Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Juell Wins NSIC 2013 Decathlon Title; Miller the Heptathlon

Minnesota State Mankato senior Tandy Juell won the decathlon at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Multi Championships with 6,296 points. Juell was in second-place after day one but was able to move up to first by finishing first in the the pole vault (4.65-meters), javelin throw (53.31-meters), and discus throw (41.88-meters). He finished  by placing second in the 1500-meter run (5:03.66) and fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.27). 

Earlier during the season Juell provisionally qualified in the decathlon in NCAA DII by scoring 6,997 points at the Emporia State Multi. That mark is sixth-best in the nation.Complete results of the NSIC competition are HERE.

UMD's Chanel Miller complted her sweep of the NSIC indoor or outdoor multi championships by winning the 2013 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference women's heptathlon scoring 4,866 points. Her point total broke her own UMD school record, which she set at at last year's NSIC Champinships by 109 points. Miller, the reigning NSIC indoor pentathlon titleholder, placed first among 13 competitors in two of the seven events (the 800-meter run and 100-meter hurdles) and was second in both the shot put and javelin.

Complete results are HERE.


The Gopher men moved up two spots from last week to 29th in the USTFCCCA DI rankings.  Full listing is HERE.

In DII Minnesota State Mankato rose three spots to 10th, and the U-Mary women fell three spots to 16th.

In DIII, the St. Thomas women fell four spots to 22nd.

Meet Professor Marathon

Sean Hartnett, a geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is better known in the running world as "Professor Marathon."  You can read about his obsession with the event HERE.

Tollefson to Run Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Carrie Tollefson  plans to make her marathon debut at the 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 6.  The 13-time Minnesota High School State Champion, who has won multiple NCAA and USA Championships in her storied career, announced her plans in a video on her website CTolleRun.com earlier today.

“It is time for me to join the crazy group of marathoners and have some fun running the streets of the Twin Cities with everyone else,” the Dawson native explained.  “I have loved representing this state at different running events around the world and it only made sense to try this event right here where my running career started. I am so excited to run, and scared at the same time.”

Three generations of the Tollefson family plans to run Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend events – from the Diaper Dash and Toddler Trot at the Medtronic TC Family Events, the TC 10K and TC 5K, presented by Fredrikson & Byron, and the Medtronic TC 10 Mile and the marathon itself.

With less than six month to go until the starting gun fires for the 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the field for the 12,200 runner event is more than half full.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Will Leer Moves in With Mom & Dad and Thrives

A feature story on Will Leer and his move back to California is HERE.

Cheever Second at Stanford with a PR

Jamie Cheever
Team USA Minnesota's Jamie Cheever finished second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Payton Jordan Invitational Sunday night, bettering her PR by more than 20 seconds in 9:29.13.  Trailing Colorado's Emma Coburn early in the race, Cheever closed the gap to less than a second with a lap to go, but was unable to get past the  2012 US Olympian who was ninth in the Olympic final, and finished just in front of Cheever in Palo Alto in 9:28.26.

Hassan Mead finished fifth in the final section of the 5K with a new PR of 13:15.50, Garrett Heath was eighth in 13:20.01, also a PR. Team USA Minnesota's Jonathan Peterson finished sixth in heat two of the 5K in 13:45.86, and the University of Minnesota's John Simons was ninth in the same heat with a PR of 13:49.65.

Former Gopher Ben Blankenship was fifth in the final heat of the 1500 in 3:39.71.  The university of Minnesota' Nick Hutton won heat three of the 1500 in 3:42.73. Wisconsin's Rob Finnerty finished 12th in heat two of the 1500 in 3:43.06. The Gophers' Andrew Larson finished 12th in heat three of the 5K in 14:17.97.  Team USA Minnesota's Meghan Payton finished 13th in the second heat of the women's 5K in 16:13.37.  Elliott Heath scratched from the meet earlier in the week.

Cheever's time easily made the A standard qualifying mark for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.  Mead missed the A standard by half a second, but has a B standard mark.  Full results are HERE. FloTrack photo gallery from the meet is HERE.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Burkstrand and Abda Go One, Two in Drake 800

A day after helping the Gophers to the squad’s third 4x800 meter relay title in as many years, Travis Burkstrand and Harun Abda put together a one-two finish in the 800 meters on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 14,504 at the Drake Relays to give the Minnesota men their second title of the weekend.  The pair of All-Americans battled each other from the gun.  Burkstrand took the lead for good midway through the second lap  and finished in 1:49.32 for his first 800 meter win of the outdoor season.  Abda was second at 1:49.67. Burkstrand’s 800 title marks the first time Minnesota has won the event at Drake.

Oladipo Fagbemi finished third in the triple jump(15:59 meters /51'1.75"). Wally Ellenson finished fifth in the high jump(2.12 meters /6'11.5".). Danny Schiller tied for 13th(2.03 meters /6'8") in the high jump.  Minnesota’s 1,600 meter sprint medley relay team--Cameron BoyJacob CapekJohn Holton, and Michael Bolland--finished first in its heat and sixth overall(3:23.35).

After finishing first in their preliminary heat on Friday, the 4x400 relay team of Abda, Kevin Bradley, Jacob Capek and Boy finished seventh in Saturday’s final( 3:08.25). Blayne Dulian (3:49.74) and Marcus Paulson (3:50.58) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 1,500 meters. Full day-by-day Drake results are HERE. Drake Gopher photo gallery is HERE.

