Friday, August 31, 2012

Update on Relay, New Haven Labor Day 20K

You can add Meghan Peyton to the list of Minnesotans in the Stratton-Faxon New Haven 20K on Monday.  She'll be the other Team USA Minnesota runner in the event, along with Andrew Carlson.  Katie McGregor will be running, but she's no longer representing Team USA Minnesota.  McGregor started off her week by running the opening leg of the  Life Back On Track Relay.  McGregor and other U of M athletes ran from the University of M to Prescott, WI where the ten-man team from Penn State took over for the 1,000 mile trek to Happy Valley and Penn State University.

"Katie decided this week to give up her spot with Team USA Minnesota and not sign her contract," said Pat Goodwin, Team USA founder/president.   "She and Matt Gabrielson, who notified us two weeks ago(that he was also giving up his spot on the team), want to provide the opportunity they had to the next generation of post-collegiate distance runners.  With Katie, 35, and Matt, 34, they feel they no longer need our support, plus they feel the team is so much younger than they are.  Instead they join our ever-growing 'alumni group' which often trains with our current roster. Almost every Saturday morning I see Katie, Carrie(Tollefson), Jenelle Deatherage, Michele Frey, Meghan, and Emily Brown running together around the lakes."

MIAC XC Starts Today

The men's cross country season starts Friday, as Concordia travels to the Valley City State Invite and Macalester and St. Thomas compete for the Summit Cup. Augsburg, Bethel and St. Olaf meet in a triangular Saturday, and Saint Mary's hosts the St. Mary's Invitational.  Gustavus runs an alumni meet. 

For the women, Macalester and St. Olaf meet in a time trial in Northfield, Concordia will also be at the VCSU Invite and Saint Benedict will host a triangular with St. Catherine and Wartburg on Friday. Augsburg and Bethel face off in a dual Saturday, while St. Thomas and Macalester will be at the Pike Island time trial. Gustavus hosts an alumni meet.   Saint Mary's hosts the St. Mary's University Invitational.

1,000 Mile Relay Team Sets New WR

The 1,000 Mile Life Back On Track Relay team set a new World Record of 95 hours, three minutes, and one second finishing their run on the Penn State track this afternoon.

Yes/No On Vacation This Week, But the 1,000 Mile Relay Team is On Pace for a WR

Our Yes/No Master Doug Cowles is on vacation in a location with limited WiFi, imagine that.  So, we're taking a Labor Day holiday break this week, unless Doug suddenly can't let a week pass without sending along the latest puzzler to his loyal followers.

Meanwhile the Penn State group and Luke Watson are nearing their goal in the 1,000 mile relay for the Kevin Dare Foundation.  They anticipate arriving at the Penn State track around noon Central time with about 12 miles to finish there.  They're on World Record pace, so they anticipate meeting that goal as well.  You can keep following their commentary on the journey HERE.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Team USA Minnesota Runners Working on Labor Day

Two Team USA Minnesota runners will be working on Labor Day.  Andrew Carlson and Katie McGregor will be running in the Stratton-Faxon New Haven 20K Road Race, which is also the USATF 20K Championship.  Olympian Matt Tegenkamp is the headliner in the men's race. Maegan Krifchin, Stephanie Rothstein, Alisha Williams, and Renee Metivier-Baillee will challenge McGregor in the women's race.

USATF will provide video coverage of the event HERE starting at 7:40 AM on Monday.

Life Back On Track Relay Update: Nearing 700 Mile Point at 5:40 Mile Pace

The Life...Back On Track 1,000 Mile relay is nearing the 700 mile mark in Ohio and the 10 man team is running at near 5:40 per mile pace.  The relay is in memory of Penn State pole vaulter Kevin Dare and to raise money for the Life Back On Track Scholarship Fund.  They are anticipated to reach the finish on the Penn State track tomorrow afternoon.

You can follow the progress of the relay team complete with pictures and their Twitter feed HERE.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Andrew Carlson Running ING NYCM

The New York Road Runners announced today the American runners taking part in the ING New York City Marathon on November 4. One of them is Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson who finished sixth in his marathon debut in 2:11:24 at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in January in Houston.

The entire top six from the Houston men's Trials except for fourth place finisher Dathan Ritzenhein, who is running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7, will be running New York. The Big Apple race has a prize purse of $100,000 for the top US finishers.
Photo Courtesy of Team USA Minnesota and Photo Run

Running Times Article on "The Stillwater System"

Stillwater HS boys track and cross country coach Scott Christensen is featured in the September issue of Running Times and online HERE.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Carleton Grad Simone Childs-Walker Getting More Recognition

Carleton College grad, Simone Childs-Walker, was not only a standout distance runner at the school, she was one of 58 student athletes to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship grant of $7,500, and she is one of 30 still being considered for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award to be presented October 12 in Indianapolis.

You can read more about the scholarship HERE, and the Woman of the Year award HERE.
Photo Courtesy of Carleton College.

Pioneer Press Stories on HS XC Season

The Pioneer Press has a story on Shakopee's Maria Hauger's attempt to win a fourth straight State XC championship HERE and an overview of the team and individual races HERE.

Star Tribune Preview Stories on Upcoming HS XC Season

The Star Tribune has four stories on the upcoming Minnesota High School XC season. HERE, HERE,, HERE, and HERE.

Anne Sikkora to be Inducted into St. Kate's Hall of Fame September 22

The St. Catherine University athletics department will induct four new members into the Wildcats Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 22, during a ceremony at 11:45 AM in the Butler Center. The 2012 class includes Kim (Hayes) Jones ‘03, Rita Pomroy ’05, Anne Sikkora ’03 and Jenna (Martin) Tanner ’06.

Sikorra, a multi-event athlete, set eight school records, three indoor and five outdoor. Her indoor records include Pole Vault (3.31 meters in 2003), Long Jump (5.21 meters in 2002) and Pentathlon (3149 points). Outdoors, Sikorra shares the top spot for the 200-meter dash (26.57 seconds in 2001); is a part of the top teams for the 4x100-meter relay (50.67 seconds in 2001) and 4x800-meter relay (9:41.59 in 2003); and holds records in the Heptathlon (4323 points in 2003) and Pole Vault (3.46 meters in 2003). Overall, Sikorra holds nine top-three school marks for indoor competition and 12 top-five marks for outdoor.

Her fellow inductees were standouts in hockey(Jones), softball(Pomroy), and basketball(Tanner). Sikorra is the third track athlete to be inducted into the Wildcats Hall of Fame. Distance runner Kathryn (Jorgenson) Wagner '99 and multi-sport athlete Jill (Ament) Gibbon '04 are the others. Wagner was inducted in 2004, Gibbon in 2009.

