Thursday, November 27, 2014

Run Like a Turkey

Don't know what everybody was consuming on Turkey Day, but starting the day off with a Turkey Day Race was certainly popular this year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

News: NCAA DII Indoor Track Pre-Season Rankings; Testosterone Research: Heather and the Hurricane

Cross Country isn't over yet, but NCAA DII rankings are out for the indoor track season HERE.

Researchers at Emory University attempt to discover if  testosterone levels in XC runners correlate with performance HERE.

Charlie Mahler's story on Heather Van Norman and Hurricane Katrina HERE.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Commentary: Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship is trending.  At the end of cross country season there has been a number of articles featuring runners helping fallen and/or injured runners.  Dripping with "human interest," these events were featured on mainstream media as well as social media.

It started in Minnesota with the runner carrying an injured athlete to the finish on her back.  Both athletes were not only featured in local television and print media, but also made a n appearance on Ellen DeGeneres's daytime talk show.  Shortly thereafter a fallen runner was helped to the finish by two other runners near the finish of the MSHSL XC Championship girl's Class AA race.
The three runners together in the center of Gene Niemi's picture--Tierney
Winter(423), Jessica Christopher(429) and Kailee Kiminski(459)--were all 

This past weekend a virtual carbon copy of the MSHSL display of sportsmanship happened in the NCAA DI women's race, as well as the men's race at the NAIA XC Championships. All were recorded online and in the mainstream press.  All were hailed as heroic displays of sportsmanship. Is this trend that unusual and/or noteworthy?   Or has it happened as often as this year only it was not documented as well?

All those who helped a runner complete the race said they did it because it was "the right thing to do."  Even though it is against the rules because it is a prohibited form of "assistance" that gives the athlete being "assisted" an unfair advantage.  It alters the outcome of the race.

No performance was improved aside from the athlete being helped to the finish.  Those providing the assistance finished slower than they would have if they had not stopped to help.  In all cases, the runner assisted was disqualified, although no statement regarding the runner who was injured and carried piggy back to the finish was made as to whether or not she was DQed, it seems logical to think that she was not given an official finish time and place.

All these situations raise a number of questions.  Is "sportsmanship" in such short supply that when people do what the athletes did to assist the runners in trouble in these situations was it that noteworthy or rare that they merited the publicity they received?  Is it fair and reasonable to disqualify those who helped?  Do the current rules in Minnesota need to be revisited or are they fine as is?  Part of the "assistance" rule states that runners cannot touch each other, hold hands. So, if they wanted to tie in a race, technically, both could be disqualified.

One guesses that this may be because there is another rule that either demands a judgement from officials as to who was ahead of the other.  One would get first, for example, and the other second, which might be a factor in team scoring. Or, if the rules said that if a clear winner could not be determined that both individuals would be given the same place, which again could influence team scores. Sportsmanship and scoring collide with the nod given to scoring, to competition over compassion.

There is no universal "right" answer to these questions only rules and their interpretation and enforcement. Is there a way to both reward "sportsmanship" and the rules of competition?
Minnesota and Baylor runners helping another Baylor runner .
Photo by Mike Scott
In the video of the athletes helping the Baylor runner finish you can hear those taking the footage or those standing near them instantly recognize that one of more of these runners was breaking the rules. You can hear the mixed emotions in their voices, as if they know what the rules say, but they wish they didn't.  A wish that the rules would have room for competition and compassion.  It will be interesting to see if anything comes of these mixed emotions.  If they inspire rules alterations or if there is no change that can accomodate those seemingly conflicting  emotions.

News: Wintheiser; NCAA DII Rankings; Multi Sport Participation; Heather Van Norman; Sportsmanship

St. Olaf's Grant Wintheiser selected as male NCAA DIII Athlete of the Year HERE.
St. Cloud Times story on Wintheiser is HERE.

Final NCAA DII team rankings are HERE.

Multiple sports participation among young athletes helps them avoid overuse injuries HERE.

More on Heather Van Norman HERE.

