Friday, January 30, 2015

Results: Jack Johnson Classic; St. Olaf Quad; Lihrman

Live results from the Jack Johnson Classic HERE. Gopher JJC preview for women HERE, men HERE.
Full Day One Results are HERE.
Gopher men's Day one Summary HERE, women HERE

St. Olaf Quad results HERE.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mac's Mission

Mac Wilkins. Photo courtesty of
Mac Wilkins is on a mission.  He wants to return his event to the status it once held in the US.  "I came from an era when the discus in the US was successful because there were a lot of entrepreneurial geniuses," Wilkins said.  It was the era of Olympic and World Champions who were from the US, not Germany or elsewhere.

Since that time--Wilkins was the last Olympic medallist winning a silver medal in the 1984 Games along with John Powell's bronze--medals have been hard to come by for US male throwers.

Stephanie Brown Trafton won a gold medal in women's discus at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Prior to that for the women there was only Leslie Deniz's silver from 1984. The peak of US women's discus throwing came in the 1928 and 1932 Games where Lillian Copeland won a silver in 1928 and a gold in 1932 where she was joined on the podium by Ruth Osburn who won the silver.

One medal in 30 years for the men is not acceptable for Wilkins, who has made a commitment in his post competitive life to attempt to change that.  He coached at Concordia College in Oregon and also created a throws center there to help train elite throwers who were attempting to fulfil their dreams of World and Olympic glory in the discus.  He also made frequent trips to the SPIRE Academy in Ohio to conduct clinics and teach the next generation of throwers and coaches. The rationale being that you want to tutor kids at a young age about the correct technique, so they don't have to attempt to relearn or retrain themselves later.

The discus is unique on the Olympic program as the only event at either the World Championships or the Olympics where a World Record has not been set in those competitions.  Wilkins knows a bit about setting records as he broke the men's discus record three times in one day back in 1976 becoming the first man to throw over 70 meters.

In 2013 Wilkins took a position at the USATF High Performance Center in Chula Vista to continue the work he began at Concordia through at least the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  "I'm a resource for anybody who's attempting to follow their help set up the best out-of-college throwers to go pro."  Throwers are not the "rock stars" of track and field, and there is very little financial support to allow those with Olympic aspirations to be able to reach the top of their sport without significant financial hardship.

Wilkins is hoping that USATF's recent talk of using some of the increase in sponsor money for the athletes results in monetary support for those who need it most.  That attempts, such as the staging of the shot put competition in the shadow of the Capitol Dome in Sacramento, improve the image and public recognition of the throws.

Wilkins is putting his efforts into the fundamentals, teaching the coaches and athletes of today at a young age the basics of training, the road to success in the event.  His trip to the Minnesota High School Track and Field Coaches Clinic is part of that effort.  Wilkins wants to spread around his love for the event, his passion.  "It's an act of love, an act of passion," he says about his "evangelical" mission to spread the gospel of discus throwing.  If you have  that passion, says Wilkins.  "You are compelled to share your passion.  It doesn't do any good to keep it to yourself."

Wilkins will be presenting four sessions at the clinic, two on Friday and two on Saturday.  The full schedule is HERE.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

News: MIAC & UMAC AOW; Devin Monson; Mark Wetmore; Annie Bersagel: Camel City Elite Mile

MIAC AOW of the week HERE.


Devin Monson gets promoted at Rogue HERE.

Colorado coach Mark Wetmore previews the upcoming season, talks distance running on the USTFCCCA podcast HERE.

Interview with Annie Bersagel HERE.

Renaldo Nehemiah Pays It Forward

Some of the greatest high hurdlers of all time. (From L to R) Renaldo Nehemiah,
Aries Merritt, Harrison Dillard, and Colin Jackson. Photo courtesy of IAAF
It seems fitting that the keynote speaker at this year's Minnesota State Track & Field Coaches Association Clinic has a Super Bowl ring. Renaldo "Skeets" Nehemiah was on the San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl champion team in 1984, but is better known as one of the top 110-meter high hurdlers in the world. He was the first to break the 13 second barrier in that event, and was a talented enough sprinter, sans hurdles, to be the MVP at the Penn Relays. As a high schooler, however, he was a star quarterback.

