NBC Slips Up, Announces Result Before Airing Event

Tell me you just saw that – NBC, who controls exclusive broadcast rights to all Olympic events – told us who won an event…BEFORE they aired it!
I had to do a double take when I saw it, but it was clear as day. In their promo for today’s (Tuesday) Today Show, they encouraged viewers to watch as American Missy Franklin celebrated her first gold medal with her parents. But wait a second, they haven’t shown her race yet!

That’s what I yelled at the TV, because indeed, the primetime telecast had not yet reached the women’s 100m Back final, which was due up after the commercial break. It took the wind out of watching the race, but didn’t make it any less exciting. Franklin was down coming off the turn and even into the final 25 meters it didn’t look like she was going to get to the wall first. Using her long frame, a strong last 10m and an amazing dolphin kick to the wall, Franklin, just 17 years old, earned her first gold medal.

Many things frustrate me (and other viewers) about NBC’s coverage of sporting events: the commentators, the way they promote them, the uninformed reporters asking terrible questions immediately after an event. This gaffe took the cake. What is the point of holding us prisoners of your coverage if you’re just going to tell us the results before you air the events anyway?

Let’s hope this is a one-time thing, because it really soured my 3rd day of complete media blackout. As we mentioned on The Runaround last night, this is no easy task!

- Ryan

“Go for the Gold” Olympics Prediction Contest: Win $100 Gift Card to Holabird Sports!

Are you as excited for the Olympics as much as we are?? Prove it and you could win a 100-dollar gift certificate to Holabird Sports!

The Runaround on ESPN Radio and Holabird Sports are putting on a contest to see if you really know the U.S. Olympic Team.

It’s simple: Click on the link below, follow the steps, and enter how many medals (gold, silver, and bronze) you think the American Olympic Track and Field team will bring home from the London Games. In the event of a tie, we also ask you to submit how many gold medals you think the team will capture.

It’s easy! Just enter two predictions and you will have a chance to win 100 dollars to Holabird Sports.

Note: There are 22 events for the women and 22 events for men, including the marathon.

Click on the link below and follow the steps. Good luck!

 

“Go for the Gold” Contest

A Final Tune-Up Before London

American middle-distance standouts Matt Centrowitz and Nick Symmonds are about to toe the line in Dublin for the Morton Pre-Games to sharpen up their speed before the Olympic Games in London.

Centrowitz, who is running the 800m as a final tune-up before the Olympic 1500m, will be looking reach the medal podium in London, much like how he did in last year’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. In the Diamond League Meet in London last week, Centro didn’t have his best day at the office, running a 1:48.42 800m.

Able to shrug it off, he said on Twitter (@MattCentrowitz): “Not a great day on the track. Ran 1:48 and finished last. Then on top of that I got randomly drug tested lol. I musta looked suspect in last.”

Acknowledging that he struggled with a minor knee injury and that he hasn’t raced an 800 in some time, we think tonight’s showing should be stronger. With one 800 under his belt to allow him to acclimate to the two-lap distance…

Our prediction for his 800m today: 1:46.8

Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds), who has encouraged his followers on Twitter to predict his 400m time, is coming off of a 1:43.78 800m at the Monaco Diamond League Meet. In our interview with Symmonds in May, he noted that he doesn’t put on a pair of spikes for fast intervals until late in his season. Odds are…right now…he’s feeling fit as ever.

With the Olympic Trials Championship and a few 1:43s to his name for this season, a fast 400 may be the final confidence-booster he needs. So…

Our prediction for his 400m today: 46.28

And be sure to check the results for the mile, as Americans David Torrence, Will Leer, Garrett Heath, Ryan Hall, and Jack Bolas will be looking for fast times.

The Runaround – July 23, 2012

Brad, Greg, and Ryan talked about the recent doping scandals and the Monaco Diamond League. A big congrats from the Runaround to Evan Jager, who broke Daniel Lincoln’s American Record in the 3000m Steeplechase, recording an impressive 8:06.81.

Amy Horst, the head women’s track and field coach at Loyola University, talks about recruiting and how she thinks athletes should approach their summer training to optimize their fitness in the fall.

