep the knee and chest up on landing in the middle of the ring. The start position of this drill has the athlete stand on a straight left leg with the right leg raised and bent to 90 degrees. The knee should be at hip height (Photo 1). At this point the athlete simply falls forward while

keeping the right knee raised and waiting for the ground to come to the athlete rather than reaching for the ground with the right foot (Photo 2). The lower the hips can be on landing the better. During the descent, the athlete will have a tendency to tip the entire body forward and land with the chest and head down. Instead, teach the athlete to stay tall with the upper body (Photo 3) — keeping the shoulders on top of the hips rather than letting them fall in front of the hips, and using the left gluteus muscle to push the hips forward and keep them from falling behind the shoulders as the angle between the athlete’s left leg and the ground decreases through the fall. At the same time, do not let the athlete rotate at all before landing. The right toe, chest and head should all be facing forward upon landing. This portion of the drill will take a few tries to get figured out, but should easily be mastered in a session. The next portion is usually where the trouble begins. Once the athlete is comfortable with the fall to a good upright position on foot contact, have him or her continue rotating into a half-turn to a power position while staying over the right foot. The tendency to drop the chest to the ground during this 180-degree rotation will prove almost irresistible to your athletes. Understand that they are throwing their upper body down and around to help their legs rotate, so at first they will have a hard time trusting that they can rotate without it. They will also have trouble figuring out how to rotate without it. The athlete should keep the hips, head and

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chest over the right foot the entire time (Photo 4). Their rotational force will come from the forward momentum of the fall and from shortening the radius of rotation by squeezing the left knee to the right knee during the 180-degree half turn portion of the drill (Photo 5). I cannot emphasize enough that this drill should not be done for speed. It is only for position. Creating speed in this drill is impossible without losing the positions we are looking for that will lead to a proper power position (Photo 6). Once the athlete has mastered this drill in a tall and relaxed upper

body position, it’s time to try to carry it into the full throw. Again, throwers will trend back to throwing the chest and head down and around in midair as they drive across the ring. If they do, simply bring them back to the drill to feel the proper position on the descent. Learn to move the athlete forward and back from throw to drill and back again to help fully integrate the discipline and positions you are looking for. With proper positioning and balance in the middle of the throw, falling away at the finish will cease to be a problem. Work this drill early and

often in an athlete’s learning process. The earlier you start your throwers with this exercise, the better: After all, an athlete who knows only the right way will never throw the wrong way! John Godina is a three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist in the shot put and the best shot putdiscus combination thrower in history. He founded and operates the John Godina World Throws Center at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, Arizona., (480) 449-9000.

ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/23/10 11:26 PM Page 14

American Track & Field Talks With ...

Greg McMillan CA: What type of training should a 14- to 17-year-old U.S. distance runner be doing? McMillan: For most of the year, the focus should be on the "edges" of the pace ranges—easy running for building endurance, and leg speed/technique sessions to build proper technique and the ability to run fast. I advise younger runners to save race-specific training (800, 1600, 3200 and 5K pace/efforts) for only the last few weeks before their peak races (XC Championships or Outdoor Track Championships). I've had great success with this model as it avoids peaking too soon (a big problem in high school runners) and sets them up to be able to progress from year to year while in high school and to be ready for the transition to collegiate running.

CA: What type of mileage? McMillan: A general rule would be for freshmen to run 25–35 miles per week, sophomores 35–45; juniors 45–60 and seniors 55–75 (women runners may run slightly less depending on their durability). The coach will quickly see which runners are the better athletes and can advance this schedule for those that are the most gifted and injury-free. This mileage progression assumes that the athlete is starting from scratch and has never run before. The key for me is consistency. The runner should train at a level that will allow him/her to train consistently. If done correctly, the runner will arrive as a senior with three years of solid aerobic development, as well as leg speed/form development and racing experience.

CA: What role does core training play for a young athlete? McMillan: Injury is runner enemy #1. A strong core can lead to greater injury resistance and is something that is very safe to do. Doing a few simple exercises is all it takes. If I could go back to high school, I would focus a lot on my core and hip development.

CA: How can young and adult road runners use miCoach to help their training? McMillan: Most runners do too much too soon. Most under-recover after hard workouts and overtrain during important workouts. miCoach provides the voice of reason and ensures that, if you listen, you will stay injury-free and progress. You'll avoid the pitfalls that usually lead to injury, burn-out or poor performances. Most importantly, it helps you learn your body, and once you know your body better, you can continue to advance your fitness for years on end.

CA: How did you change Brett Gotcher’s training after Stanford? McMillan: As with all the athletes I coach, it was all about gradual, yet progressive, adaptation in all aspects of fitness. With mileage for instance, he was running 75–85 miles per week when he finished college. In his first year, we built him up slowly until he could run 95–100 miles per week. Then, the second year, we built his base mileage up to 100–110 and this last training cycle, he was able to run 120–130 miles per week consistently with a peak mileage of 140 in his marathon training cycle. So, it took us two and a half years to get him to the level necessary for the goals he had (e.g., racing a fast half marathon and marathon). Everyone can apply this type of gradual progression.

