Saturday, May 29, 2010

Short-Cut: NCAA Results' Links ...

We'll be shutting down the DtB office complex over the holiday weekend. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't keep up with the weekend's NCAA action. Use the links below to follow Minnesota athletes and teams at the NCAA Championships.

NCAA Division I Championship (West Preliminary): Live Results

NCAA Division II Championships: Live Results

NCAA Division III Championships: Live Men's Results * Live Women's Results

We'll be back again Tuesday morning with full story ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

NCAA Championships Update

Action is underway at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Division I, II, and III.

While D2 and D3 teams and individuals are competing in their championships-proper, D1 programs are competing in one of two Preliminaries that will winnow the D1 entry lists down to a manageable number of the NCAA Division I Championships in Eugene, Ore. in two weeks.

Here are the highlights from yesterday's action ...

Division I -- Gopher all-American Megan Duwell qualified for the finals of the women's 10,000-meter run with a 4th-place finish at the D1 West Preliminary in hot-and-sticky Austin, Texas. Duwell clocked 34:31.94 in the effort.

In the Minnesotan-packed men's 1500m heats, Wisconsin's Rob Finnerty topped the locals by qualifying for Saturday's quarterfinals as the #7 seed with 3:44.10. Jonathan Stublaski of Oklahoma State and formerly of Henry Sibley High School joins the Burnsville-bred Finnerty in the quarters with a #9-qualifying 3:45.00. Gopher Ben Blankenship advanced as well with an 18th-seeded 3:44.43, but teammate Andy Richardson did not, running 3:49.86 for 30th in the field.

Find complete D1 West Preliminary results HERE.

Find the Gopher women's Day 1 wrap-up HERE.

Find the Gopher men's wrap-up HERE.

Division II -- Bemidji State's Zac Preble will begin Day 2 of decathlon action in second place. Preble amassed 3748 in the event's opening five contests. He's within 100 points of leader Darius Walker of Central Missouri heading into today's final day of competition.

Qualifying with high seeds yesterday for finals competition today and tomorrow were:

Brittany Henderson of Minnesota State, Mankato the #2 qualifier in the women's 100m

Kelly Shaw of Winona State and Kristi Buerkle of Bemidji State, the #2 and #3 advancers in the women's 400m

Michelle SanCartier of Minnesota-Duluth, the #5 seed in the 1500m.

Find complete D2 results HERE.

Division III -- Marie Borner's quest to defend her D3 outdoor 1500m title got off to a smooth start yesterday. The Bethel University senior clocked 4:33.71 to advance to Saturday's final as the fastest qualifier.

This afternoon, Borner will begin competition in the 800m, where she is the #1-seed.

Complete D3 results can be found HERE.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Race to Honor Fallen Eden Prairie Alum

Thanks to his Eden Prairie High School classmates, Major Randy Voas, a decorated U.S. Air Force combat pilot who was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 9, will be remembered with with a 5K road race in his name.

The Randy's Run 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, scheduled for July 24, will honor Voas' service and raise money for college scholarships in his name for deserving Eden Prairie High School students.

Registration for the 5K is open at and donations are also being collected on there. The race's USATF certified course starts at the Eden Prairie High School football stadium and travels around near-by Round Lake, finishing back at the school.

Contributions collected from the race will be given to The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools, who will distribute the funds into a college scholarship in Voas' name at Eden Prairie High School.

"The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools is pleased and flattered that the Eden Prairie Class of 1985 has chosen FEPS as the recipient of monies raised from Randy's Run," FEPS board president Jeff Parker said. "We can't imagine a more meaningful and fitting way to start than by helping to honor the memory of Randy Voas."

The scholarship in Voas' name is designed to inspire young people to work toward a healthy lifestyle of fitness, academics, service and family, the qualities of which Voas is most remembered, race officials said.

In high school Voas was a track and cross country athlete, a member of the high school band, a member of the National Honor Society and worked for the Eden Prairie Parks Board and Community Center as a lifeguard and ice rink attendant.

Voas graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1989 with a major in biology and joined the Army as a chief warrant officer and flew AH-64 Apaches helicopters, transitioning to the Air Force to fly special operations MH-53 Pave Lows and ultimately the CV-22 Osprey, a tilt-wing airplane, according to friends and family.

Ten days into his Afghanistan deployment, Voas and two crew members were killed when the Osprey they were flying crashed near Kandahar.

A special sunset memorial service will take place before Randy's Run, on Friday night, July 23 at the Eden Prairie Veterans Memorial.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pick 10: NCAA Championships

NCAA Championships are underway this week. Collegiate athletes in different divisions will compete in Austin, Texas, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina and Berea, Ohio. The Division I action is considered the first round of the National Meet with the final round being held in two weeks in Eugene, Oregon. Division II and III will crown their national champs this weekend.

There are too many great match-ups to pick a single Yes/No question, so we will bring out the Pick 10 contest this week.

Pick Ten has a simple concept: predict the finish place for each of 10 Minnesota athletes at Outdoor Nationals. You will score points for each athlete who scores at or above the finish place you predict for them, following the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system.

For example: If you pick Zac Preble to place first in the Decathlon at Nationals, and he places first, you get 10 points. If you pick Preble to place first and he finishes second, you get zero points. If you pick Preble to finish third in the Decathlon and he places first, second or third, you get 6 points, since you that's the place you picked him for.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names/events below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st or 2nd or 3rd...8th. Send your predictions by 9:30 A.M. CST on Thursday, May 27th to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. We'll announce the winner of this Pick Ten contest next week and keep a running tally of Pick Ten scores from throughout the year to crown a grand champion. As with our Yes/No contests, we don't offer any prizes, so no one needs to fear running afoul of NCAA or other anti-gambling regulations.

Pick 10 ... Outdoor Nationals:

Denise Mokaya (Minnesota State, Mankato) in the 800:
Zac Preble (Bemidji State) in the Decathlon:
Lauren Stelten (Minnesota State, Mankato) in the Pole Vault:
Shanai Guider (Winona State) in the Discus:
Max Hanson (Gustavus) in the 800:
Taylor Ferda (Bethel) in the 400H:
Kelly Lovett (Carleton) in the Javelin:
Marie Borner (Bethel) in the 1500:
Matt Fisher (University of Minnesota) in the High Jump:
Gabriele Anderson (University of Minnesota) in the 1500:

To Help You Make Your Picks ...

Denise Mokaya is the fourth ranked 800 meter runner and has run 1:49.54 outdoors. He was in the 2010 indoor National Champion in the 800. Zac Preble is ranked second in the Decathlon with 7026 points. Preble was fourth in the event in 2009. Lauren Stelten has the highest vault in D2 this year at 13-5 1/4. She finished second in the PV at indoor nationals. Shanai Guider has the second best discus throw this year with a 161-5 toss.

