Friday, August 26, 2016

Need to Do Something with Your Race T Shirts? Try Making a Tote Bag out of Them

Need to Do Something with Your Race T Shirts? Try Making a Tote Bag out of Them HERE.

Rebels Northwoods Invitational Results

Rebels Northwoods Invitational Results HERE

NHS Rules Change in 2017 for Assistance to Injured/ill Competitors

National Federation of of State HS Associations Rules Change in 2017 for Assistance to Injured/ill Competitors HERE

Central Open Results

Central Open Results HERE

Rochester Mayo Team Time Trials Results

 Rochester Mayo Team Time Trials. Boy's  Results HERE. Girl's HERE

The Tale of an Ultramarathoner and the Dog that Adopted Him

The Tale of an Ultramarathoner and the Dog that Adopted Him HERE
Today is National Dog Day...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

MN High School Coaches Association Girl's AA XC Rankings

1, Edina
2. Willmar
3. Wayzata
4. Farmington
5. Shakopee
6. Marshall
7. Red Wing
8, Forest Lake
9. Eden Prairie
10. Minnetonka
11. Duluth East
12. Lake South
13. Hopkins
14. WBL
15. Mpls Washburn
16. Sartell
17. STMA
18. Montecello
19. Bloom Jefferson
20. Henry Sibley
21. Anoka
22. Moorhead
23. Eastview
24. Mankato West
25. Prior Lake
26. Waseca
27. East Ridge
28. Lake North
29. Buffalo
30. Rosemount 

1     Claire Boersma, 12, Marshall            
2     Lauren Peterson, 10, Farmington          
3     Sophie Whicher, 11, Minnetonka          
4     Emily Covert, 10, Minneapolis Washburn
5     Anna Fenske, 8, Farmington          
6     Maria Rickman, 10, Edina               
7     Brianne Brewster, 8, Lakeville South     
8     Jessa Hanson, 12, Willmar             
9     Emily Kompelien, 11, Edina                
10   Sadie Hamrin, 11, Bemidji             
11   Liesl Schreiner, 10, Edina               
12   Anastasia Korzenowski, 12, Chanhassen          
 Others:  Amanda Mosborg, 12, Edina; Tess Misgen, 12, Shakopee; Natalee Sample, 9, Marshall;        Renae Anderson, 12, Hopkins        

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Heather Kampf 3rd; Garrett Heath 5th in Falmouth Elite Miles

Heather Kampf 3rd; Garrett Heath 5th in Falmouth Elite Miles. Results HERE.

Mead 11th, Farah Gold, Chelimo 2nd, Lagat 4th in 5K

Results HERE
Three DQs for "Lane infringements" being reviewed.  Chelimo one of the athletes charged.  Could push Lagat to 3rd  if upheld.
Two of the three DQed reinstated(Chelimo and Canada's Mohammed Ahmed)

Blankenship 8th, Willis 3rd, Centrowicz Gold in Men's 1500

Kicker's race with a blanket finish as less than two seconds separate the top 12. Blankenship 8th, Willis 3rd, Centrowicz Gold in Men's 1500.  Results HERE.

MN Native Bob Larsen Talks Strategy and Technique Meb Keflezighi Employs in the Marathon

MN Native Bob Larsen Talks Strategy and Technique Meb Keflezighi Employs in the Marathon HERE

Gwen Jorgensen Wins Triathlon Gold

Friday, August 19, 2016

Blankenship and Mead On a Mission

Hassan Mead and Ben Blankenship are both gifted, dedicated, and intense.  Both are on a mission to see how far they can go with their talents, and on Saturday they face the challenge of testing themselves against the very best in their profession.

The journey to this milestone has not been easy.  For Mead especially the road to Rio has had a number of potholes.  While running for the Gophers, out on a routine training run along the River Road, Mead's lung suddenly sprung a leak.  Not only was the physical breakdown scary it came seemingly out of nowhere and, though he was able to recover from it, his doctors had no explanation why it happened and/or if it could ever happen again.  The condition was rare, he was told, and tended to happen to ectomorphs like him.

Lagat, Mead, and Chelimo at the Olympic Trials.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
His body type wasn't going to change, so Mead put fear in the rear view mirror and gradually worked back into his regular program.  He not only recovered from the River Run surprise, but has steadily improved as his "comeback" progressed. Over the past few years, Mead set personal bests in nearly all the distances he runs.  He broke through last year on the international scene by making the US team for the World Championships.  Blankenship has made similar progress.  In 2015 in the midst of his breakout season he anchored the US team to a World Record, defeating the Kenyans, as the anchorman on the US Distance Medley Relay team.

