Tuesday, September 30, 2008

TCM History: 2004 Champions and Their Races

Here's the second installment in our series, with partner the Competitive Image, remember ing recent Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champions and the races they won.

Below, the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon champions:

'04 women's champ Irina Permitina: Russia's Permitina showed patience in the early-going and fleetness in the end to win the 2004 TCM and tie the course record she continues to share with countrywoman (and three-time TCM champ) Zinaida Semenova at 2:26:51. Permitina actually ran faster over the second half of the race, coming from 4th place at 13.1 miles to victory at the finish.

'04 men's champ Augustus Kavutu Mbusya: Kavutu Mbusya was the race leader at the all-important finish line as well. Hired pacesetter Valentin Orare, a fellow Kenyan, made a bid for victory but dropped out at the 23-mile mark. Then, Moroccan El Arbi Khattabi, who followed Orare on a pace that approached Phill Coppess' course record of 2:10:05, dropped a mile later, leaving victory for the 5 foot, 3 inch "tall" Kavutu Mbusya.

Find results for the 2004 TCM HERE.

Photos by Paul Phillips, Competitive Image.

Gabrielson Transitions Back to the Marathon

Team USA Minnesota's Matt Gabrielson hopes to parlay a successful track and field season into success at the USA Men's Marathon Championships held in conjunction with Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. The Edina High School assistant coach -- one of five Team USA Minnesota men race TCM -- finished 8th in the Olympic Trials 5000 meters, notched a 3:41.80 1500 meter PR, and ran a near-PR 13:30.95 5000m this summer.

We heard Gabrielson's"remodel" into a marathoner was going well, so we track him down to hear the story from him ...

DtB: How has your transition from Olympic Trials 5000 meter man to USA Championship marathoner gone?

Gabrielson: Good question. I guess the best way to answer that is by saying I have ridden the wave of momentum that began in early June and have kept it going through this past 9 or 10 weeks. I am so motivated to run EVERY day and have never loved the sport more than I do at the moment. I have had some of the best workouts of my life in the past month or so, but more importantly I feel like I have recovered from day in day out training so much better compared to any other time that I can remember.

I think it would be a tougher transition going from marathon specific work to 5K, but 5K to marathon is somewhat easier because you have all that speed in your muscles. It makes the marathon pace seem easier. It has just been a matter of being able to keep that marathon pace up over a long period of time which is a tricky thing. I feel very prepared for this though.

DtB: What's the biggest difference training-wise for you? Do you prefer training for one event over the other?

Gabrielson: I just feel really fresh on every workout compared to before NYC in 2006. I believe I may have crossed that fine line between being fresh and being worn down back then. I felt pretty flat two weeks before NYC.

This time around I have really tried to take each day as its own and run with intent each time I step out the door. I have really focused on the workouts and getting the most out of those as possible. Additionally, I really have listened to my body on the runs between workouts. Some days 7:30 per mile feels the same as 6 min. Regardless of the pace, I have felt very strong on a huge percentage of the runs. Once in awhile it's been pretty crappy starting out, but almost always gets better by the end.

As far as specific workouts go, a lot of it has been the same except I have run 28 miles twice - good, solid, fairly quick runs on the TCM course.

I really enjoy both events equally. I think the stimulus you get from both types of specific training allows you to be a better all around runner and keeps you fresher. The marathon helps the 5K and vice versa.

I have run 3:41 for 1500m which equates to a sub 4 minute mile and hopefully by the end of the day on October 5th my marathon PR will be outstanding enough to be one of the fastest mile-marathon Americans of all time. I wonder what a list of the best would look like?

DtB: You ran a 2:19 debut marathon in New York in 2006. What did you learn from that experience that you expect to put to use at Twin Cities?

Gabrielson: A lot! I really felt the destruction of my quads at mile 18 in NYC. We have done a lot of training to really condition those and allow them to withstand the pounding all the way through. I also feel that fluid intake went pretty smooth in NYC and pretty much nailed that aspect of the racing which will definitely come in handy on marathon day.

Really, I just learned a lot about my coach and myself mentally as well as physically preparing for and racing New York. I really cannot wait to test my limits on my home course.

DtB: A successful day for you at Twin Cities would be what?

Gabrielson: Like I tell the kids at Edina, the goal is to get as much as you can out of yourself on that very day. The stars will not align perfectly very often if ever, and you have to be prepared for a number of different scenarios. This is especially so in the marathon. If I lay everything on the line that day I will be satisfied.

The field for this race is outstanding - Dan Browne, [Fernando] Cabada, [Mike] Morgan, Justin Young, Lundo [Chris Lundstrom], Matt Downin, Fasil [Bizuneh], Ed Torres, among others - all veterans that could win the thing. There are also first-timers like Moen that could steal it.

I have run one marathon and my 2:19 puts me a ways down on the list, but I really believe in my ability as a runner and trust the training I have done enough to say that I deserve to be mentioned as a favorite to win. I will say that I will be as competitive as is humanly possible on that day. It will be a blood bath out there on that course and I can't wait to roll up the sleeves and get after it.

Photo of Gabrielson by Victor Sailer, courtesy of Team USA Minnesota.

This Week, Mora Tops Boys' Class A Poll

The latest high school cross country polls are out, and there's a new team atop the boys' Class A rankings.

The Mora boys now tops Class A, replacing Adrian (now #4) ... which last week replaced Pequot Lakes (now #2). The Adrian girls still top the girls' Class A rankings.

Nothing is changed atop of the Class AA rankings ... the Wayzata boys, the top Minnesota team in the Griak Gold race, lead as they have all season and the Lakeville girls, also Minnesota's best at Graik, still reign over their cohort.

Speaking of Griak ... the USATF- Minnesota web-site has posted THIS gallery of Gene Niemi photographs which include some we didn't post on DtB on Sunday.

Class A rankings can be found HERE.

Class AA rankings are below. Note that the Class AA girls are now ranked 16 teams and runners deep!

Class AA Boys' Rankings:

1 Wayzata
2 Eden Prairie
3 Edina
4 White Bear Lake
5 Moorhead
6 Forest Lake
7 Stillwater
8 Alexandria
9 Lakeville South
10 Minneapolis South
11 Minnetonka
12 Owatonna

1 Mahad Hassan 12 Willmar
2 Besufekad Shannon-Tamra 12 Hopkins
3 Zach Mellon 12 Buffalo
4 Robel Kebede 12 Mpls. South
5 Jakob Lindaas, 12, Moorhead
6 Eric Truedson, 12 Bemidji
7 Jeremy Drenckhahn 12 Wayzata
8 Kemal Jarso, 11, St. Paul Central
9 Lukas Gemar, 10, Moorhead
10 Drew Paradis 12 Alexandria
11 Danny Ducharme 12 Wayzata
12 Alex Johnson, 10, Maple Grove

Class AA Girls' Rankings:

1 Lakeville North
2 Eden Prairie
3 Minnetonka
4 Shakopee
5 Eastview
6 Chaska
7 Lakeville South
8 Stillwater
9 Moorhead
10 Prior Lake
11 Hopkins
12 Woodbury
13 Waseca
14 Burnsville
15 White Bear Lake
16 Grand Rapids

