Friday, July 31, 2009

Goucher Set to Pitch, Run in Chicago

Duluth native Kara Goucher won't only be running in the Windy City this weekend ... she'll also be taking to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field when the Chicago White Sox take on the New York Yankees.

Goucher (pictured), in Chicago to race the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half-Marathon on Sunday, is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at the game on Saturday.

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

Goucher is racing the Rock 'n' Roll Half as a final competitive tune-up for the IAAF World Championship Marathon which she'll contest on August 23 in Berlin. Indeed, Goucher will depart for Europe shortly after finishing the Chicago race.

One question in our minds about the weekend: Will Goucher, who was born in New York City, don a Yankees or a White Sox (or a Twins) cap for her first major league start?

Photo by Victor Sailer/Photo Run.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Will Hampton Medal at Pan Am Juniors?

Our Yes/No question of the week begins with last month's U.S. Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Some fast facts: this meet featured the best athletes in the United States of ages 16-19. It also awarded invitations to the Pan American Junior Athletics Championship being held in Trinidad and Tobago this week. Two Minnesota athletes--Zach Mellon in the 800 meters and Laishema Hampton in the shot put--earned invitations by finishing in the top two places, although only Hampton will be traveling to Port of Spain for the competition

We're asking you to predict Hampton's finish with our yes/no question this week:

Yes/No: Will Laishema Hampton medal (finish in the top-3) in the Shot Put at Pan American Junior Champs?

Laishema Hampton is a 2008 graduate of St. Louis Park High School and currently competes for Iowa State. She was the 2008 runner-up at the MSHSL Class AA state meet in the shot put. Hampton threw 50-3 1/4 at the U.S. Junior Nationals, placing second. At the 2007 Pan Am Junior Championships, a throw of 45-9 3/4 earned the bronze medal

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 3:30 P.M. CDT, Friday, July 31st. 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 Katie McGregor run faster than 15:35.00 at the London GP on Saturday. The correct answer was “No” - McGregor ran 15:52 in a tune-up for the 10,000 meters at the World Championships in Berlin in August. Five contestants correctly answered last week's question. Mitch Van Bruggen has been correct three weeks in a row to move into 2nd place in the overall standings.

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

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

Junior Olympics Open in North Carolina

American Olympic greats Carl Lewis, Dan O'Brien, and Joanna Hayes will welcome young athletes to the 43rd USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships in opening ceremonies tonight.

More than 6000 athletes born before 1990, who qualified from regional meets across the country, are gathering in Greensboro, North Carolina for the six-day meet which actually got underway yesterday.

Two weeks ago, HERE, we listed the Minnesota athletes who had qualified for National Junior Olympics. More than a few have chosen not to make the long trip to North Carolina, including MSHSL Class A state champions Analisa Huschle of Bagley/Fosston and Laquone Robinson of Brooklyn Center.

Sean Tyree, however, got the Minnesota effort off to a solid start by placing 9th in last night's young men's 2000m steeplechase final in 6:44.91. Tyree was the runner-up at the Region VIII J.O. meet in Omaha, Nebraska from which Minnesota athletes qualified for Nationals.

Other athletes in the young men's division that are entered in the meet include Shawn Johnson, runner-up in the Region VIII discus with 162-6 and Austin Dennis, the runner-up in the regional high jump at 6-6 3/4.

Minnesota doesn't appear have any individuals competing in the young women's division at the meet.

You can find a complete listing of entered athletes -- all 6000+ of them! -- HERE. Age groups range from the young men's/women's divsion (athletes born in 1991-92) to the bantam divisions (athletes born 1999 or later.)

Results from the meet are being posted HERE.

Lots of additional JO information --including past results and meet records -- can be found HERE.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

McGregor's Euro Tour Heads to Stockholm

More news from our European desk ...

Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor heads to Stockholm, Sweden on Friday for her second European tune-up race in preparation for the IAAF Track and Field Championships in Berlin in August where she will represent the USA at 10,000 meters.

McGregor (pictured), who ran 15:52.90 for 8th place in the 5000m at the London Grand Prix last Saturday, will contest the same distance this Friday at the DN Galen meet held in Stockholm's Olympic Stadium.

In 2007, McGregor finished 8th in the DN Galen 5000m in 15.38.64.

McGregor's Teammates ... are looking ahead as well. Team USA athletes Emily Brown and Matt Gabrielson are pointing to longer races after wins at the Boston Scientific Heart of the Summer 10K.

Brown will race again at the New York City Half Marathon on August 16. Gabrielson will represent the USA in the World Championships marathon in Berlin.

Four in Top-Ten at Bix ... Team USA Minnesota placed four runners in the top-10 at the USA 7-Mile Championships hosted by the Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa.

Antonio Vega led the squad with a 5th place 33;35 clocking, followed by one place and one second by teammate Josh Moen. In the women's race, Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle was 8th in 38:54 while Meghan Armstrong was 9th in 39:06.

Michelle Lilienthal finished 13th in the women's race in 39:40. Jason Lehmkuhle, who intended to race, did not start due to a minor injury, according to Team USA Minnesota officials.

Photo by Victor Sailer/Photo Run.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zivec Earns Silver Medal at Euro Juniors

Jacub Zivec, the Czech exchange student who attended Grand Rapids High School last fall, won the silver medal in the 5000 meters at last weekend's European Junior Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Zivec was runner-up to Azerbaijan's Hayle Ibrahimov in a PR 14:10.58. Ibrahimov won a wire-to-wire victory in 14:01.09.

Full results of the race are HERE.

This season, Zivec has run 3:46.36 for 1500m and 8:10.82 for 3000m.

In his brief stay in Minnesota, Zivec was not allowed to compete as a varsity runner in MSHSL competition, since he wasn't part of a recognized exchange program.

In the cross country post-season, however, Zivec finished 2nd at Nike Cross Nationals and 5th at the Footlocker Cross Country Finals.

Speaking of the Czech Republic ... Another Czech who was a Minnesotan briefly is also faring well.

Barbora Špotáková, the former University of Minnesota heptathlete who won the Olympic javelin gold medal in Beijing and later in the season broke the world record in the event, is currently ranked #2 on the 2009 world list.