CA: How does tempo work fit in for Brett? McMillan: I love to think of tempo runs and Brett. Not just because he's really good at them, but because it was the topic of tempo runs that showed me we were going to have a successful coach–athlete relationship. We were preparing for his first post-collePhoto: Victah, www.photorun.NET

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giate track season, and the training was going well, but Brett felt he needed a few more tempo runs. The way he felt comfortable enough to come to me and let me know about it even though we hadn't even been working together for a year yet showed me that this was going to be a fruitful relationship. For tempo runs themselves, I don't advise as many as other coaches do. I find them to work very, very well at bringing an athlete to peak condition so I save them for later in the training cycle. I see a lot of runners get too fit too quickly using weekly tempo runs, and then they plateau. Brett likes tempo runs, and I provide a few more for him than for other runners who aren't as adept at them, but I still save them for later in his season.

CA: How did you mentally prepare him?

CA: What was his training like in the last 10 weeks?

CA: How fast can he go?

McMillan: We focused on three things: weekly running volume, marathon-specific workouts, and variety to keep him excited. For volume, we went from 110–120 miles per week that he was running in the fall and bumped it up to 120–140 miles per week for 5 weeks. We actually wanted to do more, but he had an iliopsoas problem as we started the marathon program, so we didn't get the eight weeks of high mileage in like I had hoped. Luckily, he had two years of good mileage under his belt so it worked out okay. For marathon-specific training, we did tempo runs (4–7 miles; two of these), steady-state runs (marathon effort runs of 812 miles; four of these), long, easy runs (including one 24miler, one 26-miler and one 28-miler) and long, tempo runs (two 15-milers and one 18-miler, starting at 30 seconds per mile slower than marathon race pace and finishing the last 5 miles at or below marathon race pace). For variety, we also performed a few shorter workouts, like the 200m 20–24 times, the 400m 12–16 times, as well as fartlek runs of 15–20 x 1 minute on and 1 minute off and an occasional hill workout.

Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET

McMillan: I wanted him to think about two things: First, I wanted him to have a healthy respect for the marathon distance. I wanted him to know that it would be a very, very tough race and that he must put in the training to get his mind and body ready. I inserted several training sessions to try to really fatigue him so he would get a taste of what the marathon would be like. Second, I wanted him to know he was, in fact, well prepared and, using the data from the training, he was ready to run a good one—and it was clear he was ready for a fast one. He was on board with both and his confidence grew as the race drew near. Then I simply tried to keep him calm in the last two weeks when all marathoners begin the "marathon freak out."

McMillan: I don't know. I believe he can run near 1:00:00 for the half marathon in the next two years, and that should allow him to run 2:05–2:07 in the marathon. Obviously, there are many things that must go right for those times to be run, but we never put limits on what we can do. The sport of marathoning today requires that you run 2:05–2:06 to be a player on the world scene, so we must shoot for that. Some athletes may be faster than this in the marathon but all elite U.S. marathoners must set their sights on this range. Step one is doing the work to build the body and mind to be able to do it, and step two is believing in yourself that you can do it.

CA: What did you learn from coaching him? McMillan: Our system of training works. Our group environment works. And if I can get the athlete to truly believe in himself, he can accomplish more than he thought he could.

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Track & Field Spikes


pring is in the air, so track & field competition can’t be far away. Since we want you to be as knowledgeable as possible, we’ve highlighted a variety of shoes for this season with reviews. As we did last year, we describe what we think are the best offerings from each shoe company, followed by the “nuts and bolts” on the rest of the shoes we previewed from each company’s line. What follows is a sampling of what we’ve seen, though more choices are available— especially in the event-specific/field event shoes. However, it will be tough to find a dealer that carries the full line of offerings from any company.

ASICS Japan Lite-ning 3


The third round of the Japan Litening continues to refine the shoe. The ultra lightweight upper has been further pared back with a perforated synthetic leather that hugs and supports the foot without overstretching, while still allowing the foot to flex. The balance of flexion and stiffness in the Pebax spike plate, unchanged from last year, makes the Japan Litening a great option for finesse sprinters, but it also does a great job for power sprinters with less mass, depending on foot size. UPDATED Sizes: unisex 6–12,13 Weight: 6.2 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: perforated synthetic leather Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: full-length Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 100–400 meters on synthetic surfaces

Mizuno Osaka 5


The Osaka 5 takes the best of round 4 and nudges improvement forward. The familiar and effective molded EVA midsole and Elite distance plate are unchanged, providing the responsive ride and great grip associated with the shoe. The upper features repositioned overlays that are also reduced in number to lighten the shoe a bit more (almost half an ounce) without much visible change. The color, however, has made a broad swing of the pendulum (after all, you can’t keep them the same from one season to the next!). Overall the performance will be a bit better, hopefully a PR’s worth. UPDATED Sizes: unisex 5–13 Weight: 6.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 5, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: full-length Elite level distance spike plate Recommended for: 800–10,000 meters on synthetic surfaces

