Friday, January 29, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for January 28-31

It's another busy weekend in the track and running world!

Minnesotans will be found racing in such far-flung locales as New York City (Molly Lehman), Miami (Josh Moen and Meghan Armstrong), Albuquerque (Jason Lehmkuhle and Patrick Smyth) and Glasgow, Scotland.

Flying the Minnesota flag in Scotland is former North Dakota State half-miling star Laura Januszewski. The former Laura Hermanson will represent the United States at the Aviva International Match tomorrow in Glasgow.

Januszewski, a Burnsville High School alum, will be the lone American competing in the 800 meters against 2008 Olympic semi-finalists Jenny Meadows of Great Britain and Neisha Bernard-Thomas of Grenada, as well as Jana Hartmann of Germany and Rebecca Hogberg of Sweden.

The Aviva International Match features one athlete in each event from the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany and a Commonwealth Select team battling against each other to earn points towards their teams overall match total. Last year, the Commonwealth Select team won the title.

Below, find a link to results of Januszewski's race and all the weekend's other action ...

Bill Bergan Invite Multis: Results * Story
Update: McGinnis 2nd with auto-qualifying 5,753, Spandl 3rd, Schwenke 4th
Cobber Pentathlon: Results
Update: Cobbers' Leah Kay wins with 3182
St. Olaf Triangular: Men's Results * Women's Results
Update: St. Kate's Celestine Ventura throws 49-11 1/4 and 40-10 1/2
Millrose Games: Results
Update: Lehman 5th in 4:36.57.

Aviva UKA International Match: Results
Update: Januszewski 4th in 2:07.77
Bill Bergan Invite: Results * Story
Update: Fisher clears provisional qualifying 7-2 1/4
New Mexico Invite: Results
Update: Smyth 2nd in 8:09.29 and Lehmkuhle 5th with 8:13.01
MSU-Mankato Open: Men's Results * Women's Results
Update: Mankato's Lauren Stelten clears 13-4 1/4
Cobber Open: Results
Update: Bimidji's Kristi Buerkle runs 57.25
Warren Bowlus Open: Men's Results * Women's Results
Update: UMD's Place runs 10:07.68, St. Mary's Brueggen throws 60-2

ING Miami Half Marathon: Results
Update: Armstong wins with 1:17:49, Moen 4th

Kara Goucher Gets Award, Makes Plans

The latest on how Kara Goucher is spending the winter and her plans for the upcoming year HERE.

Yes/No: Will Lehman PR at the Millrose Games?

A Minnesota native has won the last two Millrose Games women's mile races. Will 2010 be the third year in a row? Kara Goucher, the two-time defending champ in the race, is not running this year, but taking up the cause for Minnesotans everywhere will be former Minnetonka star Molly Lehman.

Let us know if you think Lehman will break her indoor P.R. on the 160 yard banked board track in Madison Square Garden:

Y/N: Will Molly Lehman run faster than 4:41.69 at the Millrose Games mile Friday night?

Molly Lehman's indoor P.R. is 4:41.69 from 2009. She capped a great career at Duke by running a school record 4:12.13 1500m to place 8th at USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. To put the school record in perspective - it is over 2 seconds faster than Shannon Rowbury ever ran at Duke.

In high school, Lehman had the misfortune of competing during the glory years of Heather Dorniden and Elizabeth Yetzer. She never won an individual state title in high school but did anchor Minnetonka's 4 x 800 squad to three consecutive state titles; the Skippers still hold the all-time state record in that event.

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, Friday, January 29. 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 last week was: Will Kylie Peterson run faster than 7.48 in either the prelims or finals of the 60 Meters at the Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic? The correct answer was no - Peterson won the 60 meter dash in 7.51. Eleven contestants answered correctly and there are now nine players who own a perfect score so far this year. To see these results, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Twin Cities Marathon News Round-Up

The 29th running of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon is more than eight months away, but that doesn't mean the event isn't making a little news these days.

Here's the latest from the folks at Twin Cities in Motion, the organization behind "the most beautiful urban marathon in the country."

