Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gophers Open Season Ranked #27 and #30

The University of Minnesota cross country teams will open the 2011 season ranked in the top-30 of NCAA Division I. The Gopher men are ranked #27 in the recently released U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll; the Gopher women are ranked #30.

Minnesota Mile

Both teams finished 27th at last year's NCAA Championships.

In the men's rankings, defending NCAA champion Oklahoma State leads the poll, followed by Stanford and Wisconsin. The Gopher men are ranked 4th among Big Ten teams, trailing the Badgers, #8 Indiana, and #25 Ohio State.

In women's rankings, Georgetown, 4th at NCAAs last year, tops the list, followed by New Mexico and Providence. The Gopher women are ranked 5th among Big Ten teams, trailing #13 Michigan, #18 Penn State, #28 Iowa, and #29 Michigan State.

In Midwest Region rankings, the Gopher men are ranked #3, behind Oklahoma State and last year's 5th-place NCAA team, Oklahoma.

The Gopher women are ranked #4 in the Midwest, trailing Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa, respectively.

Find complete D1 national rankings HERE. Find full regional rankings HERE.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Triple Jump Finals for Amanda Smock

USA triple jump champion Amanda Smock did not qualify for finals in her event at the World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea last night. The Melrose native jumped 44-2 3/4 to finish 17th in her qualifying flight and 31st overall.

Smock (pictured) needed to better 46-5 1/4 in order to advance, a mark just short of her personal best of 46-6 1/4

After fouling her opening attempt, Smock marked the 44-2 3/4, and ended her competition with a 43-10 1/2.

“Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to put it together which was obviously very frustrating to me," Smock told USA Track and Field afterward. "But I felt physically like I was ready to get a big jump in there, but it just didn’t happen for me today. I haven’t had a ton of time to hash it over yet, but right now at this point I am just a little bit mystified by it all."

Smock only made her first USA team after marking the IAAF "B" qualifying standard late in the summer.

"It was a great feeling to make the team, when I wasn’t expecting to just a few months ago," she said. "I have a lot to take away from it all as an experience.”

Two-time defending world champion Yargeris Savigne of Cuba was the top qualifier with a 47-11 3/4.

Find complete results of the event HERE.

Photo by Randy Miyazaki/

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tall Order for Smock in World's TJ Qualifying

USA triple jump champion Amanda Smock faces a tall challenge as she tries to advance to finals from tonight's women's triple jump qualifying round at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Minnesota Mile

The Melrose native is one of 34 athletes jumping at 9:45 p.m. CDT for one of twelve spots in event's final, slated for Thursday.

Smock's season and personal best mark of 46-6 1/4, recorded late this summer, ranks her #30 among the qualifying round jumpers. A top-twelve finish in the qualifying round or a mark of 47-5 would advance Smock to the finals.

The United States hasn't had a women's triple jump finalist at the World Championships since 1997, when Cynthea Rhodes placed 11th in Athens. The USA has never medaled in the event at the World Championships.

Two-time defending world champion Yargelis Savigne of Cuba is the favorite in the event. She has jumped 49-2 1/2 this year to co-lead the 2011 world list. Caterine Ibargüen of Columbia has an identical mark, made at altitude.

Track & Field News has an event preview HERE. Track statistician K. Ken Nakamura has an extensive historical reference for the event, HERE.

Live results for today's events in Daegu can be found HERE.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goucher 13th in World Championships 10,000m

Duluth native Kara Goucher finished 13th in the 10,000-meters at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea this morning.

A bronze medalist in the event at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, Goucher clocked 32:29.58 in today's 25-lap event.

Minnesota Mile

Vivian Cheruiyot lead a 1-2-3-4 Kenya sweep in the event, running a personal best 30:48.98. Three-time NCAA cross country champion Sally Kipyego was runner-up in 30:50.04.

Shalane Flanagan was the top American finisher, 7th in 31:25.57. Jen Rhines was 9th in 31:47.59.

Goucher was challenged this season by a stress reaction in the neck of her femur, an injury which caused her to skip the London Diamond League meet earlier this summer and, for a time, put the World Championships in doubt.

Find complete results HERE.

Update: USA Track and Field provided the following post-race quotes from Goucher ...

“I’ve been battling an injury and I kept thinking if my workouts go to the crapper I’ll just give up my spot, and even though I’ve been in a lot of pain, my workouts have just progressed and progressed, So I just knew I would have so much regret if I didn’t try... You only get so many chances ... When I was warming-up it was the best I’ve felt in weeks ... I fought all the way to the end.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Maxwell, Hauger Named Athletes of the Month

Masters track and field phenomenon Ralph Maxwell and prep distance star Maria Hauger have been named USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for August, the organization announced yesterday.

Minnesota Mile

Maxwell, a 91-year-old who splits his time between Richville, Minnesota and Alamo, Texas, is honored for setting a new age-group world record in the decathlon for athletes over 90-years-old at the World Masters Track & Field Championships held in Sacramento, California last month. Maxwell scored 7069 points in the two-day, ten-event contest, overwhelming the previous world record of 3190 points set by Australia's Vic younger in 2003.

On the first day of competition, Maxwell ran 19.69 seconds in the 100-meters, long jumped 8-7 1/2, put the shot 20-3, cleared 3-4 1/2 in the high jump, and ran 1:49.24 in the 400-meters. On day two, Maxwell ran a 21.62 in the 80-meter hurdles, threw the discus 45-10, pole vaulted 4-7, marked a javelin throw of 60-0, and ran 11:30.51 in the 1500-meters.

Hauger, who will be a junior at Shakopee High School this fall, is recognized for winning the national title at 3000-meters in the Young Women's division of the USATF Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships held in Wichita, Kansas last month. Hauger clocked 10:09.96 to win the event by 30 seconds.

Find a comprehensive listing of USATF- Minnesota Athletes of the Month HERE.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Amanda Smock Profiled in Star-Tribune

Reigning USA triple jump champion Amanda Smock is profiled by Rachel Blount in today's Star-Tribune, HERE.

Smock, who competes in women's triple jump qualifying on Tuesday at the IAAF world championships in Daegu, South Korea, talks about the role her late father Glen Thieschafer played in her athletic career.

Yes/No: Goucher Top-10 in World 10,000m?

In case you have not heard, the World Championships will kick off in Daegu South Korea this weekend. The nine-day event will crown the best in the world in each event and establish the favorites for next year's London Olympics.

Kara Goucher finished third in the 10,000 meters of the 2007 World Championships and she has been gearing up for a return to the same race following the birth of her son last September. Unfortunately, she was dealt a setback recently with a diagnosis of a stress reaction of the femur.

Goucher reports that her fitness remains very strong but she seems unsure exactly how everything will unfold. Let us know how you think she will run by answering this question...

Yes/No: Will Kara Goucher finish in the top ten in the 10,000 meters at the World Championships in Daegu?

Goucher's major race this year was the Boston Marathon where she finished fifth in a personal best 2:24:52. To qualify for the World Championship team, Goucher ran the 10,000 meters at the USA Championships and placed second in 31:16.

You can click your way to a preliminary listing of runners in Saturday's race HERE.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 6:45 A.M. CDT, Saturday, August 27th. Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will offer our usual bonus for participants making their 2011 debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for anyone who has not played yet this year.

My answer: Yes

Last week's question was:
Will six or more runners break 20:00 at the Buttered Corn Day 5K? The correct answer was no. Two people finished under 20 minutes and Duane Otfedahl took the victory in 18:02. Eighteen people answered correctly this week but that number included only one of the previous week's co-leaders. Therefore we have a new sole leader - Patrick Eastman with 21 points. The chase pack is ready to pounce; three contestants have 20 points, three have 19 and three have 18.

For all the results, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner, HERE.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hamline Men Top Preseason Regional Ranks

According to the pollsters, Hamline University is the men's cross country team to beat in the NCAA's Central Region this fall.