1 Claire Guidinger, 11, Winona
2 Jamie Piepenburg, 9, Alexandria
3 Caitlin Hewes, 10, Stillwater
4 Julia Harrison, 10, Mound-Westonka
5 Maria Hauger, 8, Shakopee
6 Katie Moraczewski, 12, White Bear Lake
7 Laura Docherty, 12, Cretin-Derham Hall
8 Emma Bates, 11, Elk River
9 Kaila Urick, 10, Chaska
10 Alexandra Rudin, 10, Eden Prairie
11 Laura Hughes, 11, Mankato West
12 Kayla Uphoff, 11, Lakeville South
13 Anne Ferguson, 9, Eastview
14 Crissy Monson, 8, Albert Lea
15 Sharmila Ahmed, 10, Burnsville
16 Taylor Scholl, 9, Prior Lake

Monday, September 29, 2008

TCM History: 2003 Champions and Their Races

As part of our Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon coverage this week, Down the Backstretch and the Competitive Image are teaming up to remember recent Twin Cities Marathon champions and the races they won.

Kicking off the series ... the champions of 2003:

'03 Women's Champ Blake Russell: Russell, in her marathon debut, jumped the 2003 TCM field early -- she led by more than two-and-a-half minutes at 13.1 miles -- and held on to win in 2:30:41 over Irina Safarova. Russell narrowly missed making the U.S. Olympic team the next year -- she was passed for the final qualifying spot in the last mile of the Trials -- but made the 2008 Beijing team, where she finished 27th.

'03 Men's Champ Eddy Hellebuyck: The 42-year-old Hellebuyck ran the fastest marathon ever for a American master when he came from behind to win the 2003 TCM in 2:12:47. The Belgian-born Hellebuck had fallen to 3rd place after eventual 4th-place finisher Gabriel Muchiri broke the field apart with a bold surge after the race crossed into St. Paul.

The merits of Hellebuyck's victory were called into question the following year, however, when he failed a doping test for EPO.

Find 2003 TCM results HERE.

Photos by Paul Phillips, Competitive Image.

Emily Brown Out of USA 10 Mile

Emily Brown, who was scheduled to compete in Sunday's USA Women's 10 Mile Championship, held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, has withdrawn from the event, according to Twin Cities Marathon officials.

The former Golden Gopher star had a recurrence in August of the back problem that dashed her Olympic Trials ambitions, according to Team USA Minnesota president Pat Goodwin. Brown, who is running again now, has decided to train through the fall without racing to best prepare for the 2009 season.

Also scratched from the field late last week were Melissa White of Royal Oak, Michigan, who finished 6th at the New Haven 25K earlier this month and former TCM women's champion Nicole Aish of Gunnison, Colorado, who was a late entrant into the event.

The much-anticipated clash between the ING NYC Marathon-bound stars Kara Goucher and Katie McGregor, the favorites in the race, is still still on tap.

Your Editor ... will be providing play-by-play of Sunday's USA Women's 10 Mile from the race's lead vehicle. You can hear my call of the race -- as well as updates from USA Track and Field's Glenn Latimer and Olympian Carrie Tollefson, who will be covering the men's and women's marathons, respectively -- from the TCM finish-line in St. Paul

1988 Ron Daws Interview to Air Tonight

A 1988 interview with the late Ron Daws, one of the giants in Minnesota distance running history, will be rebroadcast tonight on the Mary Hanson Show, beginning at 9:00 p.m. on Channel 6, the Metro Cable Network (MCN.) The channel reaches cable-connected homes in the seven county metropolitan area of Minneapolis/St.Paul.

Daws, a University of Minnesota alum, made the 1968 Olympic team in the marathon, authored The Self Made Olympian and Running Your Best, and he was a contributor to Runner's World, among his many achievements.

The interview will ultimately appear on the program's web-site, HERE.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Griak Invitational Photo Gallery

The start of the HS boys'
Larry Zirgibel Gold race with 450 runners! (Photo by Charlie Mahler)

Leaders in the Maroon II race: Mankato's
James Krajsa (1020), Erik Atkinson (1144), Justin
Grunewald (1801), and Mankato's Dana Schmidt (1026).

The Gophers' Hassan Mead, the individual runner-up in the men's Gold race.

Gopher Chris Rombough, 13th overall for the 4th-place Gopher men.

The Gopher pack: (from left) Heather Dorniden, Mallory Van Ness, Megan Duwell, and Amy

A huge final kilometer of racing by the Gophers' Duwell (11), Jamie Cheever (5), and Gabriele Anderson (1) sealed the victory over #5 Arizona State in the Jack Johnson Gold Division.

Top Gold women: (from right) Winner
Kari Hardt of Arizona State, runner-up Duwell, 3rd placers Jenna Kingma of ASU, 4th placer Anderson, 5th placer Cheever, and 6th placer
Ali Kielty of ASU.

Photos by Gene Niemi except where indicated.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 26-28

While the Griak Invitational will grab a lot of this weekend's attention -- and if you haven't read Jamie Kirkpatrick's and Mackenzie Lobby's Dyestat preview of the high school races at Griak, we urge you to do so -- it's not the only event important to Minnesota running and track fans.

Find our links to results of the weekend's important meets and races below.

Griak Invititational: Flotrack Coverage * Results * College Race Recaps

D1 Update: Gopher women defend, Megan Duwell 2nd; Gopher men 4th, Mead 2nd.

D2 Update: Mankato men and women 3rd, UMD frosh Place wins, Kato's Krajsa 4th.

D3 Update: Bethel's Greeno wins (photo above), Hamline men 4th; Bethel's Borner 2nd, Carleton women 4th.

HS Boys: Wayzata 3rd, Buffalo's Mellon 6th in "Gold" race.

HS Girls: After re-start (!!!), Lakeville North 4th, White Bear's Moraczewski 5th in "Gold."

Stanford Invitational: Results
Update: Garrett Heath 5th, Elliott Heath 12th.

USA Women's 8K Championships: Results * Recap
Update: McGregor runner-up in 25:56 to Slattery's 25:54.

Mustang Invitational: Results

Women Run the Cities 10 Mile: Results
Update: Team USA Minnesota's Armstrong wins in 58:30.

USATF Minnesota/St. Kate's Cross Country Meet: Team Results
Update: Erichsen leads Collegeville to another XC Circuit victory; RNF women romp.

Dan Greeno photo by Pete Miller.

Northfield Invitational Photo Gallery ...

Yesterday afternoon seemed like the right time to find the nearest cross country meet and take some photos of young people exerting themselves against the the lovely autumn backdrop.

The start of the varsity boys' race.

Cheering the varsity girls on.

Out around the pond loop.

Varsity girls' runner up Chrissy Monson of Albert Lea and 3rd placer Taylor Scholl of Prior Lake in the chute.

Fatigue and friendship.
Photos by Charlie Mahler.

Results of the meet can be found HERE.

Notes: NYC, WR, USATF-Mn, RM, etc.