Max Hanson has run 1:50.31 and is ranked second in the 800 going into Nationals. He finished fifth in the 800 indoors. Taylor Ferda is the fourth ranked 400 hurdler with a time of 52.17 this year. Ferda finished fourth at indoor nationals in the 55 hurdles. Kelly Lovett is the second ranked javelin thrower in 2010 and finished seventh at Nationals in 2009. Marie Borner is a four-time National Champion and has the second fastest 1500 time in the field. Borner is also competing in the 800.

Matt Fisher comes into the West Prelims tied for the sixth best high jumper in the field. He has high jumped 7-2 1/4 this year and has qualified for Nationals twice in his career. Gabriele Anderson is ranked fifth in the 1500 with a 4:15.43 qualifier.

NCAA Division I Meet info including entries are HERE.
NCAA Division II entries: Men * Women
NCAA Division III heat sheets: Men *Women

Good luck!

The fantasy contest question from last week was: Y/N: Will both Will Leer and Garrett Heath run faster than 3:40.00 at the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College on Saturday evening? The difference between yes and no was a mere 6/100ths of a second this week. Will Leer ran comfortably under 3:40 and Garrett Heath ran 3:40.05. The correct answer was no and eight contestants answered correctly. Gregg Robertson is now the sole owner of first place with thirteen points.

The Pick Ten standings are still tight. Mike Henderson is the leader with 82 points, followed closely by Jesse Schoen with 78 and Toby Hatlevig at 76 points.

For full standings of both contests, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

TCM Awards Scholarships to Haugland, Charley

Twin Cities In Motion, the organizers of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, has awarded J. Oliver Haugland of Wayzata High School and Miranda Charley of North Branch Area High School its 2010 Twin Cities in Motion $5,000 College Scholarships.

TCM made the announcement yesterday.

Haugland and Charley were chosen from a field of more than 130 high school senior candidates, based on the strength of their running accomplishments, academic performance, and community service. In addition, candidates were asked to write a personal essay. This year marks the 10th year that Twin Cities In Motion, formerly Twin Cities Marathon, Inc., has awarded scholarships to the metro area’s most impressive distance running scholar-athletes.

"It's an honor for Twin Cities In Motion to present these scholarships to J. Oliver and Miranda," Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said. "The caliber of applicants for our scholarships always amazes me -- there are some incredible kids out there! We are proud to support high school students in our community and to share in their hopes and dreams.”

Haugland, who was a member of two State title-winning Wayzata cross country teams in his career, was named to the 2009 All-State cross country team for his 10th place finish at the Class AA State Meet. He was a captain of the Wayzata cross country team last fall and is a track captain this spring. A member of the National Honor Society, Haugland carries a weighted 4.07 GPA. Upon graduation, he plans to attend Marquette University to pursue an engineering degree.

Charley, who is a six-time cross country and track letter winner at North Branch, was twice voted her team’s most valuable cross country athlete. In addition to competitive running, Charley was also a member of the Viking girls’ basketball team. As a student, Charley sports a 3.995 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to attend Jamestown College in North Dakota next fall to pursue a nursing degree.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NCAA Championship Fields Set ... Sort of

Fields for the NCAA Division I, II, and III Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set.

Set, that is, you accept the NCAA's notion that this weekend's two-venue, D1 East and West Preliminaries are the opening rounds of the NCAA Championships, rather than just the organization's regional meets consolidated and renamed.

Hundreds of D1 athletes will compete in Austin, Texas and Greensboro, North Carolina in order to advance to the national meet-proper in Eugene, Oregon in two weeks. It's simpler in D2 and D3. There, athlete will gather in a single venue to decide national champions and all-Americans this weekend.

No matter how things are organized, the student-athletes vying for NCAA national honors in the organization's three divisions have been named and arranged into heats, flights, and sections.

Here's our round-up ...

NCAA Division I ... The University of Minnesota men's and women's teams will send 21 and 24 athletes, respectively, to the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin this weekend. From the preliminary "meet," athletes can qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene in two weeks.

The men's 1500-meters at the West Prelim collects a brace of Minnesota natives. Gopher Ben Blankenship is seeded #8 in the event, Henry Sibley alum Jonathan Stublaski of Oklahoma State is seeded #12, the state's fastest prep miler of all time, Burnsville alum Rob Finnerty who competes for Wisconsin, is seeded #31, while the Gophers' Andy Richardson is the #35 seed.

Men's West Preliminary startlists can be found HERE.

Women's West Preliminary startlists can be found HERE.

The Gopher women's preview for the meet is HERE.

The Gopher men's preview should appear HERE shortly.

General information on the NCAA Division I Championships can be found HERE.

NCAA Division II ... Action at the D2 meet in Charlotte, North Carolina gets underway on Thursday and continues through Saturday.

Winona State's #9-ranked women's team appears the Minnesota program most likely to make a mark at the meet. The throws-and-sprints powered Warriors boast three athletes seeded it the top nine spots in the discus throw, including #1 and #2-seeds Mary Theisen and Shanai Guider, both freshman.

NCAA Division II men's startlists are HERE.

NCAA Division II women's startlists are HERE.

NCAA Division III ... Minnesota's top non-scholarship athletes travel to the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Berea for their national championship from Thursday through Saturday.

Bethel star Marie Borner will attempt to defend her D3 outdoor 1500m title as well as add a 800m crown to her much-burdened trophy case. Borner, who has won D3 titles in cross country and indoor track as well, is the #2 seed in the 1500m and the #1 seed at 800m,

NCAA Division III men's startlists are HERE.

NCAA Division III women's startlists are HERE.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Grandma's Registration to Close June 1

Registration for 34th running of Grandma's Marathon will close on June 1, race officials announced last Friday. At that time, only 7100 runners had registered for the June 19th event.

You can read the event's media release HERE.

It appears that the race will fall short of its 9500 runner capacity for the second year in a row, after filling for the previous 15 years. Last year, 8377 athletes participated in the race from Two Harbors to Duluth's Canal Park.

The economic downturn, competition from new spring-time marathons in the Upper Midwest, and the high cost of lodging in Duluth during race weekend have been identified as factors contributing to the participant fall-off.

Registration for Grandma's Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K have reached capacity and are closed.

Akor to Return ... Three-time defending Grandma's Marathon women's champion Mary Akor is slated to return to the event this year, according to the media release. Earlier, Grandma's announced that Minnesota native Chris Raabe will return to defend his men's title.