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its first regional rankings for 2011 in NCAA Division II and III. The poll-topping Pipers are the top-ranked squad in Minnesota across the small college divisions.

Minnesota Mile

Following Hamline in the D3 Central Region men's poll are St. John's at #3 and St. Thomas at #4. Northfield rivals St. Olaf and Carleton are ranked #8 and #9, respectively.

On the women's side of the D3 region, St. Olaf tops Minnesota schools with its #4 ranking. Carleton, St. Thomas, and Gustavus Adolphus follow at #5, #6, and #7, respectively. St. Benedict at #9 and Bethel at #10 round out the poll.

Nebraska Wesleyan is ranked #1 aong women in the Central Region.

Find complete D3 regional rankings HERE.

In NCAA Division II, the University of Minnesota Duluth women pace the state with a #4 ranking. St. Cloud State is ranked #8. Western State of Colorado leads the poll.

Among D2 men, UMD is ranked #8 and Minnesota State, Mankato is ranked #10. Adams State of Colorado tops the poll.

Find complete D2 regional rankings HERE.

National rankings in Division II and III will be released later today.

Few Answers in Death of Duluth's Matt Kero

The Duluth News-Tribune's Kevin Pates reports today that an autopsy of Matt Kero gave few answers to why the 18-year-old distance runner died in his sleep, other than that the death was from natural causes.

The full story is HERE.

Kero's Duluth News-Tribune obituary can be found HERE.

A visitation is planned from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. today at Williams Lobermeier Funeral Home, 3208 West Third Street, in Duluth. It will resume at 10:00 a.m. Thursday until an 11:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial in Mitchell Auditorium on the St. Scholastica campus.

Kero is being remembered fondly on his Facebook page HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

18-Year-Old Duluth Runner Dies in Sleep

Matt Kero, a 2011 high school graduate who represented Duluth Denfeld and Duluth Central in track, cross country, and hockey was found dead yesterday morning after apparently dying in his sleep.

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News-Tribune has the full story HERE.

Kero, 18, was a finalist at 1600-meters at the MSHSL Class AA State Meet last spring, running 4:29.96 for 13th place. Kero was planing to attend St. Scholastica this fall and continue his running career.

In the Duluth News-Tribune story, Kero is described by one of his high school coaches as a fearless competitor with a strong work ethic.

According to the story, funeral arrangements are still pending.

Goucher to Run Worlds

The Duluth News Tribune's Kevin Pates updates what's happening with Kara Goucher and her attempts to run the 10K in the IAAF World Championships HERE.

Team USA-ers in Action at Torchlight 5K

Team USA Minnesota's Jason Lehmkuhle, Andrew Carlson, Josh Moen, and Meghan Peyton will participate in the Life Time Fitness Torchlight 5K on Thursday in downtown Minneapolis.

The run, which was originally scheduled for July 20, was rescheduled due to extreme heat conditions.

The Torchlight 5k starts and finishes at St. Anthony Main and covers a loop course along the Mississippi River including over the Stone Arch Bridge. The run begins at 8:00 p.m.

Lehmkuhle, Carlson, and Peyton will use the run as a tune-up for the USA 20K Championships which will be held in New Haven, Connecticut on Labor Day. Moen will also be racing on Labor Day, but will stay local to run in the Victory 10K in Minneapolis.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Waweru, McGregor Win at 13.1 Minneapolis

Moses Waweru and Katie McGregor earned victories -- and $1000 paychecks -- at the 13.1 Minneapolis Half Marathon on Sunday in Minneapolis.

Waweru, a Kenyan who once made his home in Minnesota, clocked an event record 1:05:44 to best Duluth's Eric Hartmark (1:06:32) and countryman Richand Kandie (1:08:16) for the men's title.

Minnesota Mile

Team USA Minnesota's McGregor ran a women's record-setting 1:15:00 on the course that started at St Anthony Main and followed the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek to the finish at Lake Nokomis.

Former teammate Michelle Frey finished runner-up in 1:15:54. St. Olaf College alumnus Jenna Boren clocked 1:17:11 for third.

Find complete results of the race HERE.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Yes/No: Six Under 20:00 at Buttered Corn Day?

It's time for Yes/No to make its annual trip to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

Minnesota Mile

The little town is only about two hours from the Twin Cities and we personally guarantee that you can eat some fresh, dripping-with-goodness corn on the cob there. This weekend marks the town's Buttered Corn Days celebration and there will be a road race to go along with the delicious food, contested at distances of 5k, 10k and 20k.

We can't think of a good question related to eating buttered corn (fastest? sloppiest? most ears at one time?) So we will stick to running ...

Yes/No: Will six or more runners break 20:00 at the Buttered Corn Day 5k?

In 2010, six runners broke 20:00 in the 5k, led by winner Joe Goettl in a time of 17:05. The 20k awards $100 to the male and female winner while the 10k/5k pass out plaques in the age-groups.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 9:15 A.M. CDT, Saturday, August 20th. Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will offer our usual bonus for participants making their 2011 debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for anyone who has not played yet this year.

My answer: No

Last week's question was: Will William Leer finish in the top two at the Falmouth Elite Mile on Saturday? The correct answer was no. Leer finished eighth in 3:58. Twelve people answered correctly this week. The top of the leaderboard is crowded with Lori Anne Peterson, Patrick Eastman, Rachel Karel and Mike Henderson all tied for first with 20 points.

For all the results, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner, HERE.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cathedral and Adrian Lead Class A Ranks

Another day, another set of high school cross country rankings to report ...

The St. Cloud Cathedral boys and Adrian High School girls' top the MSHSL Class A preseason cross country team rankings released yesterday, while Brandon Clark of Blake and Elena Danielson of Cathedral lead the Class A individual rankings.

13.1 Mpls

Cathedral returns four of five scorers from its 3rd-place team at State last fall. Minnehaha Academy, which tied for 4th at State in 2010, is ranked #2, Esko, 6th in Class A a year ago, is ranked #3.

#1-ranked Clark, who finished 4th in Class A individually, is the top returnee from the State Meet following the graduations of 2010 champion Mason Ferlic of Mounds Park Academy and runner-up Matt Jergenson of Caledonia and the promotion to Class AA of Worthington and its 2010 3rd-placer -- and 2009 State champ -- Mubarik Musa.

Jonnathan Surber of St. James, 5th at State last year, is ranked #2; Shane Streich of Waseca, 14th in the meet last year as an 8th-grader, is ranked #3.

Adrain, the defending Class A champion and winner of five of the last six Class A team titles, returns all the scorers from it's 2010 squad. St. Cloud Cathedral, runner up in 2010, is ranked #2; Esko, 5th in 2010, is tabbed as the #3 team in Class A.

Individually, #1-ranked Danielson, the 3rd-place finisher in Class A last year and the Class A 3200m champion on the track, leads defending champ Marisa Shady of Esko, who is ranked #2, and 2010 runner-up Lauren Friese of Fairmont, #3.