Gophers Pick Up Two Titles in San Diego
Minnesota’s throwers were in competition on Saturday at the UCSD Triton Invitational in San Diego with the Gophers picking up titles in the hammer throw and the shot put. Logan Hussung set a new personal record in the shot (17.49 meters/57'4.75") to edge teammate and runner up Mark Jennings’(17.45 meters/ 57'3"). The duo’s marks are the top two for the Gophers in the shot put this season. The U of M men also captured three of the top four places in the hammer throw.  Micah Hegerle’s won (64.67 meters/212'2"). Jon Lehman finished third(59.76 meters/196'1"), and Justin Barber was fourth at (58.49 meters/191'11")
Barber(55.91 meters/183'5") set a new PR and finshed third in the discus. Dominique Howard was fifth(55.33 meters /181'6"), Hegerle seventh(54.83 meters/179'11").  Meet results are HERE

Gustavus Drake Alternative
Minnesota freshman Rashawn Fountain set a new meet record in the 400 meter hurdles on Saturday at the Gustavus  Drake Alternative meet in Northfield. Running unattached, Fountain clocked 53.57. Full meet results are HERE

Minnesota Daily story on Drake is HERE.

Gopher Women Win DMR at Drake

The University of Minnesota's women's distance medley relay --Katie HillAlena BrooksTe'Shon Adderley and Laura Docherty-- set a new school record, winning the event at the Drake Relays in 11:06.47. Docherty, who anchored the relay on the mile leg, received the baton in fourth.  The junior split 4:37 to claim the Gophers' second Drake Relays title in the DMR. Their record time broke the previous Minnesota best of 11:08.16, which was set in 2007.

The 4x100-meter relay--
Jessica WaldvogelTodea-Kay WillisMegan Geyen and Kylie Peterson--also grabbed points towards the Hy-Vee Cup as they took eighth. The Hy-Vee Cup combined five relay events over the weekend to determine the standings. Minnesota was tied for second heading into the final relay (4x400) with 16 points, but Minnesota did not have a foursome to compete at Drake in that relay. The Gophers ran in four of the five events and placed in three: 4x800, DMR, and 4x100. Illinois won the Hy-Vee Cup with 42 of the possible 50 points. The Gophers were fourth.

Willis also placed in the 100-meter dash as she finished sixth with a time of 11.83, which is the third time this season that she has run under 12 seconds.

Katie Moraczewski finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal-best time of 10:15.37,  three second out of first. Freshman Becca Dyson competed in the 1,500-meter run and ran a personal-best time of 4:27.96. Her time was nearly three seconds faster than her previous best (4:30.30), which she set last weekend. Results are HERE.  Photo gallery is HERE

Minnesota Daily story on Drake is HERE.

Gustavus Hosts Drake Alternative

Jeffrey Dubose hands the baton to Blair Riegel.  Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt.
Jeffrey Dubose hands the baton to Blair Riegel. Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt.


The Gustavus Adolphus hosted 21 regional teams that spanned Divisions I, II and III at the Drake Alternative held at the Gustavus Outdoor Track and Field complex on Saturday.  Leading the way for the Gustie men was Isaac Tapp (So., Stewartville, Minn.) and Ryan Ness (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.).  Tapp cleared 6-feet 6-inches to win the high jump, and Ness recorded a throw of 176-feet 5-inches to win the javelin.
8687327300_c9db98082d_bAlso in the field events, Brody Ziegler (Fr., Mankato, Minn.) placed fourth in the high jump with a height of 6-feet 4-inches, and Naga Rumicho (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) finished behind him in 10th with a height of 6-feet 2-inches.
Ryan Obele (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.) led the Gustie throwers with eighth place finishes in both the discus (147’ 6”) and hammer throw (160’ 5”).  Cameron Clause (Jr., Mankato, Minn.) rounded out the field competitors in eighth after a toss of 145-feet 2-inches in the javelin.
Blair Riegel (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) turned in a sixth place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.18 and also registered a leap of 21-feet 4-inches in the long jump to finish fourth.
Phillip Butler finished one place ahead of Riegel in the 100-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 11.16.
Sam Fransen (Jr., Jackson, Minn.) placed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:21.19.  Preston Tomlinson (Sr., New Prague, Minn.) came across behind Fransen in sixth (10:27.36), while Dakota Darkstar (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) finished eighth in 10:54.36.
Matt Flotterud (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) was Gustavus’s final top 10 performer on the track, taking ninth with a time of 16.01.
Gustavus’ top women's performer on the track was senior Beth Hauer (Little Falls, Minn.).  Hauer ran an 18:25.59 to finish runner-up in the 5,000-meter run.

Erica Hett (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.) also posted a finish on the podium by taking third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:52.23.  She also added a sixth place finish in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:00.76.
Beth Hauer
Rebecca Hare (So., Albany, Minn.) and Caitlin Fermoyle (So., Mendota Heights, Minn.) rounded out the squad’s top competitors on the track.  Hare placed fourth in the 1,500-meter run (4:57.79) and Fermoyle took fourth in the 5,000-meter run (18:51.33).
Senior Ally Voss (Wausau, Wis.) paced the Black and Gold in the field events.  Voss took runner-up in the pole vault after clearing 11-feet 6.5-inches.
Lauren Rothschiller (Sr., Chaska, Minn.) turned in a pair of podium finishes in the jumps.  She placed third in the long jump after a leap of 16-feet 8.50-inches and third in the triple jump with a mark of 36-feet 8.50-inches.  Nevada Wendlandt (Jr., Maplewood, Minn.) contributed a fourth place finish in the high jump (5-1.75) and a ninth place showing in the pole vault (10-6.75).
Elizabeth Weiers (So., Le Center, Minn.) led the Gusties in the throws with a thirf place performance in the hammer throw with a toss of 159-feet 3-inches.  Hayley Solheim (Fy., Crookston, Minn.) finished fourth in the shot put with a throw of 40-feet 11.75-inches, and Rachel Colter (So., North St. Paul, Minn.) came in fourth in the javelin with a throw of 112-feet 10-inches.
The Gustavus track and field team will be in action next on Wednesday, May 1 when it takes part in the Mankato Twilight Meet in Mankato, Minn.  Full results for the Drake Alternative are HERE.  Photo gallery is HERE

