Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Grab-Bag

Down the Backstretch has learned that the 28th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will take place this weekend! Really.

To keep readers up-to-date on important matters relating to the event which will host the USA Women's Marathon Championships, the USA Men's 10 Mile Championships, and the USA Masters Marathon Championships for men and women, we've collected the following news items.

Late Scratches ... Marathon week always brings some late scratches. TCM has lost the following athletes to illness or injury in recent days: Olympian Elva Dryer and Samia Akbar from the USA Women's Marathon field; Kenya James Rotich and Ethiopian Genna Tufa from the men's marathon field, and Josh Rohatinsky from the USA Men's 10 Mile field.

We're expecting updated startlists later today, which we'll post as soon as possible. We posted THIS story on the TCM elite fields last week.

The Home Team ... Team USA Minnesota has a large contingent in this year's TCM events. Michelle Lilienthal and Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle will compete in the USA Women's Marathon Championship. Lilienthal placed 4th at the 2006 USA Women's Marathon hosted by Twin Cities and has a PR of 2:35:51. Nicolini Lehmkuhle is making her debut in the marathon.

Former Gopher star Antonio Vega will compete in the men's marathon. This will be Vega's second attempt at the distance, having run his first marathon at Twin Cities in 2008 in 2:23:41.

Jason Lehmkuhle, Josh Moen and Patrick Smyth will be among the competitors in the USA Men's 10 Mile Championship. Lehmkuhle was the runner-up in the event in 2007. He and Moen are preparing for the USA Men's Marathon Championships in November in New York.

Meghan Armstrong will run the TC 5K.

Team USA Minnesota's TCM complete press release is HERE.

Higdon on Marathon ... Carleton College alum Hal Higdon, a contributing editor for Runner's World and the author of some 35 books, will discuss his brand new novel Marathon at 2:00 p.m. Friday and 1:00 p.m. Saturday at the Target Health & Fitness Expo and Packet Pick-up at the River Centre in St. Paul.

Higdon's first novel counts down the final 72 hours before a major Midwestern marathon. While the event itself is styled after the Chicago Marathon, Higdon's Minnesota background still works itself into the book. Several characters in the book run for a team based at "Northland College," located 40 miles from the Twin Cities. A women's favorite in the race is a Hmong from St. Paul.

The Kindle edition of the book is available now, HERE. The "dead-tree" version of the book is due to ship shortly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Minnesota Women Drop to #9, Men to #29

The Golden Gopher teams dropped a little and a lot, respectively, in the latest NCAA Division I cross country polls released today.

The Minnesota women, who lost 31-48 to Iowa State at last Saturday's Griak Invitational, dropped one spot in the rankings to #9. The Gopher women remain the top-ranked Big Ten team in the poll, although Illinois looms at #10.

The Gopher men, who finished 4th at Griak while running without injured Mike Torchia, dropped 12 places in to poll to #29. The Gophers are the third-ranked Big Ten team in the poll, behind #4 Wisconsin and #23 Michigan.

Find the full women's rankings HERE and the men's HERE.

Duwell, Mead Honored ... Gopher stars Megan Duwell and Hassan Mead were named Big Ten Cross Country Runners of the Week, the conference announced today.

Duwell, a senior from West Bend, Wisconsin, won the Griak Invitational title in the women's Gold Division race in 21:01. Duwell topped Iowa State's Lisa Koll -- the fastest American collegian ever at 10,000 meters on the track -- by 12 seconds in the race.

Mead won the Griak title in the men's Gold Division with a 24:38 clocking, winning by 13 seconds over Iowa State's Guor Majak.

The paired Gopher victories were unprecedented in the 24-year Griak Invitational history, Until last Saturday, Rasa Michnoivaite had been the lone Gopher titlist at the meet.

Eden Prairie Returns to Rankings ... on Top

Like a yo-yo on a string, the Eden Prairie girls' cross country team rose in this week's coaches' poll as fast as it dropped last week.

The Eagles, who opened the season at the #1-ranked Class AA team, dropped out of the top-12 last week after a 4th-place finish at the Metro Invite. This week, the defending MSHSL Class AA champions are atop the rankings again, after their win Saturday at the Apple Valley Eagle Invitational over the #1, #3, and #4-ranked teams in Class AA.

The Eden Prairie boys', winners as well at Apple Valley, continue their ride atop the Class AA boys' rankings. Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria remains at the top Class AA girls' individual ranks. Red Wings junior Bryant Blahnik assumes the top ranking in boys' Class AA.

In Class A, the top teams -- the Perham boys and girls -- and the top individuals -- Paul Koullick of Blake and Maddie McClellan of Perham -- remain in place in the rankings.

Find full Class A rankings HERE.

Find complete Class AA rankings below ...

Class AA Girls

1 Eden Prairie
2 Andover
3 Shakopee
4 Lakeville South
5 Prior Lake
6 Roseville
7 Monticello
8 Wayzata
9 Elk River
10 Moorhead
11 Hopkins
12 Lakeville North

1 Jamie Piepenburg, 10 Alexandria
2 Maria Hauger, 9 Shakopee
3 Cassidy Soli, 9, Champlin Park
4 Heidi Peterson, 11, Sartell
5 Emma Bates, 12 Elk River
6 Abbi Asprengren, 11, Elk River
7 Megan Platner, 11, Eden Prairie
8 Allison Cordes, 9, Roseville
9 Sharmila Amed, 11, Burnsville
10 Carrie Donohue, 12, Kennedy
11 Erica Seidenkranz, 10 Monticello
12 Kaila Urick, 11, Chaska

Class AA Boys

1 Eden Prairie
2 Wayzata
3 White Bear Lake
4 Stillwater
5 Edina
6 Moorhead
7 Burnsville
8 Lakeville North
9 Rosemount
10 Willmar
11 Eastview
12 Alexandria

1 Bryant Blahnik, 11, Redwing
2 Adam Zutz, 11, St. Francis
3 Aaron Bartnik, 11, Eden Prairie
4 Jake Sandry, 12, Bloomington Jefferson
5 Besufekad Shannon-Tamrat, 12, Hopkins
6 Jon-Michael Brandt, 12, Winona
7 Marty Joyce, 12, Woodbury
8 Chris Mueller, 12, Eden Prairie
9 Alex Johnson, 11, Maple Grove
10 Lukas Gemar, 1,1 Moorhead
11 Trent Lusignan, 11, Shakopee
12 Landon Lozano, 12, Wayzata

Monday, September 28, 2009

Griak Invitational Photos -- By Gene Niemi

Gold division men's champ Hassan Mead running free.

Gold division women's champ Megan Duwell.

Elizabeth Yetzer and Amy Laskowske scoring for the runner-up Gophers.

Ben Blankenship used a furious kick to grab 4th place individually for the 4th place Gophers.

James Krajsa of Minnesota State Mankato leading the Maroon II field.

Maroon III women's champion Marie Borner of Bethel.

Maroon II women's champion Morgan Place describes her victory.
Photos by Gene Niemi.

The Marathon Week Facebook Film Festival

Join us on Facebook to get ready for this weekend's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon events. Each day this week we'll post a running video on the DtB Facebook page. Some will be inspirational, while others will just be entertaining. Click the Facebook button at the top of the left column, or use this link to get started.