Boys' Teams

1. St. Cloud Cathedral
2. Minnehaha Academy
3. Esko
4. Perham
5. Waseca
6. Mora
7. Albany
8. LaCrescent
9. Plainview-Elgin-Millville
10. Byron
11. Mesabi East
12. Blake

Boys' Individuals

1. Brandon Clark, Blake
2. Jonnathan Surber, St. James
3. Shane Streich, Waseca
4. Byron Schuldt, Nevis
5. Matt Welch, Proctor
6. Nick Stoks, Canby-Minneota/LinHi
7. Jackson Lindquist, Esko
8. Jacob Siekmeier, Math & Science Academy
9. Cade Ekstrom, Madelia/Truman
10. Charlie Lawrence, Foley
11. Jesse Delgado, Waseca
12. Pat Reinschmidt, Painview-Elgin-Millville

Girls' Teams

1. Adrian
2. St. Cloud Cathedral
3. Esko
4. Blake
5. LaCrescent
6. Albany
7. Waseca
8. Annandale
9. Perham
10. Canby-Minneota/LinHi
11. Fairmont
12. Park Rapids

Girls' Individuals

1. Elena Danielson, St. Cloud Cathedral
2. Marissa Shady, Esko
3. Lauren Friese, Fairmont
4. Jordan Chancellor, Blake
5. Kayla Woltz, Chatfield
6. Victoria Alexander, Lake of the Woods
7. Leah Jessen, Canby-Minneota/LinHi
8. Clare Flanagan, Blake
9. Emi Trost, Cannon Falls
10. Sadie Novak-Klug, Waseca
11. Savannah Ramirez, Litchfield
12. Hannah Goemann, United South Central/AC

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wayzata Boys' Ranked #20 in USA XC Poll

Defending MSHSL Class AA boys State cross country champion Wayzata is ranked #20 in the in the recently released USA Super 25 high school cross country poll on Dyestat.

Despite graduating four of its five State Meet scorers from 2010, the poll tabbed the Trojans as the only Minnesota boys or girls team worthy of top-25 recognition. Wayzata is the second-highest ranked team from the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Region, behind Wisconsin's Hartland Arrowhead High School.

Minnesota Mile

Wayzata is ranked #2 behind Stillwater in the preseason Minnesota Class AA poll.

Find the full Super 25 poll HERE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stillwater, Monticello Top Class AA Rankings

The Stillwater High School boys' and Monticello High School girls' teams will open the 2011 cross country season as the #1-ranked squads in Class AA. In an early sign of autumn, rankings for the upcoming season were recently released.

Stillwater, just 7th last year at the MSHSL Class AA State Meet, returns six of its varsity seven from 2010. Defending Class AA champion Wayzata is ranked #2, with Rosemount, third at State last year, ranked #3.

13.1 Mpls

Individually, 2010 Class AA runner-up Cole O'Brien of Burnsville earned the top ranking, followed by Wayzata's Josh Thorson, and Moorhead's Glen Ellingson, who share the #2 ranking.

Monticello, the Class AA runner-up in 2010, tops the girls' poll. Lakeville South is ranked #2 with defending Class AA champs Eden Prairie #3.

Two-time defending Class AA individual champ Maria Hauger of Shakopee is the top-ranked girl in Class AA. Last year's runner up Jamie Peipenburg of Alexandria is ranked #2 and Monticello's Erica Seidenkrantz is ranked #3.

Find complete rankings below ...

Class AA Rankings

Rank Team Points (first place votes)

1 Stillwater 69 (4)
2 Wayzata 65 (2)
3 Rosemount 62
4 Moorhead 50
T5 Edina 31
T5 Andover 31
7 Mounds View 29
8 Eden Prairie 25
T9 Eastview 20
T9 Burnsville 20
11 Owatonna 19
12 White Bear Lake 16

Others receiving votes:
Forest Lake (8), Lakeville North (8), Alexandria (7), Monticello (4), Roseville (3), Minnetonka (1)

Rank Athlete Points (first place votes)

1 Cole O'Brien, Burnsville 72 (6)
T2 Josh Thorson, Wayzata 63
T2 Glen Ellingson, Moorhead 63
T4 Joel Reichow, White Bear Lake 40
T4 Zach Roozen, Mounds View 40
6 Riley Macon, Rochester Mayo 38
7 Nathan Rock, Rosemount 29
8 Parker Wharram, Mound Westonka 19
T9 Connor Olson, Wayzata 17
T9 Tom Linner, Stillwater 17
11 Jan Ketterson, Jefferson 16
12 Will Burke, Edina 12

Others receiving votes:
Eric Colvin, Stillwater (11); Abdulah Salah, Burnsville (11), Mubarik Musa, Worthington (8), Jensen Orlow, Holy Family (5), Ryan Erdman, Mankato East (4), Keeghan Hurley, Fergus Falls (2), Will Sieling, Alexandria (1)


1. Monticello
2. Lakeville South
3. Eden Prairie
4. East Ridge
5. Elk River
6. Prior Lake
7. Wayzata
8. Alexandria
9. Andover
10. Albert Lea
11. Brainerd
12. Rosemount

1. Maria Hauger, 11, Shakopee
2. Jamie Piepenburg, 12, Alexandria
3. Erica Seidenkrantz, 12, Monticello
4. Nicole Heitzman, 11, Andover
5. Amber Seidenkratz, 10, Monticello
6. Haylie Zenner, 12, Fergus Falls
7. Bailey Ness, 10, East Ridge
8. Chrissy Monson, 11, Albert Lea
9. Taylor Scholl, 12, Prior Lake
10. Kaelyn Williams, 12, Robbinsdale Cooper
11. Elizabeth Frick, 11, Eagan
12. Jenna Truedson, 9, Bemidji

Twin Cities Entries to Support Team USA

Team USA Minnesota will offer a limited number of entries for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and the Medtronic TC 10 Mile as a fundraiser for its elite long distance training program, the organization announced yesterday.

Both races -- which will be held on Oct. 2 -- filled earlier this summer.

The entries, provided by race organizers Twin Cities In Motion to Team USA Minnesota, are available until Aug. 22, with final registration due online at Twin Cities In Motion by Aug. 24.

To run the 30th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, participants would need to raise $350 for an entry. To run the popular Medtronic TC 10 Mile, the contribution is $250. All contributions are tax deductible -- Team USA Minnesota is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2001.

Team USA Minnesota notes that all funds raised through this fundraiser will go toward stipends and travel expenses for the Team USA Minnesota athletes competing nationally and internationally at distances ranging from the 800 and 1500 meters up through the marathon.

The program has developed an Olympian and 16 national champions and placed a number of athletes on world teams -- on the track, roads and cross country -- representing the USA.

Anyone interested in this fundraising effort can e-mail Pat Goodwin at pfgoodwin [AT] teamusaminnesota [DOT] org or call 952-924-1081.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Brown 6th in Falmouth Road Race

Team USA Minnesota's Emily Brown finished 6th among women in Sunday's New Balance Falmouth Race on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The University of Minnesota alumnus ran the storied seven-mile course in 37:49.

Magdalena Lewy-Boulet won the race in 36:58, becoming only the second American woman to win the race in the last 17 years.

Minnesota Mile

Team USA Minnesota's Meghan Armstrong finished 13th in the race in 38:25; teammate Gabriele Anderson , who placed 4th in the Falmouth Mile on Saturday in 4:33.57, ran 39:20 for 17th in the road race.

Team USA Minnesota's Jason Lehmkuhle was 14th in the men's race in 33:18. Kenya's Lucas Rotich won the race in 31:37.

Find complete results HERE. There's a Running USA Wire recap of the race HERE.

Falmouth Mile results are HERE.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Goucher Still Hoping to Race in Daegu

Kara Goucher still hopes to race the women's 10,000-meters at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea despite a hip injury that has hampered her training and prompted her to withdraw from the London Diamond League Meet last week.

Minnesota Mile

The Duluth native was listed on the Team USA roster for Daegu, released earlier this week and tells readers of her blog, HERE, that she's "forging on with hope and optimism."

"Maybe my hopes of pushing the pace and running aggressively at World Champs have been derailed a bit," she allowed. "But I honestly believe that I haven’t lost any fitness, and my body might even function better two weeks from now than it has all year."

Goucher says the hip injury has bothered her since returning to training after her pregnancy last year, but that it flared more acutely once she began doing full-on speed work this summer.

The women's 10,000m at Daegu is scheduled for August 27th, the opening day of the competition.

Yes/No: Leer in Top Two at Falmouth Mile?

Minnesota will be well-represented in Falmouth, Massachusetts this weekend for the Falmouth Elite Mile race on Saturday and 7 Mile Road Race on Sunday. For Team USA Minnesota, Jason Lehmkuhle, Emily Brown and Meghan Peyton will challenge in the road race, while Gabriele Anderson and Heather Kampf will make their mark on the track.