Brooks Wire


The Wire is a new distance spike for Brooks—its most impressive track offering yet—and its goal is to get you from wire to wire, in the lead. The shoe is more minimalist and matches the shape of the foot better, much like Brooks’ road racing shoes. The upper is a pretty standard mesh and synthetic leather combination, but the midsole and spikeplate are a real upgrade for Brooks. The midsole is full-length BioMoGo, but now offers the ride of their road racers, including their lightness. The Pebax spike plate gives a good measure of springy responsiveness and traction for the speediest of middle and long distance runners. NEW Sizes: unisex 5–13,14,15 Weight: 5.5 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 5, replaceableUpper: air mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length BioMoGo Outersole: Pebax RNew Distance Plate, Shark Skin (heel) Recommended for: 800–10,000 meters on synthetic surfaces

New Balance SD607


After a number of successful track seasons, the SD607 is now the refined option that will please sprinters looking for a lighter, more finesse style of sprint spike. Lighter by almost an ounce than the 606, and aimed at high school athletes with the familiar solid lever (read: less flexible) for intense sprinting. The upper is seamless synthetic leather with a full-length sprint plate paired with a midsole layer of EVA for performance with a soft touch. Whether you’re running the really short indoor 60 meters or the 400 outdoors, the SD607 can handle sprinting and, almost as important, it looks good doing it. UPDATED Sizes: men’s 4–13,14; women’s 5.5–10,11 Weight: 6.6 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: synthetic, Phantom Liner Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: full-length thermoplastic spike plate Recommended for: 55–400 meters and long jump on synthetic surfaces

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Nike Zoom Rotational IV


The Rotational has been among the most popular throwing shoes industry-wide, and version IV may strengthen that reputation. It features one of the fastest rubber compounds on the market in any competition shoe (because more controlled speed equals farther throws). The previous version had a single support strap over the midfoot, which was well received and effective. The IV maintains the effective design and performance of the outersole/midsole, but now features an additional strap which improves the support and fit. Spin enthusiasts will be pleased with the continued performance. Surprisingly, the shoe works almost as well for shot putters who favor the glide technique. UPDATED Sizes: unisex 3–13,14,15,16 Weight: 14.2 oz. (men’s 11) Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays, dual support straps Innersole: CM-EVA Midsole: full-length CM-Phylon Outersole: full-length synthetic rubber Recommended for: rotational throws (shot, discus, hammer) on all surfaces

Puma Complete TFX Theseus 3 Pro $125 The Berlin World Championships highlighted the Theseus since it was worn by a sprinter you may have heard of: Usain Bolt. The 3 Pro continues with the proven thermoplastic spike plate, which still has good support and responsiveness (despite dating back to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games). One of the most important improvements in the 3 Pro is its improved fit courtesy of a new asymmetrical lacing system, which works with the new upper materials for better support and security in a snug, foothugging way. UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–12,13,14 Weight: 6.5 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length EVA Outersole: solid rubber, TPU spike plate Recommended for: 100–400 meters on synthetic surfaces

Saucony Endorphin MD2


The Endorphin MD2 continues to be the most versatile of the Saucony track & field shoes. The long tradition of Hyde/Spot Bilt, which was the most prolific track brand in the U.S. 50–60 years ago, informs the current Saucony line: make the best spikes and make them accessible. Aside from the usual minor adjustments, the spike plate and midsole are little changed from last season, providing consistent performance. The weight savings here comes from the new use of HF-welded overlays in the upper to lighten an already lightweight shoe, as well as improving support. That weight savings can mean a savings of fractions of a second per lap, and who isn’t in favor of that? UPDATED Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 6.0 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: breathable mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: TPU Flexion spike plate Recommended for: 800–1500 meters on synthetic surfaces

The rest of the shoes we previewed adidas adiZero Avanti $110 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–12,13,14,15 Weight: 5.7 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: TPU heel, Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 800–10,000 meters on synthetic surfaces

adidas Demolisher $115 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–13,14,15 Weight: 9.9 oz. (w/spikes, size 11) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length EVA Outersole: Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 50–400 meters on synthetic surfaces

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THE REST OF THE SHOES WE PREVIEWED continued ASICS Turbo Ghost 3 $80 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 5–13,14 Weight: 7.0 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: open mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA SoLyte Outersole: full–length Pebax spike plate with SharkDuo molding in heel Recommended for: 800–10,000 meters on synthetic surfaces ASICS Turbo Phantom 3 $85 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 5–12,13 Weight: 7.0 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays, synthetic leahter, asymmetrical construction Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CMEVA Outersole: full-length Pebax spike plate with SharkDuo molding in heel Recommended for: 200–800 meters and hurdles, on synthetic surfaces Nike Zoom Rival D 4 $60 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 1–13,14,15 Weight: 6.2 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: one-piece mesh, no-sew TPU film overlays, vented tongue Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: thin EVA wedge, full-length CM-EVA Outersole: 3/4–length solid rubber, Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 800–10,000 meters on all track surfaces Nike Zoom Celar 3 $80 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–13,14,15 Weight: 5.7 oz. (w/spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 5, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic one-piece outer shell with medial zipper Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length contoured Phylon Outersole: Pebax spike plate, injection-molded Sharkskin heel Recommended for: 100–400 meters on synthetic surfaces Nike Zoom Javelin Elite $150 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 6–13,14,15 Weight: 14.5 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 11, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather, synthetic overlays, breathable mesh, zipper closure, and adjustable, angled strap at ankle Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Phylon Outersole: full-length injected Pebax spike plate Recommended for: javelin on synthetic surfaces