At the NAIA national XC championships another runners helping runner story HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

News: Chiba Ekiden; Barefootin'; DIII/DI All Americans; NCAA DII XC Champs Qualifiers; Sportsmanship; Wayzata Timing;

Results from the Chiba Ekiden HERE. US team, with Katie McGregor as the women's coach, finished sixth.

FloTrack video on the Coastal Carolina women from South Africa like to run barefoot HERE

List of DIII All Americans HERE. DI HERE.

NCAA DII XC Champs Qualifiers HERE

Runner's World story on Baylor's Madie Zimmerman and Minnesota's Kate Bucknam helping Baylor's Annie Dunlap at the end of the race is HERE.

Luther College grad Josh Gerber thanks the school for helping him develop his business, Wayzata Timing HERE.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News:NCAA Video and Photos; Speed; MIAC Runners at DIII Nationals; Ekiden; The Catch

Video summary of DIII championships HERE

NCAA DI Photo albums HERE and HERE.
Link to the FloTrack video of the trio HERE.

Photo by Michael Scott

Sprint speed translates to yards gained in football HERE.

NCAA DIII photo albums featuring MIAC teams HERE, HERE, and HERE

Chiba Ekiden relay(Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champion Tyler Pennel runs a leg for the US) on live stream starting just after 10PM tonight HERE.  US team members and staff HERE. Event history HERE.

Times Picayune story on Odell Beckham Sr., Heather Van Norman, and Beckham Jr. while he was a standout football player at her alma mater, LSU, is HERE. Strib story HERE.

How does Beckham Jr. make such a catch?  Practice.  See pre-game warm up clips HERE

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NCAA DII Regions: Sam Rivard Wins Individual Race at NCAA DII Central Region Meet to lead UMD to the Team Title

Race is on in the NCAA DII Region Meet
UMD's Sam Rivard won the individual title at the NCAA DII Central Region Meet to lead the Bulldogs to the team title.

Women's team champions UMD

Men's results are HERE. Women's are HERE.
Men's team champs, Augustana

NCAA DI: Bates Third, Gopher Women 31st; Ferlic Top MN finisher in the Men's Race in 13th

Emma Bates at the finish
Kate Avery of Iona won the NCAA DI women's title in 19:31.6 for 6K.  Emma Bates was third in 19:44.5. "Hands down the toughest race I have ever run. Thank you to everyone who supported me! So proud of my effort today and my amazing team!" Bates tweeted.  FloTrack interview with Emma Bates HERE. DI women's results are HERE.

In the women's DI race both Michigan State, who won the team title, and Avery were in control from the start.  Avery was at or near the front the entire race and broke the race open about midway and was never challenged. Full replay of women's race HERE. FloTrack interview with Griak women's champ Shelby Houlihan, who finished ninth at Nationals HERE. Gopher women's summary HERE.

Gopher women's results are:
                                   Place/Time/Team place

In the men's race Edward Cheserek sat in the huge front pack until 8K when he turned on the jets and broke open the race for first.  He finished in 30:19.4.  His teammate Eric Jenkins was second in 30:23.2.  Mason Ferlic was in the hunt at 12th in the front pack at 8K.  The Gopher's Aaron Bartnik was in 97th and Michael VanVoorhis  was 112th. Colorado, like Cheserek, successfully defended their team title

Ferlic finished in 13th in 30:37.1.  VanVoorhis was 109th in 31:38.3, and Bartnik 139th in 31:50.9. DI Men's results are HERE.  Full video of men's race HERE. FloTrack interview with Mason Ferlic HERE. Gopher coach Steve Plasencia comments on Aaron Bartnik's experience at Nationals HERE

DIII: Wintheiser Wins Individual Title, St. Olaf Second in Men's Team Race: Steinke 4th and Meyer 7th in Woman's Race

St. Olaf's Grant Wintheiser won the men's 8K in 23:44.9. UW Eau Claire's Josh Thorson finished third in 23:57.1. North Central took the team title over St. Olaf 130-143.  Full DIII men's race results are HERE.