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gopher Women Drake and Grand View Results

Senior Todea-Kay Willis was busy on the second day of the 104th annual Drake Relays as she aided the University of Minnesota’s 4x100-meter relay in qualifying for the finals, while she advanced to the finals in the open 100.The Gophers’ 4x100-meter relay began the day by taking third in their preliminary heat but still posted the sixth fastest time of 46.016, which is the fastest time run by Minnesota this season. The foursome of Jessica Waldvogel, Willis, Megan Geyen and Kylie Peterson runs Saturday at 3:30 PM.

Willis then ran in the final heat of the 100 and took second to qualify for the finals. She had the sixth fastest time and runs at 2:23 PM. The 4x800-meter relay capped off the running events for Minnesota as they took fourth in the event. The quartet of Katie Hill, Te’ Shon Adderly, Maggie Bollig, and Alena Brooks ran a time of 8:38.78. In the discus, Devin Stanford narrowly missed qualifying for the finals as she took tenth with a toss of 48.74m/159'11", which came on her third and final throw. Drake Relays results are HERE.

Meanwhile at a track meet hosted by Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, three of the 4x100-meter relay runners who also ran at the Drake Relays also competed in various events. Peterson took first in the 100 with her fastest time of the year, 11.92. Geyen claimed the 400 title with in 55.44, while Waldvogel won the 400-meter hurdles(62.74). In the 800, Casey Opitz(2:14.21) and Lauren Domski(:15.67) finished first and second. Grand View results are HERE.

Ben Blankenship Running Times Interview

Miler Ben Blankenship Running Times interview is HERE. Blankenship is one of several Minnesotans running in the Payton Jordan invitational on Sunday.

Gopher Men's Results at Drake

Goaner Deng, Alex Brend, Travis Burkstrand and Harun Abda combined to give the Minnesota men's outdoor track and field team its third-straight Drake Relays 4x800 title on Friday evening at Drake Stadium.
The Gophers contingency clocked a winning time of 7:26.49 to highlight the second day of action at the national meet and post the fourth-best time in the NCAA this year in the 4x800 meter relay.

Friday's winning chemistry mixed experience and youth as Burkstrand and Abda have now been part of three-straight 4x800 meter titles at the Drake Relays while Deng and Brend - both redshirt freshmen this season - stepped into their roles nicely as the first and second legs of the relay, respectively. After the pair of newcomers kept the Gophers in the front of the pack for the first two legs, Minnesota's veterans built up a good lead the rest of the way as Minnesota took home its first title of this year's relays.

“Harun and I have ran in the last two, and we have two new guys with us now, but we knew they could put down good legs for us, get us out front and we can close it out," Burkstrand said after the race. "They did a great job of getting us the baton where we needed it.”

The Gophers' 4x400 meter relay team finished first in its heat and third overall in Friday's preliminaries to advance to the finals on Saturday. The squad of Kevin Bradley, Abda, Jacob Capek and Cameron Boy clocked a time of 3:08.25 while Illinois paced the competition, followed by Nebraska.

Minnesota also had a notable performance with Oladipo Fagbemi's sixth-place finish in the long jump. Fagbemi's leap of 7.46 meters (24'5.75") is a personal best and ranks seventh all-time at Minnesota.

Full day-by-day results for Drake Relays are HERE. Photos are HERE.

Eight Meet Records Fall As High Schoolers Shake Off "Cabin Fever" at Hamline Elite Meet

Starved for competition and merely being able to perform outside, many of the state's best high school athletes broke out from the athletic version of cabin fever in front of a packed house as Klas Field in St. Paul Friday night at the Hamline Elite Meet.  Eight meet records were set and outstanding races, plus the winners throwing a T-shirt into the stands after each victory, had the packed grandstands loudly cheering for the action and yelling for the event winners to send a shirt their way.

The boys and girls 3200 lived up to expectations with two very different types of racing.  The boys' race was a tactical battle that became, essentially a race for half the distance.  The girls' event was part time trial, part race that became a three person battle after the first few laps. The similarities being that in each race the first 200 meters was run at a nearly identical pace and the winners made near identical last lap sprints to emerge victorious.

The boys race went out at 35 seconds for the first 200 and continued at near 70 second pace for each lap of the rest of the first mile.  Two of the pre-race favorites, Stillwater's Eric Colvin and Wayde Hall,  along with Richfield's Obsa Ali took turns at the front of the group with the tightly packed field having no trouble holding the early pace.  After they passed the mile in around 4:41, Stillwater coach Scott Christensen, who had arrived at Klas Field after working with the majority of his team at the Varsity Invitational meet at St. Thomas, yelled to Colvin and Hall: "The race starts now," and it did.

Wayzata's Connor Olson soon took over the lead and began a long drive to the finish. By the last lap only Chaska's Joey Duerr was on Olson's heels with Colvin and Ali within striking distance but realistically out of the race for first.  With 300 meters to go, Duerr made his move.  Florescent yellow spiked shoes flashing, Duerr burst past Olson down the backstretch and never looked back.

He ran nearly 60 seconds for the last lap and approximately 4:27 for the last mile to grab the unexpected win.  After the race, the sweat still glistening on his face, Duerr said that his strategy for the race was to hang onto the leaders in the talent-packed field and simply run as best he could.  How any of the athletes could perform was an unknown variable as the many meet cancellations meant that everyone came to the meet with mostly time trials as competition and often little practice time on the track.