Be sure to let us know if you have any favorite videos on youtube or anywhere else online.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 25-27

There's lots -- LOTS! -- going on this weekend.

Find links to the results from it all below ...

Mustang Invitational: Results

Griak Invitational: Results

D1 Update: Gopher women 2nd, men 4th; Duwell and Mead win.

D2 Update: UMD women win over #3 Augustana, Mankato men 4th; UMD's Place wins women's title, Mankato's Krajsa 2nd.

D3 Update: Bethel's Borner wins, Greeno runner-up; Bethel women 4th, St. Olaf men 7th.

HS Update: Wayzata boys win; St. Francis' Zutz 2nd overall.

Milaca Mega-Meet: Results
Update: AAAA ... #7 WBL boys tip #4 Stillwater; #8 Andover beats #2 Prior Lake.

Eagle Invitational: Results
Update: Eden Prairie sweeps team titles; Hauger, Bartnik winners.

Cow Harbor 10K: Results
Update: McGregor wins, Lehmkuhle 2nd in Long Island race.

Twin Cities Running XClassic: Results
Women Run the Cities 10M: Results
Update: DePrenger-Gott wins in 59:44.

Friday Morning Harrier Round-Up ...

Here's a quick round-up of links and information as a big weekend of cross country approaches ...

Meet Roy Griak ... The U of M media folks published THIS Q/A with former Gopher men's cross country and track coach Roy Griak.

Griak High School Teams ... The best listing of the top teams for across the Midwest that are converging on the Griak Invitational tomorrow can be found on THIS page of Dyestat's "Minnesota Talk" section. The ever-thorough "KenA55" can be thanked for the effort.

In a nutshell, eight top-ten-ranked Heartland Region boys teams will battle in the Griak Gold HS race -- Heartland #2 Bismarck (ND), #3 Wayzata, #4 Burlington (IA), #5 Iowa City, #6 Edina, #7 Marquette University HS (WI), #8 Pleasant Valley (IA), and #10 Iowa City West.

(Heartland #1 Eden Prairie is racing at Apple Valley's Eagle Invitational this weekend.)

The girls' side of the competition isn't quite as loaded, although Heartland #1 Des Moines Dowling and #2 Iowa City High will battle on the Bolstad grass. Heartland #8 Sioux Falls Roosevelt is the only other top-ten ranked team in the competition.

Milaca Mega-Meet ... The Griak isn't the only big cross country meet taking place this weekend. You can see the starting line assignments for all four varsity divisions of the Milaca Mega-Meet HERE.

Latest D2 and D3 Polls ... There were some minor readjustments, by and large, for Minnesota teams in the NCAA Divsion II and III cross country polls this week.

The Minnesota State - Mankato men dropped two places to #11 this week. The Minnesota - Duluth women fell one spot to #10.

In D3, Bethel University rose three spots to #10 in the women's poll. The St. Thomas women dropped three spots to #14, while Carleton held steady at #19.

St. John's University slid four places to #24 in the D3 men's poll. St. Olaf, which was #32 last week, fell out of the rankings.

Find complete collegiate ranking details HERE.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pick 10: The Griak Invitational

If you are reading Down the Backstretch, chances are you are either participating or watching one of two running events in the next two weekends. In perhaps the best two week period for distance runners and fans in Minnesota, the Roy Griak Invitational will be held on September 26th followed by the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4th.

The Griak Invitational begins at 9:00 a.m. Saturday at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul and will feature 6 collegiate races and 4 high school races. With all the great racing this weekend, we decided to bring back the Pick 10 contest.

A refresher on Pick 10 rules: You're asked to predict the finish place for each of 10 Minnesota athletes/teams in their respective races at Griak. You will score points for each athlete/team that scores at or above the finish place you predict for them. One minor change to this contest, we will not use track and field scoring (10-8-6-5…) but will simply go 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for each place.

Remember though, if the athlete/team finishes below your predicted place, you receive zero points.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd... or 10th. Send your predictions to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com by 9:00 A.M. CDT on Saturday, September 26. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. We'll announce the winner of this Pick Ten contest next week and update the running tally of Pick Ten scores from which we'll ultimately crown a grand champion.

Consult DtB Fantasy Corner for full results.

Pick 10 ... Roy Griak Invitational:

Megan Duwell (Gophers):
Hassan Mead (Gophers):
University of Minnesota Men
University of Minnesota Women
Morgan Place (UMD):

Ali Paul (MSU Mankato):

James Krajsa (MSU Mankato):

Doboul Ruon (St. Olaf):

Marie Borner (Bethel):

Dan Greeno (Bethel)

To Help You Make Your Picks ... Here is some information on the athletes/teams we've included in the competition:

Hassan Mead and Megan Duwell both finished 2nd at last year's Griak Invitational and are All-Americans. Mead is making his season debut while Duwell won the Oz Memorial Run earlier this year. The Gopher women are ranked #8 in the nation and are the two-time defending champs at Griak. They will be challenged by nationally ranked Michigan State and Iowa State. The Gopher men are ranked #17 while their biggest challenger, Iowa State, is ranked #25 in the nation.

Morgan Place is a defending Griak champ in her division and won at St.Olaf last week by 40 seconds. Ali Paul finished second to Place at St. Olaf. James Krajsa was 5th at Griak last year and also ran to an easy victory at St. Olaf.

Marie Borner is the defending D3 cross country champ and finished second at Griak last year. Doboul Ruon was a cross country All-American last year and finished second to Krajsa at St. Olaf. Dan Greeno is the defending Griak champ in his division and was an All-American last year.

Good luck!

Yes/No Update ... Last week’s question - Will Katie McGregor place in the top 5 at the USA 5k Championship on Sunday was answered "yes" correctly by 11 contestants. There was some confusion with the results as McGregor was actually 6th overall in the race. We asked about McGregor's finish in the USA 5k Championship and because one of the athletes in front of her was Irish, McGregor placed 5th in the USA Championship.

Yes/No will return next week. Full results are posted HERE

Gophers Teams are Griak Favorites

If the NCAA Division I cross country polls are accurate, spectators at Saturday's 24th annual Griak Invitational could see a Golden Gopher sweep.

The Golden Gopher women, the two-time defending champions at the meet, enter the U of M's signature invitational as the lone top-10 ranked team in the field. The #8 Gophers can expect the toughest challenge from #17 Michigan State and #28 Iowa State from the 18-team women's Gold Division field.

Arizona State, which challenged the Gopher women strongly in their recent Griak victories, is not returning to the meet this year.

The Gopher men, who are looking for their first title at the meet named after long-time Gopher men's cross country and track coach Roy Griak, enter as D1's #17 team. Their toughest competition seems likely to come from #25-ranked Iowa State, although un-ranked Duke could surprise.

Defending Griak Gold Division men's champion, Division II Adam State of Colorado, is not racing in this year's field.

The number of teams competing in the Division I Gold Division of the meet is down overall this year. Only seventeen men's team will race this year. The men's and women's Gold Divison races have averaged more than 24 teams the previous two editions of the meet.