Nike Zoom TJ $120 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 6–13,14,15 Weight: 9.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: breathable mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Phylon Outersole: 3/4–length injected TPU Sharkskin heel, Pebax spike plate Recommended for: triple jump on synthetic surfaces Nike Zoom W2 $75 UPDATED Sizes: women 5–11,12 Weight: 4.1 oz. (w/spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 4, replaceable Upper: breathable mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Phylon Outersole: 3/4–length injected TPU Sharkskin heel, Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 800–5000 meters on synthetic surfaces Puma Complete TFX Miler 2 $60 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–12,13,14 Weight: 6.6 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: solid rubber, TPU spike plate Recommended for: 800–3200 meters on all track surfaces Puma Complete TFX Sprint 2 $60 UPDATED Sizes: unisex 4–12,13,14 Weight: 6.4 oz. (w/spikes, men’s size 11) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length EVA Outersole: solid rubber, TPU spike plate Recommended for: 100–400 meters on all track surfaces Saucony Endorphin LD2 $80 UPDATED Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 5.2 oz. (men’s 11) Spikes: 4, replaceable Upper: breathable mesh, HFwelded overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: TPU Flexion spike plate Recommended for: 1500–10,000 meters and steeplechase on synthetic surfaces 

CREGG WEINMANN is footwear and running products reviewer for Running Network LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at Copyright © 2010 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.

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SHOE REVIEWS: Motion Stabilizing—19 | Neutral—20 | Performance—21 ach new season brings with it the anticipation of improved design and new materials. The shoes that endured our weartesting process represent the best shoes for a variety of feet and runners. The influence of “Natural Motion” and a reexamination Eof design and available materials can be seen in the changes that have been made in a number of the shoes. Many shoes in all categories have been lightened up and have lower profiles, though there are still a number of heavyweight shoes with heavyduty motion stabilizing technologies, or multiple layers of plush cushioning. Such changes have further established some best practices that improve overall comfort. All brands have their own lasts and formulations of basic materials that allow them to address the majority of runners’ requirements for fit and feel. The number of offerings in the Neutral and Performance shoe categories continues to grow, while those in the Motion Stabilizing category, though smaller in number, are becoming more precisely tuned to give better support and a more efficient transition from heel to toe-off. While there are some new patents in both design and use of materials, a number of innovations have spread throughout the industry so rapidly that they have already become best practices, and the consumer is the ultimate beneficiary. Shoe companies use slightly different lasts (the foot-shaped forms on which shoes are made) and proprietary midsole formulas, and those result in a wide range of offerings on the market and improved chances that runners can find a shoe to match their fitness and biomechanics. It may take a bit of time to check out all the options, but you’ll know the right shoe for you when you try it. We offer this Review as a starting point.

Welcome to the Running Network’s 2010 Spring Shoe Review! arefoot running has been a hot topic of late: Should you run in shoes or do they hinder your natural movement? This discussion surfaces every decade or so, and in my 30+ years in the sport, I’ve developed my own take on this, which was corroborated by Cregg Weinmann at last year’s Running Network meetings. All things being equal, a runner should run in the least amount of shoe they can, depending on their biomechanical needs. It’s true that some people can run barefoot or in minimalist shoes on long runs, etc., but others risk injury that way. I suggest what my college coach, Dan Durante, had me do: Take a varied approach. I ran on grass, dirt trails, roads and tracks. I ran on beaches barefoot or grass tracks once in a while. I ran in light shoes during fast sessions and had my favorite (heavier) training shoes for long runs and easy days. I also noted that the better shape I got in, the lighter the shoes I could successfully train in. Just remember that this is a personal decision about what works for you in your own set of circumstances. Find the right shoe or shoes for you, and add some variety to your training surfaces— you’ll have healthier feet for it! As always, thanks to Cregg Weinmann, our RN footwear reviewer, Kristen Cerer, our designer, Marg Sumner, our proofreader, and Christine Johnson, our RN project manager. We ask you to use the Running Network’s Shoe Review as the starting point in your journey to find your perfect running shoe. Go to your local running store (we track 683 of them at’s Store Locator) to finish the journey!


Running Network LLC Partners

ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/29/10 9:28 AM Page 20

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 Michigan Runner Missouri Runner & Triathlete

Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC




RIN G 2010

BEST SHOE Performance SP

Scott Makani II Best Shoe—Performance

RIN G 2010

BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing


K-Swiss Keahou II Saucony ProGrid Triumph 7 Best Shoe—Neutral

Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 13 Best Shoe—Motion Stabilizing

RIN G 2010



adidas adiStar Solution Best New Shoe

Brooks Glycerin 8 Best Renovation

Running Journal & Racing South 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, 920.563.5551, ext. 112, Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2010 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 © 2010 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.