Asked when he thought he could win, Duerr said: "With 300 meters to go I was still feeling good, so I decided to give it a go...The the crowd noise was tremendous.  I felt great."   His last mile of the two-mile race was as fast or faster than he'd run an open mile, said Duerr, who wasn't thinking about time, but rather just staying competitive and seeing what happened. "When you get in a field with so many good runners, you just let them tow you along."

The girls 3200 followed a different model.  After a 36 second opening 200 and a 76 second first quarter, the pace started to lag with a 78 second second lap.  State AA cross country champion, Maria Hauger did not want a tactical race.  "I was going for a fast time," said Hauger. She wanted to better her PR of 10:27.68.  "I got a PR, so I'm satisfied," Hauger added.  The fast time is important because the end of the season invitational meets around the country select entrants based on their times, not the titles they've won.

In pursuit of the time, Hauger towed State Class A cross country champion Clare Flanagan and Eagan's Danielle Anderson to fast times as well.  Flanagan, who chose pink flourescent shoes to go with her red, white and blue Blake team uniform, was uncertain going into the race about her fitness.  "I was really nervous earlier today because I haven't run any races, and Maria was running, and I knew it would be fast," she said.  Once the race began, however, the nerves were gone and the competitor emerged.  She followed Hauger, hoping to get a fast time and, like Duerr in the boys' race, decided to make her move down the backstretch of the final lap.

Flanagan quickly put several meters on both Hauger and Anderson and though they both fought down the homestretch and pulled back some of the lead Flanagan grabbed with her earlier burst, neither could make up the gap.  Flanagan got the win in a meet record 10:23, followed by Hauger in 10:24.32 and 10:24.69, all three personal bests.  As she was leaving the stadium, Flanagan saw Hauger standing with her father and mother.  She congratulated Hauger on her race and the two compared notes on their upcoming schedules, Flanagan wondering if and when the two might race again.

Hauger noted that she had a race on Saturday in a rescheduled meet where she's going to run a 1600, plus another meet next week.  The pair figured the only possible meeting would probably be after the State Meet.  As they broke up, Flanagan, a junior,  gave Hauger, a senior, a hug and told her how much she enjoyed their races:  "You are an inspiration to me," Flanagan said.

St. Francis' Maggie Ewen has the same status in the field events.  Winning her third consecutive double at the Elite Meet, she set meet records in the shot and discus despite this week being the first time she has thrown outdoors in practice or competition.  Ewen, who will be going to Arizona State next year, joked with her parents that she won't have that weather problem next year.  Between throws in the discus, Ewen, who won the event with a toss of 166'4", within six inches of her PR, stood with and conducted an ongoing, jovial chat with runner-up Kassi Vollmer of Prior Lake(133') and fourth place finisher Jordyn Thornton of Lakeville South(130'7").  After the event finished the trio posed for pictures together, arms around each others' shoulders.

During the competition, her conversations with the others interrupted, Ewen would take off her hooded sweat shirt, step into the ring and slowly twirl her body around, launching the disc skyward in an elegant arc as if it was attempting to reach up and touch the sky before it fell back to earth.  Many of the other throwers  had little arc on their throws, which looked like they were propelled as if shot out of a cannon on a straight line for as long as the implement could stay airborne.  In this early season, her father said, Ewen works on her technique, slowly getting all the pieces of her athletic ballet around the ring more technically correct and quicker.

Ewen, also plays volleyball, and was drawn into both sports by her sister, she said.  Oh, my sister's playing volleyball, I can do that, she said with a smile.  My sister's doing track.  I can do that.  Yes, she can. So can Minnetonka junior Mia Barron who surprised herself by winning three events at the Elite meet--the long(17'8.5") and triple jump(37'4.75"), and 100 hurdles(15.26).  Lakeville South's Shaina Burns doubled in the unlikely combo of the shot put(third, 42'10.5") and the 300 hurdles(first in 45.87), and who was teased by the meet announcer who noted that her T-shirt toss into the crowd after her hurdle win "didn't look like a shot putter's" throw.

Cretin-Derham Hall's Megan Linder also had a busy and successful evening.  The defending State champ in the 400 won that event(57.19) and was second in the 100(12.41).  Blaine's Taylor Morgan set a meet record in winning the 100, running 12.22 in both the prelims and the finals.  Stillwater ninth grader Eli Krahn used a blazing final lap to win the 1600 in 4:18.59, nearly four seconds faster than teammate Sean Bork(4:22.30).  Bemidji's Jenna Truedson(5:04.19) held off last year's elite meet 800 winner Samantha Nielsen(5:04.94) of Roseville in the girls 1600 as both ran PRs.

Minnetonka's girls teams swept the 4 by 400 and 4 by 800 relays.  Kasson Mantoville's Taylor Wiebke set a meet record in the girls high jump(5'8").  There was a photo finish in the boys' 200 with Roseville's Elvis Barkley edging Forest lake's Rich Carr as both were timed timed in 22.11.  East Ridge's Nate Roese broke his own meet record in the 400 with a 48.46 win over Champlin Park's Emmanuel Egbujor, whose 48.5 time was also under Roese's old mark. Irondale's Ben Ojika(14.50) set a meet record in the 110 hurdles despite having to recover from a stumble during the race.  Wayzata's boys teams swept the 4 by 100, 4 by 200, and 4 by 400 meter relays, setting a meet record of 1:29.61 in the 4 by 200.

Full results are HERE.  Star Tribune story is HERE.