Registration Opens on Tuesday ...
Breaking with tradition, registration for the 2010 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will open at 12:01 a.m. next Tuesday, February 2. In recent years, the event has opened registration in April.

The 2010 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 3.

Registration for the event will be conducted on-line exclusively, HERE.

TCM Seeking Scholarship Applicants ... Twin Cities in Motion is seeking applicants for its college scholarship program. The organization awards $5,000 in scholarships annually to one male and one female high school senior in the Twin Cities metro area.

Scholarship winners are selected based on academic achievements, community service, and running accomplishments (in either cross-country or track) as well as by a personal essay. Applications will be taken through March 1.

Michelle Volz, of Lakeville North High School, and Samuel Seehof, of Minnetonka High School won the scholarships in 2009. Volz, who attends the University of Minnesota, and Seehof, who attends Dartmouth College, were selected from nearly 100 applicants.

Find more information on the program HERE.

TCM Raises More Than $270,000 for Charity ... Twin Cities in Motion raised $270,341 for charity through its community partners and charity training teams, the organization announced recently.

The organization raised money through entry fundraisers, individual donations, and contributors to its Friends of the Marathon program, which focuses resources toward creating healthy youth through running events.

Details about TCM's charitable programs can be found HERE.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gopher Men #12 in Latest NCAA Rankings

The University of Minnesota men's track team is ranked #12 in NCAA Division, according to the latest US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll rankings released yesterday.

The Gophers, who were ranked #10 in the pre-season poll, continue to be the top nationally ranked team in the Big Ten. The Gophers are the defending Big Ten indoor and outdoor champions, and host this year's Big Ten Indoor Championships.

Florida State continues to top the men's rankings, followed by Oregon and Florida. The Gophers' nearest Big Ten rival is surprising Indiana at #16.

Texas A&M leads the women's rankings, followed by Oregon and BYU. The Gopher women are ranked #34 nationally, down four spots from their pre-season ranking.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gophers Familiar and New Garner Awards

A new face and an old favorite earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors for the University of Minnesota track and field teams this week.

Jack Szmanda (pictured), a redshirt freshman from Wausau, Wisconsin, earned his first-ever Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Week award after his 5377 point heptathlon victory at Saturday's Jack Johnson Invitational. Szmanda's tally, a new Gopher freshman record in the event, put him on the provisional qualifiers' list for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Szmanda pole vaulted 16-1 3/4, put the shot 43-10 3/4, cleared 6-2 3/4 in the high jump, landed a 21-6 1/4 long jump, clocked 7.29 seconds in the 60 meters, ran 8.61 in the 60-meter high hurdles, and legged 2:50.56 in the 1,000-meter run in the effort.

Senior Alicia Rue earned her 11th career Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Week award for her 14-4 1/2 school record pole vault victory at the Jack Johnson. Rue's mark improved upon two NCAA automatic qualifying clearances she made already this season.

Rue, a Robbinsdale Armstrong alum, was last week's Big Ten Athlete of the Week as well.

Photo courtesy of the U of M.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Local Stars Shine at Jack Johnson Invite

As is often the case, the University of Minnesota's Jack Johnson Invite provided a big meet opportunity for Minnesota's top track and field talent to shine.

While pole vaulters copped the headlines for the Gophers -- Alicia Rue winning the women's vault with a school record, fieldhouse record, NCAA auto-qualifying 14-4 1/2 and Ben Peterson confirming his return for last year's injury with a PR 17-5 1/4 -- there were lots of performances for Minnesotans to celebrate.

Highlights for the locals included ... Heather Dorniden's 2:05.49 USA Indoor qualifing win in the 800m, Amanda (Thieschafer) Smock's 41-8 victory in the triple jump, Matt Fisher's 7-2 1/4 NCAA provisional qualifying high jump win, and Aaron Studt's 59-11 3/4 provisional qualifying shot put victory.

Perhaps the most heartening performance of the meet was Gabriele Anderson's return to racing nine months after being diagnosed with cancer. Bouncing back after surgery and radiation treatment last summer -- and armed with a final season of outdoor eligibility, the Perham High School alum won the 3000m in 9:38.94.

(DtB wrote THIS story about Anderson last spring, shortly after she learned she had cancer.)