Gopher Men Ranked 18th in Coaches' Pre Season Poll; Badgers are Number One

USTFCCCA National NCAA Pre Season Poll
1 Wisconsin (10) 357
2 Oklahoma State (1) 345
3 BYU (1) 345
4 Oklahoma 299
5 Colorado 297
6 Texas 291
7 Portland 282
8 Iona 278
9 Stanford 251
10 Florida State 231
11 NC State 226
12 Syracuse 216
13 Indiana 206
14 Georgetown 191
15 Texas A&M 178
16 Villanova 149
17 Northern Arizona 141
18 Minnesota 133
19 Michigan 131
20 Tulsa 129
21 Princeton 121
22 Oregon 118
23 Arkansas 95
24 New Mexico 87
25 Notre Dame 81
26 Washington State 71
27 Columbia 62
28 Georgia 58
29 Eastern Kentucky 55
30 UCLA 44
Others Receiving Votes: Providence 28, Florida 23, Ohio State 21, Virginia 12, Virginia 12, North Carolina 9, California 8, Cal Poly 7, Iowa State 5, William and Mary 3, Virginia Tech 1, Michigan State 1, Dartmouth 1

Gopher Women Ranked 27th in NCAA National Pre Season Poll

USTFCCCA National Pre Season Poll
1 Oregon (4) 345
2 Washington (5) 343
3 Georgetown (2) 337
4 Florida State(1)334
5 Iowa State 289
6 Vanderbilt 277
7 Providence 270
8 Stanford 267
9 Syracuse 246
10 Villanova 226
11 Arkansas 222
12 Michigan 218
13 Colorado 210
14 Arizona 204
15 Princeton 196
16 Boston College 193
17 Michigan State 178
18 Virginia 163
19 Weber State 150
20 San Francisco 133
21 West Virginia 124
22 Notre Dame 112
23 Toledo 103
24 Oklahoma State 82
25 NC State 76
26 Texas 72
27 Minnesota 37
28 BYU 35
29 Wisconsin 31
30 Cornell 25
Others Receiving Votes: Florida 17, Penn State 16, New Mexico 9, La Salle 9, North Carolina 7, Northern Arizona 7, Portland 7, Iowa 4, Texas A&M 3, Northwestern 2, Columbia 1

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gopher Men Ranked Fourth in NCAA Central Region USTFCCCA Pre Season Poll

2012 USTFCCCA Men's Central Region Rankings
Pre Season
1 Oklahoma State Stillwater, OK
2 Oklahoma Norman, OK
3 Tulsa Tulsa, OK
4 Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn.
5 Iowa State Ames, Iowa
6 Missouri Columbia, MO
7 Kansas Lawrence, KS
8 Illinois Champaign, IL
9 Iowa Iowa City, Iowa
10 Southern Illinois Carbondale, IL
11 Drake Des Moines, Iowa
12 UMKC Kansas City, MO
13 Wichita State Wichita, KS
14 North Dakota State Fargo, ND
15 South Dakota State Brookings, SD
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2011: Oklahoma State, 2010: Oklahoma, 2009: Oklahoma State, 2008: Oklahoma State, 2007: Oklahoma State

Gopher Women Ranked Third in Central Region in Coaches Association NCAA Division I Pre Season Poll

2012 USTFCCCA NCAA Central Region Women's Rankings
Pre Season

Rank School Location
1 Iowa State Ames, Iowa
2 Oklahoma State Stillwater, OK
3 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN
4 Northwestern Evanston, IL
5 Iowa Iowa City, Iowa
6 Missouri Columbia, MO
7 Tulsa Tulsa, OK
8 Illinois Champaign, IL
9 Illinois State Normal, IL
10 North Dakota State Fargo, ND
11 Bradley Peoria, IL
12 Loyola-Chicago Chicago, IL
13 Wichita State Wichita, KS
14 Kansas Lawrence, KS
15 Kansas State Manhattan, KS
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2011: Iowa State, 2010: Iowa State, 2009: Minnesota, 2008: Minnesota, 2007: Minnesota

Gopher Women's XC Team Getting Ready for The Season

The Minnesota women's cross country team began their annual XC training camp on Friday, August 24, in Ely. Head coach Gary Wilson and the Golden Gophers have high hopes for the coming season. Six(Ashlie Decker, Molly Kayfes, Maggie Bollig, Katie Moraczewski, Laura Docherty, and Cassy Opitz) of last year’s top seven runners return.

Volunteer assistant head coach Sarah Hesser said the team is hoping to improve upon last year’s fifth-place finish in the Big Ten and 27th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

“We’re going to be looking for a solid couple of frontrunners,” Hesser said. “I think that’s the thing that will elevate us, hopefully, from being a team that qualifies for the national meet to being a team that is in contention to win a Big Ten title or a team that’s in contention to be in the top 15 in the country.”

With All American Stephanie Price graduating it opens up the competition for the number one spot and creates a different team dynamic. Hesser believes that Docherty is one of the favorites to contend for that slot. She had a breakout year on the track, finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters and seventh in the 5,000 meters at the Big Ten meet.

Competition for the top seven places will be strong. In addition to the runners mentioned above, NCAA Regional runner Rachel Drake and Big Ten Championships runner Missa Varpness also return from last season. A handful of others, including freshmen Jamie Piepenburg and Haley Johnson, could push for a place in the top seven.

The Big Ten meet will be the Gophers’ major focus during the early part of the season.
“I really firmly believe that this group can put five in the top 25 at the conference meet,” Hesser said.

Following camp, the Gophers will run an intrasquad meet on Saturday, September. 1, at 9:30 AM at Les Bolstad Golf Course.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Garrett Heath Third; Barbora Špotáková Wins Javelin at Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix Meet

Winona HS and Stanford grad Garrett Heath finished third in the two-mile in Birmingham, England on Sunday in 8:29.43. Double Olympic champion Mo Farah won the race in 8:27.24. Olympic women's javelin champion Barbora Špotáková won with a throw of 66.08 clinching the javelin event title for the IAAF Diamond League series.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beardsley, Tollefson are Guest Speakers Prior to the Races in Detroit Lakes

Dick Beardsley and Carrie Tollefson are the "guest legend" speakers at the pre-race banquet on September 7, the night before the 17th annual Dick Beardsley Half-Marathon. For more on the September 8 races and weekend click HERE.

Yes/No: Will Garrett Heath break 8:30 in 2 Mile?

Garrett Heath has had a fruitful 2012, as evidenced by his list of personal bests: indoor mile, indoor 3k, and outdoor 1500, mile, 3k and 5k.  Heath may not have made it out of the semi-finals in the Olympic Trials, but he continued his season in Europe with great success.