Carlson, Melander Win Get In Gear 10K Titles

Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson won the men's Minnesota RRCA 10K title, his teammate McKenzie Milander won the women's.  Carlson beat Twin Cities Track Club's Joe more by 11 seconds in 29:27.  Melander won the women's race by nearly a minute over Jenna Boren in 34:21.  Results are HERE.

Get In Gear Half Marathon results are HERE.

Garrett Heath Talks About Winning the US Road Mile, Altitude Training, and Season Ojectives

Photo courtesy of
Winona's Garrett Heath won the US road mile championship on Tuesday in Des Moines.  Below he talks about that win, altitude training, and his goals for this year

Down the Backstretch:  You blogged about altitude training.  What did you learn from your foray into thin air?

Garrett Heath: I've been to altitude a fair amount in the past through family trips and college training, but never for as long as I was up there this last time.  I've always enjoyed my time up in the mountains and felt like it was beneficial to my running, but it's really just been hard to get away from the Bay area for that amount of time in the past during the track season.

Not only is it hard to leave the great weather in the Bay, but I've always either had obligations myself or had great training groups that wouldn't have been able to make the trip with me due to school or other obligations they had.  With that, it never seemed worth the potential benefits of altitude if it meant losing training partners for that period of time.  If you race indoors, it's also just hard to find that large of a block without any races.  

Recently, a lot of my training partners have left the area, so I've found myself training on my own anyway.  With that, I figured that it would be a great chance to get in a longer altitude stint before hopefully beginning to do some training with some of the other guys in the Bay Area Track Club this spring. 

Overall, it turned out to be a great experience up there.  I think a lot can be said about finding new ways to push your body and stress the system.  There were definitely some painful workouts that were initially hard to take very seriously, given how much easier they would have been at sea level, but you could definitely see yourself improving even over a few weeks of solid training.  I think the biggest obstacle for me in general up there was to just forget about pace and go on feel.  If you don't do this, you can end up digging yourself a hole and overtraining pretty quickly.  

DtB:  After the race he noted that family and friends came down from Winona to watch the race.  That must have added a bit to your enjoyment of the win.

GH: Yeah, definitely.  I always enjoy racing back to the Midwest and having some family and friends there was a bonus.  The race was a bit cold as well, so it reminded me of the Minnesota high school cross country days a bit, where you just never knew when you might get snowed on.  I've been lucky that both my parents have found ways to travel all over the country and world to watch my brother and I race over the years, but any time they are able to make it out adds some extra enjoyment.

DtB:  What was your objective going into the US Road Mile Champs this week?

GH: It had been a while since I had raced, and given that it is hard to do as much high intensity training at altitude, I really didn't know what to expect.  Going into every race, the main objective is to win, but this one was also a good chance to get the season started and gauge where I was at heading into the outdoor season.  As far as particular plan, I knew it was going to be a good field, so my goal was mainly to be in the mix with 400m to go and just try to close well from there. 

DtB:  It was a bit cold and windy for the race, but you seemed to take the race out for the first quarter.  Then you sort of sat in the pack and started a long drive to the finish in the last quarter.  Did the race unfold like you thought it would or were there  surprises?

GH: I would say that the race was somewhat predictable with the wind, but there are always a few moves from other runners that are unpredictable and surprise you.  There's a lot more variables that go into a road mile than a track races because of the varying courses, so a lot of the actual strategy for the race doesn't really develop until you're there and have a chance to check out the course and conditions.  

Because of the wind, I would say the race developed early on like you might expect, because no one wanted to be stuck breaking the wind alone for the entire race.  Everyone kind of circulated through the pack in the first 800m, but you could tell that people were starting to get antsy as we rounded the corners around the halfway point.  Once you could see the finish line, things really started to pick up and never really settled back all the way through the line.  

DtB:  You’ve done a mile and are doing a 5K on Sunday, does that reflect an attempt to sort out what your best event will be or is it just a part of the overall plan for the 2013 season?

GH: It's mainly just part of the overall plan.  I'm still planning to focus on the 1500m/mile for the championship races, but I've been doing a fair amount of aerobic work early in the season and wanted to give the 5K a shot before refocusing on the shorter stuff.  Although I PRed last year, I felt like I just missed running a really fast one(mile/1500), so I'm hoping to get some redemption from that and lower the PR again.

DtB:  What’s the goal for the season?

GH: Make the World Championship team.  Beyond that, the biggest goals are to lower my personal bests in everything from the 800 to the 5K and be competitive in every race that I run.

USATF "Elite athlete spotlight" on Heath is HERE

Friday, April 26, 2013

Anderson Fifth, Kempf 11th at Drake

Team USA Minnesota's Gabriele Anderson(4:10.32) was fifth in the 1500 at the Drake Relays Friday night and teammate Heather Kempf was 11th in 4:20.80.   Results are HERE.

Hamline Elite Meet Tonight

If you've been waiting for a chance to get away from your space heater or snow shovel, tonight might be a good night to do it.  On the Twin Cities first real Spring day, many of the top high school athletes will be on display at Hamline's Klas Field tonight.

Starting at 5:30 PM with 100 meter prelims and the field events, action will be non-stop, culminating with two highly anticipated 3200 meter finals and the always exciting 4 by 400 relays under the lights. The boys' 3200 starts at 8:21 PM.  Eight runners with seed times within 15 seconds of one another are featured with Cretin Derham Hall's Kevin Docherty and Jake McDermott facing Stillwater's 2012 State XC champ Wayde Hall and teammate Eric Colvin battling Edina's Will Burke and Matt Lumbar, Foley's Charlie Lawrence, Chaska's Joey Duerr, and Wayzata's Connor Olson.  The big question being, with a group that closely matched, will they push themselves in an attempt to break nine minutes and threaten Mike Torchia's  meet record of 8:59.18(set in 2006) or will it become a tactical battle.