Raabe’s 2009 men’s victory was the first for an American since 1995, while Akor became just the second three-time women’s winner in race history.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

E.P., Mounds View Win Class AAA True Team

The Eden Prairie boys' and Mounds View girls' teams won last night's Class AAA True Team State Track and Field Championships held at Stillwater High School.

Eden Prairie topped Rosemount 903 to 838.5 for its title. Mounds View edged Hopkins 860 to 836.

Find complete boys' Class AAA results HERE.

Find complete girls' Class AAA results HERE.

Find the Star-Tribune story on the event HERE.

Competition in the Class AA and A divisions takes place today.

You'll find those results HERE.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Ten Photo Gallery by Becky Miller

Becky Miller of was kind enough to send us these images form last weekend's Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Find an even larger collection of Big Ten meet photos at her web-site.

Paul Hoplin finished 4th in the javelin throw.

Kylie Peterson running to 2nd-place in the 100-meters.

Chris Rombough nabbing one of this two runner-up finishes in the meet.

Surprise Big Ten long jump champion Todea-Kay Willis.

Big Ten hammer throw champion Micah Hegerle.

Gopher Gabriele Anderson battled Illinois' Angela Bizzarri in the 1500m.

Big Ten triple jump runner-up Raymond Blackledge.

Photos by Becky Miller.

Yes/No: Will Heath and Leer Break 3:40?

The Yes/No contest will take a quick break from collegiate track meets to check out the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College this weekend. USA Track and Field is putting on a unique event in Los Angeles on Saturday. There are only two races for both men and women - 800 and 1500 meters and every runner is elite.

Even a small meet in California feels the impact of Minnesota runners. The competitors will include Laura Januszewski
, Garrett Heath, and Will Leer.

Our question this week will focus on the performance of the Minnesota men in the 1500.

Y/N: Will both Will Leer and Garrett Heath run faster than 3:40.00 at the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College on Saturday evening?

Garrett Heath is a former state champion from Winona who graduated from Stanford in 2009. He finished 2nd in the NCAA 1500 outdoors and ended his career as a nine-time All-American. Heath boasts a 1500 P.R. of 3:37.57, and recently finished the Medtronic TC 1 Mile 5th in 4:06.4.

Will Leer is a Minnetonka High School grad and competed for Pomona College. He won four national titles at Pomona and graduated as one of the best D3 middle-distance runners ever. Leer has taken major strides since college as well - running 3:37.37 and finishing 4th and 5th in the last two USA Outdoor Championships. Leer recently ran 3:38.68 at the Oregon Relays on April 30th.

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 9:00 P.M. CST, Saturday, May 22nd. 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

The question from last week was: Y/N: Will three or more runners break 4:00.00 in the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on Thursday? The answer was no - the race was tactical and David Torrence repeated in 4:04. Thirty one contestants answered correctly with very little change at the top of the leaderboard.

For all the results, please visit DtBFantasy Corner.

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Plasencia Named Big Ten Coach of the Year

University of Minnesota head men's track and field coach Steve Plasencia is the Big Ten Conference's outdoor track and field Coach of the Year.

The conference announced its annual award-winners yesterday.

Plasencia (pictured) led his Golden Gophers to a second-straight Big Ten outdoor championship last weekend. The Gophers have now won the last two indoor and outdoor titles in the Big Ten.

“I’m honored to receive this award, but it’s so much more of a reflection of this team than anything else,” Plasencia said in a U of M media release. “I share this award with an outstanding staff of coaches and obviously a wonderful group of student-athletes.”

The conference also recognized its event champions as All-Big Ten First Team honorees. Three Gopher men won Big Ten individual event titles last weekend: Micah Hegerle (hammer), Ben Peterson (pole vault) and R.J. McGinnis (decathlon).

Conference runners-up were tabbed All-Big Ten Second Team honorees. Gopher men honored on this squad were Chris Rombough (5,000 and 10,000 meters), Raymond Blackledge (triple jump) and Trey Davis (shot put).

Women's All-Big Ten First Team honors for the Gophers went to Megan Duwell (10,000 meters), DeAnne Hahn (hammer) and Todea-Kay Willis.

All-Big Ten Second Team honorees were Gabriele Anderson (800 and 1,500 meters), Amy Laskowske (10,000 meters) and Kylie Peterson (100 meters).

Read the full media releases on the subject HERE (men) and HERE (women).

Photo courtesy of the U of M.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday News Round-Up

It's been busy in the athletics world these days. In case you haven't been able to keep up, here's some news you may have missed ...

Jurek Breaks USA 24-Hour Record ... Proctor native Scott Jurek established a new American record for the 24-hour run by running 165.705 miles in a single day. Jurek broke the record when he finished second at the IAU 24-Hour World Championships in France.

Jurek bettered the previous road 24-hour record of 162.46 miles set by Mark Godale in 1999. The American record for 24 hours on a track is 165.24 miles by Rae Clark in 1990.

The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates has the story HERE.

Tommies Sweep MIAC Championships ... The University of St. Thomas men's and women's teams swept the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Winona last weekend.

The Tommie men have won 24 of the last 28 MIAC Outdoor Championships. The Tommie women have won 24 of the 26 MIAC Outdoor Championships contested.

The MIAC also named its individual award winners HERE (men) and HERE (women).

Team USA Minn. in Action ... Josh Moen finished 10th at last weekend's Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco in 36:47. Meanwhile, teammate Patrick Smyth finished 12th at the Healthy Kidney 10K in New York City in 29:03.

Find the full Team USA media release HERE.

Goucher Explains Delay ... Duluth native Kara Goucher explains in a blog post on, HERE, why she waited to announce her pregnancy.

The World Championships 10,000-meter bronze-medalist and her husband Adam were waiting for amniocentesis results after early fears that their child could carry a rare chromosomal abnormality.

After the test, the Gouchers learned their baby was developing normally.

In the Circle: Big Ten Season Recap

Most thought that with Aaron Studt red-shirting during the outdoor season the Gopher men's throws might be the event area that held the team back from repeating as Big Ten Outdoor Champions. That question mark, however, was answered with an exclamation point last weekend in Indiana.

Led by freshmen Micah Hegerle, and sophomores Trey Davis, and Tyler Kleinhuizen, the Gopher men's throwers didn't skip a beat, and scored a total of 32 points at Big Ten's.

Hegerle started the weekend off claiming his first (of what may be many) Big Ten titles in hammer on Friday with a throw of 208-3. Hegerle's best on the season is 211-5, thrown at Iowa on May 1st. The emerging star broke the Gopher freshmen record in hammer four times throughout this outdoor season. He ranks 8th regionally and 19th nationally in the event.

