Gabriele Anderson Reinstated to Women’s 1500m Final

Late Friday night news spread that Gabriele Anderson, who runs for Brooks/Team USA Minnesota, had been disqualified from Sunday’s 1500m final at the Olympic Trials due to contacting and subsequently impeding Amy Mortimer in the semi-final heat. Anderson finished 2nd in the heat to Shannon Rowbury, while Mortimer finished 7th, and did not move onto Sunday’s final.

Alice Schmidt was the immediate beneficiary of the disqualification, moving from 6th to 5th and gaining automatic qualification to the final.

In various replays, contact appeared to be largely incidental as Mortimer moved into Anderson’s path and Anderson seemed to fight for the space she occupied. The idea of Anderson having impeded Mortimer seemed to lack substance, but nevertheless Anderson was disqualified and only found out after her coach told her. It is unclear who filed the protest as of right now.

Anderson (@GabrieleAnde) spent her time on Saturday protesting her cause, taking to Twitter to gather support. The hashtag #reinstategabe took off and by about 3:30pm EST, she tweeted that she had received notice that she would be reinstated to Sunday’s final and the race would be contested with 13 runners.

Anderson has already faced a challenging road just to get here, having successfully battled cancer on two occasions in the past two years. You can read an interview from Competitor Magazine here.

Olympic Trials: What a Night!

Photo credit: Brennan Feldhausen

With both men’s and women’s 5000m finals on Thursday night, men’s steeplechase, and the men’s and women’s 1500m opening rounds, Thursday night’s action from Eugene was going to be the highlight of the week. Here’s how the races turned out, and how our close to the pin our “experts” were with their predictions!

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

A quick early pace led to a spread out field, and with 800m to go, Dan Huling of Reebok took command of the race. Evan Jager, in just his 4th steeplechase event ever, sat right behind Huling, and the two opened a small gap on the rest of the field, which included NCAA Steeplechase Champ, Donn Cabral of Princeton. With 200m to go, Jager and Cabral passed Huling, as did Kyle Alcorn, and the Jager put some space into everyone as he crossed the line, smiling ear-to-ear. His time (8:17.40) was a 3 second personal best. Jager, Cabral, Alcorn, that’s your team to London.

We all had picked Cabral and Jager, but most of us had Huling or Craig Forys of Michigan, who finished 13th and was really never a factor.

Women’s 5000m

With just 7 women possessing the Olympic “A” standard, it was on the remainder of the field to make sure the pace was honest. Nobody seemed to take up the tempo, which played perfectly into the hands of the favorites. Julia Lucas, formerly of NC State and who had the fastest time this year of anyone in the field, looked strong with 2 laps to go and had a slight gap on the field. At this point, Julie Culley and Molly Huddle in 2nd and 3rd looked like that would round out the team – but soon those two bridged to Lucas, went by her, and Lucas started fading hard. Abbey D’Agostino, who won the NCAA 5000m a few weeks ago, was in 4th and charging hard. Up front, it was between Culley and Huddle, who moved into lane 2 and opened the inside for Culley to zip past her in the closing meters. Culley won, set a personal best, and is headed to London, along with the American Record holder in the event, Huddle. The battle for 3rd looked like it could produce another photo-finish as Lucas was nipped at the line by Kim Conley, and D’Agostino finished in the mix as well. The trio were separated by just .19 seconds, and Conley and Lucas by just .04.

More importantly for Conley, who didn’t have the A standard coming into the race, her time of 15:19.79 meant she qualified by .21 seconds. It was an incredible display.

Again, all of us had Culley and Huddle, but we felt like Lucas, or D’Agostino, would take the 3rd spot.

Men’s 5000m

It wasn’t too exciting until the final lap, and then it was one of the most incredible races ever at Hayward Field I’d say. Galen Rupp, in front of his home crowd, took down the American Record holder, Bernard Lagat, defeating him for the first time in their now 14 head-to-head meetings. Not only that, but Rupp took out the Meet Record, set by Steve Prefontaine in 1972. Rupp’s 13:22.67 eclipsed Pre’s record of 13:22.80 (hand-timed).