Once that contest concludes, all eyes will be on the women's 3200 with Shakopee's Maria Hauger being challenged by Blake's Clare Flanagan, Eagan's Danielle Anderson, and Wayzata's Anna French.  All four of those girls have run under 11 minutes with the top three only separated by eight seconds on their seed times.  Alexandria grad Jamie Piepenburg's meet record of 10:28.46(set last year) is vulnerable.  But these events are only the climax of what should be a very entertaining and eventful evening on a Spring night in Minnesota that is ripe for enjoying the outdoors.

Gopher Field Event Men Tops at Macalester/Bolstorff Twilight Meet

Relay action  from the Bolstorff Twilight.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Mitchell/
Sport Shot Photos
Host team Macalester placed sixth out of 16 teams at the Bolstorff Twilight Meet Thursday evening at Macalester Stadium. The University of Minnesota, NCAA Division I, won the team title over Division III teams St. John's, St. Olaf, Hamline, and UW-River Falls.

Macalester won the meet's final event, the 4x400 relay in 3:25.7.  Two Scots were runners-up: Logan Hovie in the high jump (1.94m / 6' 4.25") and MIAC indoor champ Konnor Fleming in the 200(22.29).

Sebastian Roemer  was fourth in the 800(1:58.25), Joe Giamberdino was sixth in his first attempt at the steeplechase (10:20.49), and Joey Frankl took seventh in the 800 (1:59.13).

The Gopher men scored 99 points taking four individual titles for their second-straight Bolstorff team title. 
The Gophers won the team title because of a dominating performance in the throwing events.  Gopher men won individual titles in the shot put, the weight throw,  and the discus.

Minnesota took the top five places in the discus with Justin Barber(54.21 meters/177'10"), Dominique Howard (51.90 meters/170'3"), Mark Jennings (51.53 meters/ 169'1"),  Micah Hegerle(50.22 meters/164'9"), and Luke Johnson (49.15 meters/161'3"). The Gophers also swept the first three places in the weight throw and shot put.  Hegerle won weight throw with a toss of  64.25 meters (210'9"),  followed by Jon Lehman (59.84 meters/196'4"), and Justin Barber(57.86 meters/189'10").  Logan Hussung triumphed in the shot (16.65 meters/54'7.5"), followed by Johnson(16.60 meters/54'5.5"), and Jacob Fenske (15.24 meters/50').

Adam Isakson won in the pole vault(4.75 meters/15'7"). Kenny Schofield was the runner-up in the long jump(6.49 meters/21'3.5") in his season debut in the event.  Full meet results are HERE

Gopher Men's Results from Drake Relays

The Minnesota men’s 4x1600-meter relay team finished second in 16:45.51.  Derek Storkel, Bob Nicolls, Blayne Dulian and Alex Brend battled Notre Dame, who pulled ahead in the final 200 meters to clock a winning time of 16:42.89.

In other events on Thursday, Minnesota’s Michael Bolland finished 12th in the 800 in 2:09.32 after tangling up in the pack midrace and battling to the finish line. Adam Zutz came in 19th in the 5K  in 14:40.30. Results are HERE. Photos are HERE

Women Gopher Drake Day One Results

On the first day of the104th annual Drake Relays, the Gopher womens'  4x1600-meter relay(19:23.25) finished second.  Maggie BolligBecca DysonAshlie Decker and Laura Docherty came close to grabbing the team's fourth 4x1600-meter relay title in five seasons, but Iowa State beat them by seven seconds. In the 10,000-meter run, freshman Rebecca Rethwisch ran a 37:19.53 in her first collegiate race at that distance. Junior Stephanie Solfelt posted a personal-best time of 37:45.79, nearly a minute and a half faster than her previous best from last season.

The 5,000-meter run capped off the night  as freshman Liz Berkholtz led the Gopher squad with a time of 16:51.84 to finish tenth. Juniors Kelli Budd(11th) and Missa Varpness(12th) came in on Berkholtz's heels to finish with times of 16:52.76 and 16:59.24, respectively. Budd's time was a personal-best by 26 seconds. Kaila Urickwas 16th in 17:16.87and Rachel Drake  finished 17th in17:22.32).  Results are HERE

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yes/No: How many Hamline Elite Meet Records will be broken in 2013?

The Hamline Elite Meet is set to go with its typical great fields of high school athletes.  Hosted this Friday by Hamline University, the event has a unique format:  any high school athlete can be entered but only the very best are accepted—setting the stage for a fast-paced, highly competitive meet.

Many of the most decorated high school athletes of the past seven years are on the Elite Meet record board, including Alicia Rue, Maggie Ewen, Bria Wetsch, Michael Sandle and Micah Hegerle.

We would like to know how many records will be broken this year...

Yes/No: Will ten or more meet records be tied or broken at the Hamline Elite Meet on Friday?

In 2012, there were nine records tied or broken.  There were seven broken in 2011.  In 2010, nine meet records were tied or broken.  In 2009, there were seven meet records tied or broken.  (If patterns mean anything, there should be seven records tied or broken in 2013.)

There are great match-ups at this meet; too many to detail.  But for distance running fans, you really can't beat Maria Hauger vs. Clare Flanagan vs. Danielle Anderson at 3200 meters.