Špotáková threw 223-10 in Prague back in June. Christina Obergföll of Germany has the best throw of the season so far at 225-0.

Špotáková, who threw 237-2 in Stuttgart, Germany to establish the new world record in 2008, has six of the longest twelve throws of 2009.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Short-Cut: Results' Links for July 25

There's enough going on this weekend that we're bringing DtB's patented Short-Cut back into action. Here are the events we're watching, all of which take place on Saturday ...

London Grand Prix (Katie McGregor): Results
Update: McGregor 8th in 15;52.90.

USA 7-Mile Championships (Team USA Minn. Athletes): Results
Update: Antonio Vega 5th in 33:35.

Boston Scientific Heart of the Summer 10K: Results
Update: Brown, Gabrielson win in 33:41, 29:58, respectively.

Lumberjack Days 10M (Team Circuit): Results
Update: Polson and Tubbs Houck, (we think) win in 50:38 and 57:51, respectively.

This Friday is ... High Jump Day

We've got a pair of high jump items that we'll combine into a single, late-Friday post ...

Jumps Festival ... The Teneo Jumps Festival, hosted by the Kangaroo Track Club at Apple Valley High School, took place last weekend with Sri Lankan Olympian Manjula Wijesekara winning the men's college/elite competition at 7-0 1/2.

The University of Nebraska's Paul Hamilton finished runner-up at the same height; 2009 Chaska High School grad Derek Jerde, a three-time MSHSL State Champion, finished 3rd at 6-6 1/2.

In women's college/elite competition, the University of Washington's Kelly McNamee and Argentine Olympian Solange Witteveen both jumped meet-record breaking heights of 5-11 in the competition, which McNamee won.

Former University of Minnesota multi-event star Liz Roehrig was 3rd at 5-8 3/4

Full results of the event, which included high school and all-comers divisions, are HERE.

There's video from the meet HERE.

Langenfeld's 30th Title ... Last week, we reported that Tom Langenfeld won his 30th career USA Master high jump title with his 4-8 1/4 leap in the M70 division at the USA Master Outdoor Championships in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Here's a bit more detail about the event, in Tom's own words:

"I had been looking forward to this competition for three months as a rematch with Emil Pawlik [who had beaten Langenfeld at USA Indoors this year]. We talked about it back in Landover and marked it on our calendars. As usual, Emil entered both the high jump and pentathlon at Oshkosh, and a few other events as well. He started out as a high jumper at Texas A&M, but has developed into an unbeatable multi-eventer in his later years. He holds the M65 world record in the decathlon.

"The pentathlon was last Thursday, before I left the Twin Cities. While warming up for the pentathlon long jump, I’m told, Emil suffered an injury so severe that he had to withdraw from the meet, He’d departed from Oshkosh before I arrived, so I wasn’t able to talk to him about what happened. Injuries have rarely kept him out of action in the past, so this one must have been nasty. I seem to remember him pole vaulting once with his arm in a sling.

"His absence took a lot of zing out of the competition. But there’s something about the national meet that gets you pretty well pumped up no matter who shows up. The weather was warm, the take-off surface wonderful and the officiating excellent. I felt good and was getting better elevation on my jumps than I have in some time, and my winning height was as high as I’ve jumped in competition in a couple of years. It would have been a good day to take on Emil Pawlik."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How Fast Will Katie McGregor Run in London?

You could call it an annual summer tradition: hopping over to Europe to chase fast times at track meets featuring the best runners in the world.

Minnesota's own Katie McGregor will be heading across the pond to round out her preparations for the IAAF World Championships taking place late August in Berlin. On Saturday, she will be running the London Grand Prix's 5000 meters at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

How fast do you think Katie McGregor will run this week? Give us your best guess with this question:

Yes/No: Will Katie McGregor run faster than 15:35.00 at the London GP on Saturday.

Katie McGregor has a lifetime best of 15:22 in the 5000 meters and has run 15:41 this year (New York GP in May). This summer, McGregor placed third at the USATF Championships in the 10000 earning her an invitation to the World Championships.

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 A.M. CDT, Saturday, July 25th. 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: Yes/No: Will 2 or more runners break 26:00 at Park Point 5-miler on Friday. The correct answer was “Yes” as a group of fast runners led by Jeremy Polson took advantage of the cool July weather and ran well below 26:00. 13 contestants correctly answered last week.

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

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

Team USA-ers Go Home to Iowa, USA 7 Mile

Six members of Team USA Minnesota are scheduled to compete at Saturday's USA 7 Mile Championships, held in conjunction with the Bix 7 road race.

Jason Lehmkuhle, Josh Moen, Antonio Vega, Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle, Michelle Lilienthal, and Meghan Armstrong will all compete in the Davenport, Iowa event.

For four of those athletes, the trip to the Tall Corn State will be a homecoming of sorts.

Lehmkuhle attended Drake University in Des Moines, Moen is originally from Readlyn, Iowa and attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Lilienthal is originally from Iowa City, and Meghan Armstrong is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

At the race, the Team USA Minnesota crew can expect strong competition. In the men's race, 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi headlines the field along with fellow Olympian Anthony Famiglietti, Olympian and former Twin Cities Marathon champion Dan Browne, and 2008 USA Half Marathon Champion James Carney.

In the women's field, U.S. Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet leads a field that includes 2009 USA 25K champion Sally Meyerhoff, 2008 USA 20K champion Jill Steffens, and Ilsa Paulson, the top U.S. woman at the recent Peachtree Road Race.

Gabrielson, Brown Staying Home ... Team USA Minnesotans Matt Gabrielson and Emily Brown will stay in the North Star State for their racing this weekend. Both are entered in the Boston Scientific Heart of the Summer 10K, to be held at Lake Nokomis on Saturday.

Brown will face former Twin Cities Marathon champion Nicole Aish in the race, as well as Casey Owens, Jenna Boren, Amy Lyons, and Melissa Gacek.