You can watch Flotrack's interview with Anderson above. There's lots of other great Flotrack videos from the meet -- both interviews and event coverage! -- HERE.

Find complete meet results HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for January 22-24

Find this weekend's important results below ...

Jack Johnson Invitational: Heat Sheets * Results
Update: Rue wins pole vault in school record 14-4 1/2
Iowa State Open: Results

Jack Johnson Invitational: Heat Sheets * Results
Iowa State Open: Results
UW- Whitewater Invitational: Results
St. Olaf Triangular: Results
UW-Stout Open: Results

Securian Frozen Half Marathon: Results

Yes/No: Will Peterson Sprint Faster Than 7.48?

The Gopher women's track team hosts their third of four indoor home meets Saturday as they prepare for the Big Ten Indoor Championships in late February. The Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic starts with field events at 10:00 A.M and the Gophers will compete with teams such as the University of Iowa, Southern Florida, Northern Iowa, among others. The Gopher women are the three-time defending Big Ten Indoor Champions and currently rank 30th in the nation.

This week Y/N will focus on the short sprints and sophomore star Kylie Peterson:

Y/N: Will Kylie Peterson run faster than 7.48 in either the prelims or finals of the 60 Meters at the Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic?

Kylie Peterson ran a personal best 7.47 in the 60 meters last Saturday in Nebraska. Her time was the second fastest time in Gophers history and 3/100s off the NCAA provisional qualifying barrier. The only Gopher ever to run faster in the 60 meters was Olympian Tahesia Harrigan. Peterson was a 4-time state champ in High School at Apple Valley and the all-time state record-holder in the 100 meters.

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 11:59 A.M. CST, Saturday, January 23. Please put your answer in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail.

This week, we’re offering a bonus for participants making their debut in Yes/No: A correct answer will be worth two points for any first-time players, giving those of you who missed the contest last week a chance to catch right up.

My answer: Yes

The question last week was: Will Josh Moen be the top Minnesota finisher at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday? The answer was no - Antonio Vega won over Patrick Smyth with Moen finishing a very strong 6th. Twenty-three contestants answered correctly. To see results from from the first contest of 2010, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MDRA Annual Party Set for Saturday

The Minnesota Distance Running Association's annual party will take place this Saturday at the Edina Community Center.

Festivities will commence at 11:30 a.m. with pizza and soft drinks, followed at 1:00 p.m. with an awards ceremony. The party is free to MDRA members and costs $5 for non-members.

Details on the gathering can be found HERE.

Lanin Award ... Masters road racing star and long-time MDRA officer Gloria Jansen will be presented with the Lanin Award for Distinguished Service. The award is MDRA's most prestigious honor, given for years of service and contribution to the sport.

The award is named for the founder of MDRA, Pat Lanin.

Minnesota Runner's Yearbook Returns

It's back!

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field has announced that A Minnesota Runner's Yearbook is back in publication. The 2009 edition of the Yearbook will be available to the public this week.

The Yearbook can be purchased in person at the MDRA Annual Party at the Edina Community Center on Saturday.

To order the yearbooks by mail, send $10.00 (plus $2.00 shipping and handling) to:

USATF Minnesota
960 Douglas Road,
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

For more information, contact Craig Yotter at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gophers' Rue Earns Big Ten Acclaim

For the tenth time in her burgeoning career, Gopher pole vaulter Alicia Rue was named the Big Ten's Field Event Athlete of the Week.

Rue (pictured), the two-time defending Big Ten indoor champion, earned her latest honor after winning the women's pole vault competition with a clearance of 14-1 3/4 at the Minnesota Open last Saturday.

The Gopher senior was already an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships thanks to her 13-11 1/2 win at the Northwest Open on January 9.

A three-time NCAA All-American in the pole vault, the Robbinsdale Armstrong alum was the runner-up at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year.

Photo courtesy of the U of M.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Carleton Alum Completes Cross-USA Run

After 3132 miles of running, Katie Visco has finished her long run.

On December 29, the 2007 Carleton College alum completed a cross-America run from Boston to San Diego. Visco is believed to be the youngest woman ever to run coast-to-coast across the United States. Only 170 people are on record as having completed such a run -- only 11 of whom have been women.