All three competitors scored in the discus with Davis placing third (172-5), Hegerle placing fourth (170-1), and Kleinhuizen placing sixth (164-9).

Davis capped a successful weekend for the throwers with a huge PR in the shot at 60-1/2 placing second. That throw currently ranks him 11th regionally and 15th nationally.

Even though the season has just ended, it's staggering to look at the depth of the roster for next season. Not only are all three returning for next season but Aaron Studt still has one season of outdoor eligibility remaining. Incoming freshmen Logan Hussung (Farmington) and transfer Andy Norman (Winona via Hamline) will definitely keep the cupboards stocked for coach Lynden Reder.

The Gopher women ... finished 2nd at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, falling just 10.5 points short of Penn State this past weekend.

Sophomore DeAnne Hahn claimed her first title in hammer with a mark of 185-8.

Junior Nicole Tzanakis placed 5th in the discus with a mark of 164-2 and true freshmen Jessica Cagle with a throw of 163-1 finished 6th and finished only 1 inch off making finals in the shot put.

Just like the men, all three point scorers will return and will be joined by Kim Hovey of Red Wing.

In other regional news ... Wisconsin true freshmen and former Owatonna shot putter Casey Dehn placed 8th with a mark of 56-11 1/2.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Funeral for a Friend

By Jim Ferstle

Funeral services were today for Canadian sprinter and coach, Charlie Francis, who died last Wednesday after a five year battle with cancer. We met nearly two decades ago when I was working on a television documentary for the BBC. During those 20 years we had many long conversations—you didn’t have short chats with Charlie—about everything from family to his fight with cancer to his latest theory on sprint training.

Mostly we talked about the topic that had brought us together, drugs in sports. He was a Shakespearean figure. Triumph and tragedy, great ambiguity, comic relief, lessons learned, and great stories. We made a strange pair, two men who viewed the world, ethics, and sport from opposite poles when we met, but probably came closer together as the years past and we became friends. His was a tale of great ambition, a thirst for knowledge, great hubris, and harsh reality.

As a young man, Charlie wanted to be the best sprinter in the world. He earned a college scholarship to Stanford where he was tutored to be both an athlete and a coach by Payton Jordan. He made it to the second round in the 100 in the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, but had already made a discovery that would change his life. In discussions with an American hurdler he was introduced to steroids and said he felt like an idiot for not figuring out sooner what was happening. While steroids were banned, the tests to detect their use would not be used to sanction athletes until the 1976 Games in Montreal.

Both Charlie and I grew up in a generation of idealists who saw the Olympics as the Camelot of athletics where the best in the world were crowned and recognized for their achievements. Where you were taught to play by the rules and not take “short cuts.” Sometimes. The lesson Charlie took away from Munich was that steroids weren’t “short cuts,” they were part of the program if you wanted to be the best. One reason for this was that there was very little deterrence to their use.

In the GDR, as we would all discover later, there was a government sponsored program to exploit these doping products in sports. But the real escalation of doping in sports was another byproduct of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US. American sports officials became aware in the 1950s that the Soviets were using testosterone to help their athletes, so, like the nuclear arms race, a US doctor, John Ziegler, who had worked with US teams, used the wealth and scientific technology of the US to “invent” designer testosterone—anabolic steroids. The US wanted a better steroid to use in the “war” with the Soviets.

Francis picked up information like a sponge from everyone he could. As a coach on the international circuit, he made friends with some of the GDR coaches, who observed what he had done with Canadian sprinters and had heard of Francis’ technical expertise. They shared information on workouts, drills, spotting talent, and, ultimately, doping. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone was seeking an “edge” from doping, many just wanted it to be a “fair fight” where each side came into the battle with similar tools.

There is the famous story of a US and an Iron Curtain country athlete who competed against one another in the ‘70s. They were friends off the playing field, but on it they would do whatever was necessary to win. They talked openly about their drug regimens. Compared notes on substances and doses, concluding that they were on similar programs. Then they went out and beat the rest of the opposition.

For them, that was a “level playing field.” At that time, doping was not the “Scarlet Letter” that it is today. The IOC and the sport governing bodies just wanted to make sure athletes didn’t die during events, and the testing was done primarily on stimulants. The medical community kept debating whether or not steroids really “worked,” aided performance. The athletes figured out that they did through trial and error and sharing information.

In the early 1980s two American coaches took a trip to a US military research facility to meet with one of the “steroid gurus” of the day. He gave them a lesson in proper, “safe,” steroid administration. One coach left the session troubled by what he had witnessed. The other said the reason for it was that the team knew the athletes were going to experiment with drugs, thus it was his duty to educate them on how to do it properly. Papers were prepared, sort of a CliffsNotes version of the infamous Underground Steroids Handbook that outlined how to take the drugs, and handed out to athletes. I still have copies of some of them.

In addition to the GDR coaches, Francis had compared notes with Chuck DeBus, a US coach who would become the first to be sanctioned by the sport’s governing body for aiding his athletes in the use of performance enhancing drugs(PEDs). Francis became known in the Canadian athletics community as “Charlie the chemist.” He had absorbed everything he could about the technical aspects of sprinting, probed the best minds, but knew from his own experience and what he would encounter on the world track circuit that the use of PEDs was common at the upper levels of competitive sport. From this Francis concluded that success at the pinnacle of sport not only took knowledge and application of training, recovery, and performance, but PEDs as well.

Not everybody in our generation made that choice. John Treacy was World Cross Country Champion and later a silver medalist at the 1984 Olympics in the marathon. In the spring of that year he had walked into the bathroom at the Meadowlands race track where the World Cross Country Championships were held and observed the Spanish team injecting themselves. Blood doping was believed to be the PED of choice for distance runners at that time. But Treacy didn’t conclude from his experience that he had to dope to be the best. He would say that his satisfaction came from beating people he knew were cheating, but had never been caught.

Mark Nenow, who ran for Anoka in high school and later became the US recordholder at 10,000 meters, was a member of the US track team at the Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela in 1983. That competition had the first major steroid scandal in sports when many athletes flunked drug tests and over a dozen of the US track team members left the Games before the competition after the entire team had been warned by US officials that they might also get caught if they had been using PEDs. Prior to the 1984 LA Olympic Games the USOC instituted a pre-Olympic non-punitive drug testing that, in effect, provided those using PEDs with information on how to avoid testing positive on Olympic drug tests. Sessions were held with Olympians prior to the 1984 Games where “experts” gave information similar to that given to the US coaches on how to use PEDs and how to use them to beat doping tests. I still have copies of those.