Heart of the Summer 10K course women's record-holder Katie McGregor of Team USA Minnesota will compete in the London Grand Prix 5000 meters on Saturday, as we reported, HERE, previously.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mellon is State's Lone All-USA Honoree

Buffalo High School half-miler Zach Mellon was the lone Minnesotan named to USA Today's All-USA high school track and field team.

Mellon (pictured, center), a recently graduated senior who helped power Buffalo to its first-ever MSHSL Class AA state team title, joined nine other athletes named to the team in boys' distance events.

More than 100 high school stars from across the country were named to the All-USA team overall.

Mellon's individual honors in 2009 include a runner-up finish in the MSHSL Class AA 800m and a runner-up finish in the USA Junior 800m. Mellon's season best of 1:49.80 came in the prelims at the USA Juniors, held in Eugene, Oregon.

In 2008, Mellon ran the fastest Minnesota boys high school 800m ever when he clocked 1:48.64 to finish second in the USA Junior meet.

Find the complete All-USA team HERE.

Photo by Becky Miller.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

McGregor Racing 5000m at London Grand Prix

Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor will compete in the loaded 5000 meter event at the London Grand Prix on Friday.

Meanwhile, many of her teammates are participating closer to home at tomorrow night's Life Time Fitness Torchlight 5k in Minneapolis.

McGregor, who finished third in the 10,000m at last month's USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon will use the power-packed London race to prepare for the 10,000m at the IAAF World Track and Field Championshis in Berlin in late August.

The London 5000m field includes seven women who have broken 15:00 for the distance, including Ethiopian world record-holder Tirunesh Dibaba, her sister Ejegayehu, New Zealand star Kim Smith, and American Jen Rhines.

Team USA at Torchlight ... Seven Team USA Minnesota athletes will participate in the Torchlight 5K. The sponsor of the event, Lifetime Fitness, is also a sponsor of Team USA Minnesota. The race is part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial festivities and kicks off the Torchlight Parade.

Jason Lehmkuhle, Matt Gabrielson, Chris Lundstrom, Antonio Vega, Emily Brown, Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle, and Meghan Armstrong are all scheduled to participate. On hand at the finish line to cheer for participants will be Carrie Tollefson and Missy Buttry Rock, Team USA announced.

Look for many of the same Team USA athletes to compete over the weekend at either the USA 7-Mile Championships held in conjunction with the Bix 7 road race in Davenport, Iowa or the Boston Scientific Heart of Summer 10K in Minneapolis.

Both races are scheduled for Saturday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Runner of the Year Leaders Win in Duluth

The winners of Friday night's Park Point 5 Miler, Duluth's Jeremy Polson and Jennifer Houck, offered ample evidence of why each currently leads the Minnesota Runner of the Year standings.

Polson, who led the men's open division of the 2009 Runner of the Year standings by 21 points over Chris Erichsen going into the race, won his fifth Park Point title. He clocked 24:42 on the flat, out-and-back route on the other side of the lift-bridge from Canal Park in Duluth.

Duluth’s Eric Hartmark the 2007 race champion, finished second in 25:00; Chris Lundstrom of Minneapolis, the 2008 Minnesota Runner of the Year, placed third in 25:06.

Houck (pictured), who held a pre-race 5-point lead of Kim Magee on the open women's ROY table, won her second-straight Park Point title. Her time of 28:36 eclipsed Kari Beasley’s course record of 29:11 from 1997.

Hibbing’s Serena Sullivan placed second in 30:20 followed by Melissa Gacek of White Bear Lake in 30:59.

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune wrote THIS in-depth story about the race.

Full results will be posted HERE later today.

Earlier this season, the Polson and Houck swept the men's and women's titles at the Brian Kraft Memorial 5K, the USATF-Minnesota championship for the distance.

Runner of the Year Standings ... are based on road race performances across a range of distances. Minnesota's top road racers earn points based on how their performances rank against others in events ranging from the mile to the marathon.

Polson topped the ROY performance list in the 8K before his Park Point victory. He has the #2 marks in the state this year in the 5K, 10K, and half marathon.

Houck's lead in the ROY standings is built on an event-leading mark in the 5K and strong performances at 8K, 10K, and the half marathon.

Complete Runner of the Year standings, including those in age-group competition, are available HERE.

Photo by Gene Niemi.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Notes: Clearing Off the Desk

It's Friday afternoon, so it's a fitting time to clear off the DtB news-desk. Below are the accumulated news items and notes from the last week or so ...

Woman of the Year ... The University of Minnesota's Ladia Albertson-Junkans was recently named the Big Ten's Woman of the Year. The Stillwater High School alum will now vie for NCAA National Woman of the year honors.

The prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service, and leadership.

Read the U of M media release about the award HERE.

Read Rachel Blount's fine StarTribune feature on Albertson-Junkans HERE.

The Grandma's Champion ... Runner's World has an interview with 2009 Grandma's Marathon champion and Minnesota native Chris Raabe HERE.

The Goucher Cam? ... The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates wrote THIS story about the camera that will focus on Duluth native Kara Goucher when she competes at Chicago's Rock and Roll Half Marathon next month.

Pat Foley is Still Running ... The Northfield News recently published THIS story about former Northfield High School coach Pat Foley's 18 year running streak.

MDRA's New Site ... The Minnesota Distance Running Association just revamped its web-site, HERE. You'll now find lots of news, photos, and video -- not to mention linked DtB headlines! -- along with information on the group's races and programs.

And while you're there ... check out the MDRA bumper-sticker contest, HERE.

Mellon, Hampton Earn USATF-Minn. Honors

Zach Mellon and Laishema Hampton have been named USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for July 2009, the organization announced.

Mellon, a recently graduated senior at Buffalo High School, was recognized for finishing second in the men’s 800 meters at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon last month. Mellon, who will attend the University of Wisconsin next year, clocked 1:51.70 to finish second to Joe Abbott of Washington State University.

Hampton, a 2008 graduate of St. Louis Park High School and a student at Iowa State University, was honored for her runner-up finish at USA Juniors in the women’s shot put. Hampton threw 50 feet, three and one-quarter inches in the competition, a mark bettered only by Anastasia Jelmini of California.

