Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Adam Steele: New Home, New Event

Two weeks ago, after we posted news about Mitch Potter representing the USA at the Norwich Union meet in Scotland, we wondered about the status and whereabouts of Adam Steele.

Potter and Steele (pictured), you'll remember, were the 1-2 quarter-miling punch that powered the Gophers' 2003 Big Ten outdoor championship season. Potter won the Big Ten 400 title outdoors as did the 4 x400 relay. Steele won the NCAA 400 where Potter finished third and the relay finished second.

Our e-mail to Steele found him in -- take a moment to guess -- Eugene, Oregon where he's training with the newly revitalized Oregon Track Club Elite program under the direction of Frank Gagliano, the long-time Georgetown coach. Fellow Minnesotan's Cack Ferrell and Sean Graham are also in the well-supported Nike program that is part of what seems to be an Oregon-wide, Nike-powered effort to make the 2008 Olympic Track and Field Trails in Eugene the best ever.

Steele competes this weekend in Seattle in his new event, the 800 meters. He opened his season with a 47.5 400m leg on the OTC distance medley team in Seattle two weekends ago.

Here's what we learned from Eden Prairie High School grad about his move to Eugene:

The Decision: "I considered training with the Santa Monica Track Club under Joe Douglas. I made two trips in October to see which would be the best place for me, LA or Eugene. After making both trips it was clear where I would fit in better, LA had a little too much city for me."

The Program: "OTC has one other 400m guy moving up to the 800m, Matt Scherer. Matt graduated from U of O last spring after running a 45.3 in the 400m. He has been hurt with an Achilles problem since I arrived a month ago, but should be ready soon. My other training partners are Marc Sylvester and Joel Legare for the time being. Other guys out here training include, Nick Symmonds, James Hatch, Kevin Elliot, Elliott Blunt, and Brandon Shaw.

The 800: "The 800m is my primary focus and I will have the chance to run a few 400m on relays. I look forward to figuring out my deficiencies and knocking some of the cobwebs out. I guess my expectations are to just see what I have and not worry about too many "what ifs" before the race. I don't have too much of an emphasis on indoors, I just want to get out here get used to the training and the new coach."

Frustrations & Encouragement: "The last couple of years have been frustrating and encouraging at the same time. My first year out was very frustrating because I was trying to get back to my form in 2003. For whatever reason I could not get back. Last year was a little more motivating because I had new things to shoot for and ran a few PR's throughout the year. Now that I have one year under my belt I have a better understanding of what I need to do. When I got out here the image became more clear after I got my butt kicked in practice for a few weeks. After a month I am just starting to adapt to the workouts and have an understanding of the intensity. Hopefully, in the future I'll toughen up and stick with the guys during the longer intervals."

Update: DtB received late word yesterday from Adam Steele that he's withdrawn from the Seattle 800 meter. "I pulled out . . . due to a few bumps and bruises we don't want to flare up on the indoor track. I am not sure when I will race next but I would guess sometime late Feb or early March.

Photo courtesy of TrackShark.

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