In addition to this crew, former Minnetonka High School runner Will Leer will compete in the New Balance Falmouth Elite Mile. Leer is a former Falmouth Mile winner (2009), but will face stiff competition as all twelve athletes in the race have personal records below four minutes.

Mr. Leer has impressive credentials of his own. Tell us how you think he'll fare against such a formidable field by answering this week's question...

Yes/No: Will William Leer finish in the top two at the Falmouth Elite Mile on Saturday?

Will Leer finished fifth at the U.S. championships in the 1500 this summer. He then spent the summer racing in Europe and dropped his 1500 personal record to 3:36.33. Some of Leer's chief competitors at Falmouth include Adrian Blincoe, A.J. Acosta, Ben Bruce and Ciaran O'Lionaird.

Blincoe has run 3:54.40 in the mile and is gearing up to run the 5000 meters at the World Championships in Daegu. Acosta, from Oregon, has a 3:53.76 personal record in the mile. O'Lionaird recently ran a four second p.r. with a 3:34.00 breakthrough in Europe. Bruce ran his specialty, the 3k steeplechase in 8:19 last week, which is the second best time in the U.S. this year.

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 5:00 P.M. CDT, Saturday, August 13th. Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will offer our usual bonus for participants making their 2011 debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for anyone who has not played yet this year.

My answer: Yes

Last week's question was: Will Gabriele Anderson run sub 4:10:00 in London on Saturday? The correct answer was yes. Anderson ran a huge 3+ second personal record to finish fourth in London. Thirty contestants answered correctly this week including the top seven in the overall standings. Lori Anne Peterson and Mike Henderson continue to lead as they have 20 points - one more than the trio in second place.

For all the results, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner, HERE.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Smock: " ... all about giving the best effort."

On Saturday in Chula Vista, California, after pursuing the World Championships "B" standard across the United States and Europe for he better part of the summer, 2011 USA triple jump champion Amanda Smock landed a 46-6 1/4 jump that achieved the standard for the meet in Daegu, South Korea and established a new personal best.

Smock took some time yesterday to answer our questions about her quest for the qualifying mark and about what lies ahead for the Melrose native.

Minnesota Mile

Down the Backstretch: Congratulations on getting the qualifier last weekend. What can you tell us about the jump itself?

Amanda Smock: Considering the circumstances of the weeks leading up to this jump; three competitions in 10 days, a 17 hour travel day followed by one day at home and a flight to San Diego, my body felt pretty abused. The day of the meet, I had the mind-set that I was simply going to give the qualifying mark one last effort and do the best I could in this condition. I had to take every opportunity available to me. I went from not feeling very well during my morning shake out to finally coming around after a long warm up.

When I landed my 14.18m jump [46-6 1/4 in feet and inches], I was pretty surprised. It felt like a good jump, but not great. There were some technical things that I didn’t do very well. One of the landings got too far out in front of me forcing me to lose a lot of forward momentum. The jump could’ve been a lot better. I think this is part of my triple jump addiction; I always feel like there is a bigger and better jump in me.

DtB: After winning the USA title, you jumped in quite a few meets, but you hadn't improved upon your USA Outdoor jump. How concerned were you getting that you might not get the 46-3 1/4 jump you needed?

Smock: By the time the last opportunity came up, I was pretty exhausted and had taken getting the mark out of the equation, at that point it was more about checking every opportunity off the list and simply giving the jumps my bests effort … whatever was left.

DtB: Results aside, how did you feel about your fitness and jumping after USAs?

Smock: Fitness-wise, I felt in great jumping condition. I was pretty confident I could hold the fitness level I needed to have into the summer. The challenge for me was keeping my legs and hips ready to go. The triple jump can be pretty brutal on a person’s body without some well-planned recovery. Jumping in 4 competitions in 14 days doesn’t allow for much recovery. That said, I jumped my previous PR (45-5) or better in 5 of the last 6 competitions so I have to be happy with that.

DtB: Is there a different mentality you have -- or need to avoid -- when you're focused on a particular mark rather than on winning or placing highly?

Smock: I learned a pretty valuable lesson in my first meet post USA nationals in New York. At that meet, my mind was very fixed on 14.10m and after each jump of not achieving that distance I felt really defeated and frustrated … not a good state of mind to be jumping in. I learned to shift my mind-set from the mark and focus instead on the technical aspects of each jump. This really sunk in at the San Diego meet (where I finally achieved the B standard). It was finally all about giving the best effort I was able to without worrying about “the mark”.

DtB: Were you able to enjoy traveling in Europe at all or was it all business while you were there?

Smock: I had a really great experience in Europe. My mom was able to come with me and join in on the adventures which made it a lot more fun than what I imagine it would’ve been like on my own. Some of the days I was able to get my workout done in the morning allowing time in the afternoon to explore different cities, shop and sight see.

DtB: So, looking ahead, when do you leave for South Korea?

Smock: I leave for South Korea on August 21st and will stay in the athlete village with the US team in Daegu, a few miles from the competition stadium.

DtB: What's your goal for the World Championships?

Smock: I’ll really have to take advantage of each jump since I am only guaranteed three. Putting my lessons learned to use, my goal is to stay focused on the jumps themselves and do them technically well.

Photo of Smock jumping at the USA Championships by Becky Miller.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How RunPro Came Together, Hopes for Sequel

Here is the second installment of the RunPro camp story by Jim Ferstle.

The idea of launching a website and having a “camp” for up and coming distance runners contemplating a career as a pro didn’t materialize out of thin air. A lot of thought went into why something like this was needed and what could help bridge the gap as graduating US middle and distance runners attempt to decide whether or not to make the leap from elite collegiate competition in the US to the world stage as a professional athlete.

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"The camp was set up to bring together, in one place, some of those top athletes and some of the people who are already major players in US professional running," said Dennis Barker, coach of Team USA Minnesota and one of the organizers of the camp. "The list of speakers that came, and the quality of their presentations, exceeded my expectations.

"Each of the speakers went into the nuances of what they do and how they do it and how it affects the sport and the athletes, so it created a very full and useful picture of the current state of professional running. The athletes, and the speakers who stayed for other presentations, were really into it and there was good interaction, questions and discussion throughout the entire weekend."

When asked if the speakers were selected to match the athletes selected, Barker replied: "The speakers were selected because of their expertise in a particular area that I thought should be covered. I didn't know (the specific athletes) who would be attending at the time I asked (the speakers). But having dealt with quite a few athletes just coming out of college, I knew what information would probably be most useful.

"I think the same speakers could come back and present because they are top professionals in the field. If changes needed to be made in their presentations due to changing circumstances or environment, I'm sure those would be reflected. I suppose a speaker could give the same presentation, if nothing in their area had changed. But, from year to year, the market for getting a shoe contract changes, USADA might add something to their list of banned drugs, there may be new or revised programs from USATF focused on distance runners, a new professional running group might pop up or one might stop operating, health care and tax issues change all the time. So I think the presentations would be fresh every year.

"We originally wanted to hold the camp between the athlete's junior and senior of college so that they would have more time to plan for a professional career. But in talking with the NCAA we found that there wasn't a way to do that without endangering the athletes eligibility. So we had to wait until they had completed their eligibility, which from the outside, is very hard to determine. The camp and website ( are geared toward assisting promising collegiate runners make the transition to professional running. It isn't for those who have already turned pro.

"Athletes could only attend if they had completed their NCAA eligibility and were US citizens...Of the top 50 2010 NCAA men's cross country finishers, there were just four athletes that fit this criteria. None of them were top ten finishers, one of them attended the camp. Of the top 50 2010 NCAA women's cross country finishers, eight athletes met the criteria. Just one of them was a top ten finisher and she turned pro after the cross country season ended.