Garrett Heath will run the 2 mile in the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday.  The headliner in this race (and of the entire meet, considering his spectacular victories at the Olympics) is England's own Mo Farah.  There will be three Americans chasing Farah:  Bobby Curtis, David Torrence and Heath.

Let us know how fast Garrett Heath will run this week...

Yes/No: Will Garrett Heath run faster than 8:30:00 in the 2 Mile at Aviva Birmingham on Sunday?

The entry list for the Aviva Birmingham 2 mile is HERE.  Garrett Heath's IAAF biography is HERE.  Heath ran 7:45 for 3000 meters indoors this year, which would convert to approximately 8:23 for a 2 mile.

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 10:30 A.M. CDT, Sunday, August 26th.  Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail.

My Answer:  No

The Yes/No question last week was:  Will four or more athletes run faster than 20:00 minutes at the Buttered Corn Days 5k on Saturday?  The answer was  no - three runners finished under twenty minutes.  Five players answered correctly last week.  Mike Mason was joined by Gloria Jansen in first place with twenty-two points.  These two are followed closely by Ryan Aylesworth with twenty-one and Jim Glazer, Evan Roberts and Heather Jelen with twenty points.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Špotáková Wins Javelin in Lausanne Diamond League Meet

Olympic champion Barbora Špotáková won the javelin at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne today with a throw of 67.19m. Špotáková leads the Diamond League season competition in the event with 14 points with two meets remaining. She has a seven point lead in the event competition, which rewards the winners with $40,000 and a diamond trophy.

West Nile Virus Afflicts Concordia Cross Country Coach

There's been a lot of news coverage recently about the mosquito born disease, the West Nile Virus. For Concordia(Moorhead) Cross Country coach Garrick Larson the illness is more than a news story. As chronicled in a WDAY television report Larson is one of a growing number of confirmed cases of the disease in Minnesota.

Larson apparently contracted West Nile in July when he first began to feel "flu-like" symptoms. The disease escalated and Larson soon discovered it was not merely a summer cold. It's not his first bout with exotic illnesses, however, as last summer he suffered from Lyme disease. You can read about his experience and watch the interview HERE.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NCAA Division III Pre-Season Cross Country Rankings

The US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association(USTFCCA) regional and national pre-season polls for Division III are out. There are five teams from the MIAC in the top ten in the men's and women's Central Region Polls(below). Only St. Olaf is ranked in the top 35 teams in the men's National Poll. St. Olaf is ranked 14th in the US. Hamline was 37th, and Bethel 47th

Two women's teams from the MIAC are in the top 20 in the national rankings. St. Olaf is 12th, and St. Thomas 19th.

Men's USTFCCCA Central Region
Rank Institution Location
1 St. Olaf Northfield, Minn.
2 Loras Dubuque, Iowa
3 Luther Decorah, Iowa
4 Bethel Arden Hills, Minn.
5 Nebraska Wesleyan Lincoln, Neb.
6 Central (Iowa) Pella, Iowa
7 Hamline Saint Paul, Minn.
8 Saint John’s Collegeville, Minn.
9 Carleton Northfield, Minn.
10 Grinnell Grinnell, Iowa

Women's USTCCA Central Region
Rank Institution Location
1 Wartburg Waverly, Iowa
2 St. Olaf Northfield, Minn.
3 St. Thomas Saint Paul, Minn.
4 Luther Decorah, Iowa
5 Carleton Northfield, Minn.
6 Nebraska Wesleyan Lincoln, Neb.
7 Gustavus Adolphus St. Peter, Minn.
8 Grinnell Grinnell, Iowa
9 St. Benedict St. Joseph, Minn.
10 Loras Dubuque, Iowa

Kara Goucher on London Games

Yesterday we had Amanda Smock write about her experiences in London for the 2012 Games. Kara Goucher has written of her experiences HERE. Included are pictures in front of Buckingham Palace, which the Olympic marathon started and finished near, and others that show part of Kara, her family and friends' experience at the event.

Minnesota Year at RRM

Every year, Road Race Management has a conference with talks aimed at race directors and those who do the work to put on running events. This year(it's held November 8-10 in Hollywood, Florida) it has a distinctly Minnesota flavor with Twin Cities in Motion's Virginia Brophy Achman, and Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon medical director, Dr. Bill Roberts among the speakers.

Achman is giving a presentation on the Twin Cities Marathon in what's called a "Race Anatomy" session. It's kind of a "nuts and blots" session about the challenges in putting on the event and what others can learn from the Twin Cities experience. Roberts' session is titled Medical Challenges for 2012 and Beyond, which will deal with handling the medical operation at a major city marathon. There will be other talks on marketing, race trends, innovative use of social media, business basics for event organizers, and certification of an event as environmentally and socially responsible.

The keynote speech will be given by new USATF CEO Max Siegel. For more information on the conference you can click HERE.

Full disclosure: I am a contributing writer for the Road Race Management newsletter, but have no financial or personal stake in the publication or conference.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giving Back--Jeff Winter

Last week I wrote about legacy races, the running boom, and giving back to the sport. Aside from his good friends, Pat and Emily Lannin and Jack Moran, few have contributed more to Minnesota running than Jeff Winter. Many of the races we enjoy--Get In Gear, City of Lakes 25K, the Ron Daws 25K, and others too numerous to mention were directed by Jeff Winter. If you wanted to put on a race in the Twin Cities back in the '70s and '80s, Jeff was the guy.

Now Jeff needs our help. His family has set up the following site. Click on it HERE.

The Olympic Experience--Amanda Smock

By Amanda Smock
As one can imagine, the past two months have been a whirlwind. A few words come to mind while trying to summarize the experience, humbling, breathtaking, and surreal. The outpouring of support has been incredibly humbling. I’ve never in my life felt so much love from so many corners of the Midwest. Every community that I’ve ever belonged to has reached out and exclaimed their excitement for me. I’m honored and humbled knowing that people from all over Minnesota and North Dakota want to claim me. I took this love with me to London and wore it as a coat of pride knowing that I represented such an amazing corner of the earth.

Looking back, the breathtaking part of this experience surfaced countless times. The first notable moment was “moving day” the day the team moved from our training camp in Birmingham, England to the Olympic Village in London. As we approached the Olympic Park, the Stadium, and the Olympic Village, our bus filled with the Worlds Greatest Track Team, was in awe. Everyone from reigning World and Olympic champions to the rookies, had cameras out. We were all taking pictures and videos in hopes of capturing the excitement of the moment. We had finally arrived at the place we worked so hard to get to for our whole lives!