USA Track & Field Minnesota selects Athletes of the Month to honor excellence in track and field and its related sports in Minnesota.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes/No: Will Two or More Break 26 in Duluth?

Everyone is familiar with Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in June. But the Grandma’s marathon staff puts on a few other high-quality (albeit lower-profile) races in Duluth. The Park Point 5-miler, schedule for this Friday evening, offers runners a nice excuse to escape the heat and take a 3-day weekend up north.

Whether you make the trip or not, you can answer our question for this week:

Yes/No: Will 2 or more runners break 26:00 at Park Point 5-miler on Friday.

Park Point is a flat course that has hosted many of the best runners from Duluth and the surrounding region. From 2005 - 2008: 3, 1, 2, and 1 runners, respectively, have broken 26:00 at Park Point. These races have featured a who's who of Duluth-area stars including Jeremy Polson, Eric Hartmark and Greg Hexum. The 2009 edition of the Park Point 5-miler will be the race's 38th annual - Northern Minnesota's oldest race.

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 6:30 P.M. CDT, Friday, July 17th. 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 Tom Langenfeld won his 30th Masters National high jump title and rewarded the 11 contestants who voted "yes" last week.

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

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

Looking Back at the 2009 USA Outdoor Championships

Becky Miller of has provided USATF Minnesota with an outstanding set of images from the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held last month in Eugene, Oregon. Her photos capture many of Minnesotas best athletes, competing at the sport's highest level.

The gallery is available HERE.

Will Leer photo by Becky Miller.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Goucher to Prep for Worlds in Chicago

Kara Goucher will compete in the inaugural Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon next month as part of her preparation for the IAAF World Championships Marathon in Berlin 21 days later.

Race officials announced today, HERE, that the Duluth native, who last month won a the USA Outdoor 5000m title, will compete in their August 2 event.

Goucher (pictured) is undefeated in two half marathon races. She has a PR of 1:06:57 from her 2007 victory over Paula Radcliffe at Britain's Great North Run.

Also ... Team USA Minnesota runners Emily Brown and Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle are making road racing plans. Brown will make her half marathon debut on August 16 in the NYC Half Marathon.

Brown will face a loaded field that will include Deena Kastor, Catherine Ndereba, and Lornah Kiplagat, according to THIS Running USA Wire report.

Nicolini Lehmkuhle, it was noted in THIS recent Team USA Minnesota media release, will make here marathon debut this fall. Her husband Jason Lehmkuhle is also planning a fall marathon.

Photo by Becky Miller.

Dozens of Minnesotans Qualify for JO Nats

They're moving on.

That's what dozens of young Minnesota athletes are doing after last weekend's Region VIII Junior Olympic meet in Omaha, Nebraska. They've advanced to the Junior Olympic National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina which begin July 28.

The top three finishers from the Region meet advance to nationals.

USATF-Minnesota's Youth Athletics Chairman Chris Dallager kindly compiled this listing of the Gopher State runners, jumpers, and thrower who have qualified to compete in Greensboro:

Young Men: (born 1991-92)
Shawn Johnson, Discus, 2nd place, 49.52m 162' 6"
Macauley Spandl, Pole Vault, 2nd place, 4.40m 14' 5.25"
Antwan Hollie (Hospitality House Striders), Long Jump, 1st place, 6.64m 21' 9.5"
Rumeal Harris (Hospitality House Striders), Long Jump, 3rd place, 6.53m 21' 5.25"
Austin Dennis, High Jump, 2nd place, 2.00m 6' 6.75"
JC Rodgers, Deandre Adams, Jeremy Duruji, Justin Duruji (Track Minnesota Elite), 4 x 400 Meter Relay, 3rd place, 3:37.70
Jeremy Duruji (Track Minnesota Elite), 400m Intermediate Hurdles, 2nd place, 57.38
Laquone Robinson (Hospitality House Striders), 110m High Hurdles, 1st place, 14.70
Sean Tyree, 2000m Steeplechase, 2nd place, 6:55.18
Jeremy Duruji (Track MN Elite) in the 110m High Hurdles, 3rd, 15.90
Hospitality House Striders 4 x 400m Relay, 2nd, 3:28.61 (Keenan Clerkley, Kendrick Hall, Patrick Means, Alexander Nelson)

Intermediate Boys: (born 1993-94)
Tom Anderson, Shot Put, 1st place, 15.83m 51' 11.25"
Trey Blanchard, Bryan Edison, JB Rodgers, John Jamison (Track Minnesota Elite), 4 x 400 Meter Relay, 1st place, 3:45.53
JB Rodgers (Track Minnesota Elite), 400m Intermediate Hurdles, 2nd place, 1:01.42
Stephen Bonniwell (Hospitality House Striders), 400m Intermediate Hurdles, 3rd place, 1:06.87
JB Rodgers (Track Minnesota Elite), 110m High Hurdles, 2nd place, 16.96
Trey Blanchard, (Track Minnesota Elite), 200m, 3rd, 23.50
4 x 100m Relay (Track Minnesota Elite), John Jamison, JB Rodgers, Bryan Edison, Trey Blanchard, 3rd, 46.53

Youth Boys: (born 1995-96)
Aaron Warren (Track Minnesota Elite), Long Jump, 2nd place, 5.39m 17' 8.25"
Mitchell Valli (Zero Gravity), Pole Vault, 1st place, 2.75m 9' 0.25"
Michael Scheuerman (Zero Gravity), Pole Vault, tied for 2nd place, 2.60m 8' 6.25"
Eli Beachy, Pole Vault, tied for 2nd place, 2.60m 8' 6.25"
Teyrione Harrell (Hospitality House Striders), High Jump, 3rd place, 1.60m 5' 3"
Aaron Warren (Track Minnesota Elite), 100m Hurdles, 2nd place, 15.89
Charlie Lawrence, 3000m Run, 2nd place, 10:00.82
Charlie Lawrence, 1500m, 2nd, 4:37.47

Midget Boys: (born 1997-98)
Mitchell Dickerson (Track Minnesota Elite), 800m Run, 3rd place, 2:25.70