Further evidence of his multi talented athletic prowess was his four wins in the made for TV Superstars events in the 1980s. The track coaches gathered in Bloomington this weekend won't be after anecdotes on fly patterns or whether or not deflated footballs matter, but rather Nehemiah's wisdom on how to be the best at running fast over a lane of 42-inch high hurdles. Talking from his office in Reston, Virginia, Nehemiah, who now represents clients such as Olympic champion sprinter Justin Gatlin and 400 meter Olympic champion Kirani James, answered questions about his event and the things that have changed since he was the best in the world.

Technology, Nehemiah noted, has had the biggest impact on the event from camera phones, ubiquitous access to high quality video, to the composition of the track.  The hurdles are lighter and the tracks faster than in his prime, Nehemiah said. These changes have influenced how races are run and won. In his day, Nehemiah added, the composition of the track wasn't a factor. People didn't talk more about the track's features--how "fast" it was--as much as about the strengths and weaknesses of the individual athletes.

A Roger Kingdom would assault the event, crashing through hurdles with raw power, while a technician, such as China's Liu Zhang was more like Nehemiah, a virtual ballet artist who "flowed" over the hurdles much as Mikhail Baryshnikov would flow across the stage at Lincoln Center. Balance, said Nehemiah, is the key to master hurdling. At its core hurdling is an all out sprint interrupted by a series of graceful bounding through the air. A key factor in getting from start to finish as fast as one can, he noted, was combining innate athleticism with something as simple as keeping the arms moving forward in a straight line, as they would in a 100 meter sprint.  Not crossing the body, which can cause the body to pitch from side to side in wasted motion and energy instead of flash forward with all the momentum and drive pushing toward the finish.

Proper technique with the lead leg and trail leg are other skills need to be ingrained in the hurdler's "muscle memory" at an early age, so that those skills don't have to be reprogrammed later. It's far more efficient to teach the basics properly early in a hurdler's career than attempting to change a learned behavior that has been already hard wired into the neurological system, he said.

In events that are decided by razor thin margins even seemingly small "mistakes" can be the difference between winning and losing. So teaching the basics early is vital to an athlete's success. Something you can't teach, however, Nehemiah believes is the most important attribute for any athlete--the desire to get the best from yourself, to be the best you can be.  That drive for success, athletic perfection, is an essential element of an athlete's success. That devotion to always learning, always pushing for something better, never resting on one's laurels or becoming complacent is something of a cliche. Probably because it is an essential attribute for those who want to succeed in any endeavor, Nehemiah says.

It has been a feature of Nehemiah's since his earliest efforts at locomotion. His nickname, Skeets, was given to him by his parents to describe the swiftness and determination Nehemiah had during the crawling stage of his infancy. At that early age, Nehemiah was focused on the basic premise of all racing--getting to the finish line as quick as possible. Without coaching or other incentives aside from completing his task as quickly as possible, Nehemiah was creating the building blocks of a career in sprinting and hurdling.

When he talks to the coaches this weekend his task will be just as simple. He does the talks, imparts what he's learned during his career in order to give back to the sport that has given him so much. Sharing and learning so the next generation will be able to enjoy the activities that have been the foundation of his athletic pursuits for decades.

If you want to read more about Nehemiah's stats, development as an athlete go HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

News: USTFCCCA College AOW; NSIC AOW, Weekly Summary; Beginner-Friendly Marathons; Athlete's Plane; Trendy Minnesota; Boston Weather

NSIC week in review and AOW for men HERE, women HERE.

Grandma's and Medtronic TC Marathon on the list of 15 of "Run, Fast, and Beginner-Friendly Marathons HERE.

Want to take a ride on the "Athlete's Plane?" HERE.

Not only are the "Minnesota Twins" of marathoning, Grandma's and Medtronic TCM, listed in all the top marathon stories, but Outside dubs Minneapolis as a XC ski "Mecca," (HERE)and the Wall Street Journal raves about the State's "Heritage Brands." (HERE)  Dare we say that Minnesota is "trendy?"

Results: USATF MN Indoor #4

All Ages meet results from USATF Indoor #4 at St. Thomas broken down by age group HERE.