"Of the top ten finishers in the 2011 NCAA track & field championships in the men's and women's 800, 1500, steeplechase, 5,000 and 10,000, just 16 athletes (out of a potential 100) met the criteria. Only three of the sixteen were top three finishers.

"It is also possible that some of the athletes we think met the criteria will be back for another cross country, indoor or outdoor season. With redshirts, medical redshirts, fifth and sixth year seniors, it is sometimes difficult to know the status of their eligibility.

"All of the RunPro Camp attendees had qualified for the NCAA championships in their event. Ten of them were All-Americans. Six of them appear on the 2011 US rankings in their event. E-mails were sent to the coaches of all US athletes listed as juniors who were in the top 50 on the 2010 TFRRS list in the 800, 1500, steeplechase, 5,000 and 10,000, a total of 109 e-mails. The e-mail asked to have the information passed on to that specific athlete. I'm guessing some of those e-mails were passed on and the athlete wasn't interested, some were passed on and the athlete either inquired or applied to the camp, and some were not passed on."

"I cannot thank you enough for creating and hosting the RunPro Camp this past weekend," said Matt Llano, a graduate of the University of Richmond, NCAA Qualifier and All-American, 3K (8:11), 5K (14:00), 10K (28:43). "What a phenomenal resource for anyone looking to run professionally! I am certain that I will make very good use of all of the information that was presented. The friendships and support network that we formed are invaluable as well. Thank you so much for everything!"

"I guess the biggest message of the weekend was that professional running, unless you are a superstar, is not the place to get rich," said Meghan Peyton, a Team USA Minnesota runner who helped with the camp. "That the athletes in the sport do it because they love it, not because they are chasing dollar signs. At the same time, we let them know where and how they could make money, because that is absolutely essential too."

Some of the questions she got from the campers, Peyton added, were: "How do you make money/get a shoe contract? Do I need an agent? How do I do my taxes?"

"I thought that we had some very talented athletes that attended the camp, but I wished that we had been able to attract the attention of more athletes that had finished in the top 15 at the NCAA Championships. Regardless, almost all of the athletes were at least NCAA qualifiers."

"Most don't know that they will be self-employed and will have to file taxes quarterly," said Barker. "That at some point someone from USADA may show up at their house unannounced and ask for a urine or blood sample, and if they don't comply, it will count as a positive test. That there are more international competitions to represent the US in than the Olympics and World Championships. That they can get a Roads Scholar grant. What is the criteria for getting a shoe company sponsorship, what are the levels of sponsorship? Do they need an agent? What can agent do for them.

"My task this week is to write a report for USATF about the RunPro Camp, which by all accounts was truly a success," said Pat Goodwin, Team USA Minnesota president and founder. "The athletes certainly left the camp very energized and determined to try to make it as professional runners, which is certainly one of the things we wanted to accomplish. We have been receiving thank you e-mails and notes and one of the athletes posted a blog as well."

"I really hope that is something that we can continue to do," said Jim Estes, USATF Associate Director of Marketing and LDR Programs.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

RunPro Camp Seen as Success by Participants

This is part one of a two part article by DtB contributor Jim Ferstle on the recent RunPro camp held in the Twin Cities for US distance runners who are considering pursuing a career in the sport.

In the middle of July, when the heat and humidity began to descend in earnest on the Twin Cities, 21 aspiring professional distance runners and designated experts from various segments of the road racing community gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Bloomington for two days of sharing.

Minnesota Mile

"I thought the camp represented a giant leap forward in the renaissance of American distance running after the low point in 2000 when the US only qualified one male or female in the Olympic marathon," said Phil Stewart, who wears many "hats" the running community as one of the race directors part of the PRRO Circuit, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile, a selector on the RRCA's Roads Scholars committee, and publisher of Road Race Management, an information source for the road racing community.

"It provided important -- and realistic -- information about becoming a professional runner. Prior to now, talented runners coming out of highly-structured college programs had no clue how to pursue their passion for the sport -- now there is guidance. These recent college graduates will no longer be like deer in the headlights. They have a road map."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on the event HERE. Jim Estes, one of the speakers and Associate Director of Marketing and LDR Programs for USATF said: "I really have to give a lot of credit to Pat (Goodwin, founder of Team USA Minnesota) and Dennis (Barker, Team USA Minnesota coach) for putting this together. I really think that one of the things that our sport struggles with is the lack of perception that it is a professional sport. This comes just as much from the inside as it does from the outside. Pulling a group of people together to give a new generation of athletes some insight in to what they’re pursuing is definitely one step to professionalizing the sport and our approach to it."

"What we learned is that there is a great need for this type of camp or conference, as one athlete suggested we call it, because most of them were searching all over the place for the type of information we provided for them," said Goodwin. "I have the evaluations for all the athletes who attended and everyone of them gave it the highest possible rating."

"What I took away from the weekend is that there is a real need for seminars like the RunPro Camp," said Meghan Peyton, a member of Team USA Minnesota who helped organize and run the conference. "What surprised me most is how much I also learned, even though I have been running post-collegiality for three years.

"Our sport, for whatever reason is not very transparent, but having these speakers here and giving out the information that they are experts on really helped to open my eyes and the 'campers' eyes. So many of them sent us letters thanking us and commented how much they learned."

"Despite my best efforts to search around the Internet, I was pretty clueless before this," said Amy Van Alstine, one of the "campers," a graduate of the University of Richmond and NCAA Qualifier in the 1500 (4:19), 3K (9:29), and 5K (16:09). "The camp was very helpful! It was really great to be surrounded by runners in the same situation as me and listening to the already pro runners. The different speakers also made me realize I have a lot of room for improvement in myself, not only when it comes to running but how I am perceived by others.

"Another big thing for me was understanding the finances of a runner’s life which was always a question in my mind. It was extremely helpful in understanding how it all works!"

"I learned so much from the camp," said David Oliver, a University of Pennsylvania graduate and NCAA Qualifier in the 800 (1:48) and 1500 (3:53). "I really liked the article written in the Star Tribune. It summed up the camp well, and a lot of the thoughts we all had. It felt good to know that there were at least twenty other people with similar ideas. Looking forward to keeping in touch and seeing us all progress each year!"

"I tried to make the connection between the athletes and the events," said Virginia Brophy Achman, current president of Running USA (a road race industry trade group), and head of Twin Cities in Motion, the company that puts on the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, Medtronic TC 1 Mile, and other events, and Women's LDR chair for USATF who spoke at the conference. "We are in this together to bring the sport forward in the best possible light. Their interaction with the media is really important and can help or hurt a race.

"I talked about the business side of the sport, events hosting championships, how the business side of the sport gets together to discuss best practices at Running USA each year, which impacts the athletes because the better the events, the better the opportunities for them to earn prize money.

"The athletes that made comments right before we broke for lunch really seemed to get the interconnectedness of the sport. They were connecting dots on how to present themselves/handle themselves when in the spot light. They all seemed genuinely appreciative of the opportunity."

"The goal of the RunPro Camp, as well as the website (, is to encourage, support and provide the tools for more of our top collegiate runners to stay in the sport and pursue a professional running career," said Barker. "By having more top runners continuing to train at a high level, the profile of professional running in the US may be raised, which would help create more opportunities, visibility and sponsorship dollars for those runners and the sport. It would also have a positive impact on continuing to improve US distance running performances in international competition."

A second story on the RunPro camp will appear later this week.

Monday, August 08, 2011

She's Going! Smock Lands Worlds Qualifier

USA Triple jump champion Amanda Smock will represent the United States at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea thanks to her 46-6 1/4 win on Saturday at the World Championship Pre-Meet at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.

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Smock, who chased the Daegu "B" qualifying mark of 46-3 1/4 at meets in Europe in the last two weeks, punched the ticket to her first World Championships on her second jump of the California competition. The mark is a new personal record and ranks her #7 on the all-time USA women's triple jump list.