Before DtB gets swamped with this weekend's results, coverage of the Griak Invitational, and then next week's countdown to the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, we need to clear the news desk of some accumulated items.

Kara Goucher's & Katie McGregor's Competition ... at the New York City Marathon is beginning to shape up. The New York Road Runners announced this week that Ethiopian stars Gete Wami and Dire Tune, Russian Lyubov Morgunova, Britain's Hayley Haining, and marathon debutante Kim Smith of Zealand will be fellow members of the ING New York City Marathon field on November 2.

Minnesota's World Record Holder ... Czech javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova -- okay, she only attended the U of M for a year, but we'll continue to claim her unless we're told otherwise -- said the following of her recently completed season which included an Olympic gold medal and a World Record a few weeks back at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany:

“It has been a dream season. I can't believe I have broken the world record at the end of the season. I have been healthy and I feel like I am just getting better and better," the former Gopher all-American told the U of M media staff.

Local Athletes Profiled ... We've come across two nice profiles of local runners. Chad Austin just published THIS interview with master distance running star Jared Mondry on his Running Minnesota blog. About a week ago, the Pioneer Press ran THIS feature on the running Docherty family.

Want to Be an Official? ... USA Track and Field Minnesota will be hosting an track and field officials certification clinic on Saturday, October 18. The USATF-Mn blurb on the clinic can be found HERE. For further details, contact Merrill Fischbein at: Fischbein AT earthlink DOT net.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Week, McGregor Eyes USA 8K Title

Next weekend, on the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor will battle Kara Goucher for the USA 10 Mile Championship held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 10 Mile.

This weekend, however, McGregor has an 8K title in mind.

The Team USA Minnesota star headlines the invited field at the USA Women's 8K Championship to be held in Akron, Ohio on Saturday. The championship, held in conjunction with the Akron Marathon, features a prize purse of $23,500 with $7,500 going to the winner. The race begins at 7:30 a.m.

An Ohio native, McGregor (pictured) will face a field that includes 2008 USA 20K champion Jill Steffens of Athens, Georgia; two-time Olympian and 2008 20K runner-up Elva Dryer of Gunnison, Colorado; and two-time USA 8K champion Amy Rudolph of Providence, Rhode Island.

The runner-up at last weekend's USA 5K Championships, Renee Metivier-Baille of Flagstaff, Arizona is also scheduled to compete along with Molly Huddle of Providence, Rhode Island, Carrie Messner-Vickers of Vail, Colorado; and Rebecca Donaghue of State College, Pennsylvania who finished third, fourth and fifth at the USA 5K last weekend. 2008 Olympic steeplechaser Lindsey Anderson of Ogden, Utah and Sara Slattery of Boulder, Colorado, will also toe the Akron starting line.

McGregor is a four-time national champion in distances ranging from the 10,000 meters on the track, 10K road (where she's won a pair of titles) and the 25K. She has a best in the 8K of 25:36.

Later this fall McGregor will run the ING New York City Marathon on November 2.

Photo by Victor Sailer, courtesy of Team USA Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Top Ten Women's Tussle at Griak:
#9 Gophers to Battle #5 Arizona State

The defending Griak Invitational champion University of Minnesota women will need to defeat a fellow top-10 team, if they are to become the meet's second-ever back-to-back women's champions.

The #9-ranked Gophers expect #5 Arizona State to provide stiff competition in the 23rd running of the U of M's signature cross country event. #20 Duke could also challenge.

Last year, the Gopher women edged the Sun Devils 97-100 for the crown. The Gophers went on to win the Big Ten title later in the season and placed 12th at the NCAA Championships. Arizona State finished 4th at NCAAs.

Only Providence College, in 1995 and 1996, has won back-to-back women's crowns at Griak. Arizona State has won the women's title at Griak four times -- 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. The Gophers have won in 1988, 2000, and last year.

In all, 350 college and high school teams and more than 4000 individual runners are expected to compete in the meet which gets underway Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights.

Gopher Men Favored ... The Gopher men appear poised to win their first-ever Griak title. The squad is ranked #9 in the country. New Mexico, ranked #15 in the NCAA pre-season poll, is the most likely challenger, followed by #29 Iowa State and #30 Brigham Young University.

Five teams in the men's field made NCAA appearances in 2007 -- Minnesota, 8th; BYU, 22nd; Arizona State, 26th; and Iowa State and Ohio State who tied for 30th.

The Gopher men, who finished a program-best third at Griak last year, are led by all-Americans Hassan Mead and Chris Rombough who will be making their season debuts at the meet.

The U of M media mavens have issued a comprehensive for the Griak Invitational preview HERE.

You can find a list of teams competing in the Gold (Division I) races HERE.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Exiled to the JV: The Jakub Zivec Story

Today's Star-Tribune has THIS story about Grand Rapids senior Jakub Zivec, a Czech national who, because he attends his Minnesota high school without being part of a recognized international exchange program, is not allowed to compete in varsity competition.

Zivec is definitely varsity material -- he has track PRs of 3:57.07 for the 1500 meters and an 8:19.35 for 3000m and recently ran a 5K cross country race in 14:53, albeit in JV competition. He hoped to run unattached at the Griak Invitational this weekend, according to the Michael Rand story, but instead will watch from the sidelines.

Zivec came to the United States this summer to live with his uncle, biathlon coach Vladimir Cervenka, in the hopes of improving his English and attaining a athletic scholarship to an American university. Zivic plans to return to the Czech Republic in January.

What's Your Take? After reading the story, tell us what you think of situation. Is the Minnesota State High School League's rule barring Zivec and athletes like him from varsity competition in the best interests of the sport and its athletes?

Adrian Boys Join Adrian Girls Atop Class A;
Wayzata and Lakeville North Top Class AA

The big changes to this week's high school cross country polls come in boys Class A, where Adrian moved from #2 to #1 in the rankings, and former #1 Pequot Lakes dropped to #3.

Adrian won the Class AA division at the Milaca Mega-Meet (there were four enrollment-based divisions there) with 83 points, beating then-#3 Mora (86 points) and Pequot Lakes (3rd with 102.)

The Adrian boys join the Adrian girls atop the Class A standings. The Adrian girls -- rankings toppers all season -- won handily at Milaca, beating #7 Fairmont 39-88.

Find full Class A rankings HERE.

The Big Schools ... The top of the Class AA team rankings remain largely unchanged. Find full rankings below.