Visco (pictured) dedicated her effort, which began on March 29, 2009, to Girls on the Run, an organization devoted to promoting the health and overall well-being of young girls. Visco raised $11,000 for the organization during her run.

Visco ran up to 18 miles a day across 17 states, going through nine pairs of running shoes en route. A knee injury forced her to slow her pace to a walk in early December, but she did run the final 1 1/2 miles of the effort. She ran barefooted into the Pacific Ocean to complete her run.

Visco, who ran cross country and track at Carleton, says she plans to keep running, with the goal of running across every continent!

You can find out more about Visco’s journey HERE.

Photo by Sara Rubenstein, courtesy of Carleton College.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vega Wins USA Half Marathon, Smyth Runner-Up

Team USA Minnesota's Antonio Vega won an upset victory at Sunday's USA Half Marathon with a PR 1:01:54 clocking at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon.

In what was a banner morning for the Team USA program, teammate Patrick Smyth finished runner-up in 1:02:01, while Josh Moen was 6th in 1:02:53 and Matt Gabrielson was 9th in 1:03:44.

The win earned Vega (interviewed above by Flotrack), a Tartan High School and University of Minnesota alum, his first USA title and lowered his PR at the distance by more than a minute.

According to a USA Track and Field media release, after a 4:53 opening mile, Vega, Smyth, Moen, and Gabrielson pushed the pace to 4:38 in the second mile. Vega, Smyth and Moen continued to control the pace in a lead pack that included Tim Nelson, Stephan Shay, and Brent Vaughn.

By eight miles, Vega and Smyth were running side-by-side with Vaughn, a University of Colorado alum, trailing by five meters. Shortly after the eighth mile, Vega made his break and by 10 miles had a 20-meter lead, by which time Vaughn had rejoined Smyth.

Vega, who never won Big Ten or NCAA titles as a collegian, held on to win the championship by seven seconds over Smyth who out-kicked Vaughn in the homestretch for second.

Vega's performance bodes well for the main goal of his early 2010 racing -- a fast run at April's Boston Marathon. Vega, who ran 2:15:45 for 8th place at Twin Cities Marathon last fall, is eying a sub-2:12 at Boston.

The 1-2-6-9 finish for Team USA Minnesota at Houston echoed the program's strong finish at last fall's USA 10 Mile Championships, held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC 10 Mile. There, Moen finished a close second to three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, with Smyth third and teammate Jason Lehmkuhle fourth.

Shalane Flanagan won the women's USA Half Marathon title. Her 1:09:41 clocking broke the championship record of 1:10:00 set by Colleen DeReuck at the 2003 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth.

Team USA Minnesota's Meghan Armstrong finished 11th in the champioship.

Results of the USA Half Marathon can be found HERE.

Flotrack has highlight videos of the men's and women's races in Houston as well as additional pre- and post-race interviews HERE.

Read the Team USA Minnsota media release HERE.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for January 15-17

Here's this week's edition of the Short-Cut -- links to all the weekend's results ...

Blugold Open (Eau Claire): Results
Holiday Inn Invite (Nebraska): Results

Bethel Open: Results
Minnesota Open (U of M): Heat Sheets * Results
Update: Rue tops Rains 14-1 3/4 to 13-5 3/4

Holiday Inn Invite (Nebraska): Results
Update: Kylie Peterson leads Gopher 60m sweep in 7.47

Northwoods Snowshoe Championship: Story * Results

USA Half Marathon Championships: Preview * Startlist * Results
Update: Vega and Smyth go 1-2 at USA Half Marathon Championships.

Bison Classic (NDSU): Results
Update: Laura (Hermanson) Januszweski runs 2:52.35 1000m.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yes/No: Will Moen Top Minnesotans in Houston?

Editor's Note: The DtB fantasy season is underway for its second year! Once again, the nearly omniscient Doug Cowles will serve as DtB's fantasy editor. Since Doug, himself, won both the Yes/No and Pick Ten contests in 2009, we've decided to bar him from competition in 2010 ... while we figure out exactly which performance enhancing drugs he was taking last year. Doug will still offer his pick each week, but it won't count in the contest.