Only once in Griak history has one school won both Gold Division titles -- in 1997 when Wisconsin's men and women swept the honors.

Individually, 2008 Griak runners-up Megan Duwell and Hassan Mead look to join 1998 Griak women's champ Rasa Michniovaite as a home team Griak champion.

Find copious information about the meet compiled by the University of Minnesota sports media folks HERE.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Carlson to Represent USA at World Half

Former Golden Gopher star Andrew Carlson will represent the United States at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, England on October 11.

Carlson (pictured), a former member of Team USA Minnesota who currently resides in Flagstaff, Arizona, joins Dathan Ritzenhein, Brett Gotcher, Scott Bauhs, and James Carney on the USA squad.

The USA women's team for the event is composed of Amy Yoder Begley, Desiree Davila, Serena Burla, Amy Hastings, and Elva Dryer.

Photo courtesy of McMillan Elite.

Chris Lists: Where They Are Now ...

DtB contributor Chris Marshall recently put together these lists of where the top male high school senior distance runners of 2009 are attending college this fall. Below are the confirmed colleges for the best of the Class of '09.

Chris, a Carleton College senior himself, also adds a listing of the new freshman faces in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Where the Top Seniors Went ...

Robel Kebede, Minneapolis South, to Wisconsin
Drew Paradis, Alexandria, to Minnesota
John Holt, Roseville, to North Dakota State
Jeremy Drenckhahn, Wayzata, to Air Force
Jacob Bastyr, Owatonna, to Minnesota State-Mankato
Bill Struntz, White Bear Lake, to St. Cloud State
Chris Massey, Rosemount, to St. Olaf
Jakob Lindas, Moorhead, to Harvard
Zach Mellon, Buffalo, to Wisconsin
Erik Truedson, Bemidji, to Minnesota
Dylan Cheever, Minneapolis Southwest, to Carleton
Ethan Marquardt, Albert Lea, to South Dakota
Danny Ducharme, Wayzata, to Iowa State
Pat Richie, Grand Rapids, to Gonzaga
Ryan Eason, Coon Rapids, to Minnesota-Duluth
Stu Lombardo, Lakeville South, to St. Thomas
Bobby Davis, Eden Prairie, to Carleton
Mike Farley, St. Thomas Academy, to Creighton
Scott Dick, Dover-Eyota/St. Charles, to Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Kyle Richards, Champlin Park, to Wisconsin-Stout
Matt Babcock, Chaska, to Wisconsin-Stout
Jeff Hartmann, Osseo, to Johnson & Wales University
Timothy Lillehaugen, Moorhead, to St. Olaf
Cole Toepfer, Egan, to Minnesota-Duluth
Blake Macalus, White Bear Lake, to St. Cloud State
Nate Dobbins, Rochester John Marshall, to Hamline
Tyler Young, White Bear Lake, to Minnesota-Duluth
Ryan Evans, Centennial, to Augustana
Moses Heppner, Warroad, to North Dakota State
Clayton Foster, Pequot Lakes, to Minnesota State-Moorhead
Peter Borash, Royalton, to St. Mary’s
Zach Haskins, Heritage Christian, to Bethel
Patrick Bryant, DeLaSalle, to St. Thomas
Mark Bostrom, Mora, to Bethel
Ryan Tholen, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, to Dordt
Stewart Richardson, Blake, to Harvard
Chris Reisdorfer, Adrian, to Hamline
Nate Thoofte, Redwood Valley, to North Dakota State
Alex Barney, Perham, to North Dakota State

New Faces in the MIAC ...

Ethan Gutzmann-Williams, Waconia
Ryan Norman, North Branch
Matt Schafer, Irondale
Zach Stevens, Apple Valley
Austin Wagner, La Crescent

Mark Bostrom, Mora
Zach Haskins, Heritage Christian
Spencer Hinseth, Andover
Jake Murphy, Mora
Eric Schlemmer, South St. Paul
Brent Schultz, Orono

Dylan Cheever, Minneapolis Southwest
Bobby Davis, Eden Prairie
Matt Harrison, Mound-Westonka
Freddy Wieffering, St. Paul Central

Bradley Johnson, Cooper
Adam Mousel, Northfield
Jacob Rhode, Royalton

Gustavus Adolphus:
Eric Bly, Monticello
Michael Douglass-White, St. Croix
Ian Gibbs-Hall, Duluth Central
Adam Lund, Apple Valley

Ross Anderson, St. Paul Como
Nate Dobbins, Rochester John Marshall
Graham Hanson, Richfield
Chris Reisdorfer, Adrian
Brendan Ruter, New London-Spicer

Joe O’Neill, Mound-Westonka

St. John’s:
Nathan Amberg, Norwood-Young America
Collin Hager, Parkers Prairie
Michael Kuhlman, Osseo
Eric Larson, Maple River
Luke Merickel, Eden Prairie
Matt Scherber, Sartell-St. Stephen
Gabriel Vertin, Benilde-St. Margaret’s

St. Mary’s:
Peter Borash, Royalton
Benjamin Carlson, Rosemount
Scott Klappa, Hopkins
Colin Sheehan, Austin Pacelli
Jake Traxler, Le Center
Ryan Winegardner, Northfield
Michael Wolter, Rushford-Peterson

St. Thomas:
Rio Bailey, Stillwater
Pat Bryant, DeLaSalle
Stu Lombardo, Lakeville South

St. Olaf:
Jon Anderson, Duluth East
Nick Bocovich, Andover
Chris Bowman, Bemidji
Frankie Heller, DeLaSalle
Tim Lillehaugen, Moorhead
David Link, Hopkins
Chris Massey, Rosemount
Kellen McMillen, Chaska
Chris Napolitano, Excelsior
Evan Olson, Edina
Dan Wilson, Apple Valley
Josh Wold, Rochester Century

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon Announces Elite Fields

Will three times be a charm for Mary Akor?

Could Stillwater High School alum Luke Watson make a Bob Kempainen-like marathon debut at Twin Cities?

Will the ageless Colleen DeReuck become the oldest women's champion of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon?

Those are some of the question prompted by yesterday's release of the elite startlists for next Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. The race will serve as the USA Women's Marathon Championships as well as the USA Masters Marathon Championships for men and women.

The Women's Field ... For the third-straight year, Nigerian-born American Mary Akor will toe the TCM starting line with a chance to become the first same-year women's champion of both Grandma's Marathon and Twin Cities.

Andrew Musuva of Kenya accomplished the feat in 1999 for men. Zina Semenova, who holds a share of the TCM women's course record, won the state's premier marathons back-to-back but in different years, winning Twin Cities in 2001 and Grandma's in 2002. Minnesotans Jan Ettle, Janis Klecker, and Irina Bogacheva of Kyrgyzstan have won both races non-consecutively.

Akor will face a strong field seeking not only a TCM title but also a USA Championship. Thirty women who competed in last year's Olympic Trials Marathon will race Twin Cities this year.

Olympian Colleen De Reuck, the 2004 Olympic Trials champion, is an intriguing prospect for earning the triple title of TCM, USA, and USA Masters champion in the race. The 45-year-old mother of two is coming off a victory at the USA 20K Championship earlier this month and could become TCM's oldest winner by completing the trifecta.