Bantam Boys: (born 1999 or later)
Benjamin Olson, 1500m, 2nd, 5:21.10
Josiah Sutton (Eagles Wings), Triathlon (400m, High Jump, Shot Put), 2nd, 242 points

Young Women: (born 1991-92)
Analisa Huschle, Long Jump, 1st place, 5.57m 18' 3.25"
Alicia Hendrickson, Heptathlon, 1st place, 1642 points
Analisa Huschle, 100m, 2nd, 12.39
Analisa Huschle, 200m, 1st, 25.13
Analisa Huschle, Triple Jump, 2nd, 11.56m 37' 11.25"
4 x 100m Relay (Hospitality House Striders) Tasia Bobo, Asia Cook, Erica Revering, Ebony Yates, 3rd, 53.23
4 x 400m Relay (Hospitality House Striders) Asia Cook, Ebony Yates, Gretchen Anderson, Erica Revering, 3rd, 4:43.04

Intermediate Girls: (born 1993-94)
Morgan Stampley (Track Minnesota Elite), Shot Put, 2nd place, 10.41m 34' 2"
Sidreshia Floyd, (Track Minnesota Elite), 200m, 3rd, 25.12
Laura Brink, Triple Jump, 2nd, 9.71m 31' 10.25"

Youth Girls: (born 1995-96)
Shaina Burns, Pentathlon, 1st place, 2816 points
Shaina Burns, High Jump, 2nd place, 1.55m 5' 1"
Shaina Burns, 200m Hurdles, 3rd place, 30.88
Taloria Stiffin (Track Minnesota Elite), Long Jump, 2nd place, 4.65m 15' 3.25"
Christina Monson, 3000m Run, 2nd place, 10:39.98
Elise Anderson (Track Minnesota Elite), 100m, 1st, 12.60
Jacquelyn Bedingham (Northstar United), 100m, 3rd, 13.04
Elise Anderson (Track Minnesota Elite), 200m, 1st, 26.04
Jacquelyn Bedingham (Northstar United), 200m 3rd, 27.28
Elise Anderson, (Track Minnesota Elite), 400m, 2nd, 1:00.83
Christina Monson, 1500m, 2nd, 4:59.42
Shaina Burns, 100m Hurdles, 2nd, 16.29

Midget Girls: (born 1997-98)
Katherine Ernste, Long Jump, 2nd place, 4.16m 13' 7.75"
Kailyn Canady, 1500m Race Walk, 2nd place, 12:37.30
Maddie Gourley, 100m, 2nd, 13.50
Maddie Gourley, 200m, 3rd, 28.02
Maddie Gourley, 400m, 2nd, 1:03.16

Bantam Girls: (born 1999 or later)
Laesha Brewer, Long Jump, 2nd place, 3.70m 12' 1.75"
Madison Scholl, 800m Run, 1st place, 2:46.54
Ellie Bedingham, (Northstar United), 100m, 2nd, 14.59
Ellie Bedingham, (Northstar United), 200m, 3rd, 29.99
Kailyn Blanchard, (Track Minnesota Elite), 200m, 2nd, 29.96
Molly Cooke, (Northstar United), 400m, 3rd, 1:12.15
Madison Scholl, 1500m, 1st, 5:54.51
4 x 100 Relay (Track Minnesota Elite), Shavonne Edison, Destiny Truly, Navit Nachmias, Kailynn Blanchard, 2nd, 1:01.77

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grandma's Early Registration Begins

Grandma's Marathon, which didn't fill its 9500-runner field for the first time in 15 years in 2009, yesterday opened its "early-bird" registration program for the 2010 running of Grandma's.

According to THIS Duluth News-Tribune story by Kevin Pates, the race signed up 125 entrants on the first day.

Early registrants get a $10 discount on entry fee -- paying $75 rather than $85 to run the 34th-annual event -- and are offered discounts of up to $25 per night at participating area hotels.

Early registration for Grandma's Marathon is open until September 7.

USATF-Minn. Summer League Track Meets Set

USATF-Minnesota's Summer Track and Field League open son Thursday with the Falcon Summer Open at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. Registration starts at 5;30 p.m., with competition commencing at 6:00 p.m.

Three addtional meets will take place at the following times and locations:

Saturday, July 25 ... at Minneapolis Southwest High School

Thursday, July 30 ... at Eagan High School

Tuesday, August 11 ... at Eagan High School

Find more information on the meets HERE.

Bahr Named New Gustavus Adolphus Coach

Dale Bahr has been named Gustavus Adolphus College's new men's and women's track and field and cross country coach, the school has announced.

Bahr (pictured), a MSHSL state champion and NCAA Division II national champion half-miler during his racing days, succeeds Tom Thorkelson who retired as head track coach and Jed Freidrich who steps down from his head cross country duties but will remain at the school as the nordic ski coach.

Bahr, a native of New Ulm, has been involved in the track and field and cross country programs at Gustavus for the past nine years. Prior to coming to Gustavus, Bahr was an assistant track and field coach at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, Le Center-Cleveland, and Nicollet High Schools. He was also the head cross country coach at Nicollet in 1998 and 1999.

Bahr is a 1995 graduate of Mankato State Univeristy.

"It has been very rewarding for me to work with my mentor Tom Thorkelson at Gustavus for the past nine years and now I get the privilege of taking over the program he built and continue the long tradition of success," Bahr said in a Gustavus media release. "I am also excited to be able to add the head coaching responsibilities in cross country as it will help with the consistency of coaching and training for the distance runners who compete in cross country in the fall and track and field in the spring."

You can find the full media release HERE.

Photo courtesy of Gustavus Adolphus College.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Langenfeld Wins 30th Masters HJ Title

Masters Hall of Fame high jumper Tom Langefeld of Edina won his 30th career USA Masters high jump title Saturday at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Langenfeld, 73, cleared 4-8 1/4 to win the M70 division of the competition.

The victory redeemed a rare defeat Langenfeld suffer at this year's USA Masters indoor meet, where he lost to Emil Pawlik on misses. Pawlik did not compete in Oshkosh.