Only 4 men had achieved the Olympic A time: Rupp, Lagat, Lopez Lomong, and Andy Bumbalough. And of course, it was those 4 that were leading the field by a distance with a lap to go. The field didn’t even look like they wanted to try to get to London. With 100m to go, Lagat opened up his patented kick-face: eyes wide open and teeth displayed, but like Molly Huddle, moved over too far, which allowed Rupp the inside track to the line. Once Rupp saw the opening, he didn’t back down. Rupp outkicked the kick-master Lagat, covering the last lap in just over 52 seconds.

Rupp won by the 10,000m and 5,000m, and right now looks pretty good. If he’s winning a 13:22 5k with a 52 second last lap, I think that means good things are in store for him in either/both event in London.

Most of us were right on with our picks, except Brad, who had Trevor Dunbar instead of Lopez Lomong.

Men’s and Women’s 1500m Prelims

30 athletes cut to 24 after one round makes virtually no sense, but the schedule is supposed to mirror the Olympics schedule, so three rounds it is. Seemed a little silly, but the athletes will have to be ready for it. No major casualties, mostly because only 6 people were cut. Cory McGee, the fast sophomore from the University of Florida, was pretty much the only one I would have expected to move on that didn’t. They move on now to semifinals, and then finals are on Sunday.

Field

Semifinals of Women’s High Jump and Men’s Triple Jump were today. Our recent Runaround alum, Christian Taylor (2011 World Champ) set an unbeatable mark on his first jump and was able to pass on his other attempts. His 56’8″ was 16 inches clear of 2nd place, his Florida teammate, Will Claye.

In Women’s High Jump, Runaround alum Chaunte Lowe (2012 Indoor World Champ) safely qualified for the final.

Olympic Trials Day 8 Predictions

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

The semi-final heats of the men’s steeple were tightly packed races, with the top 5 in each heat finishing within a second of one another, and the winning time for both heats was around 8:29/8:30. Expect the final to be a little bit quicker, as none of these guys is going to want to hedge an Olympic berth on their kick. Here’s some of our experts’ picks:

GJ: Jager, had he not been stymied by the last steeple at the Occidental meet, he would have the fastest time in the nation thus far. He’s looking good right now with regard to American competition. Cabral, who won the race at Oxy (after Jager fell)and took the NCAA crown this year, has registered a sub-8:20. Consider him good for second. Torn between Kyle Alcorn and Dan Huling for third place, I’m going to bet my money on Dan Huling for experience’s sake alone.

  1. Evan Jager
  2. Donn Cabral
  3. Dan Huling

RT: It could go either way between Jager and Cabral. I’ve been at a few meets this year where I saw Cabral race and dominate. I know the competition here will be better but this guy is a monster so I’m giving him the edge. One of my teammates was high school rivals with Forys and for that reason he is third on my list.

  1. Donn Cabral
  2. Evan Jager
  3. Craig Forys

RM: While I would love to root for Craig Forys because he’s from Colts Neck NJ, I think Cabral and Jager are too good right now, and despite my apprehensions, Huling has a lot of championship experience.

  1. Evan Jager
  2. Donn Cabral
  3. Dan Huling

Women’s 5000m

The semi-final rounds showed who was comfortable at the pedestrian pace, and who had to work to finish in the top 6. Most of the main contenders passed safely through, although Amy Hastings became a casualty as she showed signs of having raced the 10,000m on Friday night. Tonight’s final should be a similar race, although the women who are not as confident in their kicks may want to push the pace a little early.