To research your answer, try these links:

2013 Elite Meet Entries

Elite Meet Records

Previous Elite Meet Results

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 5:30 P.M. CDT, Friday, April 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.  We will offer a bonus for participants making their 2013 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 a Minnesota athlete win the USA 1 Mile Championship in Des Moines on Tuesday?  The answer was yes—Garrett Heath finished first on the men's side.  Nineteen contestants answered correctly and there is now a three-way tie for first place in the overall standings.  Lori Anne Schwiesow, Dimitri Drekonja and Toby Hatlevig lead with eight points.

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

Headliners for Medtronic TC Mile Announced

Four Olympians will add some speed and potentially threaten the course records at the May 9 Medtronic TC Mile in Minneapolis. 

New Zealand’s Nick Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver-medalist at 1500m, will join Kenya’s Boaz Lalang, a semifinalist at 800-meters in Beijing, Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes, a 1500 semifinalist at the London Games last year, and Australia’s Gen LaCaze, a steeplechaser in London, in the professional waves of the race that runs through the heart of downtown Minneapolis on Nicollet Mall.

The foursome joins defending champions Craig Miller (Colorado Spring, CO) and Heather Kampf, a Rosemount, Minnesota native who competes for Team USA Minnesota among announced competitors in the race.  Also declared are 2012 Medtronic TC 1 Mile Men’s runner-up Aaron Braun (Flagstaff, Ariz.), newly crowned USA 1 Mile champion Garrett Heath, a native of Winona, MN, and US Olympic Trials 800 finalist Phoebe Wright (Signal Mountain, TN.)

New Twist Added to Auggie Awards

Award ceremonies are usually pretty predicatable.  Not the sixth annual Auggie Awards on Monday night at Augsburg College's Si Melby Hall. Women's track and field student-athlete Ashley Carney was receiving her award for Women's Athlete of the Year-Individual Sport. Her boyfriend, Augsburg alum Rick Wolke '12 (who ran on the men's track and field team during his Auggie career), knew that Ashley was nominated for the honor, so he hatched up a plan to dress up in the Auggie Eagle mascot costume to give Ashley her award ... Rick took off the Auggie Eagle head, took a knee and proposed. Ashley said yes, and the Auggie Awards crowd went wild.

Hamline Twilight Summary

Hamline's Klas Field is a busy place this week.  Last night they held the Hamline Twilight Meet and tomorrow night is the Hamline Elite Meet for high schoolers.  

The hosts  Hannah Toedter had the only win for the Piper women on a wet and windy night taking the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 12:05.99 topping the field by more than five seconds. In addition to Toedter's  triumph, Hamline's Marolyn Saulsberry took second in the 100 meter hurdles in 15.09, .05 off the lead and  a new school record, breaking Dana Luiken's 15.16 standard set in 2007. 

Becky Culp also earned a place in the record books with a 45'1" throw in the shot put. This eclipsed Misty Bahr's 44'9.75" 3/4 performance in 1998. It was one of pair of seconds (trailing only U-M throwers) for the senior. She also was second to a Gopher thrower in the discus (153'10"). Among all D-III throwers, Becky currently ranks third in the discus and eighth in the shot put. 

Maria Theisen finished third in the 800 (2:23.81) as did Adrianne Acosta in the Javelin (88'3"). Heather Holinger was third in the 5K(18:52.03) with Cassie Ernst fourth(19:03.18). Shawny Kramer trailed three U-M athletes with in fourth place in the hammer (164'4"). The sophomore set a personal record in the discus with her fifth place finish(142'5"),  currently tenth among all D-III throwers in this category.

Jessica Putland placed fourth place in the Shot Put(
41'5.75") a personal best and ranks 37th in the country. She had a PR in the hammer (155'1"), finished sixth (behind four Gophers and Kramer) and ranks 35th in Division III. 

In its first of four different meets this week, the Gopher  women's track and field team won seven event titles. A few of them posted season-best marks.  Devin Stanford won the discus with a season-best throw of 163'5"(49.50m). She also won the hammer throw.  Katie Murgic and Katie Loberg also won their events with season bests. Murgic vaulted 12'5.5"(3.80m) and Loberg cleared 5'6.5"(1.69m). Jessica Waldvogel (400-meter hurdles), Becci Osterdyk (shot put) and Emily Betz (javelin) also won their events.  

In the only men's event, the 10K, Gustavus' Joe Renier finished second(32:34.84), Hamline's  Chris Gill was fourth(33:37.48, and Gustavus's Adam Lund(33:40.99) and Nate Hanson(34:27.36) were fifth and sixth, respectively. 31:40.21  Full results are HERE

Gopher Women's Coaches Share Drake Relay Memories

“When you go there as a coach—from any school—you just feel great about track and field,” Gopher cross country/distance coach Gary Wilson said. “It’s a big deal, like going to a rock concert, like going to a football game.”

Wilson was talking about the Drake Relays, a historic meet entering its 104th year this week. The Gophers have sent competitors to Drake for basically the entire history of Minnesota’s track and field program.
During his long coaching career, including 28 seasons at Minnesota, Wilson has enough Drake Relays memories to fill a book. He was even inducted into the meet’s Hall of Fame. A few special moments from the years stand out in his mind.

One year, he saw Olympian Carl Lewis run the 100 meters in the snow. “That day we had to pry Angie Abbott’s hands off the baton because they were frozen on the baton, basically,” he said.

Watching the 2010 Gopher 4x1,600-meter relay team, anchored by Gabriele Anderson, set the meet record was another memorable moment. The Gophers still hold that record, as well as the 4x800m relay record.
The best part of the Relays for Wilson, is not the races themselves, but the people involved in the meet. He said he rarely watches non-Gopher races anymore because he spends most of his time talking to people he has met throughout his career.

One of his favorite memories of Drake happened on the track, but not during an actual race. His friend Gary Osborn, the longtime Drake women’s coach, was teasing him about a late entry into an event at the 2000 Relays. Osborn started chasing Wilson down the track.