The Opening Ceremony was another breathtaking experience. Marching around the Olympic Stadium in the Parade of Nations with music, fireworks, and the company of the most talented athletes in the world is a memory I will never forget. I really loved sharing that night with my teammates and the other athletes. We could look at one another and really appreciate this reward for years of hard work. The night was definitely as special as I had imagined it to be.

Village life was a surreal experience. I would find myself sending internal reminders that I was “at the Olympics, in THE Olympic Village.” Day-to-day life of practice, meals, therapies, and hanging-out in the village started to feel really normal and brushing shoulders with people I had only ever read about or followed on-line soon became regular, daily occurrence. A few of the things I enjoyed most about the village were seeing the flags hanging from the windows and balconies of the apartment buildings and the gigantic Olympic rings stationed in the central park area of the village. I had a great view of these rings from my bedroom window; they greeted me every morning when I opened the curtains! Finally, I can’t forget to mention the village coffee cart that served up any imaginable delicious coffee drink. This was certainly a “perk” of village life.

Competition day was probably the highlight of the entire trip. Entering the stadium and feeling all of the energy flying around took my breath away. Each time I stepped on the runway and prepared to take a jump I was overcome with happiness, gratitude and excitement, I only wish I would’ve performed better on that day. Nonetheless, the entire experience was incredibly positive and I know as time goes on, the experience will sink in further and take on new meanings to me as the years pass by.
Photos courtesy of Amanda Smock

Monday, August 20, 2012

Run Great When It Counts: High School

By Charlie Mahler
Joey Keillor has a new book out titled Run Great When It Counts: High School.  Keillor ran for St. Louis Park High School and Minnesota State University, Mankato where he was a seven-time Division II All-American and national champion in the steeplechase. He recently ran a 4:17 mile and 14:45 5K on the roads at age 37. For the past decade, Keillor has been Associate Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, a newsletter dedicated to health, fitness, and wellness of older adults. In 2011, he started Joey Keillor Coaching, a consulting business dedicated to helping people run fast, feel good, and train effectively without wasting time.  His thoughts on his book are below...

Down the Backstretch:  How long had you been working on the book?

Joey Keillor:  It took about one year from when I started writing it until it was published. The writing part took about six  months. Final editing, layout, organizing pictures, and other detail work took another six months. It took longer than I thought, but that was good because then it wasn’t rushed. Annoying delays were a benefit, as the more time it took, the more I was able to improve the product.

I would add that I’ve been unofficially working on the book for the past 20 years. That’s how long I’ve been a competitive distance runner., experimenting with just about every type of training you could imagine, talking about training with coaches and running buddies, reading running articles and books — my personal experience with all of that stuff really fed the book. The fact that I was able to write a book in a few months as a side project is because all of this information was stored up and ready to get out.

DtB: What prompted you to undertake the project?

JK: It started in recent years with people asking me about how to improve their training. Because of that, I started a small training consulting business called Joey Keillor Coaching. I expected to be helping out adults with training, but instead I ended up working mostly with high school kids. The more high school kids I consulted with, the more it was apparent that they all had similar questions, uncertainties, and gaps in their knowledge...which really weren’t all that different from the questions, uncertainties and knowledge gaps I had in high school and college.

Another frustrating thing for me throughout my running career has been a frequent inability to do what the title  of the book says: Run great when it counts. Sure, I’ve had some great races in high school and college, but most of the time, the big races were a disappointment. Not in terms of place or time, necessarily, but just knowing that I felt mediocre or bad at the most important event of the year. Especially when you see familiar competitors running great at State or Nationals. It’s like: “I was neck and neck with that guy at Conference, now at State I’m way back feeling like crap and he’s battling for the win. What’s up with that?”  It took me 15 years to begin to figure this stuff out...I hope the book allows many high school or college kids to advance past years of trial and error, and start taking the steps that successful clutch-runners (knowingly or unknowingly) take to make them feel great pretty much when needed.

DtB:  What special insights do you think you offer to readers?

JK: The book is only 122 pages, which is pretty short for a running book. The shortness was a very deliberate decision. I try to boil down the advice into the very basics of what will make you a better runner and performer within the categories of Health, Running, and Confidence. I address issues that high school athletes may knowingly (or unknowingly) encounter such as iron problems, injury, overly hard training, emotional attachment to training devices, lack of training confidence, and responding to fatigue with harder training. I also seek to define a number of vague training terms such as “hard” training...everyone knows you need to train “hard” but what does that mean? And how do you go about training “hard” in a way that’s productive, rather than counterproductive?

One thing the book doesn’t offer is a training plan or specific examples of workouts you should be doing. Rather, it offers a way to approach whatever training plan you adopt. That’s important because nearly all high school kids have a coach, most of whom are offering them great advice. However, I think kids can lose confidence in whatever training plan they’re following, as the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. What I suggest in the book is an approach that can make just about any plan can work (intervals everyday, mileage only, or just about anything in between).  In this sense, the book aims to give high school athletes confidence that under just about any circumstance they can be their best and run their best at the races that count the most. And feel good and have fun.

DtB: Who are some of your influences when if comes to training and racing?

JK: Well, who isn’t inspired by the greatest endurance runners in the history of the world...namely Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes. Talk about tearing training down to the basics...most of these runners start with, at best, a ragged pair of shoes and the clothes on their backs. Their attitude (or approach) to training is really one of the best models we have, and one I seek to emulate.

Closer to home, pretty much every coach, teammate and running partner and XC skiing partner has been influential...which I think comes through in the many anecdotes in the book. I could have included a lot more.

However, one person that stands out in recent years is Greg Hexum, who is a great trail runner and snowshoer — and principal at Esko High up near Duluth. Greg is also serious student of endurance athletics. We routinely exchange articles, books and internet links on running. And, since our daughters are the same age, it gives us a great excuse to visit each other a few times a year so we can go running together, stay up late and talk about running, and generally annoy our wives and children. Greg has really helped me crystallize my thinking in the past few years, and has had a strong influence on the content in the book.

DtB:  What's the one thing you wish you'd have know as a young runner that you didn't?

JK: The one thing I’d go back and change is avoiding really killer workouts. A second choice would be to avoid tapering for races....a couple of days of rest makes sense, but weeks of tapering never worked even though we did it all of the time. If you combine those two changes, you’re basically talking about minimizing big upward or downward spikes in training levels, and keeping things more consistent with gradual advancement over time.

You can find out more information on the book and/or order a copy HERE.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chris Gordon Wins Men's Title, Sally Richert the Women's in the Buttered Corn Days 5K

New Ulm's Chris Gordon, 38,  won the Buttered Corn Days 5K on Saturday in 18:59, as the top three runners ran under 20 minutes.  Sally Richert, 40, from Sleepy Eye won the women's open and Masters titles in  23:00. She finished ninth overall.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Team USA Minnesota Places Three in Top Ten in Liberty Mile

Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf and Gabriele Anderson went one, two, while Jamie Cheever finished eighth in the GNC Liberty Mile on Saturday in Pittsburgh.  Kampf ran 4:35.8 for the win, Anderson 4:36.3, and Cheever 4:46.8.  Full results are HERE. For a more complete story on the races, click HERE.

