Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Kampf Happy with "Stepping Stone" USA Indoor

Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf came away from her third-place, 2:04.30 800-meter performance at last weekend's USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico happy with where she stands heading into this year's outdoor season.

Kampf, who assessed her performance in a Team USA Minnesota media release, was one of a handful of Minnesota runners who competed in the meet.

Triple jumper Amanda Smock was the top-finishing athlete among the Minnesotans, grabbing the runner-up's silver medal with her 44-8 3/4 mark. Kampf's teammate Gabriele Anderson won a bronze medal with her 4:36.64 run in the mile.

Minnesota State, Mankato alumnus Jim Dilling finished 5th in the high jump at 7-1. Burnsville High School graduate Laura Januszewski finished 5th in the 800m in 2:07.91.

Winona native Garrett Heath finished 3rd in the mile in 4:04.91. You can watch his take on the race in THIS video interview on RunnerSpace.

For Team USA Minnesota's Kampf, things set up about as she expected in the 800m final.

“The race was pretty predictable at the start with the favorite in the race (Phoebe Wright) getting out to a quick lead,” Kampf said. “Her teammate, Erica Moore, and I settled in close behind. I anticipated running the race from near the front and was hoping to pour on an early kick to try and maybe come up to second or the win."

"In hindsight, I wish I would have kept a little bit closer contact on the top two, because my early kick was no match for both of their fast finishes," Kampf added. "I was confident, however, that if I ran a decent race, I would be in the top three."

Last year, Kampf went to Albuquerque two weeks prior to the race to adjust to the altitude. This year, however, she decided to come to the city only the night before her first heat on Saturday.

“I can’t say for certain but I think I felt pretty similar across the two years,” she said. “With last year being an indoor world championships year, the races were certainly faster and the competition a bit deeper. This year the emphasis is primarily on outdoor so it was a much smaller meet."

"Obviously it was still quite competitive, as any national race should be, but I don’t think anyone was hoping to peak for the year at this meet," she concluded. "I was happy to get in there and have a strong race, knowing that it is a stepping stone towards what is to come this spring and summer.”

Kampf and Anderson both expect the Drake Relays and the USA Road Mile Championships in Minneapolis to figure into their outdoor racing schedule.

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