RT: They are all fast and, by the looks of it, have the most potential in the field right now. Huddle has a mark of 15:10, Lucas a 15:08 and Culley a 15:13. These are three of the fastest marks and each placed at least top three in their respective heat in the prelims.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julia Lucas
  3. Julie Culley

RM: How could you NOT root for quasi-local Julie Culley? Culley, a former Loyola University XC/Track coach, has blossomed over the last season and a half, and she looked good in her 2nd place finish in the semi on Monday night. Molly Huddle, the American Record holder, shouldn’t have much of a problem, and Julia Lucas looked good as well. I think it’s the end of the road for the NCAA girls D’Agostino and Infeld, it’s been a long season and they’ll make teams down the road.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julie Culley
  3. Julia Lucas

GJ: Molly Huddle. American Record Holder. Enough said. Some say this season hasn’t been as successful as last year, but now that many Olympic hopefuls are in the midst of (at least) a mini-peak in their training, I think we will see the Molly Huddle of 2011. As my buddy Ryan has predicted, I’m pulling for D.C. local Julie Culley. With a 15:13 to her name–the second fastest 5k in the country this year–I foresee her carrying a miniature American flag after the race. Pulling up in third as a bit of a surprise to some is 5000m NCAA Champion Abbey D’Agostino. Much like how Natosha Rogers of Texas A&M showed her mettle in the 10,000m Trials final by finishing in the top 3(despite not attaining the “A” standard), I believe a collegian will do the same in the 5k.

  1. Molly Huddle
  2. Julie Culley
  3. Abbey D’Agostino

Men’s 5000m

The men’s 5000m, initially considered to be a lock for Bernard Lagat, Galen Rupp, and Lopez Lomong, could turn out to be anything but. In his semi-final heat, Galen Rupp cruised for most of the race, but was out-leaned at the line by Andy Bumbalough. Rupp was clearly irritated by the move, heading straight off the track without acknowledging anybody. In the other heat, Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong showed their finishing speed is strong. But, there are a host of other would-be Olympians chomping at the bit, and in the finals, you never know what can happen. This should make a very exciting race tonight!

RM: Watching the races the other night, I feel like Lomong and Lagat have a huge advantage because they’ve only run one 5k as opposed to Rupp who has now run a fairly quick 10k in terrible conditions and a 5k. Rupp may not want to let the race go to the very end because while he may be confident in his kick, I think the other guys are as well – and a little fresher.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Galen Rupp
  3. Lopez Lomong

GJ: Lagat has the best kick of the three and, when we talked to him at the adidas Grand Prix, he said that he needs to prove to himself that the last 150m burst is still the move to use. With the 13:11 miscounted-laps-mishap at Stanford, Lopez Lomong proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with. Galen Rupp has the fastest time of the year of this trio (12:58 at Pre Classic), but after the 10k final last week and the 5k prelims a few days ago, there is no need for him to make a statement. He’ll grab a spot on the Olympic team just as well in third place.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Lopez Lomong
  3. Galen Rupp

RT: From what I can tell, Lagat is in great shape right now, and if it happens to be a kickers race he should have no problem handling it.  I have Lomong in next. I mean, he has his own visa commercial narrated by Morgan Freeman.  Finally, I’m sure after the 10k and 5k prelim Rupp isn’t necessarily worried about winning this one, only placing.

  1. Bernard Lagat
  2. Lopez Lomong
  3. Galen Rupp

 

Well, not a whole lot of variation between our choices, but who knows – maybe we’ll all be surprised and have completely unexpected Olympians! Only time will tell, and be sure to check back in following the races for results and recaps. In the meantime, feel free to post YOUR predictions in the comments section below!

Brad’s Picks This Evening

The Psychic Kitty

 

 

All my picks are based completely on what my cats are telling me

 

 

Mens 3000 Steeplechase

1. Evan Jager
2. Craig Forys
3. Don Cabral

Jager because his last name is so close to mine. Forys had those close battles with Centrowitz in the post HS all star meets and because he’s from NJ!  Cabral because he went to the same HS that Kristen Malloy transferred to when she left Hereford.