Other likely contenders for the women's title include: Ilsa Paulson, Samia Akbar, Robyn Friedman, and Sally Mayerhoff. Team USA Minnesota's Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle will make her marathon debut in the race.

Find the complete entry list for the USA Women's Championship HERE.

Men's Marathon ... The men's race, which is not a USA Championship this year, will feature a mix of international and domestic talent. 2004 TCM champion Augustus Kavutu Mbusya of Kenya returns. Girgoriy Andreev of Russia and Stephen Loruo of Kenya appear to be strong challengers -- both having run sub-2:12 for 26.2 miles in the last two years.

American hopes will be pinned on the debuting Watson and Jason Hartman of Concord, Massachusetts. Watson hopes to bottle some of the local magic that Bob Kempainen used when he opened his storied marathon career with a 2:12:12 runner-up finish in the 1991 TCM. Hartman finished 10th at the 2007 Olympic Marathon Trials.

As it will be for the women, the men will be chasing a $25,000 winners prize and a $145,000 prize purse.

Read TCM's media release on its elite field HERE.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lakeville South's Girls Top Class AA Poll

After a pair of victories over #1-ranked teams in the last two weeks, Lakeville South commands the #1 ranking itself in the latest Class AA girls' cross country poll released today.

The Cougars -- winners over then-#1 Eden Prairie at the Hopkins Invitational on September 11 and three-point victors last Thursday over #1 Prior Lake in Lakeville -- reside in the top position for the first time this season.

Prior Lake is #2 this week, while Roseville, the winners at the Metro Invite over the weekend, are the new #3. Eden Prairie, the defending Class AA champs, but only 4th at Metro, have fallen out of the top-12.

In the Class AA boys rankings, Eden Prairie still holds the #1 spot over two-time defending Class AA champs Wayzata. The top seven spots in the poll remain unchanged, with Edina #3 and Stillwater #4.

Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria and Lukas Gemar of Moorhead still top the Class AA individual ranks.

In Class A, the top team and individual spots remain unchanged ahead of this weekend's Milaca Mega-Meet, where, traditionally, many of the State's top Class A schools tangle.

Perham leads both Class A team rankings; Maddie McClellan of Perham and Paul Koullick of Blake top the individual polls.

Find complete Class A rankings HERE.

Find Class AA rankings below ...


1 Lakeville South
2 Prior Lake
3 Roseville
4 Shakopee
5 Moorhead
6 Elk River
7 Hopkins
8 Andover
9 Grand Rapids 10 Monticello
12 Maple Grove

1 Jamie Piepenburg, 10, Alexandria
2 Maria Hauger, 9, Shakopee
3 Emma Bates, 12, Elk River
4 Kaila Urick, 11, Chaska
5 Sharmila Amed, 11, Burnsville
6 Abbi Asprengren, 11, Elk River
7 Heidi Peterson, 11, Sartell
8 Taylor Perkins, 9, Lakeville North
9 Megan Platner, 11, Eden Prairie
10 Kaelyn Williams, 10, Cooper
11 Becca Dyson, 10, Roseville
12 Cassidy Soli, 9, Champlin Park


1 Eden Prairie
2 Wayzata
3 Edina
4 Stillwater
5 Moorhead
6 Burnsville
7 White Bear Lake
8 Rosemount
9 Eastview
10 St. Thomas Academy
11 Alexandria
12 Bloomington Jefferson

1 Lukas Gemar, 11, Moorhead
2 Aaron Bartnik, 11, Eden Prairie
3 Besufekad Shannon-Tamrat, 12, Hopkins
4 Bryant Blahnik, 11, Redwing
5 Jake Autio, 12, St. Michael-Albertville
6 Jake Sandry, 12, Bloomington Jefferson
7 Josh Thorson, 10, Wayzata
8 Jon-Michael Brandt, 12, Winona
9 Kemal Jarso, 12, St. Paul Central
10 Marty Joyce, 12, Woodbury
11 Steven Dado, 11, Totino Grace
12 Michael Ellenberger, 12, Edina

Friday, September 18, 2009

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 19-20

We're got links to the weekend's results below, but ...

... perhaps the most compelling contest of the "weekend" already took place on Thursday night, when #2-ranked Lakeville North tipped #1-ranked Prior Lake in a battle between the top two Class AA girls' cross country programs in the state (according to the rankings, anyway.)

Results from their tussle at the Lakeville Applejack Invitational are HERE. Note how close the 83-86 contest was: South scored fewer points but the Lakers ran faster, girl-for-girl.

Here's the rest of what's on tap this weekend ...

St. Olaf Invitational: Men's Results * Women's Results
Update: Mankato men, Duluth women win; Krasja, Place top fields.
Metro Invitational: Results
Update: Eden Prairie boys, Roseville girls win, Bratnik and Urick top individuals.
Bolder Dash 5K/10K: 5K Results * 10K Results
Update: Antonio Vega wins men's 10K in 29:35, Wendy Thomas tops women in 35:50.

USA 5K Championships: Results
Update: McGregor 6th overall, 5th in USA 5K Championship in 15:50.
Fort Snelling Relays: Results
Update: Collegeville, Foley & Mansfield win open titles.

Is Katie McGregor Top-5 at the USA 5K?

The CVS Caremark Downtown 5k in Providence, R.I. has always been a race to watch. This year promises to be no exception as the September 20th race is host to the USA 5k Championships. Last year's champion Anthony Famiglietti, who will run the Medtronic TC 10 Mile next month, will be challenged by fellow Olympians Johnathan Riley and Matt Tegenkamp, who recently dipped under the 13 minute marker. Lest these guys get too comfortable, they will also be joined by many of the top road racers in the U.S. and some elite track athletes ready to trade rubber for pavement.

That's all fine and good, but we're focusing our Yes/No attention on the women's race, which looks to be no less impressive. Team USA Minnesota veteran Katie McGregor will be competing with runners like Amy Yoder-Begley who recently finished 6th at the World Championships 10000 Meters and Molly Huddle, the 2009 USA champion at 7 and 10 miles. We want you to let us know where you think McGregor will finish.

Yes/No: Will Katie McGregor place in the top 5 at the USA 5k Championship on Sunday?

Katie McGregor has had a busy 2009 highlighted by qualifying for and running at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in the 10,000 meters. She also placed 2nd at the USA 15k championship in March. McGregor is at her best running events longer than 5k, but she possesses amazing range and sports a 5k PR of 15:22. The elite start list for the CVS Downtown 5k is HERE.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 10:15 A.M. CDT, Sunday, September 20th. Please put your answer in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will continue to offer a bonus for participants making their debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for any first-time players.

My answer: Yes

Last week’s question was: Will the Bethel women place highest among all Minnesota teams (Men and Women) at Les Duke Invitational at Grinnell, Iowa on Saturday? The correct answer was “Yes.” Eleven participants answered correctly.

You can find the all the results and leaderboards at DtB Fantasy Corner.

Good luck and thanks for playing Yes/No on DtB!

Abdi and Fam Headline Medtronic TC 10 Mile

Three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, the 2007 USA 10 Mile champion, and 2008 Olympic Trials steeplechase champion Anthony Famiglietti will headline the USA 10 Mile Championships to be run in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 10 Mile on October 4.