Check out the show replay here:

The Runaround – July 23

What Do These Athletes Have in Common?

What do Nick Symmonds, Jenny Simpson, Christian Taylor, Matt Centrowitz, Chaunte Lowe, Ashton Eaton, and Alice Schmidt all have in common?

Not only are these 7 fantastic athletes headed to the London Olympics, they’ve also all been interviewed on The Runaround!

We are so proud to have had the opportunity to talk with these competitors, and many more, over the past few months, and we look forward to bringing more interviews, news stories, and the topics YOU want to hear in the future!

As these athletes begin their journeys overseas to prepare for the Olympics, be sure to follow them on their social networks:

Christian Taylor (@Taylored2Jump)

Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds)

Jenny Simpson (@trackjenny)

Matt Centrowitz (@MattCentrowitz)

Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton)

Chaunte Lowe (@chauntelowe)

Julie Culley (@julieculley)

And of course be sure to follow us, @RunaroundESPN, for more this summer as we prepare to watch Team USA in London!

University of Maryland Men’s Track: A Last-Minute Miracle? Or No?

Save UMD Track:XC

The other morning, I signed on to Facebook to find a status update that contradicted most of the headlines that I’ve been reading since January:

“UMD MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD LIVES!”

It was an update posted by my friend and former  teammate, Floyd Hawkes, a senior at the University of and Maryland and a 100m/200m specialist.

Doomsday for men’s cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track, along with five other athletic programs was scheduled for July 1 if each team was incapable of producing the necessary funding. Well it was July 2nd, and I had already assumed that Maryland Track had sung it’s swan song.

But, according to the mighty Facebook, that apparently was not the case.

Eager to learn more, I began scouring the online editions of the Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Only seconds later, I began to get more information without having to consult the local papers. Several of my former teammates were leaving me texts to share the good news: Having achieved the first of a series of fundraising benchmarks thanks to countless gracious donors, the Terps’ men’s track and field team will survive  at least one more year. It was the only program that survived one of the darkest eras of UMD Athletic.

BUT…

They only will field an outdoor track team for the 2013 season. No indoor track. And no cross country.

It was about March or April when I first heard a 14-man roster would be a possibility if the program garnered enough funds. At the time, I was pretty negative about the prospect of cutting what already was a small team in half. Knowing that the Terps’ Athletic Department places a heavy emphasis on how their teams place amongst their ACC rivals, is fielding a scantly-populated team with bare-bones amenities even worth their time?

But I’ve come around. Why?

Because it’s about the athletes.

After hearing some of the must frustrating news of their lives amidst the sweeping program cuts, 27 student-athletes had to ask some difficult questions: Do I stay at UMD? Do I transfer? I love it here–should I remain at UMD and effectively terminate my D1 track career?

Yes, a 14-man roster is small, and re-establishing the team as a national powerhouse (as it was from the late 50’s through the 80’s) will be…well…nearly impossible. Yet, keeping the team alive for at least one more season allows for the upperclassmen to reach the metaphorical finish line while still wearing red and black proudly. Likewise, it gives the underclassmen some time to think of what their next moves will be.

And who knows: Maybe the team can develop a sound fundraising strategy that will allow them to stay viable?

Sure, there has already been damage that can’t be undone, and there will be some tough decisions. Athletes have transferred. Recruiting has been seriously hampered. And money will be tighter than ever. Additionally, how will they choose who is to comprise the mini-roster? Surely, some athletes will be left out.

But, if I know this team (and I do), I know that they’ve borne this cross as a unit. So there is no reason, in my mind, to feel as though anyone will be “left out.” Those who have been accepted as a part of the UMD Track & Field family, are, and always will be, Terps.

For a track team to competitive at a collegiate championship level, it doesn’t necessarily need great depth. 14 men can make a statement.

Opportunities abound for those who train to be their best.

And for those who will represent the University of Maryland for the upcoming outdoor track season, they will be allowed to say, “Ah, yes. The 2013 ACC Championships. That was a great race.”

It’s better than having to say, “I wonder what could’ve been…”

To make donations to the UMD Men’s Track and Field Program, click here.

Happy Running,

Greg