Friday, August 17, 2012


From local legacy events  to international series' there have been many ideas for improving the visibility of track & field.  The latest comes from Nike brand president Charlie Denson.  He suggests what is essentially a team competition where the best athletes would be on select teams that compete for an overall series title.

You can read more of Denson's comments HERE. In essence it would create a team competition akin to the US professional sports leagues.  Denson uses the IPL cricket league in India as an example of how the concept would work, but in many ways Denson's idea is not too different from ideas in the US of having  similar team centric leagues--teams from different states, regions.  The US Olympic Festival, that was hosted in the Twin Cities in 1990, was one such idea, but it was more of a mini Olympics with a lot of sports, not just track.

The IPL was used as a format for popularizing shortest cricket and has turned into a billion dollar industry despite some issues with betting/match fixing scandals.  What this demonstrates, as do Mike Reneau's ideas in the legacy article below, is that people are trying to do innovative/different things to raise the profile of the sport, help it compete in the sports/entertainment marketplace.

Each of these concepts face significant challenges, but also present great opportunities to enhance the sport.  They are a reflection that people care about the issue, the key question being if they can translate that interest into action, and if that action pays dividends.

Legacy Races

If you participate in the Yes/No contest you'll notice that this week's question focuses on a small town, festival road race.  More accurately in this case three road races of varying distances.  This celebration of running--and corn--is, for lack of a better term, a legacy race.  A race that probably started like the Hopkins Raspberry 5-mile or the Mudball, the Lake Johanna 4-mile, the Freeze Your Gizzard Blizzard Run, the MDRA Ron Daws 25K, the Fred Kurz Memorial 10-mile, the Valentine's Day 5K.

They are, for the most part, races that started before the "Running Boom," at a time when the late Alex Ratelle, who was one of the area's Masters champions, would train at night in his Edina neighborhood because, he joked, he didn't want the neighbors to see him out running in his "underwear" because running wasn't trendy back then.  Exercise wasn't cool.

Makers of running shoes and fitness gear were limited primarily to the companies started by the German Dassler brothers, Rudolph and Adolph, Adidas and Puma.  There was no Nike, Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, or the host of other companies now specializing in fitness gear for the burgeoning running and triathlon crowd.  Many of the races were started by people, such as Pat and Emily Lanin, who loved the sport, and wanted  an outlet other than just training runs with others.

Today, the running calendar is crowded with multiple races every weekend.  What began as ways for the runners of that era to challenge themselves over a variety of distances against a range of competition from elite to recreational runners has boomed into a fitness industry.  Charities use races to raise millions of dollars in donations.  Cities see the events as a revenue producers for tourist dollars, "destination events" that bring thousands of people to their area, not only to run, but to rent hotel rooms, eat in restaurants, and buy stuff at local businesses.

Running is big business.  In the process many of the legacy races have either grown into something much bigger with more than one event per race weekend or have disappeared from the calendar.  The Boston Marathon is a legacy event.  It started as a small group of runners who wanted to participate in what was the ultimate challenge--running a marathon.  It's tradition, history, and legacy is known worldwide.  It wasn't created to be a crown jewel of running, just a race. A way for like minded athletes to test their stamina, their athleticism, their competitiveness.

Today's mega events are part social, part athletic.  People walk, walk/run, jog, run,  or race them.  Results, times are not as important as participation.  Supporting a cause, or doing something with your friends is often the motivation.  This has opened up the sport to a much larger audience, and has created an entire industry that caters to the participants.  The seeds that grew these events are the legacy races.

Recently, Mike Reneau, an elite runner, qualifier for the US Olympic Trials, decided to take on the responsibility of directing one of these legacy races, the Hopkins Raspberry Run 5-mile, a race the Lanin's brought to prominence decades ago.  His reason for accepting this challenge was that he wanted to give something back to the running community.

While charities and other organizations benefit from most running events, the running community is has always provided the altruistic engine that allowed them to happen.  Reneau, and others in the running community all the way up to the board of directors of the Road Runners Club of America, believe that the sport of running is as deserving of benefit as any of the groups that currently profit from the sport.

While other charities thrive, the "charity" of running has not.  So, Reneau's idea was to take the money earned from the race and put it back into the running community in the form of funds for the local Hopkins school track and cross country programs.  Every school district has budget issues, and often this results in cutbacks, participation fees, or other impediments for school athletic programs.  Why not use running to raise money for running development, said Reneau?

He's realistic in that the Hopkins run is never going to be Get in Gear or the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in terms of earning power or participation, but it doesn't have to be.  It can merely be a way to demonstrate a different model for running charity.  Runners supporting runners.  He added a mile race to the format for the Raspberry run and gives free entry to the kids.  No money changes hands, but the youth get a chance to show off in front of the crowd gathered in town for the Festival parade and activities.

The future of running meets the present.  And runners of all ages and abilities get to mix, share stories, pass on their knowledge, and enrich the experience.  It is an interesting experiment and potentially a model for other legacy events to use to engage their communities and add to their legacy.  One of the more attractive elements of running as a sport has been the ease of adopting it as a fitness exercise.  No more running in the dark of night.  Celebrate the sport.  Enhance the legacy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Yes/No: Four runners under 20:00 at Buttered Corn Days Race?

It is time for the traditional DtB road trip to Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.  We will again check out the Buttered Corn Days road race scheduled to take place on Saturday.  There are three races—the 20k, 10k and 5k—that all start at 8:00 A.M.  Be sure to stick around for the parade and free corn (limit 6 ears per person).

If you cannot make the two-hour trip (from the Twin Cities) to Sleepy Eye, you'll certainly want to live vicariously by answering our question this week...

Yes/No: Will four or more athletes run faster than 20:00 minutes at the Buttered Corn Days 5k on Saturday?

In 2011, two athletes ran faster than twenty minutes in the Buttered Corn Days road race in Sleepy Eye.  The 2011 version was won by Duane Otfedahl in 18:02.  In 2010, six runners broke twenty minutes in a race won by Joe Goettl in 17:05

To play our game, simply type "yes" or "no" into the subject line of an e-mail and send it to us at DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com before 8:00 A.M. CDT, Saturday, August 18th.  Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail.