While Blankenship and Mead excelled in both high school and college, neither had been a world beater, someone tagged by those ranking talent as a potential world champion and/or Olympic medalist.  When each graduated from the University of Minnesota their coach, Steve Plasencia, had to "sell them" to the folks running post-collegiate development/support programs.  Each ended up getting spots in the Nike OTC Elite Track Club team in Eugene.  Their development was passed from Plasencia to former UK steeplechase Olympic medalist Mark Rowland, who is one of the coaches in the Nike programs.

In 1988 Rowland demonstrated his prowess as an athlete by winning a medal in the Seoul Olympics in the steeplechase, an event that had been the possession of Kenyan runners who often swept the medals in that event.  As a coach Rowland's task is to develop underdogs like himself.  One of the ways he has done that is to collaborate closely with his athletes who respond to such an approach.

Neither Mead nor Blankenship experienced immediate success.  The training program was similar to that at the U of M, but the competition was more challenging.  Instead of collegiate competition, both Gopher alums were now facing the best in the world.  Searching for what the right event would be for them and how to exploit the gifts they had to climb the ladder of success.

Both Blankenship and Mead credit the collaborative approach Rowland has taken to help them in their quest.  Last year Blankenship noted that at least part of his development was due to his  increased involvement in his training program.  Rowland was letting him be more in charge of his workouts.  One of the favorites to make the 2015 US World Championship team in the 1500, Blankenship was outkicked by Leonel Manzano.  Thus the goal for this year was to either change events or get ready for this year's Olympic qualifying in the 1500 so that it didn't happen again.

Ben Blankenship winning the Medtronic TC 1-Mile
Photo by Gene Niemi
Blankenship worked on increasing his training volume with the possibility of moving up in distance, but that didn't pan out, so he found himself in a similar spot in the homestretch of the 2016 1500 final.  This time Blankenship won the battle with Manzano for the final spot on the Olympic team in the 1500.

Mead faced a different challenge.  If he wanted to repeat and better his qualifying for the US Worlds team by repeating that feat in an Olympic year, Mead raced at shorter distances, running fast 1500s and in the 5K.  In the Olympic Trials he was overcome by the heat and unable to finish the 10K, the event he had qualified forWorlds  in 2015, the challenge of duplicating his top three finish in the 5K was not seen as an exercise in  last minute desperation.  Mead was confident of his ability to make the team.  All he had to do was execute on race day.

In Rio, Mead tried to duplicate his Olympic Trials performance in the heats of the 5K.  As the racers approached the last 200 meters of that race, Mead was in prime position to gain a qualifying spot for the Olympic final when he was tripped and ended up flat on the ground as the other runners were accelerating to the finish.  Unable to scramble to his feet and finish fast enough to get a qualifying mark for the final, Mead was deemed to be worthy of a "second chance" by the IAAF appeals panel.  It's a chance doesn't want to waste.

For Mead the challenge of another "comeback"  is not foreign.  It's a spot he's been in before and he's demonstrated that he is up to the task.  Will he be the "comeback kid" again?

Athletes Age, But Not As Much as Non Athletes

Athletes Age, But Not As Much as Non Athletes HERE

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Barbora Špotáková Wins Bronze in the Javelin

Barbora Špotáková Wins Bronze in the Javelin Results HERE.
IAAF summary HERE.

Mead and Blankenship Ready for Saturday

Ben Blankenship Qualifies for 1500 Finals

Ben Blankenship Qualifies for 1500 Finals.  Results HERE

Q&A with Ladia Albertson-Junkans

Q&A with Ladia Albertson-Junkans HERE

MN XC Coaches Association Class A Preseason Rankings


1. Perham Zack Emery LaCrescent
2. Mora Michael Schwinghamer Mora
3. LaCrescent Carl Kozlowski Lake City
4. Pequot Lakes Mike Mitchell Blake
5. Jordan Alec Sanbeck Mora
6. Trinity of River Ridge Ryley Nelson       West Central Area
7 Lake City Michael Suda      Pipestone Area
8. West Central Area         Jake Paron       Cook  County-Two Harbors
9.   Lac Qui Parle Valley-DB  Hunter Kjelshus        Perham
10.     Annandale Mitchell Mund Lake City
11. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin  John Schwinghamer  Mora
12.   Glencoe-Silver Lake Matt Steiger  LaCrescent

1. Perham         Morgan Ritcher Breck
2. Fairmont                       Erika Fox        Carlton
3.     Luverne                 Tierney Wolfgram    Math&Science Acad.
4. Trinity of River Ridge Maria Pake Dilworth-Glydon-Felton
5. Annandale       Anna Donnay     Eden Valley-Watkins/K
6. Lanesboro/Fillmore Central Kayla Christopherson Austin Pacelli
7. Lac Qui Parle Valley-DB Grace Ennis     Trinity of River Ridge
8. Proctor Ellyssa Peterson      Greenway/N-K
9. Pine City Brynnan Covington        Perham
10 Blake         Brook Wedin Mora
11. Ely         Ellie Morgan        Frazee
12. United North Central Madison Schandelmeier         Luverne