Abdirahman, who is coming off a 4th place finish at the the NYC Half Marathon in August in 1:02:51, returns to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul where he ran 47:34 to win the last USA Men's 10 Mile title over runner-up Jason Lehmkuhle of Team USA Minnesota.

Abdirahman (pictured winning in 2007), a Somali-born naturalized American citizen, has represented his adopted country in the 10,000 meters at the last three Olympic Games. He sports PR of 27:16 for the distance and a 2:08:56 PR for the marathon.

Famiglietti, who was the runner-up to Meb Keflezighi at the USA 7 Mile Championship at the Bix 7 in July, will preview his form this weekend in the USA 5K Championship. "Fam," was the pre-race favorite at this spring's USA Road Mile Championship, held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, but was a late scratch.

The Long Island, New York native is known for his range as a runner. Famiglietti has run 3:55 for the mile and 27:27 for 10,000m. He sports a steeplechase PR of 8:17.34.

Other contenders for the USA 10 Mile title and the $10,000 winner's check that accompanies it include Lehmkuhle, who set a PR for 20K earlier this month, Team USA Minnesota teammates Josh Moen, Patrick Smyth, and Chris Lundstrom, and USA 20K runner-up Mohamed Trafeh.

2008 Medtronic TC 10 Mile Champion Josh Glaab will return to the race. Former Golden Gopher all-American Chris Rombough will make his USA road championship debut in the race.

A complete list of elite entrants in the race is available HERE. (Note: Brett Gotcher, the USA 20K champion, although listed among the entrants, has withdrawn.)

Photo courtesy of TCM and Paul Phillips, Competitive Image.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mankato, Duluth Ranked #9 in D2 Polls

We'll admit to being a little remiss in reporting on the national cross country rankings for Minnesota's small colleges and universities. Let's make up for that right now ...

The Minnesota State - Mankato men and the University of Minnesota -Duluth women both find themselves ranked #9 in the latest NCAA Division II cross country polls released yesterday.

Mankato, the defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champions who finished 8th at the NCAA Championships last fall, remained in the spot it occupied in the pre-season poll released in late August.

Duluth, the runners-up in the NSIC in 2008 and also 8th in the D2 meet last year, dropped one spot from their pre-season position.

Perennial power Adams State leads both D2 polls.

Find the complete rankings HERE (men) and HERE (women).

NCAA Division III ... The University of St. Thomas women lead all Minnesota programs in NCAA Division III cross country polling. The three-time defending Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions are ranked #11 in the latest D3 poll, released last week.

Also making the national ranks for women are Bethel University, #13 and Carleton #19.

In the men's D3 rankings St. John's University holds the #19 position, while defending MIAC champions St. Olaf is #32.

Defending NCAA Division III champion Middlebury tops the women's poll; North Central College leads the men's.

Find the complete D3 rankings HERE (women) and HERE (men).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gopher Women Ranked #8 in NCAA Poll;
Minnesota Men Open Season Ranked #17

The University of Minnesota women's cross country team opens the 2009 season ranked #8 in NCAA Division I, according to the preseason poll released by the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association yesterday.

The two-time defending Big Ten champions, who finished 11th at the NCAA Championships last year, are the top-ranked team from the conference in the poll. Defending NCAA champ Washington is ranked #1, followed by Oregon, Florida State, and West Virginia.

In addition to the Gophers, the Big Ten finds Illinois ranked #10, Wisconsin #15, Michigan State #17, Michigan #19, and Penn State #26.

The complete women's poll can be found HERE.

Gopher Men Ranked #17 ... The Minnesota men, the third place team in the Big Ten in 2008 and 15th at NCAAs, open the season as the 17th-best team in the country, according to the poll.

Defending NCAA champion Oregon leads the poll, followed by Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

The only other ranked Big Ten teams are #22 Michigan and #28 Penn State.

The complete men's poll can be found HERE.

Duwell Honored ... Gopher senior Megan Duwell earned a share the Big Ten Cross Country Runner of the Week award after defending her individual title in the Oz Memorial Run on Friday.

Duwell ran 21:14 over her 6K home course, bettering her nearest rival by 53 seconds and leading her teammates to a first-place team finish.

Duwell shares the honor with Cheryl Spring of Penn State.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Teams Top Latest Class AA Polls

A pair of new teams top the boys' and girls' MSHSL Class AA cross country polls released yesterday.

The Eden Prairie boys, winners over two-time defending Class AA champs Wayzata at Hopkins over the weekend, take over the #1 ranking from the Trojans, who drop to #2. Edina keeps its #3 ranking; Stillwater, winners at Faribault move to #4.

In girls' Class AA, undefeated Prior Lake ascends to the Class AA pinnacle, after Lakeville South's shock win over former #1 Eden Prairie. The Cougars are #2, Eden Prairie falls to #3, Roseville remains #4.

The Class AA individual leaders -- Lukas Gemar of Moorhead and Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria -- remain unchanged as do the top teams -- Perham's boys and girls -- and individuals -- Paul Koullick of Blake and Maddie McClellan of Perham -- in Class A.

Find the latest Class AA polls below; find the Class A polls HERE.

Class AA Girls

1 Prior Lake
2 Lakeville South
3 Eden Prairie
4 Roseville
5 Hopkins
6 Shakopee
7 Elk River
8 Monticello
9 Moorhead
10 Lakeville North
11 Andover
12 Grand Rapids

1 Jamie Piepenburg, 10 Alexandria
2 Maria Hauger, 9 Shakopee
3 Emma Bates, 12 Elk River
4 Becca Dyson, 10, Roseville
5 Alissa Retterrath, 10, Hutchinson
6 Abbi Aspengren, 11, Elk River
7 Erica Seidenkranz, 10 Monticello
8 Sharmila Armed, 11, Burnsville
9 Kaila Urick, 11, Chaska
10 Kaelyn Williams, 10, Cooper
11 Darby Baranick, 10, Woodbury
12 Madeline Mckeefry, 8, Andover

Class AA Boys

1 Eden Prairie
2 Wayzata
3 Edina
4 Stillwater
5 Moorhead
6 Burnsville
7 White Bear Lake
8 Alexandria
9 St. Thomas Academy
10 Bloomington Jefferson
11 Totino Grace
12 Eastview

Also receiving consideration ...
Lakeville North, Red Wing, Rosemount, St. Paul Central, Andover, Osseo, Coon Rapids.

1 Lukas Gemar, 11, Moorhead
2 Aaron Bartnik, 11, Eden Prairie
3 Besufekad Shannon-Tamrat, 12, Hopkins
4 Bryant Blahnik, 11, Red Wing
5 Jake Autio, 12, St. Michael-Alb.
6 Josh Thorson, 10, Wayzata
7 Jon-Michael Brandt, 12, Winona
8 Michael Ellenberger, 12, Edina
9 Jake Sandry, 12, Bloomington Jefferson
10, Mohamed Mohamed, 12, Eden Prairie
11 Marty Joyce, 12, Woodbury
12 Kemal Jarso, 12, St. Paul Central

Also receiving consideration ...
Blayne Dulian,12, Coon Rapids; Steven Dado,11, Totino Grace; Alec Schultz,12, Orono; Brian Anderson,12, St. Thomas Academy; Adam Zutz,11, St. Francis; Christian Ryan Nichols,12, Stillwater; Skaret,11, Minnetonka; Trent Lusignan,11, Shakopee; Aldis Inde,11, Edina; Micheal Tessema,12, Burnsville.