Langenfeld has now won 12 USA Masters indoor titles and 18 outdoor crowns in the high jump. He won his first title back in 1975.

Maxwell, Mulkern Win ... Octogenarians Ralph Maxwell and Dick Mulkern also won titles at the meet. Maxwell, 89, won the M85 javelin with a toss of 50-2 and the high jump at 3-7 1/4. The Richville resident also finished second in the long and triple jumps and took third in the 100m and discus.

Mulkern, a member of the Minnesota Track and Field Hall of Fame, won the M80 weight throw with a toss of 33-11 1/4. He also finished runner-up in the hammer throw with a mark of 77-2.

Weddle a Double Runner-Up ... Thom Weddle, 70, who won the USA Master indoor title at 3000m earlier this year, had to settle for two second-place finishes outdoors. Weddle was runner-up in the 800m in 2:58.73 and in the 1500 in 5:55.40.

He was also a DNF in the 5000m.

Schoffman Breaks Records ... Jim Schoffman, a 56-year-old sprinter/quarter-miler from Fridley, had a big weekend in Oshkosh, breaking Minnesota M55 records in the four events he contested at the meet. He ran the 100m in 12.51, the 200m in 25.85, the 400m in 57.04, and the 800m in 2:14.44.

The St. John's alum was the runner-up in the both the 400m and 800m events.

Complete results of the meet are HERE.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yes/No: Will Tom Langenfeld Win?

Masters athletes take center stage this week at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Minnesota has a very strong masters community and is always well-represented at these meets. This year the meet will be held in Oshkosh Wisconsin July 9th – July 12th.

If you do not follow masters athletics, you may be surprised to know that the Roger Federer of age-group high jumping resides in Minnesota. Tom Langenfeld will attempt to add another national championship to his trophy shelf and is the subject of this week’s question:

Yes/No: Will Tom Langenfeld win the M70 High Jump at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday?

Tom Langenfeld has won high jump titles in eight consecutive USA Masters Outdoor meets. Lagenfeld was second to Emil Pawlik at the National Indoor meet and Pawlik returns to battle Lagenfeld outdoors. Lagenfeld has won 29 USA Masters high jump titles in his career and is a member of the USA Master Hall of Fame.

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 1:00 P.M. CDT, Saturday, July 11th. 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.

Yes/No Results from last week: The correct answer to "Will Patrick Smyth be the first Minnesota finisher at the USA 10K Championship on Saturday?" was yes. Smyth narrowly beat Andrew Carlson and Antonio Vega to win the prize as top Minnesotan in this race. 9 contestants answered correctly last week.

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

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

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Bjorklund Half Champ in Doping Controversy

Liza Hunter-Galvan, the 2008 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon women's champion, faces a hearing in her native New Zealand over what appears to be a failed drug test.

Reports in New Zealand's Auckland Star-News, HERE, in the San Antonio Express News, HERE, and the Duluth News-Tribune, HERE, say the 40-year-old Kiwi, who is based in San Antonio, must face the New Zealand Sports Disputes Tribunal for resolution of the matter.

Details of the issue are unclear as neither Hunter-Galvan (pictured) nor Athletics New Zealand are commenting on the matter.

Hunter-Galvan won the 2008 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in 1:13:20. Later that summer she represented her country in the Beijing Olympic Marathon, where she ran 2:34:51 for 35th place.

In the 2007 Grandma's Marathon, Hunter-Galvan battled with eventual champion Mary Akor before dropping out of the race in the late-going.

Kevin Pates of the News-Tribune reports that Hunter-Galvan did not return a positive doping test at Grandma's in 2008. The Star-Times says the postive test did not come at the Olympics.

Photo by Charlie Mahler.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Eden Prairie Tops Girls' Class AA XC Poll

It's only July 8, but apparently it's not too early for the upcoming season's first high school cross country rankings. Dave Emmans, the man in charge of rankings for the large school girls, actually tabulated the rankings listed below back in June, based on last year's Section and State Meet performances.

"I take out all seniors, move up all retuning runners, then add times behind the last returner to fill out the top seven," Emmans, the girls' coach at Wayzata, explained to DtB. "I don’t take into account track performances because we don’t know who is making the switch from another sport for sure. I score all top seven to account for team depth, but don’t take into account JV strength. Times are averaged from the section meet races using the state meet course as the constant."

Here's how the top teams in Girls' Class AA stack up according to Emmans (the notes on each team are his as well) ...

1. Eden Prairie - They return 6 out of seven runners that scored an outstanding 48 points at the state meet and went on to finish 11th at the Nike national meet. Even without state champion Opitz, they return all-state runners Laura Lawton (11), 6th, Alex Rudin (11), 10th, and Megan Platner (11) 12th.

2. Coon Rapids - They return their top 5 runners that won section 5AA and finished 7th at the state meet. Allstate runner Kayla Johnson (12) leads the way with a 20th place finish at the state meet.

3. Elk River - The Elks become a team to beat with the eligibility of Abbi Aspengren (11), 11:17 3200 meter in track. Add senior Emma Bates 7th place finish at last years state meet, and you have one of the best 1-2 punches around. 6 out of seven return from the 3rd place finishers in 7AA.

4. Grand Rapids - Extremely young team last year that finished 9th at the state meet. Top finisher was 36th at the state meet, Kala Erickson (12), All seven are back and you often will see significant improvement from 7th an 8th graders.

5. Winona - They finished 13th at the state meet last year, but have all seven returning. Add to that the runner-up in state, Claire Guidinger (12), and you have a chance to be very good. 2nd to Lakeville North in 1AA last year.

6. Lakeville North - Traditional power-house that gets hit with graduation this year. Finishing 2nd last year at the state meet, they lose 4 out of their top seven, but return Taylor Perkins (9), 31st at the state meet. The Bob Ertl gang always reloads and they should be solid again next year.

7. Wayzata - Finishing 3rd last year in 6AA, they return all seven runners. Seniors Robyn Zeidler and Maddie Lambert lead the way as individual qualifiers for the state meet last year.