Class AA Boys

1 Wayzata
2 Eden Prairie
3 Edina
4 White Bear Lake
5 Moorhead
6 Alexandria
7 Minnetonka
8 Stillwater
9 Minneapolis South
10 Forest Lake
11 St. Paul Central
12 Lakeville North

1 Drew Paradis 12 Alexandria
2 John Holt 12 Roseville
3 Robel Kebede 12 Mpls. South
4 Besufekad Shannon-Tamra 12 Hopkins
5 Mahad Hassan 12 Willmar
6 Jeremy Drenckhahn 12 Wayzata
7 Danny Ducharme 12 Wayzata
8 Zach Mellon 12 Buffalo
9 Jakob Lindaas, 12, Moorhead
10 Lukas Gemar, 10, Moorhead
11 Kemal Jarso, 11, St. Paul Central
12 Alex Johnson, 10, Maple Grove

Class AA Girls

1 Lakeville North
2 Eden Prairie
3 Minnetonka
4 Lakeville South
5 Shakopee
6 Chaska
7 Hopkins
8 Stillwater
9 White Bear Lake
10 Moorhead
11 Woodbury
11 Waseca

1 Claire Guidinger, 11, Winona
2 Jamie Piepenburg, 9, Alexandria
3 Caitlin Hewes, 10, Stillwater
4 Julia Harrison, 10, Mound-Westonka
5 Emma Bates, 11, Elk River
6 Maria Hauger, 8, Shakopee
7 Laura Docherty, 12, Cretin-Derham Hall
8 Katie Moraczewski, 12, White Bear Lake
9 Kaila Urick, 10, Chaska
10 Alexandra Rudin, 10, Eden Prairie
11 Taylor Perkins, 8, Lakeville North
12 Laura Hughes, 11, Mankato West

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Re-Cap: Boldest 1:37 in the Sport

They call Monday Night Football's half-time highlight package "the fastest three minutes in television." Think of today's post -- highlighting the weekend's action -- as the boldest one-minute and thirty-seven seconds in Minnesota running.

"Boldest" because the names are in bold type, "a minute-thirty-seven" because that's the length of the average visit to DtB!

Here goes ...

In the high school ranks, the Wayzata boys cross country team, the #1-ranked squad in both Minnesota Class AA and NXN's Heartland Region, took their show on the road and returned from Saturday's Roosevelt Heartland Classic in Iowa with a 44-106 win over fellow-travelers Edina (#3 Class AA/#4 Heartland.) Heartland #5 Shawnee Mission Northwest of Kansas was third.

Eden Prairie (#2 Class AA, #3 Heartland), Wayzata's primary rival, along with Edina, in the section, state and region, won the Apple Valley Eagle Invitational by more than 100 points on Saturday. The White Bear Lake boys and Stillwater girls won at the Milaca Mega-Meet.

In college cross country competition, Minnesota State Mankato showed why it's the #6 team in NCAA Division II, winning the St. Olaf Invitational 42-81 over D2's #16 team Minnesota- Duluth. Hosts St. Olaf, ranked #25 in D3, finished 3rd.

The Un-ranked St. Olaf women tipped D2 #24 UMD 67-73 at the meet for 2nd place. UW-La Crosse won with 53.

Still in the cross country realm, the Collegeville Track Club won the men's title at the opening race of the USATF Minnesota Cross Country Circuit -- the Fort Snelling Relays. Collegeville won thanks to Chris Erichsen's 15:17 anchor leg, the fastest 5K leg in the competition. 2008 Team Circuit champs Run N Fun finished 2nd in the men's open division. The Run N Fun women won the women's title at FSR.

On the roads, the men and women of Team USA Minnesota were in competition all across the map. Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle won the Cow Harbor 10K in New York in 33:53, defeating two-time Grandma's Marathon champ and Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon contender Mary Akor who was 2nd in 34:42.

Jason Lehmkuhle finished 4th in the men's race at Cow Harbor in 29:51. Teammate Antonio Vega was 5th in 30:34.

Team USA Minnesota's Carrie Tollefson finished 9th in the USA 5K Championships held in conjunction with the CVS Downtown 5K in Providence, Rhode Island. The 2004 Olympian ran 16:20 to finish two places ahead of masters star Stephanie Herbst-Lucke who ran 16:30.

Finally, Minnetonka high school alum Will Leer finished 8th at the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile in new York City. The Oregon Track Club star clocked 3:56.4 on the road course. Nick Willis of New Zealand won the event in 3:50.5.

Find complete results from all the races mentioned -- and more -- one post down in the Short-Cut.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 19-21

Below is our weekly listing of links to results from all the important weekend action ...

Ron Pynn Invitational (at UND): Men's Results * Women's

St. Olaf Invitational: Men's Results * Women's * HS Boys * HS Girls
Milaca Mega-Meet: Boys' Results * Girls'
Apple Valley Eagle Invitational: Boys' Results * Girls'
Roosevelt Roughrider Invitational (in Iowa): Boys' Results * Girls'
Cow Harbor 10K (Lehmkuhles, Vega): Results

Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile (Leer): Results
USA 5K Championships (Tollefson): Results
Fort Snelling Relays (USATF-Mn XC Circuit): Results

Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Poll:
Wayzata #1; Lakeville North #2

Minnesota boys and girls high school cross country teams hold three of the top four spots in the latest Nike Cross Nationals poll of Heartland Region teams.

The Wayzata boys are ranked #1 in the poll for the thrid straight week. Eden Prairie is ranked #3; Edina is ranked #4. Bismarck High School of North Dakota is ranked #2.

In girls rankings, Lakeville North is ranked #2 behind Dowling Catholic of Iowa. Lakeville South is ranked #3, while Minnetonka is ranked #4. Eden Prairie is listed as the #6 team in the poll.

Find the complete Heartland poll, released yesterday, HERE.

2002 Champ Browne Returns to TCM;
Double Grandma's Winner Akor to Race

Dan Browne, the winner of the 2002 Twin Cities Marathon, will headline the men's field in this year's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 5, a race that will serve as the 2008 USA Men's Marathon Championships.

A 2004 Olympian whose win at Twin Cities in 2:11:35 earned him a Runner's World cover photo, Browne will face a field that includes USA 25K record-holder Fernando Cabada, who sports a 2:12:27 marathon PR, and 2006 Twin Cities runner-up Simon Sawe, a 2:13:40 man.

There's a strong local flavor in the men's field as well. Five Team USA Minnesota runners will populate the field: Chris Lundstrom, the 4th place finisher at the 2006 TCM, Matt Gabrielson, Macharia Yuot, and marathon debutantes Josh Moen and Antonio Vega. In addition, former University of Minnesota star Chad Johnson and former Sauk Rapids prep Chris Raabe will also race for a share of the event's total prize purse of $300,000.

Another Chance for Akor ... Mary Akor, the winner of the Grandma's Marathon the past two years, will get another chance to become the first woman to win Grandma's and Twin Cities in a single year. Last year, fighting a head cold, Akor was forced to drop out of the race near the half-way point.

The Nigerian-born American leads an international field in the event's women's race that includes Russians Silvia Skvortsova, who sports a 2:27:07 PR and Olga Glok who has run 2:30:40. American Deeja Youngquist, a sub-2:30 racer who served a two-year suspension for doping after failing a drug test in 2004, will also participate.

2007 Champion Svetlana Ponomarenko is not entered in this year's race.

Lokken and Loken Return ... Defending USA Masters Marathon champions Tracy Lokken and Susan Loken return to defend their national titles as TCM serves as host of the USA Masters Championships for the 18th straight year.