20 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review

RunMinnesota RunOhio Track & Field News USATF’s Fast Forward USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone The Winged Foot The Winged M Youth Runner

ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/29/10 9:29 AM Page 21



The best-selling technical running shoe enters the back half of its second decade with a plan: Be consistent. The design stays as near as possible to previous versions, only tinkering with improvements to materials, especially those at the top of ASICS’ impressive line. The similarity with the 2140 extends from the upper, with minor adjustments in the overlays and a lowered ankle collar for better fit, to the midsole, through to the shank and outersole. The great cushioning and stable ride are well dialed-in, providing long-time users what they expect: a well-protected, securely delivered run. Runners with stability needs should seek out the GT-2150 and give it a test run. “Snug, comfy and feels good. Cushioning is great; my feet are fine even after a 12-mile run. They seem a little lighter than their predecessor: keep what works and fix the little things.” Updates the GT-2140 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–14,15,16,17 (D), 7–14,15,16,17 (EE), 8–14,15,16,17 (EEEE), 7–14,15,16 (B); Women 5–13 (AA,B), 6–13 (D) • Weight: Men 13.2 oz. (size 11); Women 11.3 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board (heel)

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10   


Brooks’ go-to shoe (what did you think GTS stood for?) passes the decade mark with a few new twists. The upper elicits the design ethos established more radically in the Trance 9. Here the supportive overlays are effectively distributed to keep the mesh open where needed, while holding the foot over the midsole with the help of a sturdy new saddle overlay on the medial side. The midsole hints at more open segmentation, especially in the heel, improving the transition from heel to toe (a weakness with previous versions). The forefoot maintains its great flexibility, and the heel and forefoot are bridged by a brawnier TPU shank. The overall weight is more than half an ounce heavier, but the improvements to the support and ride seem worth it. “The Adrenaline has worked well for me, I know what to expect: comfortable fit, plenty of cushion, and great stability. Still a great shoe, in my opinion. There’s not much that needs improvement on this series of shoes.” Updates the Adrenaline GTS 9 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12,13 • Weight: 13.2 oz. (men’s 11); 11.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Combination Strobel slip-lasted, Texon heel board

Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 13  


Formerly one of a trio of Triax shoes, the Zoom Structure is the only survivor, though any resemblance to the original is lost in the mists of time. The goal of the Bowerman series is to maintain the essence of each shoe while incorporating improvements as they become best practices. The upper now sports simplified overlays, with more effective rearfoot strapping to lock the heel into its cradle in a manner similar to the Equilon. The mesh is open, especially across the metatarsals, freeing the bunion window. The midsole is essentially unchanged, except for more pronounced flex grooves in the lateral crashpad that improve the touchdown and transition to toe-off. The remaining changes are largely cosmetic, but this scaling back has shaved nearly an ounce from the shoe. Its combination of great fit, ride, and stability earned the Zoom Structure our Best Motion Stabilizing Shoe award.

BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing


RIN G 2010

“Slipping these shoes on, I like the snug fit and the sturdy support. The first run proved the fit was good, especially the new supports in the heel. There is a noticeable amount of cushioning in these shoes. Overall, my foot felt secure and ‘well liked’ in this shoe. The balance, stability, and support are first-rate.” Updates the Zoom Structure Triax+ 12 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12,13 • Weight: 12.4 oz. (men’s 11); 11.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Cushlon board

Pearl Izumi Fuel   


The Fuel is a new shoe for Pearl Izumi and features some new approaches with its technology. The fit of the upper is glove-like from the heel to the midfoot—almost a racing shoe fit—but the forefoot has a roomy feel across the metatarsals to the toes, which, while common, is not standard fare. The ride is firm and responsive, a nice blending of quality EVA and Skydex elements in the heel and forefoot. The abbreviated Syncroframe is as effective as previous versions while lightening the shoe a bit, though it’s still no lightweight. Overall, the shoe provides just enough support and stability for overpronators looking for less bulky control. “I love the fit of these shoes! The one-piece upper distributes security across the entire foot and helps to reduce the overall weight of the shoe. The ride was firm but not clunky, very stable without being too stiff. These are the best of the Pearls I’ve tried.”

NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: 13.1 oz. (men’s 11); 10.9 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

adidas adiStar Solution


The new Solution is aimed at runners who want a responsive ride with a little stability and a measure of comfort. Part of the adiStar family, it features a performance fit in a heavy-duty daily trainer. The upper feels plush, thanks to the cushioned but sleek tongue and the smooth finish of the interior. The midsole is substantial and nicely responsive and protective, while the ForMotion cassette provides a smooth transition and good stability. The adiWear heel and blown rubber forefoot are typical setups and are well executed. The versatility and ride of the adiStar Solution earned it our Best New Shoe award. “Good overall feel, comfortable fit, nice cushioning underneath. The upper is padded where needed, but not overdone. The midsole is firm, but responds well; not mushy. Great stable feeling, and a durable, reliable shoe.”

NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 14.5 oz. (men’s 11); 12.4 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved to curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, adiPrene+ Strobel board

21 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review


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NEUTRAL adidas Supernova Glide 2


In its second outing, the Glide takes a direct aim at performance without sacrificing the quality of the original. The upper uses a very breathable, engineered mesh that’s constructed with openings in some areas and is more solid in others. The midsole has a little softer feel—still quite flexible—but more solid. Thanks to the multiple layers of midsole/innersole materials and the Strobel board, the shoe has a cushy feel while still being resilient and responsive—a fine line that this shoe negotiates well. The new blown rubber forefoot has a little better traction than the original Glide did and a rubbery, resilient bounce. The fit and ride will be familiar to adidas fans. “Great glove-like fit, but enough room in the toe box to wiggle toes! Wore them on long runs, were great on the hills. They were definitely bouncy and squishy. Very comfortable and holding up well.” Updates the Supernova Glide • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20; Women 5–12 • Weight: 13.3 oz. (men’s 11); 11.3 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved to curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, adiPrene+ Strobel board

Brooks Glycerin 8



Brooks introduces a new technology with its flagship neutral shoe. DNA is a rubbery cushioning element with the unique ability to respond according to the force applied to it: softly when a little pressure is applied, more firmly when more pressure is applied. DNA not only outperforms Brooks’ longtime HydroFlow technology, it’s also more environmentally friendly. The upper closely mimics the familiar fit of the past few iterations, with open mesh and a supportive saddle design. The midsole retains much of the feel of its predecessor but with a little better transition and a more responsive feel. Minor adjustments to the shank and outersole maintain the Glycerin’s support and durability and sports the inscription in German: “Laufen ist in meiner DNA” or “Running is in my DNA.” The performance, upgraded materials, and execution earned the Glycerin 8 our Best Renovation award. “The fit is familiar: secure with a good feel around the ankle collar and roomy in the toes. The cushioning is quite good, but the rebound and responsiveness are a big improvement. I was certainly impressed.” Updates the Glycerin 7 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–13,14,15 (B,D,2E widths); Women 6–12 (2A,B,D widths) • Weight: 14.6 oz. (men’s 11); 12.7 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, S257 Strobel board

K-Swiss Keahou II



RIN G 2010


The K-Swiss line has expanded to six serious shoes; the Keahou is the quality neutral model. The upper is a low-key combination of quality components, including air mesh and synthetic overlays, which draws attention purely by performance: it fits and supports the foot. The midsole is single density EVA with a couple of nifty dampening inserts of Superfoam in the heel and Strobel board, and GuideGlide in the forefoot, all providing a responsive, cushioned ride. The blown rubber forefoot, TPU shank, and carbon heel are expected and best practices, but they’re done well in the Keahou. The combination of ride, execution, and value earned the Keahou II a tie for our Best Neutral Shoe award. “Roomy fit up front, but nice and snug in the heel. Premium shoe. The quality really came through with its consistent, protective cushioning and design. It performed very well for me.” Updates the Keahou • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: 13.5 oz. (men’s 11); 11.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Superfoam Strobel board

Puma Complete Ventis


The new Ventis is a sibling to last season’s Velosis and is a surprisingly plush addition to the lineup, especially considering the price difference between the two. The upper is open mesh, which effectively handles the job of securing the foot while keeping it cool, along with well-placed synthetic overlays for support. The midsole is responsive, combining DuoCell and ldCell components with the polyurethane innersole and EVA Strobel board for good, step-in comfort, as well as overall cushioning. The outersole of carbon rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefoot is well designed for flexibility and smooth transition from heel to toe. A solid shoe for neutral runners, the Ventis offers another fit option, as well as Puma’s unique look. “Fit great in the heel, enough toeroom, though on really long runs the overlays across the metatarsals rubbed a bit. The cushioning was very good; no sore feet even with half-marathon training.”

NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5.5–12 • Weight: 14.0 oz. (men’s 11); 12.0 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Saucony ProGrid Triumph 7



RIN G 2010


The Triumph 7 makes several gains over the Triumph 6. The step-in comfort and cushioning are noticeable right out of the box. The upper sports a few more millimeters of memory foam in the ankle collar, which provides a very plush feel, and a soft, moisture-wicking lining that adds to that sensation. Though reworked, the midsole is familiar and suited for high mileage and protection. The outersole is a new configuration of blown rubber under the ball of the foot, which is a little more durable without sacrificing cushioning. While some of the shoes in this category have pared things back, the extra weight and price here make a significant addition to the Triumph’s deluxe fit and feel. The blend of design, componentry, and comfort earned the ProGrid Triumph 7 a tie for our Best Neutral Shoe award. “Nice fit, supports the middle of my foot; toe box adequate; heel snug, but not too snug. These are comfortable shoes and my foot feels protected from feeling rocks/pebbles underfoot. Good compression of the midsole, but [does] not get bogged down in too much cushioning. I like these!” Updates the ProGrid Triumph 6 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 14.4 oz. (men’s 11); 12.9 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, HRC Strobel board

22 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review

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NEUTRAL | PERFORMANCE Under Armour Apparition II


The second round of running shoes from Under Armour addresses some issues of the first round and builds on its strengths. The upper is open mesh similar to that of the original, with adjustments made to the Fit-Sleeve that improve the fit and comfort. The midsole and outersole are just a bit better than round one, with a good transition, durability, and a responsive, resilient ride. The weight is toward the beefier end, but acceptable in a heavy-duty trainer. The Apparition sports a price adjustment that makes it a decent bargain. Though not a dramatic change, the performance and upgrades show the Apparition II is headed in the right direction. “They feel really nice, slipper-like. No problems straight from the box for a 6.5-mile run. The cushion on this particular shoe was not disappointing, but not exceptional either, though no sore feet, which, for me, is saying something.” Updates the Apparition • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–13,14,15; Women 6–11,12 • Weight: 14.3 oz. (men’s 11); 12.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Karhu Forward Fulcrum