8. Chaska - Six out of seven return for a team that looks to rebound from a disappointing last place finish at last years state meet. Interestingly, Chaska will be splitting into two schools this year, the other being Chanhassen. According to Dr Stallman, all his key runners are staying put at Chaska.

9. Centennial - Another solid squad that returns 6 of 7. They finished 12th last year at the state meet, but lose their top runner to graduation.

10. Moorhead - They finished 5th last year at the state meet but drop this fall in the poll due to losing 3 of 7 to graduation.

11. Waseca - Notoriously slow starting team, they return all seven runners. Led by all-state runner Hannah McGrath (11), 22nd at the state meet.

12. Shakopee - This team drops in the poll due to depth, but up front they are very good with a 6th place finish last year. Emerging talent Maria Hauger (9) finished 9th at the state meet and leads a very young group up front. Although they are at 12th in the pre-season poll, they could easily be a podium team by the end of the year.

13. Mankato East - Very solid top 6th that finished 4th last year in 2AA. State meet qualifier Amanda Blain (12), leads the way.

14. Hopkins - This is a very scary team with the Janis Klecker daughters set to join the team this fall. This team, if everyone is healthy , can easily be a top 10 team.

15. Eastview - Led by Anne Ferguson (11), this team finished 14th at last years state meet. Depth is an issue, but they have the talent to make it back.

16. Prior Lake - Another team that you could argue that is ranked to low. Edged Eastview for the 3AA crown last year and finished 10th at the state meet. Led by Taylor Scholl (10), 33rd at the state meet, this group will be good next fall.

17. Andover - Did you know how Andover got its name? In the 1800’s there was a huge train wreck, witnesses said that the train went over and over and over. Led by Madeline McKeefry (8), 41st at the state meet. No train wreck here with 6 of 7 returning.

18. Rosemount - Coach Harder getting a little love with his girls squad this year with 6 of 7 returning.

19. Woodbury - They drop to 19 after a 3rd place finish last year due to losing 3 of their top 5 to graduation. They do return all-state runner Laura Domski (11), 19th at the state meet, but have a lot of shoes to fill after her.

20. New Prague - 3rd place squad in 3AA, they return enough to make it to state. You always have a good chance when you have an all-state runner, Molly Wick (10), 18th at the state meet.

Best of the rest ...

Monticello - Led by the Seidenkranz sisters, I have a feeling you will here from this team next fall ... Lakeville South - Just edged by Winona last year, some feel this is a top 12 team ... Stillwater - Always has great individuals, Caitlin Hewes (11), 4th at the state meet ... Minnetonka - I know, I know, sacrilegious, not having the perennial top 5 team in state not ranked. Knowing Coach Jane Reimer-Morgan we haven’t heard the last of the Skippers.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Burns 2nd in USA Youth High Jump

Shaina Burns of Prior Lake finished 2nd in the Youth Girls' high jump at the USA Youth Championships held in Ypsilanti, Michigan last weekend.

The 13-year-old Burns cleared 5-3. Event winner Kira Larson of North Dakota won the event at 5-5. Full results of the event are HERE.

Earlier in the meet, Burns finished 4th in the pentathlon with 2702 points. She also finished 4th in her heat of the 200m hurdles in 31.02 and 6th in her prelim of the 100m hurdles in 16.48.

Chris Dallager, USA Track and Field Minnesota's Youth Athletics Chair, told DtB the the meet doesn't typically draw many of Minnesota's top young age-group athletes.

Age divisions for the meet broke down as follows:

Bantam ... for athletes born 1999 and later
Midget ... for athletes born 1997-1998
Youth ... for athletes born 1995-1996
Intermediate ... for athletes born 1993-1994
Young Men/Women ... for athletes born 1991-1992

Dallager noted that Rashawn Fountain of Eden Prairie placed 12th in the Intermediate Boys' long jump with 19-0. Fountain also finished 4th in his 400m prelim in 53.11. He was disqualified in the 200m for a lane violation, however.

Full results from the meet can be found HERE.

Results from the USA World Youth Trials meet, also held in Ypsilanti, are HERE.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Smyth 5th at USA 10K Championship

Patrick Smyth, the newest addition to Team USA Minnesota's stable of distance runners, finished 5th at Saturday's USA Men's 10k Championship, held in conjunction with the Peachtree Road Race.

Smyth clocked 28:49 on the streets of Atlanta to finish 14th overall in the race.

Abdi Abdirahman won the USA 10K in 28:11. Sammy Kitwara of Kenya took the overall race title in 27:22.

Results and a recap of the race are available HERE.

Former Golden Gopher Andrew Carlson finished 7th in the USA Championship in 28:53. Team USA Minnesota's Antonio Vega was 11th in 29:09, while teammate Josh Moen was 13th in 29:30.

USA Championship results can be found HERE.

Leer, Schwitzer Win in Excelsior ... Will Leer, who finished 5th in the USA Outdoor Championship 1500 meters in Eugene, Oregon a week ago, won the Saturday's Excelsior Firecracker 10K. The Minnetonka grad clocked 31:19 for a comfortable win.

Hopkins High School alum Emily Schwitzer, who will be a junor at Duke next fall, won the women's race in 38:21.

Find full results HERE.

Medtronic TC 10 Mile Lottery Opens Today

Lottery registration for the 11th annual Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile opens today. Sign-up for the drawing that will fill the race's 6500-runner field is open until July 15.

Known as "The Shortcut to the Capitol," the TC 10 Mile race starts near the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and shares the last seven miles of the Twin Cities Marathon course, including the finish at the State Capitol.

The race is host in 2009 to the USA Men’s 10 Mile Championship.

Details about the on-line-only lottery sign-up can be found HERE.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy Independence Day from DtB!

Happy Birthday USA!

We know, we know ... we're posting these birthday wishes a day too early. But, we're closing the Down the Backstretch office complex (so to speak) on Friday to give the staff (so to speak) a three-day weekend to honor and celebrate America.

We'll be back on Monday with the latest news of running and track in Minnesota ... including the scoop on the USA Men's 10K Championship, the World Youth Trials, and, perhaps, a few road races with the words "firecracker" or "freedom" in their names.