For More Details ... You can find the full TCM media release on the elite field HERE. It includes a list of headliners for the Open and Masters divisions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meet Team USA's Meghan Armstrong

Meghan Armstrong recently joined Team USA Minnesota as one of four new athletes in the elite distance development group. We asked the former Iowa Hawkeye a few questions in order to get to know her better.

DtB: What got you interested in Team USA Minnesota and continuing your running career up in the Twin Cities.

Armstrong: My interest began when I watched Emily Brown run the 5K at the Cardinal Invite. I ran against Emily in college and just seeing how much she had transformed in a year was really amazing. Also, after that meet I talked to Emily and she mentioned that Team USA Minnesota would be interested in me joining the team. Later, I was contacted by Dennis Barker and Pat Goodwin, regarding their desire for me to come and visit Minneapolis and see what the team was all about. Upon my visit I was instantly impressed with how well organized Team USA Minnesota is, how great my teammates are, and just how friendly the city of Minneapolis was. Being a "Navy Brat" I have lived in many cities in my life and I can say without a doubt that Minneapolis has the friendliest people.

DtB: Tell us a bit about your collegiate running. It looks like you ran successfully at everything from the mile to the 10,000, as well as Cross country.

Armstrong: When I was looking at colleges I wanted a school that was not only in a competitive conference, but also a team where I wouldn't be the best on the team, yet could still contribute. That school was Iowa. My coach Layne Anderson had a powerful dream, which he got me to believe in... and it was a success. My freshman year our Cross Country team was last in the Big 10, but by the time I was a senior we were 10th in the nation. This kind of atmosphere also helped me to grow as a runner. I came into college thinking I was a miler – which I had some success at. However, my coach saw greater potential. I followed his training and by the end I was 6th at the NCAAs in the 10K.

DtB: What event do you plan to point to in the coming years?

Armstrong: At the moment I plan on focusing on the 5K, 10K. I will just have to see how training goes and adjust my goals.

DtB: How have the first weeks with the program gone so far?

Armstrong: The first weeks of the program have gone really well so far. I am adjusting to doing a lot more work than I was used to doing, but my teammates are there giving me encouragement every step of the way. So even on the runs where my legs feel really tired because they are still adjusting to the the greater volume of running, I can still smile because I have my teammates there every step of the way. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and the progress I will see each week.

DtB: One last question... any relation to Lance?

Armstrong: HAHA Yep! Lance, Neal and Louis Armstrong, all of them, are my uncles. (In grade school, that was everyone's favorite question. Along with calling me "Legstrong").

Photo courtesy of Meghan Armstrong.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Few Changes in Top Spots of State High School Cross Country Rankings

Most of the top teams are holding their positions in the latest state high school cross country rankings, with few changes from last week's poll:

Class A Boys Teams:
1. Pequot Lake
2. Adrian
3. Mora
4. Perham
5. Blake
6. Minnehaha Academy
7. Plainview-Elgin-Millvlle
8. Jackson County Central
9. Esko
10. Albany
11. Eveleth-Gilbert
12. St. Cloud Cathedral

Class A Boys Individuals:
1. Clayton Foster, Pequot Lakes
2. Ryan Tholen, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton
3. Moses Heppner, Warroad
4. Connor Gjerve, Annandale
5. Grant Timm, Plainview-E-M
6. Landon Bauer, Albany
7. Patrick Byrant, DeLaSalle
8. Nate Reyne, Adrian
9. Austin Bauer, Milaca
10. Peter Borash, Royalton
11. Tanner Wendroth, Paynesville
12. Andrew Gerdts, LeSueur-Henderson

Class A Girls Teams:
1. Adrian
2. Staples-Motley
3. Perham
4. Holy Family
5. Rochester Lourdes
6. Blue Earth Area
7. Paynesville
8. Farimont
9. Esko
10. LaCrescent
11. Breck
12. St. Cloud Cathedral

Class A Girls Individuals:
1. Linda Keller, Paynesville Area
2. Naomi Landecker, Staples-Motley
3. Maddie McClellan, Perham
4. Abby Anderson, Perham
5. Anne Hart, St. Paul Acad.
6. Brooke Kirkham, Breck
7. Greta Danielson, St. Cloud Cathedral
8. Kyle Blakeslee, Cannon Falls
9. Laura Christenson, Murray County Central
10. Leslie Stover, Adrian
11. Sarah Fraser, Lake of the Woods
12. Lauren Rice, Holy Family

Class AA Boys Teams:
1. Wayzata
2. Eden Prairie
3. Edina
4. Moorhead
5. Alexandria
6. Owatonna
7. Minnetonka
8. Mpls South
9. White Bear Lake
10. Stillwater
11. Lakeville North
12. Maple Grove

Class AA Boys Individuals:
1. Drew Paradis, Alexandria
2. John Holt, Roseville
3. Jeremy Drenckhahn, Wayzata
4. Danny Ducharme, Wayzata
5. Robel Kebede, Mpls. South
6. Ryan Evans, Centennial
7. Zach Mellon, Buffalo
8. Mahad Hassan, Willmar
9. Lukas Gemar, Moorhead
10. Besufekad Shannon-Tamra, Hopkins
11. Marty Joyce, Woodbury
12. Blayne Dulian, Coon Rapids

Class AA Girls Teams:
1. Lakeville North
2. Eden Prairie
3. Minnetonka
4. Lakeville South
5. Chaska
6 . Shakopee
7. Woodbury
8. White Bear Lake
9. Prior Lake
10. Hopkins
11. Wayzata
12. Moorhead

Class AA Girls Individuals:
1 Claire Guidinger, Winona
2 Jamie Piepenburg, Alexandria
3 Caitlin Hewes, Stillwater
4 Laura Docherty, Cretin-Derham Hall
5 Rachel Drake, White Bear Lake
6 Kaila Urick, Chaska
7 Emma Bates, Elk River
8 Katie Moraczewski, White Bear Lake
9 Maria Hauger, Shakopee
10 Alexandra Rudin, Eden Prairie
11 Taylor Perkins, Lakeville North
12 Laura Hughes, Mankato West

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gophers Ranked High in Preseason Poll

The University of Minnesota begins the season at the top of the Division I Women's Midwest Region Preseason Cross Country Rankings released this week. The Golden Gopher men sit in second place behind Oklahoma State in the regional poll, which is distributed by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The complete Division I Midwest Region rankings are available here.

Update: The Gophers men and women are each ranked 9th in the Coaches Association's preseason national poll that was released today.

The U of M has posted extensive season previews for both the women and men.

In the men's Division II national poll, Minnesota State - Mankato is ranked 6th while the University of Minnesota - Duluth is ranked 15th (up 9 spots from the preseason rankings). The Bulldogs are the lone Minnesota school in the women's Division II poll, ranked 24th. Complete Division II rankings can be found here.

The St. Thomas women are ranked 21st in the Division III national poll. St. Olaf is the highest ranked Minnesota school on the men's side. The Oles sit in 25th, while Bethel University is ranked 35th. Division III national rankings are available here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Marathon Wisdom

I heard that Dean Karnazes has a book about the lessons he learned running 50 marathons in 50 days. I haven’t read it, but it did get me thinking about my own, much less prolific marathon history. So for this installment of “On the Road” I set out to write about the lessons I have taken from the 15 marathons of my career.