Francis testified at the Dubin hearings that Canadian officials told him in prior to the 1988 Olympics that out of competition testing that was beginning to be implemented in selected countries would not target his athletes. Francis also said that meet promoters would also “protect” certain athletes by either manipulating who would be tested or tipping off the athletes to what places in each race would be tested. Most athletes didn’t need a lot of help to beat the testing system.

As one lab director admitted in 1984 the labs could not detect stanozolol, the steroid found in Ben Johnson’s urine in Seoul. That wasn’t the only “loophole” in the testing. There are countless stories of athletes who tested positive only to be exonerated by appeals panels that were intentionally stacked with people predisposed to let off the athletes. The testimony given in those hearings would be laughed at today for the rationale given to not impose a sanction.I have copies of some of the decisions in these cases as well.

All this illustrates the “environment” back then. Not to condone the choices Francis and others like him made, but to provide an understanding of what he was thinking. Why he chose that path. If he wanted to be the best, Francis believed, he had to “level the playing field.” Don Kardong, who would finish fourth in the marathon at the Montreal Games in 1976, was a teammate of Charlie’s at Stanford. I asked him once for his impressions of Francis. He responded that it did not surprise him that Charlie made the choice to encourage his athletes to use drugs, but it also didn’t surprise him that when he was caught in 1988 in Seoul and when the Dubin Inquiry convened that Francis didn’t try to do what nearly every other person who has faced that situation did and deny any wrongdoing.

Instead Francis decided to attempt to blow the lid off of what he saw as the hypocrisy in the sport where athletes, coaches, administrators, and the like who publicly denounced doping while either engaging in the practice themselves or aiding it. He had been part of that hypocrisy before Ben got caught. Yes, one motivation in his confession was to expose others he either knew or believed were “dirty,” but the other was that old idealism. The hope that by coming clean on all this it would force the Olympic sports world to finally address the problem, not sweep it under the rug and hope that nobody noticed.

Charlie was no angel. He could be profane and vitriolic toward those who he considered to be the greatest hypocrites. He could be stubborn. He could be arrogant and displayed plenty of hubris. As the years rolled by he often found himself caught between two worlds, the present where he now had a young son, who was the light of his life, and advised a bevy of eager clients who wanted his knowledge on the finer art of training, and the past where he had worked with the top of the pyramid in the athletic world.

He told me during one conversation in the early 2000s about a job he’d been asked to do in California. They wanted his technical expertise on training and sprinting. I didn’t ask for specifics. Later I found out that the project he was talking about was Victor Conte’s Project World Record that resulted in Tim Montgomery’s short lived 9.78 world best. Montgomery, in turn, would recommend to his then wife, Marion Jones, that the pair train with Francis. Marion paid for Charlie’s trip to Hawaii to work with her and Tim. The arrangement was kept undercover until Tim and Marion showed up in Toronto to train, and a media firestorm erupted.

Francis tried desperately to salvage the project. He insisted that the goal was to prove that an athlete with Marion’s talent could accomplish what she had clean. He knew that he could not afford to be associated with them if they could not buy into that goal. Marion was pregnant when they were working together in Toronto. Charlie had filmed them, worked with them, and was firmly convinced that they could improve on what they had already done, and do it without drugs. While Francis would insist that he was happier being out of top level coaching, he also really wanted to get another shot at working with the best.

He had Tim and Marion come to Toronto knowing that this would be the make or break point in his quest. Prior to this he had always insisted that he could have gotten back into top level coaching if he had been willing to grovel and declare that he was wrong in giving his athletes steroids, sort of do his public penance for another shot at the big time. The fallout from the discovery that he was working with Marion and Tim killed that notion. In athletics circles he would always be the “disgraced coach,” the pariah. It was a hurtful revelation.

He admitted in our conversations that until he’d worked with Marion he hadn’t believed it was possible to compete clean at the highest level. He believed that she could. But the harsh reality was that nobody in the athletics world was going to let him try. Before his belief was that the key to ridding the sport of drugs, if it could indeed be done, was to give the athletes an alternative to PEDs. Demonstrate that it can be done without “short cuts.” Instead there was a market flooded with unregulated supplements that promised to deliver the same benefits as steroids.

Supplement makers got rich and athletes suffered. There was a period of bitterness and remorse. If he knew then what he knew now, Charlie said, he never would have come clean at the Dubin hearings. What good did it do? Why would anyone confess when it did no good? While those sentiments reflected more the anger of the moment than the true impact of his testimony and continued efforts to expose what was happening in sports, his confessions were a key element in the attempts at reforming and improving the drug testing system.

It may well be his enduring legacy. Soon after the collapse of his working with Marion and Tim, the BALCO scandal erupted, he found out he had cancer, and the trivial things of the past became not all that important anymore. Just as he had in athletics, Charlie plunged into cancer research, sought out the best information he could find, the best treatments. He was able to get five pretty full years. Years to continue to work and help others realize their dreams. Years to watch his son grow up. Years to spend with his family and friends.

He didn’t totally separate from track as there were many conversations about the present environment, Usain Bolt, and a snippet of the past. He finally answered questions he’d had about Seoul in 1988 and what really happened. Some day the full story may yet emerge. But the last sprint for Charlie Francis was perhaps best expressed in a Dylan Thomas poem that his wife Angie recited during the visitation services on Monday. “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gopher Men Defend Big Ten Championship;
Minnesota Women Finish Runners-Up

The University of Minnesota men's track and field team won its second straight Big Ten outdoor title with a 145 to 124 victory over Wisconsin over the weekend.

The victory gives the Golden Gophers a double-double -- they've now won indoor and outdoor titles in the conference the last two years running.

The Gopher women finished second in the Big Ten women's meet. Penn State's win in the final event of the day sealed a 133.5 to 123 win for the Nittany Lions, who were conference indoor champions as well.

Gopher Men Extend Steak

Micah Hegerle, Ben Peterson, and R.J. McGinnis won individual Big Ten titles for the Gopher men. Hegerle won the hammer throw during the opening day of competition with a mark of 208-2. On the same day, Peterson won the Big Ten pole vault crown with a clearance of 17-8 1/2. On Saturday, McGinnis won the decathlon with 7381 points.

The Gophers, who were competing without stars Hassan Mead (injury) and Aaron Studt (redshirt), entered Sunday's final day of competition with a 63-point lead. A resurgent Wisconsin made a bold run at the eventual champions, but the Gophers held off the Badgers, despite not winning any additional individual titles on Sunday.

Runner-up finishes on Sunday from Trey Davis in the shot put, Raymond Blackledge in the triple jump, and Chris Rombough in the 5000m, however, ultimately brought the Big Ten title back to Minneapolis.