Have a great 4th everyone!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Lakeville North: A Record and a Story

Casual Minnesota track and field fans can be forgiven if they were scratching their heads over the news last week that Lakeville North had broken the state's all-time boys’ high school record for the 4 x 100m relay at the Nike Outdoor National meet in Greensboro, North Carolina.

After all, didn’t Andover win the Class AA 4 x 100 at State?

Hadn't Lakeville North failed to qualify for State in the event?

Weren't the Panthers absent from the State 4 x 100 last year too?

Well, yes, yes, and yes.

But somehow, here the Panther team of Trevor Jellum, Jonny Anyaogu, Nate Sayler, and Nick Nelson was, running a 41.67 that eclipsed Eastview’s esteemed 2003 mark of 41.82 -- until then the only sub-42 team in Minnesota prep history.

Now, it is true, that slightly more astute observers of things-high-school-sprinting would have noticed that Lakveville North qualified three boys to State in the 100m dash, two of whom -- Anyaogu and Nelson – advanced to finals.

The Panther 4 x 100 also won the True Team 4 x 100m title over eventual Class AA champs Andover, edging the Huskies by .01 in 43.08. But for a disqualification at the Section 1AA meet – where Lakeville North won but was called for aiding on the final exchange – Lakeville North might have entered the MSHSL meet as the favorites.

In the end, many of the elements that made Lakeville North’s 41.67 a surprise for fans, were the same factors that drove Panther co-head coach Todd Endersbe and his squad to make the trip to Greensboro in the first place, although Endersbe says the the disappointments aren't the only reason the team went south to run fast.

“I think we would have gone in pursuit the of the state record in any case,” the former St.Thomas hurdle star told DtB, noting that the bad weather at the State Meet’s second day would have made a fast time there impossible, even if they had been in the meet.

The bid for the record had its complications, though. Two graduation parties scheduled for NON weekend needed to be rescheduled. In addition, the team’s usual leadoff runner, Shedrick Agyei, was unable to make the Greensboro trip due a prior commitment in Philadelphia that weekend.

Endersbe held a run-off for a spot on the squad between Kaleb Williams and Trevor Jellum, where Jellum, a hurdler and jumper by trade, earned the right to replace Agyei. The new role gave Jellum his own second chance on the season – the fastest qualifier to finals in the Section 1AA 110 hurdles, Jellum had false-started in the finals.

“It didn't seem like a gamble,” Endersbe said of the substitution “but we needed a fast replacement for Shed, a State meet qualifier in the 100m dash with an impressive 11.07 in Section. I knew Trevor had wheels, but I didn’t know how fast he was."

The Panthers’ arrived in Greensboro as the #24 seed in the 25-team boys 4 x 100. Endersbe admitted the squad was initially awed by the talent gathered at the meet, but he said they settled in after seeing reasonable times advance runners to the 100m finals.

“It gave them the mindset that, 'Maybe we belong,'” Endersbe said. “They then believed they could run with the best in the nation."

The squad proved they belonged when, from lane 1, they whisked the baton around the Greensboro track in 41.91 – the #2 mark in Minnesota high school history and a scant .09 off the Eastview record.

“I was just shaking,” Endersbe remembered after the prelim victory. “I couldn’t talk."

After the prelim, a North Carolina meet official asked of the Panthers’ if they’d run their suddenly modest-looking 43.08 seed time in a Minnesota snowstorm?

In what turned out to be a two-section final, the Panthers drew a better lane – lane 3 – and ran with the additional confidence gained from their stunning prelim.

They clocked the record-setting 41.67 to finish 4th overall and earn high school all-American honors as a team. You can watch the race HERE.

Endersbe admits to reacting emotionally to the final as well, but says the team was nonplussed.

“They looked at me and said, ‘Well, what did you expect us to do’?"

Actually, Endersbe confided that he’d had high expectation for the squad for more than a year.

“I made a prediction that I haven’t told anyone about until now," he revealed. "I thought the team could run 41.5.”

From that prediction, through all the ups and downs of their season, and culminating with their 41.67 at Nike Outdoor Nationals, Lakeville North is now a relay team -- and a story -- for the ages.

Photo by Paul Saxton, courtesy of Lakeville North. From left: Nelson, Saylor, Anyaogu, and Jellum.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

For those distance running fans who are disappointed that the USA Outdoor Track Championships concluded last weekend, we have good news for you: There is another USA Championship on tap this weekend! The Peachtree 10k Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia will host the USA Men's 10K Championship on the 4th of July.

With four current or former Minnesotans in the elite field, we would like to know how you think the newest Minnesotan, Team USA Minnesota's Patrick Smyth, will do among them. So ...

Yes/No: Will Patrick Smyth be the first Minnesota finisher at the USA 10K Championship on Saturday?

In this contest, Minnesotan will be defined as anyone how went to college or high school in Minnesota or currently resides in Minnesota. The four Minnesota athletes currently listed on the startlist are former Gopher Andrew Carlson and Team USA Minnesota runners: Josh Moen, Antonio Vega, and Smyth.

For an introduction to Patrick Smyth, please reference DtB on Tuesday.

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 6:30 A.M. CDT, Saturday, July 4th. 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.

Yes/No Results from last week: The correct answer to "Will William Leer finish in the top three in the 1500 at the USA Championships in Eugene on Sunday?" was no, as Leer finished 5th. Leer was in contention for a top-3 finish throughout the race and came up just short. 5 contestants answered correctly last week.

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

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

USA Championship Photos -- by Gene Niemi

Gopher vaulter Alicia Rue finished 7th with a PR-tying 14-3 1/4.

Katie McGregor (in blue) joined Amy Begley and Shalane Flanagan on the USA team for the World Championships in the 10,000m.

Will Leer (left) finished 5th in the 1500m.

Laura Hermanson (center) ran another PR with her 2:01.28, 5th place finish in the women's 800m.

Andrew Rock had a tough meet, running 47.10 and failing to advance from his prelim in the 400m.

Gopher heptathlete Liz Roehrig finished 6th in the event with 5802 points.

Photos by Gene Niemi.