In the process, I got hung up on my first marathon. Maybe it’s because I’ve been training with a couple of guys who are about to make their debut at the distance, Team USA Minnesota runners Antonio Vega and Josh Moen. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it has been almost a year since my last marathon, long enough to be in danger of forgetting a few things.

Anyway, I remember my own hopes and trepidations going into my first marathon, which was over seven years ago. I know that I had a vague idea that the marathon might be my best distance, because I always seemed to pass people in the latter stages of shorter races. Other than that, I guess I figured I had nothing to lose, so I’d give it a shot.

I can’t help but compare myself seven years ago with Antonio and Josh as they head into their first marathon. My first thought is that I am glad for their sake that these two guys are much better prepared than I was for my first 26.2 miler. They have better 10k speed, have put in more mileage, more marathon-specific workouts, and have had better guidance than I did.

The second thing that really strikes me is that, while I am obviously much more experienced today than I was then, many of the same questions and concerns remain. I’ll be toeing the line at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon along with these rookies in less than three weeks, and I will probably be just as filled with uncertainty as they will. Maybe more, because I know how much it’s going to hurt, even on a good day.

What questions still trouble me after so many marathons? How fast can I go out, and still come back strong in the second half? How will I adjust to different weather conditions? What if choosing to run my pace means running alone? What can I do in these final weeks to make my legs feel great on race morning? What will I do if they don’t? How will I manage if I encounter problems X, Y, and Z? Missed water bottles, pacing errors, GI distress, blisters, equipment malfunctions – the list of what can go wrong goes on and on.

I guess if there is one “lesson” that I have learned from the marathon, it is that it pays to stay calm in dealing with whatever comes your way. A few seconds lost won’t kill you. A panic attack will.

If your shoe comes untied, calmly stop and tie it and quickly get moving again. If you feel yourself becoming dehydrated, focus ahead on reaching the next aid station, refuel as best as you can and then get moving again. Need a bathroom break? Take it, quickly and efficiently, and then get moving again.

Yes, that is my genius advice, the wisdom accumulated over 15 marathons: always, always, always keep going. It’s the only way to get to the finish line.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Short Cut: Results' Links for Sept. 12-14

This weekend's action centers on high school and collegiate cross country meets, with a smattering of road races thrown in as well. Results should be posted at the sites listed below. Check back for updates...

Rochester Mayo Invitational: Results
Update:: #7 Owatonna boys beat Stillwater on a tie-breaker. #7 Stillwater girls top Eastview.

Lakeville Applejack Invitational: Results
Update: #1 Lakeville North girls (68 pts.) cruise to victory over #3 Minnetonka (113), #2 Lakeville South (122). #1 Claire Guidinger wins in 14:49.
#3 Edina boys (68 pts.) win with a 39 second 1-5 spread, topping Minnetonka (116) and #5 White Bear Lake (145). Unranked Ryan Evans of Centennial wins in 16:11.
St. Johns Invite: Results
Update: St. Thomas women win 33-43 over St. Bens. Tommie Katie Theisen wins in 22:54. Chris Erichsen, recent SJU graduate, wins in 26:04 competing unattached; his former team bests MSU-Mankato 21-35 to take their home invitational.

Les Duke Invite: Results
Luther All-American Invite: Results
Aztec Invitational (Gopher Men): Preview and Results
Oz Memorial Run (Gopher Women): Preview and Results
Metro Invitational (#1 Wayzata boys and #2 Eden Prairie): Star Tribune story. Results
James Page Blubber Run 5k: Results
Bear Water Run 10 & 20 Mile Runs: Results
Turkey Day 10k: Results

Meet Team USA's Josh Moen

Iowa native Josh Moen was the first of four newly recruited Team USA Minnesota athletes to arrive in Minnesota and begin training with the elite distance development group. We caught up with Moen (pictured) recently to begin getting to know him a little better.

DtB: We know you're from Iowa originally and were a part of the Hansons' program for a spell, what prompted you to join Team USA Minnesota?

Moen: After my departure from Brooks-Hansons I moved back to Iowa to train under my collegiate coach, Steve Johnson, at Wartburg College. We had worked well together in the past and teamed up again. Things were going well, but one important aspect was missing from my training, which was training partners and a better support system. I love Iowa, but it can be hard to train on the gravel roads in the middle of winter. I had known Dennis Barker and Pat Goodwin through various races and emailed them to see if there were any openings on the team. Thankfully there was and here I am answering this question!

DtB: You've been training with the Team USA Minnesota group for about a month now, how has the transition gone?

Moen: Relatively easy for the most part. The weeks are set up differently from what I was used to, which was doing a workout one day and having two recovery days before the next. Dennis has set up a different, more active schedule. It took a couple weeks to get into it, but I feel it's better than what I was doing the past 3 years. I'm also a countryboy and living in the city is frustrating at times. (Think traffic and too many people). Pat, Dennis, my training partners, and members of the Team USA Minnesota board have made me feel welcome and appreciated. The support I've received has been amazing. Thank you all very much.

DtB: You were a very successful Division III runner at Wartburg. What was the most noticeable difference you felt between running at that level and then doing so professionally?

Moen: The mileage and density of workouts stand out to me. In college I would average around 65-70 miles per week, doing workouts such as 6 x 1k or 4 x 1 mile. I'm now doing mileage ranging from 80-120 miles per week depending on what I'm preparing for. Workout now are more like 10 x 1k and 6 x 1 mile (at faster paces). Another difference is the caliber of athletes you race, which seems obvious. In college most athletes are relatively inexperienced in higher level racing. That's all different now. Most people at the level I race are seasoned and know what to expect.

DtB: You're planing your marathon debut at Twin Cities next month. How has training been going for you? What's your goal?

Moen: Training has been great. I've learned some new things and experienced new avenues in training. One thing I've learned is to actually recover from workouts and not worry about how fast you're going. After a big workout I probably average 7:20/mile on my recovery days. I've learned to get rid of the watch and run by feel. If you feel sluggish, take it easy. Enjoy the run. I've also experienced running for 3 hours straight, something I never dreamed of doing. My goal for the marathon is to be competitive and race. The times will come if you are competitive. I would anticipate a finish around 2:13-2:15 on day of good weather. This is just a guess since I've never raced a marathon before.

Photo by Gene Niemi.

Reminder: USATF Minnesota Annual Meeting on Sunday

The USATF Minnesota Annual Meeting will take place this Sunday, September 14th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at Broadway Pizza in Minneapolis. The meeting will feature election of officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) for the upcoming year. Nominations for those positions will be accepted from the floor. Members will also be asked to vote on proposed changes to the association's bylaws.

All USATF Minnesota members are encouraged to attend and participate. Members who are at least 18 years of age are eligible to vote and run for office. The meeting includes a free pizza buffet for all members.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Goucher to Run New York City Marathon

It's official.