Otherwise, though, our contests will remain largely the same in 2010. We won't be offering any prizes for the contests, but we hope that policy makes Yes/No and Pick Ten, which will debut later this year, more welcoming to high schoolers and collegiates who need to steer clear of MSHSL and NCAA rules against gambling. With
DtB's contests, all you can win is GLORY!

So good luck and have fun!

There are very few major road races in the winter in the United States. To attract a great domestic field in January, a race would need temperate weather, a fast course and a championship designation. The Aramco Houston Half Marathon has all three. Consequently, Minnesota elite distance runners are lining up for a chance to show their fitness while many in the state are in semi-hibernation.

The USA Half Marathon Championships will be held in Houston on Sunday with a large collection of Minnesotans led by Team USA MN members Meghan Armstrong, Michelle Frey, Matt Gabrielson, Antonio Vega, Patrick Smyth and Josh Moen.

Yes/No returns in 2010 with a contest to pick the top Minnesotan in the race. We are appointing Josh Moen as the favorite based on his huge breakthrough at TC 10 miler in 2009 and asking this question:

Y/N: Will Josh Moen be the top Minnesota finisher at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon on Sunday?

The Houston Half Marathon has a strong reputation for smoking-fast times. Ryan Hall set his American record there in 2007. The flat course averages a start time temperature of 45 degrees. The Minnesotans in the field are sure to make their presence known: Josh Moen has run 1:04:37 for 1/2 marathon along with his 46:38 10 Mile for 2nd place at the USA Championships last year. Matt Gabrielson has run 13:30 for 5k and has finished in the top 10 at the USA Half Marathon Championships 3 times. Antonio Vega ran 1:02:55 at the Half Marathon Champs last year. Patrick Smyth was ranked 8th in the U.S. at 10k by Track and Field News and recently won the NYC Midnight Run. Other top Minnesotans include Stillwater high school alum Luke Watson and former Golden Gopher Justin Grunewald.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 7:00 A.M. CST, Sunday, January 17. Please put your answer in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail.

My answer: No

The slate is clean for all Y/N contestants - this is the first contest of the year. To see the final results from 2009, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

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

Grandma's Marathon Registration Opens

Registration for the 2010 Grandma's Marathon opened at a minute after midnight this morning.

The 26.2-mile race from Two Harbors to Duluth is limited to the first 9,500 participants. Nearly 1,500 runners signed up during the marathon’s early registration period last summer, so roughly 8000 spots are available during the current registration period.

Last year, for the first time in 15 years, Grandma's Marathon failed to fill its field.

“We are extremely excited about this year’s marathon,” Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon said in a media release. “We will continue to focus our efforts on orchestrating the highest quality events possible for our participants and we promise a great event for everyone.”

Runners interested in competing in the event should visit The 34th running of Grandma's Marathon is set for Saturday, June 19 at 7:30 a.m.

Grandma's Marathon weekend also features the 20th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 17th annual William A. Irvin 5K. Registration for those two events will begin in February and March, respectively..

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon takes place on Saturday, June 19 at 6:30 a.m. and the William A. Irvin 5K on Friday, June 18 at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weight Throwers Off to Hot Start

Weight throwers have turned in some big marks early in the season in the state of Minnesota.

Gopher senior Aaron Studt opened his season with a provisional mark of 64-8 1/2 and a second place finish behind post-collegiate Bryan Tolcser. The returning Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Year (both indoors and outdoors last season!) only competed in the weight throw in the first meet of the season.

Tolcser's win broke the Northwest Open meet record previously held by current U of M head coach Lynden Reder.

Gopher freshmen Micah Hegerle broke the freshmen record in the weight throw with a mark of 63-8 1/4. Hegerle had a very strong red shirt season and is positioning himself to make his mark in the Big Ten this season.

MSU-Moorhead throwers Chris Heil took 5th with a throw of 58-1 and Anthony Enyi threw 57-3 1/2. Enyi also won the shot put with a mark of 46-6. Enyi opened the season with a throw of 62-11 1/4 at Minnesota State - Mankato on December 5th and currently ranks 4th in Division II. Heil currently ranks 13th in Division II.