My Answer:  Yes

The Yes/No question last week was:  Will more women run faster than 60:00 than men under 50:00 at the MDRA 15k on Sunday?   The answer was  yes - six women broke 60 minutes while only three men broke 50.  Twenty players answered correctly last week.  Mike Mason maintained his lead and now has twenty-two points.  Ryan Aylesworth and Gloria Jansen are right behind with twenty-one points and then there are three players with twenty points.

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Dog Ate My Homework

Athletes have provided lots of "creative" excuses after flunking drug tests, so standards are high for the title of "best doping excuse."  An item from a cycling web site meets those standards.  As a teaser it  involves rain, medical waste, and a popular doping product, rhuEPO(recombinant erythropoietin).  You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brief Chat with Gabriele Anderson

A Runner's World Brief Chat with Gabiele Anderson is HERE.

Kevin Dare Relay Update

As noted back in May,  the Life...Back on Track 1,000 mile relay starts at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse at noon on August 27.  The current world record for a 1,000-mile relay stands at 99 hours, three minutes, and 27 seconds. A group of runners, including former Stillwater HS/Notre Dame runner Luke Watson, who is currently volunteer coaching and finishing his accounting PhD at Penn State, will attempt to break that record.

The Kevin Dare Foundation is organizing the "Life...Back on Track" Relay. The foundation takes its name from former Penn State pole vaulter, Kevin Dare, who died tragically in a  vaulting accident during the 2002 Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis. 

All donations to the relay will benefit the foundation's “Life…Back on Track” scholarship program. Established in Dare’s memory, the program helps fund the future college education of high school student-athletes who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness.

The official start line for the 1,000-mile record attempt will be near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, but the organizers chose to first meet at the Fieldhouse where Dare last competed. A collection of Minnesota and Penn State alumni, among others, will cover the miles between Minneapolis and the official start line.  To donate or learn more about the Kevin Dare Foundation and the “Life…Back on Track” Relay, please visit

State Cross Country Rankings, Class A


BOYS’ TEAMS:                            
1.       Perham                                      
2.       St. Cloud Cathedral                                    
3.       Waseca                                  
4.       Minnehaha Academy                 
5.       Blake                                        
6.       Redwood Valley Area               
7.       Albany                                     
8.       Crosby Ironton                         
9.       Plainview-Elgin-Millville             
10.     Martin County West                 
11.     Luverne Area                                   
12.     Cotter                                       

1.     Charlie Lawrence    Foley
2.     Shane Streich          Waseca
3.     Nick Stoks             Canby-Minneota/LinHi
4.     Nick Golebiowski   St. Cloud Cath.
5.     Brady Speicher       Perham
6.     Pat Reinschmidt      Plainview-E-M
7.     Luke Brown           Minnehaha Acad.
8.     Matt Welch            Proctor
9.     Cole Wintheiser      St. Cloud Cath.
10.   Jonathan Surber     St. James
11.   Mike Destache       St. Paul Acad.
12.   Keeghan Hurley     Perham

GIRLS’ TEAMS:                              
1.       St. Cloud Cathedral                  
2.       Esko                                         
3.       Annandale                                 
4.       Blake                                        
5.       Waseca                                     
6.       United South Central                     
7.       LaCrescent                               
8.       Holdingford                              
9.       Perham                                     
10.     Trinity of  River Ridge              
11.     Albany                                     
12.     Dover-Eyota                                    

1.     Clare Flanagan        Blake
2.     Emi Trost                Cannon Falls 
3.     Marisa Shady          Esko
4.     McKenzie Holt        St. Cloud Christian
5.     Kayla Woltz            Chatfield
6.     Courtney Alama      Annandale
7.     Tierney Winter        WEM/JWP
8.     Katie Shepardson    LaCrescent
9.     Sadie Klug              Waseca
10.   Janessa Meuleners   Belle Plaine
11.   Jordan Chancellor   Blake
12.   Rachel Eickhoff      St. Cloud Cathedral

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Registration Opens

Registration for the Sunday, September 9, Grandma’s Minnesota Mile road race in downtown Duluth is now open.  
The race has the added lure of gaining a spot in next year’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, as 250 finishers will be randomly selected to receive guaranteed entries into the 2013 half marathon on June 22.

Registration for all divisions is conducted online at The pre-registration entry fee is $20 and late registration (September 8 and 9) is $25.

All those who register by Friday, August 17 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win two complimentary entries into the 2013 half marathon.

The race begins one block east of Fitger’s on Superior Street and finishes near the Holiday Center.
The 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)

For more information, visit or call (218) 727-0947.

Girls AA Cross Country Rankings

Girls AA Cross Country Rankings
Minnesota Coaches' Association

1.       Lakeville South
2.       Wayzata
3.       Roseville Area
4.       Eagan
5.       Hopkins
6.       Moorhead
7.       Eden Prairie
8.       Monticello
9.       East Ridge
10.   Edina
11.   Forest lake
12.   Shakopee
1.       Maria Hauger, 12, Shakopee
2.       Danielle Anderson, 12, Eagan
3.       Jenna Truedson, 10, Bemidji
4.       Megan Hasz, 9, Alexandria
5.       Bethany Hasz, 9, Alexandria
6.       Kaytlyn Larson, 10, Lakeville South
7.       Anna French, 10, Wayzata
8.       Amber Seidenkranz, 11, Monticello
9.       Martha Hubbell, 11, Visitation
10.   Shaelyn Sorensen, 11, Tartan
11.   Nicole Heitzman, 12, Andover
12.   Paige D’Heilly, 12, Coon Rapids

Anderson Second, Garrett Heath third in Falmouth Miles

Team USA Minnesota's Gabriele Anderson was second in the Falmouth Mile on Saturday in 4:27.94.  Brenda Martinez won the women's race in 4:26.76.  Heath trailed David Torrence(3:55.79) and Jordan McNamara(3:56.07) with a time of 3:56.21.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Greeno, Albertson Win MDRA 15K Titles, 11 Age Group Records Fall

Dan Greeno, 24,  won his third consecutive men's championship and Lydia Albertson was the women's winner at the MDRA 15K on Sunday in Edina.  Greeno led three men under 50 minutes with a time of 48:43. Albertson, 26, was the first of six women under an hour in 53:54.

Women's Masters champion Amy Halseth, 42, was one of the six who broke 60 with a time of 57:42.  Eleven State Age-group records were set in the event.  Full results are available HERE.

Photos by Gene Niemi
Top: Lydia Albertson(237)
Bottom: Kelly Fermoyle(51); Dan Greeno(209); Ryan Evans(49); Levi Severson(163)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yes/No: Men versus women at MDRA 15k

The USATF Minnesota Team Circuit will continue this weekend with the MDRA 15k, held in Edina on Sunday.  So far, the circuit has consisted of a mile, a pair of 5ks, an 8k and a 10k.  Now the longer-race portion of the circuit begins with a 15k this weekend, a 25k in September and a 10 Mile conclusion in October.