“I’m proud of this team,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “We had some great performances from a lot of people this weekend. What can I say, we did it again!”

Gopher Women Come Close

Like the men, the Gopher women led the team standings for much of the three-day meet, hosted by Indiana University. The team got victories in the first day from Megan Duwell in the 10,000m with 34:04.29 and DeAnne Hahn in the hammer throw with 185-8.

During Saturday's competition, the team earned a surprise victory in the long jump after #7-seeded Todea-Kay Willis jumped 20-9 1/4 -- a PR by more than a foot -- for the win.

The Gophers didn't have any event winners on Sunday, but Gabriele Anderson's gutsy runner-up effort in the 1500m was emblematic of the team's strong performance, and eventual defeat.

Racing against the reigning NCAA cross country champion Angela Bizzarri, Anderson, who a year ago was beginning a fight with cancer and was unable to continue what would have been her final season as a Gopher, battled the Illionois senior to finish-line in the 1500m. After a delay in determining the winner, Bizzarri was awarded the win by .01.

The Gophers trailed Penn State by five-and-a-half points entering the 4 x 400m relay, but the Nittany Lions victory in the event sealed the title.

“We really came together as a team this weekend,” Gopher head coach Matt Bingle said. “Of course, you want to leave with the team title, but how can you be disappointed when this team put forth great effort and displayed such heart. We led for most of the meet. You have to give credit to Penn State for staying after it.”

Find complete results of the meet HERE.

Find daily wrap-ups of the Gopher men's competition HERE.

Find daily wrap-ups of the Gopher women's competition HERE.

There's a photo gallery from the meet HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for May 14-16

It's conference meet weekend in the Big Ten and MIAC. Follow the meets with our handy links ...

Big Ten Outdoor Championships ...

Championships Web-Site

Gopher Men's Preview
... Logan Stroman Profile

Gopher Women's Preview

Live Results

MIAC Outdoor Championships ...

Championship Web-Site

Men's Preview ... Heat Sheets

Women's Preview ... Heat Sheets

Men's Live Results

Women's Live Results

Torrence, Pierce Win USA 1 Mile Road Titles

Defending champion David Torrence and 2008 U.S. Olympian Anna Pierce out-kicked their competitors Thursday night to win the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, a race that served as the 2010 USA 1 Mile Road Championships.

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Torrence, of Oakland , Calif. , out-ran a phalanx of contenders in the final 200 meters to win his second straight Medtronic TC 1 Mile in 4:04.0. Dan Huling, of Columbus , Ohio , was second in 4:05.4. Jordan Horn, of Flagstaff , Ariz. , was third in 4:05.7. Winona native Garrett Heath finished 5th in 4:06.4.

Last year, Torrence jump-started his fledging professional career with a surprise win in the annual race down the Nicollet Mall.

“I love Minneapolis ,” an American flag-draped Torrence said after the race. “It’s good to me; it’s been great to me! I love the crowd, the fans – they were awesome. This is an awesome event.”

In the women’s race, Pierce, of Mammoth Lakes , Calif., chased leader and fellow Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas, of Fayetteville , Ark. , for more than three-quarters of the race before kicking away with the win in the final 100 meters. Pierce clocked 4:33.9 against a chilly Minnesota headwind. Sarah Bowman, of Knoxville , Tenn. , was runner-up with 4:34.9. Wurth-Thomas had to settle for third in 4:36.3.

“I didn’t feel that great,” Pierce admitted. “But, I know that with 200, 250 [meters] to go I always start feeling better, because I know the end is near and I can start sprinting.”

Team USA Minnesota's Heather Dorniden finished 6th overall in 4:42.1. Burnsville High School alum Laura Jasnuszewski was 9th in 4:46.0, with Team USA Minnesota's Meghan Armstrong one place behind in 10th with 4:46.2.

Torrence and Pierce earned $4000 each for their victories. Neither was able to claim the $10,000 “bounty” for a sub-4:00 men’s win or a sub-4:32 women’s victory. In all, the event paid $22,500 to runners in the USA Championship portion of the event.

In all, more than 3200 runners competed in the event in eight separate waves of races. Competitors ranged in age from 5-years-old to 80-years-old. The event also included a corporate team challenge division.

“It was thrilling to be a part of all the fine running that took place tonight,” Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said. “We’re happy for David and Anna and pleased with all the runners who made up our championship fields. American middle distance running made an excellent showing on the streets of Minneapolis tonight.”

Find results of the USA Championships HERE.

Find complete results HERE.

Find a photo gallery from the event HERE.

Watch a replay of the women's race HERE.

Watch a replay of the men's race HERE.

Photo: Anna Pierce (right) kicks away from Sarah Bowman (center) and Christin Wurth-Thomas (left) at the Medtronic TC 1 Mile. Photo by Paul Phillips/Competitive Image.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today in Minnesota Miling ...

The mile run -- our sport's classic distance -- is the theme of the day today ...

Medtronic TC 1 Mile Web-Cast Live ... Tonight's USA 1 Mile Road Championships, held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 1 Mile will be web-cast live on USA Track and Field's brand new USA Running Circuit web-site, HERE. The web-site should help bring much-needed attention to the USA Running Circuit ... and let folks enjoy tonight's race without getting rained on.

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Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. tonight, with the championship races going off at 7:53 (women) and 8:03 (men).

Defending Champ Torrence Interviewed ... Part of the USA Running Circuit's web package for tonight's races includes an interview with defending men's USA 1 Mile Road champion David Torrence. Torrence explains how his $14,000 sub-four-minute win last year kept his nascent professional career afloat.

Find the interview HERE.

Registration Opens for Minnesota Mile ... Registration for Grandma's Marathon's Minnesota Mile has opened, race officials announced. The September 19 event in Duluth will include a fund raising initiative to help fight breast cancer.

Find more information HERE.

Pick 10: Big Ten & MIAC Outdoor Championships

Big Ten and MIAC outdoor conference meets are being held this weekend. The University of Minnesota teams will travel to Indiana for action scheduled for Friday through Sunday. The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will hold itstwo-day conference meet at St. Mary's this year, starting Friday afternoon.

We, of course, want to make a Pick Ten fantasy contest out of it all!

Pick Ten has a simple concept: predict the finish place for each of 10 Minnesota athletes or teams at Big Ten and MIAC outdoor conference meets. You will score points for each athlete that scores at or above the finish place you predict for them, following the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system.