The weight throw lead to some great starts on the women's side, too.

Sophomore DeAnne Hahn set a new personal best with a mark of 60-4 and was just over a foot off the Northwest Open meet record. Hahn had a successful freshmen season after qualifying for two events (shot & hammer) in the NCAA Regional Championships.

Freshmen Caitlyn Dongoske finished 2nd in the weight throw behind Hahn with a throw of 50-4 1/2. St. Cloud State junior Rebecca Kitzman won the shot put with a throw of 41-9 1/4.

In Division II, Rebecca Stier of Winona currently ranks 1st in the weight throw with a throw of 58-10 3/4 and sits 2nd in the shot put with a throw of 46-6.

Kevin Holubar produces the blog Throwing Farther.

Eagles, Elks Honored by USATF-Minn.

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field isrecently announced that the Eden Prairie boys’ cross country team and the Elk River girls' cross country team are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for January.

The Eden Prairie boys were recognized for their 14th-place finish at the 2009 Nike Cross Nationals held in Portland, Oregon last month. The Eagles, which won the 2009 MSHSL Class AA title and were the NXN Heartland Regional champs, tallied 297 points at the meet, which was won by Boerne High School of Texas with 195 points.

The Elk River girls were honored for their 20th-place finish at NXN. The Elks, who were the MSHSL Class AA girls’ champs last year, scored 418 points in the meet, which was won by Manlius High School of New York with 74 points.

USA Track & Field Minnesota selects Athletes of the Month to honor excellence in track and field and its related sports in Minnesota. USA Track & Field is the governing body of the sport in the United States and the Minnesota Association of USATF sanctions and sponsors track and field, cross country, road racing, and racewalking events for athletes of all ages in the state.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dorniden to Open Pro Career on Saturday

Heather Dorniden begins a new chapter in her racing life on Saturday when the University of Minnesota alum opens her professional career at the Minnesota Open at the U of M.

Dorniden (pictured), who's name is synonymous with the Golden Gophers' emergence as a Big Ten women's track and cross country power, will compete in the women's mile run as a member of Team USA Minnesota, which she joined in December.

Sporting a 4:38.80 personal best in the mile, Dorniden will use the race around the familiar U of M oval as one of a series of races to prepare her for the USA Indoor Championships, which are set for February 27 & 28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A nine-time all-American, the Rosemount High School alum was the 2006 NCAA Indoor Champion at 800 meters.

Lots of Team USA Action ... Dorniden is but one of eight Team USA Minnesotans competing this weekend. Six members of the team will compete at Sunday's USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston, Texas.

Antonio Vega, Matt Gabrielson, Josh Moen and Patrick Smyth will compete for the men's title at the race, while Meghan Armstrong and Michelle Frey will compete in the women's championship.

Gabrielson, who has a 1:04:06 PR at the distance, was the runner-up at the 2005 USA Half Marathon and has three top-10 finishes in his four USA Half Marathon attempts.

Vega returns to Houston after running a PR 1:02:55 last year to finish 7th in the championship.

Moen, who sports a 1:04:37 PR, hopes to build on his scintillating runner-up race at the USA 10 Mile held in conjunction with the Medtronic TC Ten Mile last fall. Moen ran the 5th-fastest 10 mile in U.S. history at 46:38 in his narrow loss to three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman.

Smyth, who was a strong 3rd at the USA 10 Mile in 47:09, will make his half marathon debut in the race.

Armstrong ran 1:14:57 in Houston in 2009 to finish in 16th in her debut at the distance. Frey, running as Michelle Lilienthal, ran 1:15:46 for 19th last year. Frey has a best of 1:12:43 which she set at the championships in Houston in 2007 to place 3rd.

McGregor at Penn State ... Team USA Minnesota's Katie McGregor will compete at Penn State's Northwest Challenge. McGregor is using the indoor meet to begin her preparations for the USA Cross Country Championships, to be held in Spokane on February 13.

She has a best of 8:59.64 in the 3000m.