Wintheiser stayed with the pack until the late stages of the race where he broke away for the win.  St. Olaf had the advantage in the first half of the team race, but North Central came on over the last half to reclaim the team title that St. Olaf took last year.
St. Olaf men's team

Race favorites Amy Regan of the Stevens Institute of Technology and Lucy Cheadle of Washington University battled over the last two kilometers with Regan breaking away down the homestretch to win by seven seconds 20:50.9 to 20:58.7  Post race interview with Amy Regan HERE.

Ruth Steinke of Carleton was fourth in 21:37.9 and Macalester's Kimber Meyer seventh in 21:41.4. Erin Statz of St. Thomas was 13th in 21:00.6. Johns Hopkins won their third straight team title. Carleton was 14th, St. Thomas 21st, and St. Olaf 27th in the team race.

Eau Claire coach Dan Schwamberger's summary of the UW Eau Claire team results(men/7th; women 17th) on YouTube HERE.  St. Olaf SID men's summary is HERE. Carleton men's summary is HERE. Macalester SID info on Kimber Meyer HERE. St. Thomas SID story is HERE(women) and HERE(men).

USATF men's race recap is HERE with interviews with both coach Phil Lundin and Grant Wintheiser. North Central team talks about the battle for the men's team title HERE.

Full DIII results are HERE.

Friday, November 21, 2014

News: NCAA DIII Previews

FloTrack DIII previews are HERE.  Interview with St. Olaf's Grant Wintheiser and Jake Brown is HERE.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

News: Gophers/NCAA; Michael Van Voorhis; NCAA DII regions/UMD; HS, Kenya; Indoor Running Options; Snowboarding Grandma

Minnesota Daily NCAA Championship preview HERE

St. Paul Pioneer Press story on St. Paul Central grad Michael Van Voorhis, who will be running for Wisconsin at NCAA's is HERE

NCAA DIII men's preview is HERE, women's HERE.

 Northland News Center Preview of UMD's men and women's teams at the NCAA DII Regionals HERE.

Perham Focus on Perham's Billy Beseman signing letter of intent to attend the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota HERE

More studies on Kenyan runners searching for clues to why they have been so successful HERE and HERE.

MDRA listing of indoor running options for the winter HERE.

I know this isn't running, but it's inspiring, snowboarding Grandma HERE

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

News: NXN; HS Team Rankings; NCAA DI Preview, DIII Region Awards; The Real World

Strib summary of the Minnesota HS runners going to NXN Nationals HERE.

Running Times evaluation of the teams going into the NXN Nationals HERE.

Running Times HS team rankings for boy's HERE, girl's HERE.

Women's race preview for DI NCAA National Championships HERE, men HERE. For a long look down memory lane, Track & Field News has an archive of past NCAA DI championship history, as well as a look at NCAA DIII history HERE.

NCAA DIII Region award winners are HERE. St. Olaf's Grant Wintheiser(athlete) and coach Phil Lundin(coach) earn men's awards. Carleton's Ruth Steinke and Donna Ricks earned the women's honors for 2014.  As with the NCAA DI awards, more athletes and coaches with local ties have been bestowed these honors in years past(Ben Sathre, Dan Greeno, Pete Wareham, Chelsea Johnson, Linda Keller, Marie Borner, Christy Cazzola, Dan Schwamberger)

US hurdler Jason Richardson talks about life on the track circuit, the "real world," and fashion HERE.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

News: NCAAs; HS Signings; Winter Running Advice; Drones, FOY

Gopher women's preview of the NCAA DI women's race HERE.

NCAA announcement of top athletes and coaches in each Region.  No winners in DI this year from Minnesota, but a lot(Hassan Mead, Eric Finan. Stephanie Price, Emma Bates, Beth Alford Sullivan, Gary Wilson) are on the accompanying list of past winners HERE
Video interview with Hamline's Ryan Peterson on the season and the trip to Nationals HERE.

Gopher men's team announce eight letter of intent signings HERE.

Winter running advice from Team USA MN coach Dennis Barker:
Rules and regulations are being formed in an attempt to prevent misuse of drones HERE.

The "Fountain of Youth" business HERE