For example: If you pick Oladipo Fagbemi to place first in the triple jump at Big Ten's, and he places first, you get 10 points. If you pick Fagbemi to place first and he finishes second, you get zero points. If you pick Fagbemi to finish third in the TJ and he places first, second or third, you get 6 points, since you that's the place you picked him for.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names/events below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st or 2nd or 3rd...8th. Send your predictions by 2:00 p.M. CST on Friday, May 14th to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. We'll announce the winner of this Pick Ten contest next week and keep a running tally of Pick Ten scores from throughout the year to crown a grand champion. As with our Yes/No contests, we don't offer any prizes, so no one needs to fear running afoul of NCAA or other anti-gambling regulations.

Pick 10 ... Big Ten and MIAC Outdoor Conference Meets:

University of Minnesota Men's Team Place:
University of Minnesota Women's Team Place:
Sean King (U of M) in the 100:
Oladipo Fagbemi (U of M)
in the Triple Jump:
Jessica Cagle (U of M)
in the Discus:
Kelly Stalpes (U of M) in the 400 Hurdles:
Hamline Men 4x400 Relay:
Tim Juba (St. John's) in the Hammer Throw:
Greta Sieve (St. Catherines) in the 10000:
Amie Fillmore (St. Olaf) in the Pole Vault:

To Help You Make Your Picks ...

The Gopher men have dominated Big Ten meets as of late. They won indoors and outdoors in 2009 and are attempting to achieve the double again after winning indoors in 2010. The Gopher women finished third at outdoor Big Tens in 2009, while this year the Gophers were fourth indoors.

Sean King is currently ranked second in the 100 meters. The sophomore from Cretin Derham Hall has run 10.57. Oladipo Fagbemi has triple jumped 49-11 1/4 and is ranked second. Jessica Cagle is ranked fourth in the discus. The true freshman from Grand Rapids has thrown 167-1 in 2010. Kelly Stalpes led Wayzata to the high school team title in 2007 with an individual state title in the hurdles. As a Gopher, Stalpes will try to continue her winning ways with some points in the 400 hurdles. She is ranked fifth going into Big Ten's with a 59.60 best.

The Hamline men will compete in a stacked 4x400 on Saturday. They are currently ranked fourth in the conference. Indoors, Hamline was third n the 4x400 at MIAC and 8th at Nationals. Tim Juba is ranked third in the Hammer where six MIAC athletes have already provisionally qualified for Nationals. He was fourth in the MIAC hammer in 2009. Greta Sieve will run her first 10,000 meter race of 2010 at the MIAC meet. Sieve ran 16:57 in the 5k this year and her converted time is ranked second on the MIAC list. Amie Fillmore is ranked second in the pole vault at 11-9 3/4. She won MIAC outdoors by nearly a foot in 2009 and duplicated that feat indoors in 2010.

Big Ten Meet information is HERE
Big Ten entries: Men * Women
MIAC heat sheets: Men *Women

Good luck!

The Pick Ten standings show Dan Vogel with a slight lead with 47 points. Pat/Kathleen Foley (46 points) and Jake Marotz (45 points) round out the top three. For full standings, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

Scott Jurek piles on the miles and the calories

There's a New York Times article on Proctor, Minnesota native Scott Jurek HERE.

You can follow Jurek's progress at today's IAU World 24 Hour Championships via his Twitter stream, HERE.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yes/No: Three Sub 4-Minute Milers in Mpls?

The second annual USA 1 Mile Road Championships, held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, will be run in the same location as the inaugural event in 2009: Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. There will be many waves of mile races on Thursday night culminating with the USA Championships at 7:53 p.m. (women) and 8:03 p.m. (men).

The races will provide a large purse -- including $4,000 for the men's and women's winners and a bonus of $10,000, if the winners break 4:32 (women) or 4:00 (men).

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In 2009, one runner broke 4:00 in mile. This year, the field looks even stronger. How fast will they go? Let us know with your answer to this question...

Y/N: Will three or more runners break 4:00.00 in the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on Thursday?

Defending champ David Torrence is returning after his 3:59.3 win last year. 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong will also be making the trip to Minneapolis, bringing with him the strongest credentials of the field -- he has run 1:45 for 800, 3:32.9 for 1500 and 3:53 in the mile. Our own Garrett Heath will be returning to his native state as one of the favorites to challenge the 4 minute mark. Heath was a finalist in the Indoor World Championships this year, running 3:39 over 1500 meters. Other contenders include Rob Myers, who ran the mile at Drake Relays and finished in 3:58.1, Jordan Horn, who ran 3:58 indoors, and Liam Boylen-Pett, who recently went 3:42.5 in the 1500.

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 8:00 P.M. CST, Thursday, May 13th. 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

The question from last week was: Will six or more women provisionally or automatically qualify for D2 Nationals in the shot put at the NSIC meet in Moorhead on Saturday? The answer turned out to be no. Three women threw further than the 43-5 3/4 standard during a tough weekend, weather-wise. Twenty-four contestants answered correctly this week (including all of our leaders).

For all the results, please visit DtBFantasy Corner.

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

USA 1 Mile: Torrence, Olympians, Locals

Fast runners return to the Nicollet Mall on Thursday.

Defending men’s champion David Torrence; Olympians Lopez Lomong, Anna Pierce and Christin Wurth-Thomas; and an intriguing mix of emerging local stars headline Thursday night's Medtronic TC 1 Mile, which again serves as the USA 1 Mile Road Championships for men and women.

A prize purse of $22,500, plus a pair of $10,000 “Time Bounties,” if the men’s and women’s champions better four minutes and 4:32, respectively, will greet the elite competitors racing down Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall on May 13. The elite contests will culminate a full evening of racing for more than 3200 runners and hundreds of spectators lining the course.

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“We’re excited about the field we’ve gathered for this year’s Medtronic TC 1 Mile,” Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said. “With the USA Championship on the line and prize money we’re offering, I think spectators will be in for a treat on Thursday night. Nicollet Mall should be electric when these athletes are racing down the street."

Torrence, the Oakland , California resident who stormed to a lucrative sub-four-minute victory last year, returns in top form. He’ll be challenged by Olympian Lopez Lomong, a former “Lost Boy of Sudan” who has built a triumphant running career out of a desperate childhood. Among the contenders vying for a national championship will be Winona native Garrett Heath , a finalist at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Doha , Qatar earlier this year.

Other strong contenders include miling veteran Rob Myers, a two-time USA champion, and steeplechaser Dan Huling and Aaron Aguayo.

In the women’s championship race, Anna Pierce and Christin Wurth-Thomas are expected to battle one-another and set their sights on Shannon Rowbury’s event record of 4:33.4 on race night. Pierce, an Olympian in the steeplechase in 2008 and the number 2-ranked 800-meter runner on the planet last year, has run 4:28.37 for the mile. Wurth-Thomas, a 1500-meter Olympian in 2008, has run 4:27.18 for the distance. Wurth-Thomas and Pierce ranked number 5 and number 6 in the world at the 1500-meter/mile distance last year.