Photo by Gene Niemi.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gophers Open with a Flying Start

The University of Minnesota men's and women's track and field teams got themselves off to a flying start on Saturday -- literally.

At Saturday's Northwest Open, Gopher pole vault stars Alicia Rue and Ben Peterson won their events and notched NCAA qualifying marks.

Rue, the 2009 Big Ten indoor and outdoor champion, cleared 13-11 1/2 to earn an automatic qualifying mark to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas in mid-March. Rue was the runner-up at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year.

Rue's teammate Samantha Sonnenberg notched a provisional qualifying mark in the event with a 13-3 1/2 runner-up finish.

Peterson, the 2008 Big Ten men's indoor champion, cleared 17-0 3/4, a provisional qualifying mark for NCAAs. It was a triumphant return to competition for Peterson, who missed most of the 2009 season due to injury.

Also notching an NCAA provisional qualifier was senior weight thrower Aaron Studt. Studt placed second in the event to post-collegian Bryan Tolcser with a throw of 64-8 1/4.

Tolcser threw a whopping 68-1.

Gopher high jump star Matt Fisher, who competed unattached, won his event with a 6-10 1/4 clearance, only seven months after rupturing his Achilles tendon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Both Gopher head coaches were pleased with the way their squads -- both defending Big Ten indoor champions -- opened the season.

“It was good to see some of our guys come back from injury, Ben certainly among them,” men's coach Steve Plasencia said. “Our field events were the highlight in the meet for us."

Women's coach Matt Bingle echoed those sentiments:

“It was good to get the season going. We graduated a huge senior class last year, but we also have a lot of young talent ready to step forward."

Team USA Minnesota Tunes Up ... Three members of Team USA Minnesota used the Northwest Open to tune up for next weekend's USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston, Texas.

Former Gopher Antonio Vega edged teammate Matt Gabrielson for a victory at 3000 meters. Vega clocked 8:06.73, while Gabrielson ran 8:06.78.

In the women's 3000m, Meghan Armstrong won in a runaway, clocking 9:30.59.

Complete Northwest Open results are HERE.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Short-Cut: Results' Links for January 9-10

Let the 2010 season begin!

Here are our links to results from this weekend's action:

Northwest Open (at the U of M): Heat Sheets * Results

Zoom! Ya! Ya! Indoor Marathon (at St. Olaf): Results

Friday, January 08, 2010

State Masters Track & Field Records Updated

Who is Minnesota's best-ever 50-54-year-old male shot putter?

Who holds the most Minnesota master age-group high jump records?

If questions like those have caused you to lose sleep at night, restful knowledge is now at hand! USA Track and Field - Minnesota, you see, recently published a comprehensive and updated listing of the state's masters track and field records.

The records were originally compiled by John Haugo (the correct answer to question #1) nearly 20 years ago. USATF-Minnesota Master Track and Field Chair Tom Langenfeld (answer to question #2) spearheaded the recent effort to update the records, which was competed in late last year.

In addition to the update of the all-time best marks for Minnesota masters, the effort also updated meet records from the USATF - Minnesota State Championships as well as the Mid-America Master Regional Championships.

You can find links to all records HERE, on the USATF-Minnesota web-site.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Gopher Men Open Season Ranked #10

The University of Minnesota men's track team will open the 2010 campaign as the #10-ranked team in NCAA Division I.

The Golden Gopher squad, the defending Big Ten champions both indoors and out, earned the distinction when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its preseason indoor rankings yesterday.

The Gophers tallied 75.72 points in the rankings which are based on the performances of 2010-eligible athletes last year. Florida State tops the rankings with 132.21 points. The Gopher men are the top-ranked Big Ten school in the rankings; Wisconsin, the next-best, is ranked #24.

The Gopher women are ranked #30 in the USTFCCCA women's rankings, earning 33.56 points. Sprinter-rich Texas A&M, the NCAA Indoor runner-up in 2009, tops the women's ranks with 185.08. The Gopher women are the third-best Big Ten team in the rankings -- Penn State is ranked #10, Illinois is #19.

The Gopher women are the three-time defending Big Ten indoor champions.

The full men's and women's rankings are available HERE.