Kara Goucher will make her marathon debut at the ING New York City Marathon on November 2. The 2008 Olympian and 2007 World Championships bronze medalist at 10,000 meters was presented to the media today in a conference call hosted by the New York Road Runners, the organizers of the race.

Goucher, who was born in Queens, New York, will vie for marathon glory on the same course where her coach, Alberto Salazar, burst onto the world marathoning scene in 1980 by winning the New York City Marathon in his debut race.

NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg said, "Kara will follow in the footsteps and with the help of her coach and mentor, the marathon’s last great American star, three-time winner Alberto Salazar. This is a two-for-one deal. We get Kara and she comes with the benefit of Alberto’s experience. I anticipate another milestone in American long distance running."

"I believe this [the marathon] is my destiny," said Goucher, "and I really wanted to do it in New York." Salazar stated that her training will prepare her to run 5:20 per mile, near American record pace, but that the main goal is to be competitive and place high.

According to Salazar, Goucher will return to the track in the spring in an effort to continue to maximize her speed and bring down her 10,000 meter time. However, her long-term focus will be to run the marathon at 2012 Olympics, where she--and her coach--believe that she can medal.

Goucher will prep for NYC by running the Medtronic TC-10 Mile on October 5, which this year serves as the USA Women's 10 Mile Championship. She confirmed that the 10 mile will be her only competition prior to the marathon.

The NYRR story can be viewed HERE.

Goucher's hometown newspaper, the Duluth News-Tribune, ran THIS story on announcement and press conference.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chris Lists: Where They're Going to College

DtB's Chris Marshall has been busy tracking down the college whereabouts of the top high school Class AA senior boys from the Class of 2008. Here, in State Cross Country Meet finish order, is where we can find the best of the Class of 2008 in the coming years.

Rob Finnerty, Burnsville, to Wisconsin
Jordan Carlson, Rosemount, to Notre Dame
Pieter Gagnon, Minneapolis Washburn, to Minnesota
Andy Richardson, Irondale, to Minnesota
Tyler King, Lakeville North, to Princeton

Danny Docherty, Cretin-Derham Hall, to Loyola
Luke Delaney, Brainerd, to MSU-Mankato
Kyle Schmidt, Hutchinson, to North South Dakota State
Travis Burkstrand, Eastview, to Minnesota
Dom Rosario, Edina, to Marquette

Ellis Richardson, Roseville, to Hamline
Nick Nygaard, St. Michael-Albertville, to St. Thomas
Ryan Baumgartner, Blaine, to Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Travis Beniak, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, to Augustana (SD)
Josh Kaul, Stillwater, to Wisconsin-LaCrosse

Andrew Nickalwsky, Willmar, to St. John’s
Anders Bowman, Wayzata, to Gustavus
Brian Wille, Rochester Century, to University of Chicago
Andrew Papke-Larson, Bemidji, to Luther
Shamus O’Grady, Coon Rapids, to St. Cloud State

Ben Rodriguez, Buffalo, to Augsburg
Ryan Bailey, Minnetonka, to Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Kyle Larson, Chaska, to Minnesota-Duluth
Ben Sathre, Chaska, to St. Thomas
Tyler Iverson, Moorhead, to St. Thomas

Charlie Lapham, Armstrong, to Drake
Obai Hussein, Rosemount, to MSU-Mankato
Justin Sawyers, Rosemount, to St. Thomas
Matt Thooft, Rosemount, to North Dakota State
Pat Bigaouette, Chaska, to St. Scholastica

Tyler Rose, Brainerd, to North Dakota
Tim Kojetin, Rosemount, to Drake
Spencer Siddons, Andover, to St. Thomas
Dan McAlpine, Faribault, to Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Nate Hopkins, Mounds View, to Coe College

Shane Steele, Rochester Century, to Luther
Joe Wells, Minneapolis Southwest, to Adams State

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wayzata Boys Tops State, Region Polls;
Lakeville North Back Atop Girls' Ranks

The Wayzata boys' cross country team, winners over section rivals Eden Prairie at Gale Woods last Saturday, remain atop the state Class AA rankings this week.

The 2007 MSHSL champs also debuted, late last week, as the Heartland Region's #1 team boys team in Nike Team Nationals polling.

In the State poll, the Trojans are followed by #2 Eden Prairie, #3 Edina, and #4 Moorhead. In the NTN Heartland Region poll, Wayzata is followed by #2 Bismarck of North Dakota and #3 Shawnee Mission NW of Kansas. Brainerd is #4 in the poll, Stillwater is #8.

Find the NTN polls HERE. The Class AA polls are listed below.

In the Class AA girls rankings, Lakeville North, which started the year atop the poll but dropped to #2 last week, returns to the summit after winning the Faribault Invitational last Friday. The Panthers are trailed by cross-town rivals #2 Lakeville South, #3 Minnetonka, and #4 Eden Prairie, which topped last week's poll.

Three Minnesota girls squads make the Heartland rankings: #2 Burnsville, #7 Lakeville North, and #10 Eden Prairie. Dowling Catholic of Iowa leads the NTN region.

Class A ... The Adrian girls and the Pequot Lakes boys still lead the Class A rankings. Defending Class A individual titlist Linda Keller of Paynesville is the #1-ranked Class girl; Pequot Lakes' Clayton Foster leads Class A boys.

View the full Class A poll HERE.

Class AA Rankings ...

Boys' Teams:
1 Wayzata
2 Eden Prairie
3 Edina
4 Moorhead
5 White Bear Lake
6 Alexandria
7 Owatonna
8 Brainerd
9 Roseville
10 Lakeville North
11 St. Paul Central
12 Lakeville South

Boys' Inviduals:
1 Robel Kebede 12 Mpls. South
2 Drew Paradis 12 Alexandria
3 Jeremy Drenckhahn 12 Wayzata
4 Danny Ducharme 12 Wayzata
5 Abdi Abtidon, 12 Eden Prairie
6 Michael Ellenberger, Edina
7 Thomas Ruttger 12 Brainerd
8 John Holt 12 Roseville
9 Eric Truedson, 12 Bemidji
10 Lukas Gemar, 10, Moorhead
11 Mahad Hassan 12 Willmar
12 Zach Mellon 12 Buffalo

Girls' Teams:
1 Lakeville North
2 Lakeville South
3 Minnetonka
4 Eden Prairie
5 Chaska
6 Grand Rapids
7 Shakopee
8 Wayzata
9 Winona
10 Sartell
11 Moorhead
12 Eagan

Girls Individuals:
1 Claire Guidinger, 11 Winona
2 Caitlin Hewes, 10 Stillwater
3 Jamie Piepenburg, 9 Alexandria
4 Hannah Kellerman, 11 Sartell
5 Rachel Drake, 12 White Bear Lake
6 Laura Docherty, 12 Cretin-Derham Hall
7 Emma Bates, 11 Elk River
8 Taylor Perkins, 8 Lakeville North
9 Laura Hughes, 11 Mankato West
10 Alissa Retterrath, 9 Hutchinson
11 Kaila Urick, 10 Chaska
12 Cassy Opitz, 12 Eden Prairie

Monday, September 08, 2008

Goucher to Run Medtronic TC-10 Mile;
Four-Time Champ McGregor Returns

While distance fans await confirmation whether Kara Goucher will indeed make her marathon debut in New York City this November, we know for certain one event she intends to run:

The Medtronic TC-10 Mile on October 5, a race that will also serve as the 2008 USA Women's 10 Mile Championship.