The Melrose native, who won her first USA triple jump title this year, needed to reach the qualifying mark before August 15 in order to represent the USA at Worlds.

Find complete results from the meet HERE.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Pates Has Endurance

Kevin Pates is something of an endangered species in the media world. He covers "endurance sports" for the Duluth News-Tribune, as well as this year's NCAA Hockey Champions, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Not many papers have the kind of coverage endurance sports get in the News Tribune and Pates' Rink and Run blog thanks, to a great degree, to the prominence of Grandma's Marathon and other events in the Duluth area.

Minnesota Mile

Today, for example, Pates will write about the Brewhouse Triathlon. Last weekend he covered the Voyageur Trail Ultra. For 33 years he has either covered or participated in Grandma's Marathon. He's such an institution that in 2010 he was honored with a spot in the Grandma's Marathon Hall of Fame. Not bad for a 2:45 marathoner or a guy whose college sport was tennis. Pates did not get involved in running until the mid 1970s when he was working for the Sports Information Department at the University of Illinois.

At the time, Illinois had recruited a local boy out of Lebanon, IL named Craig Virgin who had set the US 2-mile record as a high schooler and would go on to win two consecutive World Cross Country titles, as well as setting an American record for 10K on the track. While Pates had always had an interest in sports, as he followed in the footsteps of his father, John Pates, who was the public address announcer for football and basketball at Kevin's college alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, running was not his thing.

He grew up in the Mac Groveland neighborhood in St. Paul, attended high school at St. Thomas Academy, where he also did some announcing of basketball and football games. But it wasn't until University of Illinois then head track and cross country coach, Gary Wieneke came up to him one day and said: "You kind of look like you should be a runner." He recruited Pates to join the group that ran instead of ate during the noon hour, even got Pates a pair of "these new shoes, waffle trainers."

Pates' real baptism as a runner, however, came when he joined the News Tribune in 1978 and met another staffer there, Mark Stodhgill. Stodghill used a similar pitch as Wieneke: "I'd really like somebody to run with." But Stodhgill would introduce Pates to the extremes of the endurance athlete. Stodgill didn't confine himself to an occasional marathon, but ran one in all 50 states, and is working on completing one on every continent.

The year after Stodghill recruited him, Pates ran Grandma's Marathon, went on to run two Bostons, and, he estimates, about 16 Twin Cities Marathons among the grand total of 25. Running Grandma's was merely a sidelight for Pates, as he saw the potential of the race from Two Harbors to Duluth and helped convince his bosses to not merely cover the race, but to devote the resources necessary for a special section each year.

As tourism became a big economic engine in Duluth, events such as Grandma's became more than just athletic events, and Pates was able to fit in stories of other races between high school and college sports seasons. "Anything endurance," says Pates, "And I've made sort of a cottage industry out of (continuing to follow two of the more famous endurance athletes the area has produced) Scott Jurek and Kara Goucher."

Kara's mother, Patty, seemingly had Pates on speed dial as Goucher rose up the ladder of US female distance runners. Pates broke the story of Kara getting chatted up by one of the NBA basketball stars during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games. What has drawn him to the endurance sports, though, is not only the top people, but the quality of the people. They are often multi-dimensional, running at a high level, for example, while going through medical school or some other taxing educational/vocational challenges.

They are the type of people who will see a reporter they know at the starting line of Grandma's and come up and give him a hug, says Pates. Or they are the people who work the event and go out of their way for a friend. The first year he did radio play by play of the race with Dick Beardsley, Pates said, the oft repeated incident of the starting line spill illustrates this point.

Pates and Beardsley were sitting on tiny chairs in the back of the lead vehicle that would be driven in front of the race's lead runners when Beardsley looked around and asked: "Where's my Mountain Dew?" Pates bent over to look under the chairs and, at that moment, the race started and the vehicle lurched forward, tossing Pates off the back. end. Pates did a forward roll and survived the tumble still wearing his headphones with the connecting jack dangling down.

Fortunately for Pates one of the cyclists who has the job of following the lead runners was a friend who saw Pates' predicament, and told him to hop on the bike. Pates was told to get up on the seat, while the cyclist pushed on the pedals to catch back up to the lead radio car. The only dicey moment being when the cyclist noticed the headphone cord dangling too close to the spokes of the back tire and yelled at Pates to take care of the hazard before they both ended up on the pavement.

Friends help friends, and Beardsley has a story that he retells every year, said Pates, of the radio car and the tumbling reporter. While that may be the most often retold tale involving Pates and the race, for Kevin two special memories involve one man and one woman multiple winners. Colorado's Jane Welzel was a top US runner who had been doing well on the road racing circuit, until she was in a car accident and broke her back.

It took more than a broken back to stop Welzel, Pates recalls, as shortly after recovering from the potentially crippling injury, Welzel was not only participating in Grandma's, she won. On the male side, it was an age thing as Mr. Sub 2:20, another name for Michigan's Doug Kurtis because of his long list of sub 2:20 marathons, was a Masters runner, 41, but still cranking out top times. Defeating age and the rest of the field, Kurtis won the overall title at Grandma's.

Pates doesn't run marathons anymore. He runs, snowshoes, or rides his bike on the roads near his condo next to Spirit Mountain. Does his 3 to 11:30 PM shift at the paper, and may play tunes or sift through his Elvis memorabilia. At 61, Pates figures he's a few years from retirement, though he doesn't look the part of a senior citizen.

If all goes to plan, when his last story is filed for the News Tribune, he'll be heading south and west to Arizona with his memories, Elvis, and in search of less icy terrain for his daily endurance exercise.
Photo courtesy of Duluth News Tribune

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Gourley Finishes Fast in The Big Easy

On the final day of competition at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in New Orleans Eagan's Maddie Gourley, running for Track Minnesota Elite, placed fifth in the Young Girls 200 in 25.62, and sixth in the 400 with a time of 58.34. Teammate Hunter Downey of Minneapolis was 40th in the Intermediate Boys Javelin with a throw of 98'10"(30.12m).

Anderson Fourth in London

Team USA MN's Gabriele Anderson finished her European tour in style with a PR in the 1,500. Anderson finished fourth in the Aviva London Grand Prix in a time of 4:06.77.

Minnesota Mile
A recap of the seventh day at the AAU National Junior Olympics in New Orleans.

Prelims:Youth Girls 400: Maddie Gourley (Eagan, Track Minnesota Elite) qualified for finals with fifth fastest time in the heats 56.98; Sub-Youth Girls 400: Brieasha Hunter (Saint Paul) 61.42 32nd; Cori Bond (Brooklyn Park, Track Minnesota Elite) 66.95 89th; Girls Intermediate 400: Kiera Joiner (Woodbury) 61.62 67th; Young Women 400: Erin Hayden (Medina) 66.16 80th; Youth Girls 4 by 100 Meter Relay: Track Minnesota Elite A(Bond, Jedah Caldwell, Myna Clark, Alexis Britten, Gourley) 51.51, 46th; Boys Intermediate 400: Preston Webb (Rosemount) 55.06, 99th; Matthew Johnson (Woodbury) 56.64 101st.

The rest of the action:
Midget Girls DT:Madison Scholder (Plymouth)63'7" (19.38m) 16th; Sub Youth Girls Javelin: Mariama Gillespie (Minneapolis) 65' (19.81m) 9th, Cameron Downey (Minneapolis) 64'10" (19.76m) 10th; Bantam Boys HJ: Matthias Algarin (Little Falls) 13'6.5" (4.12m) 25th, Cole Ewald (Hopkins) 11'9.25" (3.58m) 72nd; Youth Boys SP: Antwian Westbrook (Fridley) 33'(10.05m) 57th.