Rankings: Mankato #1 in NCAA DII Men's, U-Mary 5th in Women's; Three WI Schools in Top 5 of DIII M&W

Minnesota State Mankato tops the rankings for indoor track in men's NCAA DII; U-Mary 5th in Women's HERE.

Three Wisconsin schools in the top five of men's and women's NCAA DIII rankings HERE.

Monday, January 26, 2015

News: MIAC AOW; NSIC Indoor Performance List; Amanda Smock, Meghan Peyton

MIAC men's athletes of the week for track, Colby Seyferth; field, Evan McNeil HERE. Women Ruth Steinke, track, and Alyssa Solberg field HERE

NSIC indoor performance list is HERE.

Smock jumping at the Bison Classic on  January 17. She hop, step, jumped 13.57m/ 44' 6.25"

Meghan Peyton blogs on altitude training in preparation for US XC Nationals HERE.

Rankings: NCAA DI Team; Gopher Women 5th, Men 6th in T&FN Dual Meet Top 25

NCAA DI indoor track team rankings are HERE.

Gopher women fifth in Jesse Squire's Track & Filed News' Women's Dual Meet team rankings HERE. Men are 6th HERE.

2015 Minnesota Track & Field Coaches Clinic
January 29-31, 2015 at the Bloomington DoubleTree Hotel  

Support our clinic and Association by reserving your room at the Double Tree! 
Bring you family, the DoubleTree is located 10 minutes from the Mall of America and many other family friendly activities! 

Come join us and hear former World Record Holder Renaldo Nehemiah, Olympic champion Mac Wilkins, Olympian Derek Miles, Olympic Coaches Boo Schexnayder, Lucky Huber and many more outstanding Coaches!

The $90 Clinic fee includes 48 hours of top notch Track & field instruction!  It also includes 2 free socials and a nice Banquet Meal on Friday night.  As an added bonus, we will have prize drawings sponsored by our vendors throughout the Clinic.

Clinic registration for Minnesota Coaches is online at:

Coaches from outside of Minnesota can register by emailing: or calling 218-847-6796

Any other questions can be directed to Craig Nelson at :

Science News: The Science of Speed; Fat as Fuel;

Speeding up by "slowing down" HERE.

Fat as fuel HERE.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

News: Bethel Coach Andrew Rock in WIAC HOF; Securian Winter Run Half Marathon; USATF MN Indoor #4; Gender Equality; Records; WMRA; Women Running Administrators Honored

Bethel coach Andrew Rock was inducted into the WIAC Hall of Fame HERE. Full list of inductees is HERE.

Securian Winter Run Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K results are HERE.

USATF MN Indoor meet #4 results are HERE.

Jamie Cheever on the continuing inequality in the way women athletes and coaches are treated HERE.

Summary of the World Mountain Running Association's annual winter meeting is HERE.

Twin Cities in Motion's Virginia Brophy Achman among those honored in RW.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Updated Results: MSU Open and Multis; Border Battle; St. Thomas Invitational; Iowa State Duals; Jim Emmerich/Alumni Invitational; UW Stout Open, Mac Triangular; Concordia-Moorhead Alumni Meet; North Coast Indoor; Bronco Invite; Cornell/the Smiths

MSU women's summary HERE, Men's summary is HERE.  Full results are HERE.
UMD women's recap is HERE.  UMD's Amelia Mather's win in the pentathlon is HERE.
Southwest Minnesota State summary is HERE.
Minnesota State Moorhead summary is HERE.
Winona State women's summary is HERE. WSU Day One summary is HERE.
Carleton's Colby Seyferth wins Heptathlon, Carleton men's summary HERE. Women's HERE.

Gopher men and women win the Border Battle in Madison.  Full results are HERE. men's summary is HERE. Women's HERE.  Badger men's recap is HERE. Women HERE.

St. Thomas Invitational women's results are HERE, men HERE.
St. Thomas' women's summary is HERE. Men's summary HERE.
Concordia St. Paul summary is HERE.
UMD men's summary is HERE.
Bethel men's summary is HERE, women HERE
Hamline women's summary is HERE, men HERE.
St. Olaf men's summary is HERE. Women HERE.