And, come to think of it, the TC-10, scheduled exactly four weeks before the ING New York City Marathon, could make for a nice marathon tune-up for an Olympian, World Championships medalist, and marathon debutante pointing for a November marathon.

Last week, of course, we speculated HERE that Goucher will be announced on Wednesday as an NYC headliner.

“We are pleased to welcome Kara to a highly competitive field on October 5,” Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said in a media release. “The opportunity for us to host the championship this year furthers our efforts to support long distance running throughout the United States, including our silver level support of Team USA Minnesota and the USATF Distance Project."

Speaking of Team USA Minnesota, Goucher would be advised not to look too far beyond the TC-10 since she'll face four-time TC-10 champion and course record-holder Katie McGregor of Team USA Minnesota in the contest. McGregor has run 53:51 over the challenging course.

Team USA's Emily Brown, returning from a stress fracture to her sacrum, is also slated to race.

The USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship prize purse totals $25,000. The event starts ahead of the rest of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile field with a 7:05 a.m. start, Sunday, October 5.

TC-10 Returns to Original Course ... Known as “The Shortcut to the Capitol” the race starts near the HHH Metrodome and will return to its original course, after the I-35W Bridge collapse last year forced a temporary route-change. The course follows the last seven miles of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon route before finishing in front of the State Capitol.

Read the full TCM press release HERE.

News Notes: Coverage, Camps, Results

We hate to move those nice City of Lakes photos down the page, but we wanted to make sure we noted the following news items ...

Fall Track Camp ... Olympic triple jumper Shani Marks and training partner Amanda Thieschafer, the 5th place finisher at the Olympic Trails, are hosting a track and field camp at the University of Minnesota on Tuesdays and Thursdays this fall, starting on September 16. For more information, contact Marks at shani7815 [AT] aol [DOT] com.

Minnesota Mile ... The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates filed THIS story about Sunday's Grandma's Minnesota Mile - Duluth.

Gopher Women Open Season ... Megan Duwell and the Gold Team were the winners Saturday when the defending Big Ten champions opened the cross country with an inter-sqaud meet at the Bolstad Gold Course. You'll find a recap and results HERE.

Lundstrom, Dauer Win City of Lakes 25K

Chris Lundstrom

Sheena Dauer

Team USA Minnesota's Chris Lundstrom and Sheena Dauer of Springfield won Sunday's City of Lakes 25K in Minneapolis. Lundstrom clocked 1:20:30 over th 15.5 mile course to edge Run N Fun's Eric Hartmark who ran 1:20:47.

Dauer ran 1:31:45 to top Lithuanian Olympic steeplechaser Rasa Troup who finished second in 1:34:48.

Full results can be found HERE.

Team Circuit Finale ... City of Lakes acted as the final leg of the USA Track and Field - Minnesota Team Circuit. Run N Fun's men and the St. Cloud River Runners women won the team open divisions at the event according to preliminary scoring, HERE.

If the post-race team results hold, Run N Fun will have defended both its men's and women's open titles for the seven-month-long, nine-race series.

The Run N Fun men will have now won at least a share of five of the last six circuit titles. They won outright in 2003, 2005, 2007, and this year, and shared the crown with Runners Edge in 2004.

The Run N Fun women will have won the last three titles.

Look for final Team Circuit standings HERE later in the week.

Photos by Gene Niemi.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Short Cut: Results' Links for September 5-7

See updates below ...

There's lots of great action this weekend -- on the roads and over the hills and dales of cross country. As we will throughout the fall, we've collected links to the important results in order to help you keep up with the action as the weekend rolls along.

We're very eager to see how the cross country clash between the top three boys teams in Class AA turns out, when #1 Wayzata, #2 Edina, and #3 Eden Prairie meet at the Hopkins Invitational at Gale Woods on Saturday. The three Section 6AA teams will get a good look at one-another ... and the Section Meet course where they'll race for the Section's two spots on the State Meet starting line.

We'll be looking north, too, where 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson will race in the Grandma's Minnesota Mile - Duluth. The Team USA Minnesota star expects to receive a challenge from Meskerem Lagesse of Ethiopia and Zeddy Chepkoech of Kenya. Richard Kandie, the winner of the Minnesota Mile - St. Paul, will race in Duluth to duplicate the feat.

Enjoy the action ...

Faribault Invite -- Girls' Results * Boys' Results
Update: Girls' ...#11 Guidinger beats #2 Hewes; #2 Lakeville North wins.
Update: Boys' ... #2 Kebede wins; #10 White Bear nips #8 Owatonna on tie-break

Bison Invitational (@NDSU) -- Women's Results * Men's Results
Update: Burnsville grad Hermanson leads Bison women.

BSM Red Knight Invitational -- Results
Update: Visitation girls, St. Thomas Academy boys win.

Hopkins Invitational -- Boys' Results * Girls' Results
Update: Boys ... #1 Wayzata 38, #2Eden Prairie 42, #3Edina DNC; #8 Drenckhahn wins, #1 Hassan 5th.
Update: Girls ... #11 Lakeville South 59, #3 Minnetonka 79, #1 Eden Prairie 98, #4 Chaska 110; #12 Bates wins.

City of Lakes 25K -- Results
Update: Chris Lundstrom wins men's race in 1:20:39; Sheena Dauer women's champ in 1:31:45.

Grandma's Minnesota Mile-Duluth -- Results
Update: Carrie Messner-Vickers wins in 4:43, Tollefson 4th with 5:08; Hesch wins men's race in 4:08.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Speculation: Goucher to Run NYC in November

ING New York City Marathon officials are holding a media event next Wednesday to announce that a 2008 U.S. Olympian and World Championships medalist will debut in their marathon on November 2.

We're willing to speculate that it's Duluth native Kara Goucher.

Goucher fits the U.S Olympian, Worlds' medalist, marathon debutante definition, and has made no secret of her desire to run a 26.2 mile event in the near future. Plus, the New York Road Runners, who host the marathon, took the time to send the announcement to a little Minnesota-based running web-site way out here in fly-over country.

It's got to be Goucher ... we're pretty sure.

We should note that Goucher isn't the only person with the Olympian, medalist, debutante resume items the NYRR lists. Bernard Lagat sports all of that, too. So do sprinters Tyson Gay and Alison Felix, for example, and it would be news if they were running NYC!

We're still checking to see if 293-pound shot putter Reese Hoffa -- Olympian, check; Worlds' medalist, check -- has run a marathon yet.

If we're right, and Kara Goucher does make her marathon debut in the Big Apple this November, you can say you read it here first.

If we're wrong, well, it's not exactly a blunder like "Dewey Defeats Truman," right?

It's only the ING New York City Marathon!