Thursday result(was not posted until Friday):
Youth Boys 1,500: Mitchell Dickerson (Maple Grove) 4:35.74, 13th.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Smock Second in Sweden; Špotáková Second in London

Amanda Smock finished second at the Folksam GP in Karlstad , Sweden on Tuesday, August 2, in swirling winds. She led going into the final jump with a leap of 44'10.2"(13.67m). But Khaddi Sagnia rode a 2.2 mps tail wind to sail 45' 5.7"(13.87m) to snatch the victory. Jumping after Sagnia, Smock could only manage a leap of 44'6.25"(13.57) into a slight headwind, and she fell short of the IAAF qualifying standard, but still has until August 15 achieve it. Garrett Heath finished second in the 3K in 7:57.32, narrowly losing to Qatar's Abubaker Kamal Ali, who ran 7:57.10.

At the Aviva GP Meet in London, Christina Obergföll of Germany threw the javelin 218' 11.5"(66.74M) to beat former Gopher Barbora Špotáková, who reached 217'10.6"(66.41). The pair have been battling each other all season, and will be doing it again for the medals at the IAAF WCs later this month.

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Yes/No: Will Anderson Break 4:10 in London?

The final Diamond League series track meet will occur Friday and Saturday in London. For many of the top international runners, this is the last big race leading up to the World Championships. For Gabriele Anderson, it is the conclusion of her second summer tour of Europe as a professional runner.

Anderson has run personal bests at 800, 1500 and 5000 this summer. On Saturday she will compete against a truly world class field including British runners Hannah England and Lisa Dobriskey, and Americans Shannon Rowbury and Erin Donohue.

How low can Gabriele Anderson go with her 1500 time...

Yes/No: Will Gabriele Anderson run sub 4:10:00 in London on Saturday?

Gabriele Anderson has run 2:03:09, 4:10:15 and 15:45.99 this summer in Belgium and Italy. In 2010, running for the Gophers, she was the NCAA runner-up in the outdoor 1500. Anderson went on the place seventh at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships. At Perham High School, she was a state champion at 800 meters and All-State four times in cross country.

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 7:30 A.M. CDT, Saturday, August 6th. Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail. We will offer our usual bonus for participants making their 2011 debut in Yes/No - a correct answer will be worth two points for anyone who has not played yet this year.

My answer: Yes

Last week's question was: Will Amanda Smock obtain the World Championships "B" standard by triple jumping 46-3 1/4 or further in Belgium on Saturday? The correct answer was no. Smock won, but was not able to reach the "B" qualifier.

Twenty-seven players answered correctly including almost all of the leaders in the overall standings. Lori Anne Peterson and Mike Henderson are tied for first with nineteen points. Rick Recker wins the monthly award for most points in July. He was the only contestant to go a perfect five-for-five on the month.

For all the results, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner, HERE.
A recap of the sixth day at the AAU National Junior Olympics in New Orleans.

Semi-Final Results:
200 Meters: Youth Girls Maddie Gourley(Eagan, Track Minnesota Elite)25.47, 3rd; Shaheed Hickman (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 22.71, 18th.

The rest of the action:
1,500 Meter Run: Intermediate Boys Levi Hintz(Randall) 5:03.08, 78th; Youth Boys DT: Antwian Westbrook (Fridley) 94' 7" (28.82m ) 44th; Sub Youth Boys LJ: Kjetil Cline (Woodbury, East Ridge Athletic Association) 17'10.5" (5.44m) 14th; Intermediate Boys HJ:Denzell Oats (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 5'10" (1.77m) 15th; Intermediate Boys SP: Hunter Downey (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 34'01.5" (10.40m) 48th; Bantam Boys HJ: Cole Ewald (Hopkins) 3'6" (1.06m) 40th; Sub Youth Girls LJ: Morgan Turner (Woodbury) 10' 5.25" (3.18m) 83rd; Sub Bantam Girls LJ: Grace Robinson (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 10'09.75" (3.29m) 36th; Julia Redwing (Victoria) 10'4" (3.14m) 56th: Young Women's Javelin: Alejandra Redwing (Victoria) 63'6" (19.35m) 38th.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Heather Kampf Talks About Europe

Former Gopher star middle distance runner Heather (Dorniden) Kampf just finished her second Euro summer track tour. It was a success with PR's in both the 800 and 1,500 meters, and some wins to go along with the fast times. Below she talks about the tour, what she'll be doing the rest of 2011, and what her goals are for 2012, an Olympic year with the London Games less than a year away.

Minnesota Mile

Down the Backstretch
: You had two wins, two PRs during your tour of Europe. What were the goals going into the trip? Were you satisfied with the results?

Heather Kampf: Basically the goal in Europe is to get in fast races, and run fast in them. I was really happy to drop so much time in the 1500 to show my versatility a bit, but I was even more excited about dropping my 800 PR down, as it has been since 2007 that I set an outdoor 800 PR. This was a big step in the right direction, and better-yet, I felt fantastic doing it! Of course winning was a positive experience too, but it wasn't necessarily the primary goal going into the trip.

DtB: You’re now very close to the two minute mark in the 800. How significant is breaking that barrier for you? High priority, down the list, take it if it comes, but place is more important?

HK: This is, and has been for quite some time now, a big goal of mine. I ran 2:01.05 in college, and thought that the 2:00, and sub-2 minute times would happen as quickly and naturally as the rest. Well, it has been 5 years, and I finally got halfway there, running 2:00.41. I'm hoping this breakthrough means I am on the verge of breaking 2 minutes sooner rather than later! Placing in big meets is still important, but to really legitimize myself as an 800 runner in this country, I need to break 2!

DtB: This was your second Europe season, was it better than last year? Did last year’s experience help you this year?

HK: Absolutely. I can't even begin to say how valuable my experiences were from last year to prepare me for Europe this season. I felt more comfortable, a little more like a seasoned veteran out there. I knew more about what I need to pack, what to expect while traveling from meet to meet, and the general logistics of track meets there.

DtB: Any memorable moments from this year’s trip either on or off the track?

HK: I would have to say winning my first race as a professional, and then winning my second back-to-back was a fun and exciting memory for me. Finishing first in any race is such a morale and confidence booster, I think that experience acted as a springboard to bring me to my new PRs in the 1500 and 800 later on in the trip.

Another funny memory: in Nuoro, Italy, I was pacing around at the starting line, waiting for the starter to call us to the line. In mid stance, facing the opposite direction to the way I would soon be running, I glanced over and realized all the other competitors were in set position on the line! I must not have noticed the starter say "On Your Marks", given that it was in Italian, ha! They waited patiently for me to quickly turn around and toe the line too, and then the race was started!

DtB: Are you going to run cross country this year or train through and prepare for indoor track? Or do road races instead to break up the training?

HK: Oh wow, cross country? No, I am not sure when/if I will ever get back into that! This fall I am planning on running a few road miles to switch things up a bit and have some fun. Road miles are my favorite type of event to compete at. They are generally straight, downhill, and fast without the same pressure that seems to be associated with track events.

I plan on running the Minnesota Mile in Duluth on September 11, the Front Street Mile in Hawaii on the September 17(which just so happens to be the date of my first year anniversary with my husband, Ben, so we are flying out together to make a whole trip of it!), and then the 5th Ave Mile in New York City to close the season on September 24.

DtB: What are your goals for the Olympic year?

HK: Going into next year, in some ways I want to approach it like ay other year: my aim is always to run well, stay healthy, and improve on my personal best times. I know I need to remain calm and not focus on it too much, or my head will interfere with my body!

I also obviously dream about making the team, so we will be adjusting my schedule of racing, putting much less of an emphasis on indoors in order to prepare well for my outdoor season leading up to the trials. My realistic goal is to make the trials final, my stretch goal is to be wearing red, white, and blue in London!
USATF-Minnesota Youth Athletics Chairman Chris Dallager recaps the fifth day at the AAU National Junior Olympics in New Orleans.