At the Iowa State Duals, Lakeville North grad Ben Krynski was 6th in the weight throw with a toss of 46' 4.75".  Highland Park grad Elena Breitenbucher(Drake) was 16th in 5:31.22 in the women's mile.  CDH grad Kevin Docherty(Iowa) was 10th in the men's mile in 4:20.54.  Full results are HERE.

Jim Emmerich/Alumni Invitational results at SDSU HERE.
St. Cloud State summary is HERE.
U Mary men's summary is HERE. Women's HERE.

UW Stout Open results HERE.
Bemidji State summary is HERE.
St. Mary's summaries are HERE and HERE.
St. Scholastica women's summary is HERE. Men's HERE.

Macalester Alumni Triangular Meet results are HERE.
Mac men's summary is HERE, women HERE.
St Kate's summary is HERE.
Augsburg men's summary is HERE. Women's HERE.

Concordia-Moorhead Alumni Meet results are HERE.

Christy Cazzola wins 800 in North Coast Indoor Open in 2:06.43 HERE. Full results by event HERE.

Wayzata grad McKenna Evans finishes 6th in women's mile in 5:13.23 at the Bronco Invite.  Full results by event are HERE..

Cornell meet summary HERE.

Gender Equity Complaint and U of M Bierman Athletic Village/Gophers' Track; USATF MN Youth Track Camp; Blankenship/O'Lionaird

The fate of the University of Minnesota's track may be part of an ongoing  gender equity case HERE,  HERE and  HERE.

Mankato State will host a USATF Minnesota Youth Track Camp on February 1, details HERE.

FloTrack interview with Ben Blankenship and Ciaran O'Lionaird interview is HERE.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Results: Simmons-Harvey Invitational; St. Thomas Invitational; MSU Open and Multis; SDSU

Simmonds-Harvey Invitational men's summary and M&W results are HERE. Will Burke fourth in the 3K in 8:34.04.

Heat Sheets and Schedule for St. Thomas Invite HERE.  Men's results for day one are HERE, women's HERE.
UMD men's summary of Day One HERE.

Mankato State Open and Multi men's day one summary is HERE.women's summary is HERE. Day one results are HERE.
Women's pentathlon results are HERE. UMD press release on Amelia Maher's win in the pentathlon HERE. Heptathlon day one results are HERE.
Winona State Day One summary is HERE.

Live results for Saturday's SDSU Jim Emmerich/Alumni Invitational HERE.

News: Training, Photo Finish; Gopher/Badger Border Battle; 7-7-7

While all politics may be local, all training is individual.  Research on differing response to the same training HERE.

Gopher Border Battle previews:  Gopher men's preview HERE, women HERE.  Badgers men's preview  HERE, women's HERE. Interview with Gopher's Andie Zeman HERE.  Minnesota Daily meet preview is HERE.

Saturday's Macalester Alumni Invitational info HERE.

MSU Open and Multi info and schedule is HERE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

News: Gabe Grunewald; Dubai Marathon Live Stream

Team USA Minnesota's Gabe Grunewald talks about planning for the upcoming season.  Why she ran indoors last year, but isn't running indoors this year HERE.

Live Stream for the Dubai Marathon HERE. Began at 9 PM CST.

News: AOW; Mom Up; Technology; The Mind, the Last Taboo: Weight and Diet; Mellow Mile Preview; Sportsmanship

NSIC weekly women's summary and AOW HERE. Men's summary and AOW HERE.

MIAC women's AOW HERE. Men HERE.

WIAC women's AOW HERE. Men HERE.

Cristy Cazzola has advice for mothers who are runners; "Mom up" HERE

Cut through the philosophy jargon and you get to the issue of technology's impact on sports HERE.

The power of the mind HERE.

The "last taboo" in women's sport HERE and HERE.

Team USA Minnesota Emily Gordon's blog on weight, diet, and managing them both HERE.

Preview of January 31 Camel City Elite Races Mellow Mile is HERE.

Milwaukee tennis player's sportsmanship draws praise at the Australian Open HERE.

Monday, January 19, 2015

News: Training

Sports science writer Alex Hutchinson on "the five(new) pillars of training HERE.

News: NCAA Dual Meet Rankings

Gopher men 12th women 23rd in NCAA DI dual meet rankings HERE.