University of Tennessee alumnus Sarah Bowman is a likely contender as is Drake Relays invitational 1500m champ
Lauren Hagans, and veteran Amy Mortimer.

Three rising local runners also hope to play a significant role in the women’s race. University of Minnesota alumnus Heather Dorniden, former Burnsville High School star Laura Januszewski and Team USA Minnesota’s Meghan Armstrong are all eyeing fast times and strong finishes. Dorniden began her professional career this winter with a 3rd-place finish at the USA Indoor Championships at 800m. Januszewski was the runner-up in the invitational 1500m at the Drake Relays last month, and Armstrong, fresh off a 10,000-meter personal best, looks to improve upon her 5th-place finish at the Medtronic TC 1 Mile last year.

Find more information on the race HERE.

Men’s Field:
David Torrence
Lopez Lomong
Garrett Heath
Robert Myers
Derek Scott
Liam Boylan-Pett
Darren Brown
Jordan Horn
Jordan Fife
Aaron Aguayo
Jonathan Pierce
Michael Hendry
Alex Tatu
Sam Dech
Dan Huling

Women’s Field:
Anna Pierce
Sarah Bowman
Amy Mortimer
Heidi Dahl
Lauren Hagans
Laura Januszewski
Heather Dorniden
Mason Cathey
Colleen Newhart
Meghan Armstrong
Ashley Puga
Lindsay Allen
Annick Lamar
Susanna Rivard
Marie Schofer
Sonja Friend-Uhl
Christin Wurth-Thomas

RW Interview with Kara Goucher

Runner's World's Peter Gambaccini talks motherhood with Kara Goucher HERE.

Monday, May 10, 2010

McGregor, Carlson Winners at USA 25K

Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor won her sixth USA title and former Golden Gopher and Team USA Minnesota runner Andrew Carlson won this second USA crown at Saturday's USA 25K Championships held in conjunction with the Fifth/Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

McGregor out-ran USA Championship runner-up Samia Akbar by more than two-and-a-half minutes, running 1:26:24 for the distance and earning $8000 in prize money. McGregor was third overall in the women's race, finishing behind course-record-setting Firehinot Dado of Ethiopia who clocked 1:23:46 and runner-up Genoveva Kigen of Kenya.

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Carlson out-legged two of his Flagstaff, Arizona training partners to win the men's race outright. He clocked 1:14:42 and earned $10,000 for the effort. MacMillan Elite training partners Brett Gotcher and Nick Arciniaga were second and third in 1:15:06 and 1:15:18, respectively.

2009 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon champion Jason Hartmann finished fourth in 1:15:38.

For McGregor, who added a second USA 25K title to her collection honors which includes a USA 10,000-meter track title, two USA 10K road crowns, and this year's USA 15K title, the win was gratifying.

"It's always nice to get another national championship since they're not easy to come by," McGregor said in a Team USA Minnesota media release. "I've been racing on the track these past two weeks so I knew I would be a little bit tired coming into this race. It wasn't as fast as my race here in 2007 [when she ran 1:25:53] but I'm happy with it. I just wanted to have a strong race overall."

"Once I let the leaders go I was pretty much by myself the whole time," she added. "Once I knew I wouldn't win the race overall I just wanted to win the national championship. I was keeping track of my splits and based off times run here in the past, unless someone was having a great day, I was pretty sure by the half way point that I would win the championship. I just kept a consistent speed."

Carlson enjoyed leading his teammates in victory.

"This is special to go 1-2-3 with my training partners," the Fargo native said in a Running USA Wire report. "It just felt good to be out there, like we were just running a training run together until the big push got me the win."

Carlson's other USA title came at the 2008 USA 15K.

Expectant Moms Goucher, Radcliffe Fast Friends

While we work the main story of the day, HERE is link to a recent New York Times piece about expectant-moms Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliffe.

The elite distance runners met at the Great North Run in 2007, where Goucher, a Duluth native, upset Radcliffe, the world record-holder in the marathon. The pair struck up a friendship which grew after Radcliffe relocated to Portland, Oregon recently.

As it turns out, the friendly rivals are both due to give birth on the same day this September. Goucher and her husband Adam are expecting their first child; Radcliffe and husband Gary Lough are expecting their second.

Also ... Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune has a feature on Goucher HERE.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for May 6-9

Find the extended weekend's important results below ...

Tommie Twilight: Results

MIAC Multis: Hep. Results * Dec. Results

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MIAC Multis: Hep. Results * Dec. Results
NSIC Championships: Results

USA 25K: Results
NSIC Championships: Results
Meet of Saints: Results
Meet of the UnSaintly: Results
Ponce Grand Prix: Results

Friday, May 07, 2010

Yes/No: Six NCAA Shot Qualifiers at NSICs?

The collegiate outdoor track conference meet season is upon us, kicking off with the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). This year, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, hosts the NSIC outdoor track meet today and Saturday.

Actually, the meet started last weekend with double meet records in the multis. All-American seniors Heather Miller (St. Cloud State) and Zac Preble (Bemidji State) dominated the multi-events with automatic qualifying marks for the D2 National Meet.

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The multis aren't the only events in which the NSIC excels on a national level. Let us know how well the conference will fare in the women's shot put with this question:

Y/N: Will six or more women provisionally or automatically qualify for D2 Nationals in the shot put at the NSIC meet in Moorhead on Saturday?

There are seven women in the NSIC who have at least provisionally qualified for Nationals in the shot put outdoors. Rebecca Stier of Winona State has an automatic qualifier (47-10 1/2) while the other six all have provisional marks: Mary Theisen - Winona State (46-9 1/2), Melodi Boke - Northern State (46-2 3/4), Elizabeth Crane - Minnesota-Duluth (45-8), Shanai Gulder - Winona State (45-1 1/2), Amanda Madden - Northern State (44-11), Chelsey Brown - Winona State (43-11 1/4). The provisional threshold is 43-5 3/4. At the NSIC indoor meet, six women threw a national-qualifying mark ranging from 44-2 to 49-5 3/4.

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 2:00 P.M. CST, Saturday, May 8th. 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

The question from last week was: Will three or more Minnesota high school graduates break 3:45.00 in the 1500 at the Payton Jordan meet on Saturday? The answer was no. Heath and Blankenship ran 3:41 but Finnerty, Richardson and Wasinger were all above 3:45. This question was a stumper for most Yes/No players. Only five people answered correctly this week. One of them was Gregg Robertson and he moved in a two-way tie for first place with ten points.

For all the results, please visit DtBFantasy Corner.

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