Will Leer Talks Track

Will Leer is a "contender." He has gradually risen through the ranks of US middle distance runners with US championship performances that brought him close to making the US team the last two years. Here he talks about his past accomplishments and plans for the future.

Down the Backstretch: It’s been a good year for US distance running with medals at the World Champs for the men and women, a new American men’s record in the 5K and two men under 13 in that event. What are your thoughts on these developments?

Will Leer: I am very excited with how well the US men and women are running. We had a couple of hiccups here and there at Worlds but also had finalists in nearly every distance event! Hopefully all of this success will lead to increased press coverage and popularity back home. That sentiment may be a bit selfish, but athletics in the US needs more than just sprints and jumps to capture the attention of the masses.

I cannot help but think that these results will lead to even better performances for US distance athletes in the next couple of years. Qualifying for the Finals in major championships and proving ourselves to be competitive at the highest level will increase everyone's confidence and it makes us set higher goals. This is a very exciting time and having just read a few of Malcolm Gladwell’s books, we could be approaching a Tipping Point!

DtB: You’re tantalizingly close to making the US team. What are your feelings about your improvements and what you need to do to take the next step?

WL: This is a difficult question to answer since I truly feel like I should have been on the team this year. I do not want to take anything away from Dorian Ulrey, Lopez Lomong or Leo Manzano, they all ran well at the US Championships, I simply ran a poor race in the final and have been rerunning that race in my head all summer.

I felt that this year I improved a lot, even though my times didn’t necessarily show it. It was just two years ago that I competed at my first US Championship meet. Last year I was fourth in the Trials. This year I felt I really blew my opportunity to make the US team. My confidence has been growing by leaps and bounds each year and that is very important.

In order to take the fabled “next step” I think all I need is to get into a major race when I am truly prepared and the time will come. I was ready to run 3:35 or better this summer but the opportunity never really presented itself. I hope with another year of uninterrupted training I will really be able to show what I am capable of.

DtB: Most championship races come down to the final lap, “sprint speed.” Are you comfortable with your ability to close out a race at any pace? Do you have any plans to move up to the 5K or try a longer event?

WL: I am pretty confident with my ability to close well in most any race. Every time that I have been in peak race shape and run in a fast race I have been able to close well. What’s more is that my finish has been getting better each year.

That being said, a move to the 5K is inevitable. I need a few more years of solid training before I will be really ready to run a competitive race at that distance.

DtB: You had the opportunity to develop in Division III competition at Pomona College where you had somewhat the best of both worlds—tough competition from guys like Nick Symmonds, but fewer foreign athletes, and a better platform for success, at least success as is defined by placing high in championship meets. How did that impact your career, your self confidence?

WL: Competing in Division III was a incredible for me. I have never thought of it as something that has held me back in any way because I graduated and left NCAA competition hungry for more, eager to discover what I was really capable of accomplishing.

Nick and I really only raced each other in one meet, the 2007 NCAA D3 Championships. He was a senior, undefeated, and 5 for 5 at his previous D3 meets. I was a junior at my first National meet just beginning to discover myself as a runner. The 1500m at that meet was definitely the most exciting race I ran as a collegiate runner.

The fact that I began to blossom as a runner in the D3 system affected my career and self-confidence most significantly by keeping me naive. I knew when I graduated that I was the best middle distance runner in D3 but I had never really competed in a race filled with guys who were the best in the country, so I was not sure exactly how I would stack up against them. The 2007 USATF Champs was my first exposure to that type of race and despite it being my 17th meet of the year I managed to PR in the prelim and placed tenth in the final. Competing there was for the experience more than anything. Racing in the 1500 final against guys like Alan Webb and Bernard Lagat was a great way for me to finish my season and propelled me into my professional career.

DtB: You keep true to your roots coming back to Minnesota for alumni meets and road races. What keeps bringing you back?

WL: To be perfectly honest, I come back to Minnesota to see my family and friends. It just so happens that the occasional road race fits nicely into my training schedule at that time since my trips home are usually in between racing stints.

Racing the Minnetonka XC Alumni Meet is something that I have done for years. I owe a lot to Jeff Renlund, the head coach at Minnetonka and my former HS coach. He played an integral part in fostering my growth as a runner and instilling in me his love of the sport. When I was in high school, Coach Renlund was himself training for the Olympic Trials marathon. I remember how amazing I thought that was and finding it really inspiring. Not to toot my own horn, but I think that my going back and racing the alumni meet provides similar inspiration for the current team.

DtB: Oregon has become almost the place to be for distance runners with the Oregon project athletes, the U of O, and the OTC. Talk a bit about the atmosphere there. Why people are coming there to train? The “atmosphere,” how it may be helping develop the talent?

WL: I know that Nike has a lot to do with the migration of talent to Oregon, but the rationale as to why they are choosing it as the place to be escapes me. However, the fact that so many of the top runners in the US are coming to Oregon has created an excitement that is undeniable. We’ve got Ritz, Rupp, Webb, Goucher, Teg, Solinsky, Symmonds and the OTC, with seemingly more on the way each week.

If you have ever been to a track meet at Hayward Field with a capacity crowd you can really understand why people would want to be close to this environment. There simply is no other track and field venue like it in all of the US. And having the best runners in the US competing at the best venue possible really makes us all push our training to the next level. There is no such thing as an easy race anymore at Hayward Field. We are constantly forced to bring our A-game every time we step on the track.

DtB: One of the reasons for the African success in distance running is the intense competition between very gifted athletes. That is how it used to be in the US, and what we seem to be returning to in the US. How important is the depth of talent in the development of world class athletes?

WL: Two of the things Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his national best-selling book Outliers are “The 10,000 Hour Rule” and how practicing with better competition leads to greater success. The 10,000 Hour Rule basically states that it takes dedicating 10,000 hours to a particular task in order to master it and become the best, be it a concert violinist, computer programmer, or professional athlete.

I think that part of the delay for success in running in the US is that most of our runners don’t reach the 10,000 hours before giving up the sport. If you look at people like Ritz and Teg, guys that have been training hard for 10 or 12 years and really are really starting to make names for themselves across the world, they have undoubtedly hit that 10,000 hours.

I would guess that I am somewhere near the 8,000 hour mark. Ha ha. Many of the African runners start “training” at a very early age; running to and from school, running to the village for food supplies, etc. In believe that their lifestyle and culture have a lot to do with achieving that critical 10,000 hour mark much earlier than the rest of the world.

On to the topic of training with groups, I also believe this to be incredibly important. Not only does training in a group allow you to occasionally complete workouts that you would have not though possible, but it also helps to get you through tough workouts when you are feeling less than spectacular. On my ‘off’ days I rely on my teammates to help get me through a workout, and I expect the same reliance on me when they are having one of those days. This is all part of maintaining consistency in training and keeping your confidence levels high.