The 2011 version of the MDRA 15k saw the men's and women's winner both set State Records for their age.  Dan Greeno won the men's race in 46:55 and Kim Robinson took the women's title clocking 54:47.

This week, we will pit the men versus the women.  Here's the question...

Yes/No: Will more women run faster than 60:00 than men under 50:00 at the MDRA 15k on Sunday?

In case the question is unclear, here are some examples:  If 3 women run under 60 minutes and 4 men run under 50 minutes, the correct answer is no.  If 5 women run under 60 and 3 men run under 50, the correct answer is yes.  If 4 women run under 60 minutes and 4 men run under 50 minutes the answer is no.

Here is a recent history of the top runners in the MDRA 15k:
In 2011, 6 women ran sub-60 minutes while 5 men ran sub-50.  In 2010 there were 3 women under our threshold and 4 men.  In 2009, the results showed 6 women under 60 minutes and 4 men under 50 minutes.  2 women ran sub-60 minutes in 2008 while 3 men finished under 50 minutes.

Result of previous years can be found 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 7:30 A.M. CDT, Sunday, August 12th.  Please put your answers in the subject line of the e-mail and make sure your full name appears somewhere in the e-mail.

My Answer:  Yes

The Yes/No question last week was:  Will Kara Goucher finish in the top 12 in the Olympics Marathon on Sunday?   The answer was  yes - Goucher finished eleventh.  Twenty-eight players answered correctly last week.  Mike Mason maintained his lead and now has twenty-one points.  Ryan Aylesworth and Gloria Jansen are right behind with twenty points and then there are three players with nineteen points.

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

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Barbora Špotáková Repeats as Women's Olympic Javelin Champion

Defending Olympic women's javelin champion Barbora Špotáková turned in a dominating performance to defend her title at the London Games on Thursday. Following Kenya's David Rudisha's World Record performance in the 800 and Usain Bolt's repeat victory in the 200m, the crowd had thinned out before the women's javelin competition got underway, but Špotáková's performance got them into the event.

The All American performer for the University of Minnesota took the lead with her first throw and never looked back. She threw a season's best of 68.55m on her fourth throw to clinch her victory. Her series went 66.90m, 66.80m, 66.24m, 69.55m, foul, foul.

Defending her title wasn't her motivation: "I didn't even dare to think about it in this competition. I didn't realise it but it will come tomorrow. I said to myself this evening, I have got lots of experience, and I am healthy, and I am 100%. I believe in myself.

"My coach (Jan Zelezny) has won (the Olympics) three times so I still have things to do. I feel amazing. I am 31 years old, I have got so much experience, and I am feeling healthy.

"It was a really strange competition this evening. The stadium was half-empty, but the atmosphere was great. And these Olympic Games are the biggest experience for athletes."

Olympic Trivia and Women's Javelin

Former University of Minnesota All American, Barbora Špotáková of Czechoslovakia goes into the women's javelin throw finals today in London with the season's second longest throw and top throw in qualifying hoping to defend the Olympic title she won in Beijing in 2008.

Today's other Minnesota connection came in the broadcast of the women's open water swim final as the NBC announcers, wanting to give the audience an comparative idea of the length of the swim in the Serpentine Pond in London's Hyde Park, declared that the 6.2 mile race was roughly the distance one would have to swim if they wanted to get from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Wonder what route they took to get that distance?
Three Team USA Minnesota runners will compete in mile events this month, with Gabriele Anderson at the Falmouth Mile in Massachusetts on Saturday. Heather Kampf and Jamie Cheever among the elite field at the inaugural GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh next Friday, August 17.

Anderson will be making her third appearance at the Falmouth Mile having finished second in 2010 and fourth in 2011. She has run the mile in 4:31.05 and in July posted a personal best of 4:04.84 in the 1500 meters at a track meet in Europe. Anderson finished fourth in the 1500 meters at the US Olympic Trials earlier this summer.

The mile event will be held on the Falmouth High School Track beginning at 6 PM on Saturday. Results available HERE.

On Aug. 17, Kampf and Cheever will run in the first annual Liberty Mile on Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh at 7 PM. The race is expected to be the third largest competitive, one-mile road race in the US with world-class male and female milers competing for a $25,000 prize purse.

Kampf has a best in the road mile of 4:30.95 and won the USA 1 Mile Road Championships in May. Most recently she won the Ryan Shay Mile in Michigan on July 28 and last spring she was second at the Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines. At the US Olympic Trials, Kampf was seventh in the finals of the 800 meters, and also ran in the semi-finals of the 1500 meters.

Cheever recently completed a track tour in Europe where she set a personal best of 4:17.73 in the 1500 meters and was second in the steeplechase at a meet in Belgium. She has a best in the mile of 4:39.5. Cheever was in the steeplechase finals at the US Olympic Trials in June.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Gold Standard, SI's Tim Layden

If you want to read the "gold standard" of Olympic reporting on athletics, focus on Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated's columns. Layden's work is insightful, comprehensive, and beautifully written. An example is his tale of life in the mixed zone at the Olympic track for yesterday's action in the women's 100 hurdles and men's 1,500 meters HERE.

Minnesotans Win 24 Medals at USATF Masters Championships

By Tom Langenfeld
Minnesotans claimed 24 medals and one world record at the USATF National Masters Championships August 2-5 on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

Sherwood Sagedahl (M73) of Fairmont bettered the listed world age-group record in the M70 pentathlon with a score of 3,806 points – the highest pentathlon score in any age group in this year’s national competition. Competing in temperatures in the mid-90s on opening day, Sagedahl topped the existing record of 3,755 set by Germany's Gerhard Tillmann in 2009 with consistently strong performances in all five events. He nailed down the record with a time of 5:45.96 in the 1500m, a performance worth 918 points. Sagedahl’s other performances: long jump (3.85m, 661 points); javelin (35.83m/117'6", 741); 200m (30.37, 776) and discus (33.43m/109'8", 720).

Sagedahl continued his display of versatility in individual events over the next three days of competition with gold medal performances in the 1500m (5:46.77) and javelin (35.57m) and second-place finishes in the 800m (2:42.86) and 400m (67.1). He also finished sixth in the 100m (14.80).

Fifteen of Minnesota’s medals were gold. Eight of them won by 92-year-old Ralph Maxwell, a warm-weather resident of Richville, MN. He captured the 100m (19.86), 200m (44.25), high jump (1.02m/3'4"), long jump (2.73m/8'11.5"), triple jump (5.82m/19'1"), shot put (6.74m/22'1.25"), discus (15.95m/52'4"), and javelin (15.21m/49' 10.75").

