Wednesday, July 13, 2016

V 6 N. 49 Track Trials and Tribulations

So the O Trials have finally wound down.  The corporate power(s) have made their statement.  The athletes will be falling into line and heading down to Rio.  Lots of broken dreams, career endings, and new faces to become aware of, and a few old pros still hanging on.   Some of those who didn't make the team will still have some opportunity around the planet to ply their trade.  Maybe some of the Russians will be coming and certainly the the mad scientists and agents will be looking for new ways to beat the system.     Below are a few items and tidbits that have come across our desk and gotten stacked up, so while we wait for Roy to produce his next review of July, 1966 we'll share some of them with you.

Brief comment on the trials from Bill Schnier:

"The OT provide great theater.  This was apparent when Brenda Martinez was tripped in the 800 but came from behind to qualify for the Olympics in the 1500.  I was happy for her but sad for Eccleston from Hillsdale College whom she edged out by .01 seconds as both fell to the track.  The OT for women's gymnastics followed T&F and I was surprised at how ordinary it seemed compared with our sport, yet in the OG it often takes center stage, at least for Americans if the US does well."

I belive Eccleston pr'ed 3 times at OT, 4:134:114:06.
Brenda Martinez came for recruiting visit at ULM (Univ. Louisiana Monroe) when I was coaching there. She stayed local at UC-Riverside. Think she ran 57, 2:134:57 in hs.
The HS kids running at the Trials was the highlight for me. Especially Lyles and Norman in 200.

From Roy Mason:

"The North Bay League (okay, Montgomery High in Santa Rosa) was well represented in last night's Olympic Trials women's 5K. Kim Conley made her second Olympic team finishing third in 15:10.6. Sarah Hall (formerly Sarah Bei, now Ryan Hall's wife) was 14th in 15:55.

They were teammates in XC and track in the 2000-01 school year when Bei was a senior and Conley a freshman. The similarity ended there. Bei was big time, winning four state championships in XC and three in track. She also won the Footlocker XC meet. Conley was a good local runner but not the caliber of Bei. On the all time Redwood Empire lists she is 15th at 800, 6th at 1600 and 18th at 3200. Her best finish in the state meet was 19th.

Their HS times were Bei: 2:174:4610:11; Conley: 2:164:52.10:58. Bei went on to a glorious career at Stanford and after. Conley went to UC Davis where she slowly improved but wasn't on the national radar.

Guess all this goes to show that if at first you don't succeed, keep working hard and good things may happen. This means that there is still hope for you, Steve."

From John Bork

"I am wondering if you experienced the same 2 glaring faults in the NBC coverage:

1). Last night when they introduced the men for the final in the 110M Hurdles the coverage ended (for me)
     before the race started!  It had to be an unbelieve race with London Olympic Games Champion, Aires Merritt
     missing 3rd. place  to Jeff Porter by a mere .01 of a second. 13.21 to 13.22.
     After describing 2-3 times how Merritt was given a kidney transplant by his sister  then no race coverage-nothing!

     Again youth was serves when the winner was Oregon's sophomore, Devon Allen in a stunning 13.01!
     Just a sophomore or, Jr. at Oregon where he also plays football.

2)  A couple of nights before the NBC coverage failed to air the 1500Meter -Men's semi-final races (on my TV)
    even though the DVR - Guide indicated that they would be aired.

How about you guys? Did you see these races on your TV?

- Speaking of youth, 400M hurdle wunderkind Sydney McLaughlin is only 16 years old!
- Candace Hill, who made the semi-finals in the 100/200, is only 17 years old, and in December 2015 at age 16 signed a ten-year contract to run for Adidas. She has a best of 10.98 in the 100.
- Ageless youth Bernard Lagat, at 41, was jumping around like a kid at Christmas after winning the 5000 with a very youthful 52 second last lap.

- Lagat has won two Olympic medals running for Kenya in 2000 & 2004, can he win one this summer? Back in 1984, an aging 37-year old Carlos Lopes of Portugal won the Olympic marathon gold medal; in the same race, youthful 25-year old Alberto Salazar finished 15th.

- The Kenyan "B Team" --

U.S. distance runners are the Kenyan (African) "B Team" --
5000M -
Lagat, born in Kenya; Paul Chelimo, born in Kenya; plus Somalian born Hassan Mead
10000M -
Shadrock Kipchirchir, born in Kenya; Leonard Korir, born in Kenya; plus U.S. born Rupp
The Marathon -
Galen Rupp and Jared Ward will joined at the starting line by 41-year old Eritean-born Meb Keflezighi !"

From Bruce Kritzler:  Link to Film on Sarah Brown training while pregnant to get to the O Trials.  Did she make it?
Run Mama Run
Editor's note:  Sarah Brown, four time NCAA All American made it to the trials but did not advance out of her semi heat.
July 7 (pm) Watched 2 hs kids win 200m heats in 20.04, 20,05 both windy, but impressive. Then hs girl Sidney McGlaughlin won heat of 400h in 55...Great women's steeple, where 5 contenders broke away in last kilo, but one of group faded to last, and another lost about 4 places in last 200m. This was after Emma Coburn waited till 2k to put the hammer down.

Time sort of stops when you are in Eugene for Olympic Trials. Track 24hrs/day. I loved it. Leslie says she will never stay in the dorm again (too many men using women's restroom).

One thing I missed was all the NBA players switching teams. I now have no idea who plays where? Bruce

  Like some of you, I was really pulling for the HS athletes or the Division II and III athletes or simply the newcomers.  TV coverage loves the older people because they have name recognition, but I think that makes the sport tired & predictable.  We have had two decades of the same old, same old.  Those PRs by Eccleston are amazing which leads me to believe that could happen more often if given the opportunity.  It's not everyone who can rise to the level of the competition, but it surely is true of a few.  
   Bruce, I'm glad you went to the Trials.  I now feel as if I got the real scoop.  You are absolutely the best person to see the Trials with.  I will never forget at the 1980 Trials when Sam Bell was asking you questions.  That was very impressive to me.  I can also picture you smiling as you read this message from me.

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