Semi-final Results:

100 Meter Dash: Primary Girl Tyian White (Richfield, Track Minnesota Elite) 15.60, 16th place; Sub-Midget Girl Ellie Bedingham (Woodbury) 14.01, 23rd place; Youth Girl Maddie Gourley (Eagan, Track Minnesota Elite) 12.62, 10th place; Intermediate Boy Shaheed Hickman (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 11.00, 9th place - missed finals by one spot.

The rest of the action:

800 Meter Run: Sub-Bantam Girl Calista Snyders (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 3:14.11, 65th place; Sub-Bantam Boy William Klein (Stillwater) 2:33.75, 11th place; Sub-Midget Girl Beth-el Algarin (Little Falls) 2:47.63, 52nd place; Midget Girl Essyonna Peschong (Brooklyn Park, Track Minnesota Elite) 2:35.91, 24th place.

Long Jump: Bantam Girl Faith Robinson (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 3.47 meters (11' 5"), 47th place; Intermediate Girl Mia Barron (Minnetonka) 5.01 meters (16' 5.5") 39th place; Danielle Howard-Stewart (Minneapolis) 4.86 meters (15' 11.5"), 50th place; Intermediate Boy Ethan Turner (Woodbury) 6.20 meters (20' 4.25") 25th place; Denzell Oats (St. Louis Park) 6.05 meters (19' 10.25"), 36th place; Melvin Curry (St. Louis Park) 5.28 meters (17' 4.25") 79th place.

High Jump: Sub-Midget Boy Brendon Snyders (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 1.21 meters (4' 0"), 26th place; Young Men Jonathan Osifuye (Woodbury) 1.72 meters (5' 8") 30th place.

Triple Jump: Youth Boy Alexander Klein (Stillwater) 10.79 meters (35' 5"), 31st place; Young Women Melanie Hill (Minneapolis) 10.83 meters (35' 6.75") 25th place.

Javelin: Youth Boy Antwain Westbrook (Fridley) 26.49 meters (86' 11"), 28th place.

Shot Put: Sub-Youth Girl Cameron Downey (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 9.51 meters (31' 2.5") 25th place; Mariama Gillespie (Minneapolis) 8.53 meters (28' 0") 47th place; Young Women Alejandra Redwing (Victoria) 9.57 meters (33' 0.25") 34th place; Angie Santiago (Little Falls) 8.45 meters (27' 8.75") 49th place.

Discus Throw: Intermediate Boy Hunter Downey (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 25.12 meters (82' 5"), 54th place; Nathan Infinger (Little Falls) 19.68 meters (64' 7") 62nd place

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Grandma's Minnesota Mile Registration Begins

Registration is now open for the September 11 Grandma’s Minnesota Mile road races in downtown Duluth. The Minnesota Mile offers runners an excellent opportunity to secure a spot in next year’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, as 250 finishers will be randomly selected to receive guaranteed entries into the 2012 half marathon on June 16.

13.1 Mpls

The race begins one block east of Fitger’s on Superior Street and finishes near the Holiday Center. The Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Duluth event includes a number of race divisions:

8:50 a.m. - Wheelchair Mile

9:00 a.m. - Verizon Wireless Kids Mile (Ages 8 to 14 - FREE)

9:20 a.m. - All City Mile (Recreational)

10:00 a.m. - Duluth Mile (Semi-Elite)

10:20 a.m. - Minnesota Mile (Elite - $15,000 Prize Purse)

10:40 a.m. - St. Luke’s Walk a Mile for Breast Cancer

Again this year, the St. Luke’s Walk a Mile for Breast Cancer will conclude the event. This division was added in 2010 to raise funds and awareness for the battle against breast cancer.

The fee for Minnesota Mile running division entries is $20, while the St. Luke’s Walk a Mile for Breast Cancer is $25 ($10 of each walk entry is allocated directly to the St. Luke’s Foundation). Registration for all divisions is conducted exclusively online at For more information, visit or call (218) 727-0947.
USATF-Minnesota Youth Athletics Chairman Chris Dallager recaps the fourth day at the AAU National Junior Olympics in New Orleans.

Qualifiers to semi-finals:

200 Meter Dash: Youth Girl Maddie Gourley (Eagan, Track Minnesota Elite) 25.30, 3rd fastest time; Intermediate Boy Shaheed Hickman (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 22.59, 18th fastest time.

The rest of the action:

110 Meter Hurdles: Young Men Deshawn Crutch (Brooklyn Park) 15.62, 48th place; Rashad Cohen (Chanhassen) 16.02, 53rd place.

200 Meter Dash: Primary Girl Tyian White (Richfield, Track Minnesota Elite) 35.57, 96th place; Bantam Boy Matthias Algarin (Little Falls) 31.00, 86th place; Sub-Midget Girl Ellie Bedingham (Woodbury) 28.25, 25th place - missing semi-finals by one spot; Midget Girl Kailynn Blanchard (Brooklyn Park) 28.40, 68th place; Dejonae Copeland (Brooklyn Center) 29.92, 94th place; Sub-Youth Girl Briesha Hunter (St. Paul) 26.93, 55th place; Jedah Caldwell (Blaine) 27.85, 93rd place; Intermediate Girl Jacquelyn Bedingham (Woodbury) 26.56, 26th place; Natasha Moore (St. Paul) 26.57, 87th place; Intermediate Boy Jake Gourley (Eagan, Track Minnesota Elite) 23.41, 59th place.

400 Meter Dash: Primary Girl Rebecca Scholder (Plymouth) 1:16.72, 26th place; Sub-Bantam Boy William Klein (Stillwater) 1:08.76, 26th place; Sub-Midget Girl Ellie Bedingham (Woodbury) 1:04.38, 19th place; Lillie Albright (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 1:11.27, 79th place; Sub-Midget Boy Marcus Guy (Plymouth) 1:01.40, 15th place; Midget Girl Kailynn Blanchard (Brooklyn Park) 1:13.38, 94th place.

1500 Meter Run: Sub-Bantam Girl Calista Snyders (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 6:50.45, 43rd place; Midget Girl Essyonna Peschong (Brooklyn Park, Track Minnesota Elite) 5:51.70, 40th place; Sub-Midget Boy Brendon Snyders (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 5:30.43, 35th place; Midget Boy Parker Phillips (Plymouth, Track Minnesota Elite) 5:19.58, 38th place.

Long Jump: Youth Girl Alexis Britten (St. Paul) 3.69 meters (12' 1.5") 75th place; Young Men Deshawn Crutch (Brooklyn Park) 6.38 meters (20' 11.5") 37th place; Jonathan Osifuye (Woodbury) 6.16 meters (20' 2.75") 53rd place.

Triple Jump: Intermediate Girl Mia Barron (Minnetonka) 10.78 meters (35' 4.75") 16th place; Mikayla Ebert (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 9.35 meters (30' 8.5") 67th place; Intermediate Boy Ethan Turner (Woodbury) 13.20 meters (43' 4") 13th place; Melvin Curry (St. Louis Park) 12.45 meters (40' 10.5") 35th place; Peyton Bretl (St. Louis Park) 11.31 meters (37' 1.5") 65th place; Joshua Gillespie (Brooklyn Park) 11.30 meters (37' 1.25") 66th place.

High Jump: Sub-Bantam Girl Grace Robinson (St. Louis Park, Park Flyers) 1.01 meters (3' 4") 10th place tie; Sub-Youth Boy Kjetil Cline (Woodbury, East Ridge Athletic Association) 1.52 meters (5' 0") 10th place tie.

Discus Throw: Sub-Youth Girl Cameron Downey (Minneapolis, Track Minnesota Elite) 25.78 meters (84' 7") 11th place; Mariama Gillespie (Minneapolis) 18.97 meters (62' 3") 39th place; Young Women Alejandra Redwing (Victoria) 27.38 meters (89' 10") 38th place; Angie Santiago (Little Falls) 20.32 meters (66' 8") 55th place.

Shot Put: Sub-Midget Girl Beth-el Algarin (Little Falls) 6.35 meters (20' 10") 41st place.