DtB: Tell us a bit about your experiences this year—the US championships, the races in Europe. What have you learned about yourself as an athlete, your potential?

WL: As I have already been quite long-winded I will try to keep this short. The US championships this year taught me the importance of confidence. If you run scared you will never run well. Running confidently makes you more relaxed, more focused, and ultimately brings about the best performance.

My potential? I have learned that I have not come anywhere near maximizing my potential and I plan on really impressing next year.

DtB: Have there been any particularly memorable moments from this past year that you could share with us?

WL: This is good timing for this question as the most memorable moment from the past year happened just last weekend. The race was the 4 X 1500m relay at the Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels, Belgium. This was my first ever Golden League meeting and also the final meeting of it’s type as the IAAF is switching over to the Diamond League format next year. Running in a huge stadium in front of 50,000 screaming track fans was absolutely incredible! I had never experienced anything quite like it. The atmosphere and overall energy was addicting and it made me want nothing more than to compete in another race of that size!

The result of the race was not quite what our team was hoping for: we missed the American Record, set back in 1979, by one second! The Kenyan team, however, broke the World Record from 1972. So it was also a first for me to be in a race in which a world record was broken. Everything about the experience was exciting and rewarding. I will remember that for the rest of my life.

DtB: What are your plans for the rest of 2009 and 2010? What about goals for 2012?

WL: I am going to finish this season with the Fifth Avenue Mile on September 26th in New York City. The New York Road Runners organize the race and really make it a celebratory event for the elite runners. I had a great time there last year, and I think this year should be even better.

After that race I really have no idea what the next 12 months will bring. My coach and I have spoken briefly about trying to qualify for the World Indoor Championships, but that is really too far off for me to think about. But as a result of 2010 not having a major championship in the summer I really plan on being adventurous in my racing and try to see some parts of the world that I have previously never been.

The success I have had over the past two seasons has really fueled my fire to continue training until the 2012 Olympic Trials. That success has drastically altered my mentality towards the sport; I am no longer just trying to qualify for the US Championships and make the final. I am trying to earn a spot on US National teams. 2012 may be a long time from now, but as a professional runner I am forced to set goals in four-year cycles. In 2008 I was happy to be in the final of the Olympic Trials. In 2012 I will be disappointed if I am not on that team!

Photo courtesy of Oregon Track Club

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Sub-4:00 Road Mile in Minnesota

Two big road miles in Minnesota ... and two-sub-4-minute winners in 2009.

Haron Lagat of Kenya won Sunday's Grandma's Minnesota mile in 3:59.7, edging Coon Rapids-based compatriot Moses Waweru who clocked 4:00.79. Kyle Perry of Provo, Utah was third in 4:05.1.

Lagat (pictured) joins David Torrence as a sub-4:00 runner on Minnesota streets. Torrence won the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, which served as the USA Road Mile championship, in May, clocking 3:59.3.

Carrie Vickers of Carbondale , Colorado, defended her Minnesota Mile women’s title, setting a new course record 4:41.0 — seven seconds faster than Kenya ’s Caroline Rotich. Former Gopher all-American Ladia Albertson-Junkans was third in 4:55.1.

The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates has a race wrap-up HERE, including details on Lagat's recovery form a dog attack earlier this season.

Results of the Minnesota Mile are HERE.

Results of all the miles races contested in Duluth on Sunday can be found HERE.

Photo courtesy of Grandma's Marathon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 11-13

Below are our "Short-Cut" links for all the important action this weekend.

We're keen to see results from the Jim Rovn/Ed Bauman Invitational. The Friday afternoon girls' meet features the #1, #2, #4, and #7-ranked Class AA girls' teams -- that's Eden Prairie, Elk River, Roseville, and hosts Hopkins, respectively. The boys' meet on Saturday features #1 Wayzata, #2 Eden Prairie, and #7 Coon Rapids.

Jim Rovn/Ed Bauman Invitational: Results
Update: Un-ranked Lakeville South girls shock #1 Eden Prairie 79-94; Bates wins.
Faribault Invitational: Results
Update: #7 Stillwater boys edge Burnsville and #4 White Bear; #11 Lakeville North girls win.
Oz Memorial Run (U of M): Women's Results * Men's Results
Update: Gophers sweep home meet, Duwell, Rombough are medalists.
St. John's Invitational: Results
Update: Meet cancelled due to inclement weather.

Jim Rovn/Ed Bauman Invitational: Results
Update: #2 Eden Prairie boys tip #1 Wayzata 29-47; EP's Bartnik wins.
Les Duke Invitational: Women's Results * Men's Results
Update: #13 Bethel women 2nd, Borner wins; Greeno wins men's title.

City of Lakes 25K: Results
Update: Lehmkuhle wins in 1:17:54; Ward tops women in 1:36:20.
Grandma's Minnesota Mile: Results
Update: Lagat runs 3:59.7 to edge Coon Rapids-based Waweru.

Who Will Shine at the Les Duke Invitational?

The kids are back in school, the air is getting crisp, and a few leaves have started to turn. Smells like cross country season. Many collegiate teams dusted off their spikes for meets last weekend and are some already gearing up for their second competition.

Grinnell is hosting a large invitational this weekend, the Les Duke Invitational, that includes a few Minnesota squads. Let us know which local team has your vote of confidence by answering this question:

Yes/No: Will the Bethel women place highest among all Minnesota teams (Men and Women) at Les Duke Invitational at Grinnell, Iowa on Saturday?

Bethel returns national champion Marie Borner and three other all-MIAC cross country runners (Alex Potter, Kristin Mork, and Heather Jelen). Bethel was 2nd in the MIAC and 19th at Nationals last year and return the entire squad. Other ranked teams at Les Duke include Carleton women led by All-American Simone Childs-Walker and St. Olaf men fronted by All-American Dubuol Ruon.

In the latest DIII rankings, the Bethel women were 13th, the Carleton women 19th, and St. Olaf men were 32nd. At the 2008 Les Duke Invitational, Carleton was 2nd, Bethel 3rd and St. Olaf 4th on the women's side, while Hamline men finished 3rd.

The Bethel women opened their 2009 season with a perfect score victory in a dual meet against Augsburg.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 9:30 A.M. CDT, Saturday, September 12th. Please put your answer in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will continue to offer a bonus for participants making their debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for any first-time players.

My answer: Yes

Last week’s question was: Will Jason Lehmkuhle run faster than 60:00 at the New Haven 20k on Labor Day? The correct answer was “Yes.” Lehmkuhle ran a PR 59:04 to place third at New Haven. He appears ultra-fit in his preparation for TC 10 miler and NYC Marathon this fall.

You can find the all the results and leaderboards at DtB Fantasy Corner.

Good luck and thanks for playing Yes/No on DtB!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Round-Up: News and Notes from the Sport

Here's the latest news that's accumulated on the DtB news-desk ...

Grandma's Registers 1122 ... The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates reports, HERE, that Grandma's Marathon registered 1122 marathon runners for 2010 during its recently-completed early-bird registration program.

Goucher Reflects ... Pates also shares from an e-mail exchange with Duluth native Kara Goucher who is coming off a 10th-place finish at the IAAF World Championships marathon in Berlin last month. Goucher says, HERE, " The wounds of Berlin are a lot smaller now and they will only help me in the future."