Mens 5000

1. Bernard Lagat
2. Galen Rupp
3. Trevor Dunbar

Lagat not only because he has the best kick, but Greg and him seemed to hit it off up in NY and I want Greg to have friends.  Rupp has that ear thing going on for him and Dunbar comes from Alaska where I hope to move to one day.

Womens 5000

1. Julie Culley
2. Emily Infeld
3. Molly Huddle

Culley due to her connection with Loyola (md).  Infeld since she is a Runaround alumnus and I’m sure will promise to wear the Runaround shirt in the Olympics. Huddle because it’s a pretty cool name.

Last Night’s Unplanned, Extended Preview of The Olympic Trials

If there’s one bad thing about doing a live show on the radio, it’s this:

Sometimes, things don’t exactly go to plan.

With last night’s show chock-full of content, we began to wonder how we were going to cover it all. Between our monthly segment of “Around The Clock” with Running Times Magazine and our live interview with 2011 Triple Jump World Champion Christian Taylor, it going to be a bit of a pinch.

But, we had to re-route, and sometimes, when it rains, it pours.

Our friend and Running Times Senior Editor Scott Douglas, who rounds out the Runaround panel for “Around the Clock” along with Greg, Brad, and Ryan, wasn’t going to be able to join us live. Eh, it wasn’t the end of the world. The three Runaround co-hosts could still cast their predictions and dark horses for the Olympic Trials. In fact, Scott will be calling us live from Eugene, OR, giving us updates on the Trials for “Around the Clock” next week. It never hurts to have a correspondent at a big (actually, epic) meet like the U.S. Olympic Trials.

But here is where it pours.

Christian Taylor, who turned 22 yesterday, had an unforeseen birthday present in the form of flat tire on his coach’s car. Naturally, he was there to help. And these things happen. What can you do?

In six months of being on air, we’ve never lost an interview at the last minute. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty uncanny to lose two on the same show. Fortunately for the hosts, they are quick to establish Plan B. Implementors of the impromptu.

So, if you were expecting a live interview with Christian Taylor–who currently holds the world-leading mark in the triple jump, or if you were looking forward to our discussion with Scott Douglas on “Around the Clock,” we apologize.

We do have two things for you though:

1) A promise that Scott will be joining us next week live from Eugene.

2) The link below that will take you to our “Post-Run” interview with Christian. He gives us an inside look on how he feels about the successes of this season, his hopes for the Olympic Trials, and some commentary on his training and the technical aspects of jumping.

Most importantly, is he looking to make statement at the Trials and beyond? After all, his PB is only one foot and a hair away from the Jonathan Edwards’ world record.

Listen here at “The Post-Run.”

Videos Galore: Athletes’ Thoughts Before The Olympic Trials

Click on the name of the athletes below to check out video interviews with them as they discuss their thoughts after the adidas Grand Prix and their hopes for the Olympic Trials. Not to mention we have a few goodies mixed in there. Hint hint…Jim Ryun interview…hint hint.

Or maybe you want to learn why Bernard has the smoothest stride of all time? Check out the exclusive press conference interview below.

DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

Oscar Pistorius    Part 2     Part 3

Aries Merritt         Part 2     Part 3

David Oliver

Jeremy Wariner

Bernard Lagat      Part 2    Part 3 

AFTER THE GRAND PRIX:

Yohan Blake

Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce

Sanya Richards-Ross

David Rudisha

Robby Andrews

Jesse Williams

Michael Rodgers

Alfred Yego

Jenny Simpson

Molly Beckwith

Craig Mottram

Jim Ryun

Cleo Borel

Sound Bytes from the Adidas Grand Prix

While The Runaround was at Icahn Stadium live for the Adidas Grand Prix, we picked up some interviews with some of the biggest performers of the meet. With the Olympic Trials and the London Games fast approaching, we had a lot to ask. Click on the athletes names or click on the files below to hear their answers to our questions.