The new Forward Fulcrum employs the expected top quality components. The upper is a lightweight, perforated mesh that’s welded to eliminate seams and open across the metatarsals to nicely accommodate bunions or a wide forefoot. The midsole is a resilient and responsive EVA, which has a good level of cushioning. The ratio of midsole material in the heel vs. the forefoot pitches the foot forward for a quick toe-off, but the exaggerated lean may not suit all neutral runners as it does run “downhill” a bit. The outersole is the same effective carbon and blown rubber of other Karhu shoes and is executed at its usual high standard. Its light weight is a bonus. “The upper has a smooth, comfy feel and good, secure fit. Unexpectedly light, especially for such a well-cushioned running shoe. Great heel cushioning, and the flow to the forefoot really keeps you on your toes, even when you are tired. I think it is about as good a shoe as I have worn.”

NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 8–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: 11.6 oz. (men’s 11); 11.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Mizuno Waverider 13



The Waverider 13 maintains the momentum of its predecessor, balancing light weight with protective cushioning. The upper shows typical Mizuno design caution by making subtle alterations to overlays which seem almost cosmetic, but are well thought-out. The most noticeable change is the new lining material, which is softer and cradles the heel better. The midsole is essentially unchanged, though new tooling always subtly affects the ride; here a little foam has been added under the Wave plate to better cushion the touchdown. The outersole is unchanged, providing effective durability and traction. “They proved to be one of the most reliable daily trainers in my rotation. They fit snugly where needed, roomy in the toes. They have a good level of cushioning, but when I was fit, they were super efficient—a great extension of my feet.” Updates the Waverider 12 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16; Women 5–12,13 • Weight: 11.9 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Zoot Ultra TT 3.0



The third round of the Ultra TT maintains effective performance without rocking the boat. The upper is little changed, adding a bit of reflectivity—TT does stand for Triathlon Training, after all—but leaving the lacing and entry points unchanged. The TPU at the heel and toes was overkill and has been replaced by lighter weight HF-welds that do the job. The midsole and outersole have no changes, save cosmetic, since the cushioning and performance were well dialed-in last season. Very light for a neutral training shoe, the Ultra TT 3.0 can handle a good share of mileage, as well as faster running and racing. “Fit like a sock, very smooth. Surprisingly, they had a good deal of cushion. I especially enjoyed the impact on landing with my heel. They were great for tempo runs and races.” Updates the Ultra TT 2.0 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 8–12, 13,14; Women 6–10,11 • Weight: 9.3 oz. (men’s 11); 7.4 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

ASICS Gel DS Trainer 15


Perhaps the most iconic model of this category, the Gel DS Trainer turns 14. The bulk of the changes (though there aren’t a lot) are in the upper, where the overlays have been altered at the toe and reduced in the heel, and the mesh is a bit more open. Support and fit, however, are indistinguishable from last season. The midsole and outersole are the same, with slight adjustments to the Trusstic support in the shank. The overall effect adds up to a quality, stable, well-cushioned ride that fans of the series will be pleased with. Runners looking for a great blend of lightness, stability, and cushioning should consider the DS Trainer 15. “Great fit. It’s shaped somewhat to fit perfectly around the mold of your actual foot. Nice cushioning and no hard spots anywhere. A stable ride; no need to worry about any wobble. Excellent lightweight trainer, good for mid to long training runs or races.” Updates the Gel DS Trainer 14 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: 11.3 oz. (men’s 11); 9.1 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: slip-lasted

23 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review


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PERFORMANCE Mizuno Wave Elixer 5


This Elixer is the best yet, expertly blending lightness, stability, and ride. The upper sports minor changes to the overlays and new support straps of stretchy synthetic material shoring up the medial side. The base of the entire upper is a uniformly shaped airmesh. The Wave plate is unchanged, but the midsole is AP+—the old AP with new polymers added for a better rebound—which softens the cushion of the shoe, while making the ride much more responsive. The outersole features a new configuration of G3, moving from the dots of PU to a combination of chevrons and fins that improve traction and durability. The Elixer has always been a good choice in the performance category; now it’s even better.


“They fit well, like Mizuno always does. I was surprised how comfortable the shoe was, especially the cushioning. I felt like I was in close contact with the ground but still able to have the protection and ‘spring in my step’ that the shoe afforded me. I liked the shoe style and function. It has become one of my favorites.” Updates the Wave Elixer 4 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

New Balance 740



Despite the number reset, the 740 is the second round of last season’s 749. There’s also some resetting of the upper design, making a visual alignment with the NBx firmament. The upper shows a subtle change in fit and support; while still built on the New Balance performance last, the shoe feels wider, and the N-lock lacing has been internalized and lacks the separately-adjusting feature of the external version. The midsole has been slightly resculpted to better incorporate the N-Ergy cassette, but is much the same as the previous heel setup. The more supportive shank and the adjusted flex grooves allow a very responsive toe-off. This version has more forefoot volume with the responsive cushioning and stability of its predecessor. “Roomy fit, but seemed to work OK. Good amount of cushioning, yet allows you to feel the road. Keeps the foot stable and pace quick. Was a good tempo shoe, but I’d rest these on easy days. Above average sole durability; the heel plug is very wear-resistant.” Updates the 749 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E,4E); Women 5–11,12,13 (B,D) • Weight: 11.7 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Nike LunarElite+ 5