Houck to Mile in Duluth ... One last item from Duluth, Jen Houck, the leader in Minnesota's 2009 Runner-of-the-Year standings and the women's champ at the Victory 10K on Monday, will compete in the Grandma's Minnesota Mile this weekend. Read the full story HERE.

USATF Annual Meeeting ... The annual meeting of the Minnesota association of USA Track and Field is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 PM at Broadway Pizza in Minneapolis . The meeting will feature election of officers and a vote on proposed changes to the association's bylaws.

Find further details HERE.

TCM Tops Sponsorship Goals ... Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. reports, HERE, that the organization has topped its 2009 sponsorship goals. TCM executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said, "We value these new and long-standing relationships and will continue to work together to help make health and fitness part of the lives of people across the country, as well as here in Minnesota."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Perham Now Tops Both Class A Polls

The Perham High School girls cross country team, on the strength of its runner-up finish to Class AA #4-ranked Roseville at St. Olaf last weekend, has joined the Perham boys' team atop the Class A cross country rankings this week.

Last week's Class A girls' #1, four-time defending Class A girls' champs Adrian, drop to #5 in the rankings released yesterday.

The rest of the team #1's remain the same, with Eden Prairie and Wayzata remaining at the fore of the Class AA team rankings.

The individual #1's remained unchanged. Leading Class A are Maddie McClellan of Perham and Paul Koullick of Blake. Jamie Piepenburg of Alexandria and Lukas Gemar of Moorhead lead Class AA.

Find compete Class A rankings HERE.

Find Class AA rankings below:

Boys Rankings

1 Wayzata
2 Eden Prairie
3 Edina
4 White Bear Lake
5 Moorhead
6 Alexandria
7 Stillwater
8 Totino Grace
9 Coon Rapids
10 Bloomington Jefferson
11 St. Thomas Academy
12 Rosemount

Also Receiving Consideration:
Lakeville North, Owatonna, Burnsville, St. Paul Central, Roseville, Mounds View, Andover, Osseo, Hopkins.

1 Lukas Gemar, Moorhead
2 Besufekad Shannon-Tamrat, Hopkins
3 Bryant Blahnik, Redwing
4 Jake Autio, St. Michael-Alb.
5 Gemechu Bekelcho, Mpls. Edison
6 Kemal Jarso, St. Paul Central
7 Aaron Bartnik, Eden Prairie
8 Jon-Michael Brandt, Winona
9 Josh Thorson, Wayzata
10 Michael Ellenberger, Edina
11 Jake Sandry, Bloomington Jefferson
12 Steven Dado, Totino Grace

Also Receiving Consideration:
Oliver Haugland, Wayzata; Mark Gallagher, Lakeville South; Nate Engel, Wayzata; Blayne Dulian, Coon Rapids; Brian Anderson, St. Thomas Academy; Mohamed Mohamed, Eden Prairie; Tyler Olson, Maple Grove; Adam Zutz, St. Francis; Landon Lozano, Wayzata; Christian Skaret, Minnetonka; Trent Lusignan, Shakopee.

Girls' Rankings

1 Eden Prairie
2 Elk River
3 Grand Rapids
4 Roseville
5 Prior Lake
6 Shakopee
7 Hopkins
8 Monticello
9 Moorhead
10 Wayzata
11 Lakeville North
12 Chaska

1 Jamie Piepenburg, 10 Alexandria
2 Maria Hauger, 9 Shakopee
3 Megan Bailey, 11, Minnetonka
4 Kaila Urick, 11, Chaska
5 Becca Dyson, 10, Roseville
6 Alissa Retterrath, 10, Hutchinson
7 Emma Bates, 12 Elk River
8 Julia Harrison, 11 Mound Westonka
9 Erica Seidenkranz, 10 Monticello
10 Kaelyn Williams, 10, Cooper
11 Megan Platner, 11 Eden Prairie
12 Paige Foster, 12 Prior Lake

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Photos: The Victory Victors and Runners-Up

Team USA Minnesota's Josh Moen won the men's race at Victory in 29:30.

Former Gopher Justin Grunewald was runner-up in 30:38.

Runner-of-the-Year leader Jen Houck of Duluth won the women's race in 35:41.

Amy Lyons was the runner-up in 36:31.

Phots by Gene Niemi.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Short-Cut: Results' Links for September 4-7

It's time to bring our handy results' link package back into action. The high school and collegiate cross country seasons are kicking off, plus there's important local and national road racing action on tap.

To whet your appetites for the Gopher harrier season ahead, check out these University of Minnesota cross country previews for women, HERE, and men, HERE.

This weekend's results ...

NDSU Bison Invite: Men's Results * Women's Results
Rosemount Invitational: Results
Update: #11 Prior Lake wins girls' title; #5 White Bear Lake tops boys' teams.
Dakota Classic: Results
Update: #12 St. Thomas Academy wins boys meet; Lakeville South tops girls'.

Augsburg vs. Bethel Dual: Men's Results * Women's Results
Update: Bethel sweeps; Greeno and Borner win.
St. Olaf Alumni/Opener: Results
Update: U of M's Burkstrand tops Ruon.
University of Minnesota Intrasquad Meet: Results
Update: All-American Duwell runs away with win.

Summit Cup: Results
Update: Tommies, Ekstrom win at UST/Mac dual.

USA 20K Championships: Results
Update: Lehmkuhle 3rd in 59:04; Carlson 4th in 59:26.
MDRA Victory 10K: Results
Update: Moen and Houck win big a Victory.

How Fast Will Lehmkuhle Run in New Haven?

For U.S. long-distance runners, New Haven’s 20K road race is known as a good tune-up for fall marathons. This may be the reason it always attracts an impressive domestic field. This year certainly won't be an exception; the 32nd annual Stratton Faxon New Haven 20k, held on Labor Day, will be the 2009 USA 20K Championship race.

Patrick Smyth, Jason Lehmkuhle and Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle of Team USA MN, which is often well represented at this race, are on the elite start list this year. We'll focus on Jason Lehmkuhle for this week's question:

Yes/No: Will Jason Lehmkuhle run faster than 60:00 at the New Haven 20k on Labor Day?

Jason Lehmkuhle ran collegiately at Drake University and has run for Team USA MN since 2001. He placed third at the 2007 New Haven 20k in a time of 59:42 and was fifth the year before in 59:55. Lehmkuhle has placed well at many USA Championships over the years with possibly his most impressive being a fifth place finish at the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2008. Currently Lehmkuhle is training for the Twin Cities 10 Miler in October and New York City Marathon in November.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 7:30 A.M. CDT, Monday, September 7th. Please put your answer in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will continue to offer a bonus for participants making their debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for any first-time players.

My answer: No

Last week’s question was: Will Barbora Špotáková win the women's javelin competition at the Gateshead Grand Prix meet on 8/31? The correct answer was “Yes.” The world record holder and defending Olympic Champ won with a throw of 65.57. Seven contestants answered correctly this week.

You can find the all the results and leaderboards at DtB Fantasy Corner.

Good luck and thanks for playing Yes/No on DtB!