Sanya Richards-Ross – Lifetime personal best of 22.09 in the 200m at the Grand Prix. Will she double in the 400m AND the 200m at the U.S. Olypmic Trials?

David Rudisha – Sure, 1:41.74 is fast. Will sub-1:40 ever be possible. Rudisha doesn’t dismiss the thought.

Bernard Lagat – He out-kicked the field in the last 150 at the Grand Prix 1500m. Will he do the same in the 5000m at the Olympic Trials and, presumably, the London Games?

Jesse Williams – Meet record of 7 feet, 8.75 inches at the Grand Prix, but with tough competition from training partner and NCAA Champion Erik Kynard, is he confident for the Trials?

Jeremy Wariner – Jeremy Wariner acknowledges that he is getting older and that he has to do more to put some spring into his step. Will the adjustments he has made be enough to return to the Olympic Podium?

David Oliver – David Oliver acknowledges that sometimes luck plays a factor in a big performance. But how much of a role does it play in a championship setting?

Distance Medley Relay at the Olympic Games?

During our coverage of David Rudisha’s stellar 1:41 on the show yesterday evening, we had a listener call in to share his views on what he thought was one the greatest 800 performances he had ever seen.

And given that the U.S. Olympic Trials and, subsequently, the 2012 London Olympic Games, are right around the corner, our conversation with him had naturally arrived at Olympic predictions. One comment led to another, and suddenly, we were in unchartered territory.

Our guest asked, “What do you think of the possibility of a DMR (Distance Medley Relay) at the Olympics?”

At the outset of the show, I was determined to air of all of the best sound bytes we had picked that weekend up from the athletes at the adidas Grand Prix. Yet, as a former middle-distance runner, this was a question that I  wanted to take time to address.

Firstly, if you were to ask me what I think is the most exciting event in track and field, it would be a toss-up between the 1500m/Mile and the 4x400m relay. Why? Four (or 3 and 3/4 laps for the 1500m) laps around the track allows for a beautiful display of both speed and endurance–a battle of both killer instincts and well-executed tactics.

And yes, this does hold true for the 4x400m as well. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the 4x400m final from the World Championships in Daegu last year. Yes, it takes endurance to run the 400. And yes, American anchor leg LaShawn Merritt was, indeed, using sit-and-kick race tactics while he was sitting in third place.

But what event is the most unique? Putting my bias as a middle-distance runner aside, my answer would still unequivocally be the DMR. In what other event is there such diversity of event disciplines? In what other event would you see a miler and a 400m runner working together?

For those of you who are not familiar with what a DMR is, it is a relay comprised of (in order) 1200m, 400m, 800m, and 1600m legs. For those of you who have never witnessed one, I urge you to do some YouTube surfing.

Largely an event raced at the collegiate level, one can still see an international DMR in “U.S.A. vs. The World at Penn Relays.” Unfortunately, though, that is probably the only professional DMR track and field fans will see all year. Why isn’t this race run more often at the international level? The simple answer is that, at the professional and international ranks, the focus is on the individual athlete.

BUT…

At the Olympics, the focus is on winning hardware for one’s nation. For the old stars and stripes. For king and country. For national pride.

In my humble opinion, there is no better way for a country to claim an Olympic gold medal than by fielding the nation’s FOUR best athletes in a given event and having them work cohesively to earn the title, “Olympic Champion.”

Why wouldn’t the IOC add one more event to the track and field schedule? After all, the IOC, despite their rigid demeanor, seeks to establish the greatest diversity possible in inviting athletes and nations to the Games. Including a an Olympic DMR would result in participation from such countries as Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, and more.

Truly, if increased international diversity and athletic participation isn’t reason enough to add a DMR to the Games, then here is a better reason:

I would like it. A lot.

Our friends at Runner’s World agree as well. Here’s what they have to say about running a Distance Medley Relay at the Olympics.

Happy running,

Greg