Other individual golds were all in the vertical jumps: Kevin Gross (M42), Eden Prairie, M40 high jump (1.80m/5'10.75"); Stephen White (M41), Maple Grove, M40 pole vault (4.40m/14'5"); Tom Langenfeld (M77), Edina, M75 high jump (1.38m/4'6.25"); David Lindenberg (M33), Minneapolis, submasters M30 pole vault (4.55m/14'11").

Kathy Haubrich (W53), Shakopee, was a member of two Athena Track Club relay teams that set new American W50-59 records: 4x800 (10:45.23) and 4x400 (4:40.38).

Other individual medal winners:
Jamie Steffen (M34), Burnsville, second in the submasters M30 pole vault (3.80m/12' 5.5").
John Buursema (M85), West St. Paul, second in both the M85 100m (20.05) and 200m (45.00).
Lance Elliott (M41), Edina, third in the M40 1500m (4:10.68) and fourth in the 800 (2:0l.30).
Michael Burns (M69), Milan, third in the M65 100m hurdles (20.69) and fourth in the 300m hurdles (57.78); also 12th in the 200m and 14th in the 100m.
Peter Haack (M38), La Crescent, third in the M35 400m (52.67) and fourth in the 200m (23.86).
Thom Weddle (M73), Minneapolis, third in the M70 1500m (6:07.83).
Susan Loyd (W54), Edina, set a Minnesota W50 record in finishing fourth in the 100m (14.77). She also advanced to the finals in both the 200m and 400m, finishing fifth in each.

Other Minnesotans in action:
Rick Allen (M55), Richfield, fourth in the M55 high jump (1.55m/5'1") and fourth in the long jump (4.75m/15'7"); Robert Jones (M50), White Bear Lake, fourth in the M50 hammer (49.43m/162'2"), fourth in the weight throw (15.99m/52'5.5") and fifth in the discus (45.73m/150'.25"); James Moeller (M49), Eagan, fourth in the M45 pole vault (3.65m/11'11.5"); Jim Schoffman (M59) Fridley, sixth in the M55 400m (60.30 – 58.50 in prelims), 12th in the 200m, 14th in the 100m; Paul Montgomery (M66), Woodbury, seventh in the M60 200m (29.93—29.57 in prelims) and eighth in the 100m (13.97); Michael Soule (M60), Wyoming, seventh in the M60 pole vault (2.50m/8'2.25"); Brian Lundberg (M46), Edina, seventh in the M45 1500m (4:34.15); Martin Proops (M51), eighth in the M50 pole vault (3.05m/10'); Jeffrey Stamp (M52), Minnetonka, 11th in the M50 200m (26.78), 11th in the 400 (60.09); Chris Becker (M46), Woodbury, 16th in the M45200 (28.62).

The two-dozen Minnesota competitors were among more than 1,100 entrants in the four-day meet.

Boys' AA Cross Country Rankings

Boys AA Cross Country Rankings
Minnesota Coaches' Association

PRE SEASON (released 8/7/2012)

Rank / Team
1 Stillwater

2 Edina

3 Wayzata

4 Eden Prairie

5 Owatonna

6 Eastview

7 Hopkins

8 White Bear Lake

9 Centennial

10 Moorhead

T11 Andover

T11 Burnsville
Other Teams receiving votes:
Chaska, Minnetonka, Orono, Rosemount, Roseville, St Michael-Albertville, Willmar, Woodbury

Rank/ Athlete
1 Wayde Hall, Stillwater

T2 Joey Duerr, Chaska

T2 Kevin Docherty, Cretin-Derham Hall

4 Eric Colvin, Stillwater

T5 Will Burke, Edina

T5 Connor Olson, Wayzata

7 Ahmed Bule, St. Paul Central

T8 Joe Klecker, Hopkins

T8 Nick Oelke, Eastview

10 Steven Cotter, Andover

11 Brendan Sage, StMichael-Albertville

12 Cal Lawton, Eden Prairie

Other Athletes receiving votes:
Osba Ali, Richfield; Isaiah Barlow, Hutchinson; Zack Benning, Hastings; Sam Carlson, Bemidji; Matt Lumbar, Edina; Faysol Mamoud, Burnsville; Chris Meados, Andover; Nathan Roese , East Ridge

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Lake Wobegon Celebrates Ingebrigtsen

Lake Wobegon residents were glued to their television sets Tuesday night to watch the finals of the men's metric mile at the London Olympics. The phone lines started buzzing Tuesday afternoon as word came that Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen's nephew Hendrick Ingebrigtsen of Norway had done something special and everyone should watch the Olympics broadcast to see it.

While most Lake Wobegon residents had heard of the Olympic Games, the notion of a "metric mile" confused them. Pastor Liz said; "A mile is a mile, what do you want to try and make it metric for?" But not wanting to offend Senator Bill, they turned on their TVs and waited expectantly.

Finally, after seemingly endless talk about showing the 1,500 meter final, the camera began to pan across the entrants and there he was in those tiny shorts and funny looking shoes, Hendrick Ingebrigtsen, the pride of Norway, European champion in that silly metric event this year. A handsome young man, they thought, by why is he parading around this stadium full of people in his underwear?

They watched ardently as young Hendrick raced to a fifth place finish, an honorable placing they thought. At least he didn't raise his arms at the finish line or drop to his knees, bow down and kiss the track like others they had seen do after they won their races. He just did his job and didn't make a spectacle of himself. No gigantic metal coin to hang around his neck or bite while photographers took pictures, just a display of athleticism that everyone could be proud of.

That's the news from Lake Wobegon where the women are strong, the children are good looking, and the metric milers are above average.

Changes Afoot at Down the Backstretch ...

A note from Down the Backstretch Editor/Publisher Charlie Mahler … 

There’s going to be a change at our web-site for the coming months. I’ve taken a temporary, full-time position with Twin Cities In Motion, the organizers of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I’m contracted to work there until November as a Media and Communications Assistant.

In order devote myself fully to the TCM job – and make sure the quality of coverage remains high at DtB -- I’ve hired Jim Ferstle to handle the day-to-day reporting on the web-site until I return to its helm later this year. Jim has carried the reporting baton at DtB before, and, as a nationally respected running journalist, will do fine, fine work.

If you need to reach DtB in the coming months, please contact Jim at jferstle [AT] gmail [DOT] com. If you need to reach me, my e-mail address remains cmahler22 [AT] yahoo [DOT] com.

I hope you enjoy following the rest of the Olympics, the upcoming cross country season, and this fall’s marathon action through Down the Backstretch and Jim Ferstle.

 I know that’s what I’ll be doing!