The Lunarlite foam has been working its way through many of Nike’s established performance shoes, transforming them into new shoes. The LunarElite+ 5 retains only the mission of the Elite+ 4: to provide a light, responsive, stable ride. The re-vamped upper is now a no-sew, seamfree combination of mesh and synthetic overlays, with Flywire for midfoot support. The close fit is not quite racer-like, but it’s secure and comfortable. The Lunarlite midsole features Nike’s Dynamic Support which is soft enough for neutral feet and stable enough for mild to moderate overpronators. The ride is typically cushioned and responsive— the snappiest Lunar shoe yet.


“The fit was pretty good and the smooth interior was appreciated. Not as snug in the arch as some tempo shoes or racers. The cushioning and weight are where the shoe really shines and durability has been great, the cushioning really holds up.” Updates the Elite+ 4 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

24 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review

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PERFORMANCE Reebok Premier SF Attack


The SF Attack is new to the Reebok Premier line, and a bit of a sleeper with a unique design. The upper is open airmesh with the toe cap as the only forefoot overlay, making them light and bunion-friendly. The Smoothfit upper (the “SF” in the name) supports the midfoot without interior seams, securing heel and midfoot with a soft, sueded feel. The midsole is responsive and durable injection-molded EVA, with a second density adding a good measure of stability. The DMPRTek outersole provides good flexibility with proven durability and a bit of extra cushioning. For performance, stability, and its great light feel, the Premier SF Attack deserves serious consideration. “Great fit. I ran a half marathon in these three days after I got them and had no blisters or sore spots. Right amount of cushion for running on the road, and nice and straight and stable. These are probably the lightest shoes I have been able to run in and feel like I have good cushion and support, and can run some longer miles in.”

NEW • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with very mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.5 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Scott Makani II



After a start with European triathletes, Scott brings a range of training and racing shoes to the U.S. market. Of these, the Makani II may be the most versatile, managing the wear and tear of training while being light enough to race in. The upper is the typical lightweight mesh, but with a stretchy inner sleeve through the midfoot and a supportive saddle that cinches separately. The midsole is a new EVA blend known as UltraLyte, which provides a nicely responsive ride. The midfoot features a second density of EVA, as well as a shank of a carbon fiber element beneath a TPU window which, in concert, provide torsional rigidity by resisting excessive twisting. A combination of blown rubber in the forefoot and carbon in the heel and high-wear regions rounds out a familiar construction. It’s ultra light weight, responsive ride, and good stability earned the Makani our Best Performance Shoe award.

BEST SHOE Performance SP

“This is a very good-fitting shoe which snugs up nicely around my ankle and the toebox allows enough room for my toes to dig in during speedwork. This shoe is very responsive feeling with a nice flexible forefoot and a very stiff arch. The heel area absorbs shock well, and the forefoot allows a feel of the ground while pushing off.” Updates the Makani • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–12,13; Women 5–11 • Weight: 10.8 oz. (men’s 11); 8.7 oz. (women’s 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, UltraLyte Strobel board

25 | Running Network 2010 Spring Shoe Review


RIN G 2010

ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 26

American Track & Field

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ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 27

ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 28

American Track & Field


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ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 29

American Track & Field

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West Coast Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Day Camp Atascadero, CA March 7, 21, 28, April 11, 18, 25, May 2 July 19-22 Jan Johnson, 805/423-2363 6505 Santa Cruz, Atascadero, CA www.skyjumperscom/pages/camps.html

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ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 30

A thought for coaches when recruiting


couple of years ago I tried an interesting experiment using track and field statistics. I looked over Track & Field News’ High School All-Americans and compared the seniors on that list with the final spring list of NCAA eligibles four years later. I’m not sure what the years involved were, but for the sake of making this a little more interesting, let’s suppose that it was the High School All-American seniors of 2004, compared to themselves as university seniors of 2008. Here’s what I found. Of the 2004 prep All-Americans, 95 were seniors (the rest were juniors, sophs and frosh).

• 77 of them did not rank in the top 25 of their collegiate event • 18 of them did rank in the top 25 of their collegiate event. • Only 7 of them were ranked in the top 5 of their collegiate event. In other words, some 80% of these supposedly can’t-miss high school seniors did miss. And less than 8% were likely to score in the NCAA as seniors. This is too small a sample to draw conclusions from, and before the year is over I hope to do the same analysis for perhaps 10 years, say 1996–2000 through 2006–2010. Meantime, college coaches might find it interesting to compare their recruiting success with the above numbers. — James Dunaway

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ATF_Sprg10:ATF_XC 09 3/16/10 8:27 AM Page 32


Kazu Eguchi, Photorun.NET Volume 17, Number 1 Spring 2010 $5.95 PRST STD U.S. Postage Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI WE KNOW BECAUSE WE RUN En...

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