The USTFCCCA media release on the rankings, which includes an explanation of the ranking methodology, is HERE.

Both Gopher teams open the 2010 season at home on Saturday at the Northwest Open.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Indoor Marathon Draws Runners From Afar

If you thought this Sunday's Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon at St. Olaf was an event just for Northfielders looking for a unique marathoning experience, you're wrong.

The 5th anuual Zoom! Yah! Yah! boasts a 43-runner field hailing from 16 states. Twenty-one states can claim Zoom! Yah! Yah! finishers over the years -- a number that could reach 26 after this year's race.

Whoever thought running 150 laps around a 282 meter track could be so popular?

The Zoom! Yah! Yah's! men's race this year could be especially compelling, with three-time champion Randy Peterson of Northfield set to battle defending champion and event record-holder Christopher Friedman of Dunlap, Illinois and defending Minneapolis Marathon champion Tom Tisell of St. Paul.

Friedman's record on the St. Olaf balcony oval is 2:51:31.

Race director Dick Daymont tabs Renee Saxman of Rochester as the women's favorite. Defending women's champ Dera Nevin of Toronto has withdrawn from this year's race.

The women's record in the event is 3:07:02 by Amy Yanni of South Dakota.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Goucher, Dunn Top T&FN USA Rankings

The annual Track and Field News rankings are out. Thirteen Minnesotans earned top-10 U.S. rankings from "The Bible of the Sport," including Kara Goucher and Philip Dunn, the #1-ranked athletes in the women's marathon and men's 50K racewalk, respectively.

Goucher, a Duluth native, earned the top spot in the marathon thanks to her 3rd-place finish at the Boston Marathon and 10th-place result at the World Championships. Goucher also earned a #4 ranking in the 5000m.

Dunn, a Carleton College alum, gained the #1-ranking in the 50K walk thanks to his victory at the USA 50K championships. Dunn is a three-time Olympian in the event.

Other Minnesota athletes earning top-10 rankings include:

Liz Roehrig ... ranked #3 in the heptathlon

Katie McGregor ... #3 in the women's 10,000m

Karl Erickson ... #5 in the men's discus

Amanda Thieschafer ... #6 in the women's triple jump

Will Leer ... #6 in the men's 1500m

Jason Lehmkuhle ... #7 in the men's marathon

Shani Marks ... #8 in the women's triple jump

Patrick Smyth ... #8 in the men's 10,000m

Laura Hermanson ... #9 in the women's 800m

Alicia Rue ... #9 in the women's pole vault

Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle ... #9 in the women's marathon

Monday, January 04, 2010

Smyth Wins NYC Midnight Run

Patrick Smyth apparently couldn't wait to get his 2010 racing season underway.

Early New Year's Day, the Team USA Minnesota athlete won the 31st Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in New York City, which started at the stroke of midnight.

Smyth (pictured) ran the four mile road race through Central Park in 18:35, out running Ian Dobson of Portland, Oregon who was second in 18:53. The festive event was held in weather conditions that included a mix of light snow and rain.

University of Minnesota alum Andrew Carlson holds the Midnight Run course record of 18:12.

Team USA Minnesota's media release about the race said Smyth went to the front of the race at the gun and pulled away from the field at the two mile mark, running the second half in a solo effort.

"It was definitely a bit slippery as wet snow had fallen and was falling," Smyth said in the release. "But we really only had to be mindful on the turns of which there were only a few."

"The atmosphere was exhilarating," Smyth added. "The fireworks lasted the entire 18 minutes and 35 seconds that I was running. It was a great way to usher in the New Year and definitely something I'd do again if the opportunity presents itself."

Smyth will race next at the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston on January 17, where the 2009 Notre Dame grad will make his debut in the distance.

"The Midnight Run was a great tune-up for Houston," Smyth said. "Aside from perfect timing, which is about three weeks out, it was a great way to get the legs kicking over after putting in a long solid block of training since Manchester."

Smyth finished second at the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race in New Hampshire. Last October, he finished third at the USA 10 Mile Championships held in conjunction with the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile.

Find full results of the Midnight Run HERE.

There's video from the event -- but not much of Smyth -- HERE.

Photo by Gene Niemi.