When he caught up, the two hugged and told each other, “I love you.” Those were the last words they ever exchanged, as Osborn passed away a week later. Wilson and the Gophers continue to honor Osborn every year with the Oz Memorial cross country meet.

This year, in his last season as a Gopher coach, Wilson is looking forward to watching soon-to-be head cross country coach Sarah Hesser and volunteer assistant Nikki Swenson continue the transition to the future. He plans to attend the Drake Relays during retirement.

Five Gopher relays, 13 individual distance event runners, four throwers and Todea-Kay Willis (100 meters and long jump) are scheduled to compete there this week.

“The history and tradition and big crowd give the meet a great atmosphere,” director of track and field/cross country Matt Bingle said. “It’s always one of the biggest crowds our kids have ever competed in front of.”
Bingle has memories of Drake from his college days at Ball State. Aside from seeing Olympian Michael Johnson run, he remembers it being a big deal to him to compete on such a big stage.

The Gophers always enjoy watching Olympians compete if their own competition schedules allow it. Drake is a particularly special place for Iowa natives Ashlie Decker and Rebecca Rethwisch, who competed in the meet as high schoolers and will run there again this week.

“It’s a marquee destination for Midwestern athletes,” Bingle said. The format of the meet also adds to the intensity and atmosphere.

“As the name suggests, the meet focuses on relays, so it’s a chance to really compete for your team,” Bingle said.

Wilson marvels at the respect with which the team is always treated at Drake. Minnesota’s 4x1,600m team finished second at last year’s Relays. This week, the 4x1,600 and the rest of the Gophers will strive to win their events and to be the subject of the crowd’s cheers.

“It’s like you’re a rock star almost,” Wilson.

Medtronic TC Mile Event Aims to Help Boston

Twin Cities In Motion, the organizer of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, is dedicating the upcoming Medtronic TC Mile on Thursday evening May 9 to the victims of the Boston bombings.

The organization will donate 10% of each runner’s entry fee to the victims of the attacks and match those contributions in an effort to raise $10,000 total.  Participants in the event, which runs down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, are asked to wear yellow and blue apparel at the race, the signature colors of the Boston Marathon, as a way of showing support.

“The entire running community feels the reverberations of the Boston Marathon bombing,” Twin Cities In Motion Executive Director Virginia Brophy Achman said.  “Naturally, we feel called to do our part to help heal the wounds caused by the attack.  We wanted to give Twin Cities area runners a natural way to show support for the Boston community and contribute to its healing.”

Twin Cities In Motion has also set up a fundraising platform to let people make one-time donations or utilize upcoming 2013 Twin Cities In Motion events to fundraise for Boston bombing victims.  Information on donation options through Twin Cities In Motion can be found on the TCM Blog.

The 9th annual Medtronic TC Mile is the fifth stop on the inaugural Bring Back the Mile Tour that includes 14 events and one end-of-the-year gala held across the country and throughout the year.  Some 3000 runners are expected to participate in the event which features seven separate waves of runners.

Racing kicks off at 6:53 PM on Thursday, May 9 with the Friends and Family Wave.  The event culminates with the Women’s and Men’s Professional Waves at 7:51 and 8:03 PM.  A $25,000 prize purse and a pair of $10,000 course record bonuses are at stake for the professionals.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Weekend For Multi Taskers

Thanks to our wonderful "Spring" weather, the calendar of events for running have tended to be in places warm and free of snow.  This weekend, however, offers a "feast" of options both locally and nationally. The annual Drake Relays are being held in Iowa along with the Penn Relays on the East Coast in Philadelphia. Info on the Drake Relays is HERE, Penn Relays homepage is HERE.

On Friday, starting at 5:30 PM, the Hamline Elite Meet is back at the Klas Field track.  Info on the meet is available HERE.  On Saturday, the road running version of the Spring Opener, the Get in Gear races, begin with the 2K at 8 AM at  Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis  Race info is HERE. Three Team USA Minnesota runners are entered: Andrew Carlson, Jon Grey, and McKenzie Melander.  The Get in Gear 10K is the Minnesota RRCA Championship race for 2013.

On Sunday several Minnesotans will run in the Payton Jordan Invitational track meet at Stanford.  Info for that meet is HERE. Minnesotans on the entry list as of Thursday were Ben Blankenship, Hassan Mead, Garrett Heath, Elliott Heath, Rob Finnerty, Andrew Larsen, John Simons, Jonathan Peterson, Meghan Peyton, and Jamie Cheever

MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Athletes-of-the-Week(Carleton Relays Results)

Feichtinger, Tommy
Tommy Feichtinger, Saint John's
Omaha, NB / Mount Michael Benedictine

Saint John's University freshman Thomas Feichtinger was named the MIAC Men's Track Athlete of the Week. Feichtinger won the 800 in 1:53.6 at the Carleton Relays April 20. The time leads the MIAC so far this season, edges the Johnnies' best time in the event last season by over two seconds (1:55.86) and breaks the school's freshman record set by Michael Marschel in 2001 (1:54.68).

He also recorded a 400-meter split of 49.3 seconds to help SJU defeat Division II Minnesota-Duluth by nearly five full seconds to claim victory in the 4x400-meter relay (3:20.06).
A US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree, Feichtinger finished 18th (26:17) as the Johnnies claimed fourth out of 27 teams at the NCAA Central Regional last fall.
Feichtinger leads SJU's first leg of the distance medley relay at the Drake Relays this Saturday, April 27, in Des Moines, Iowa. Full Carleton Relays mens' results are HERE. Recap of Carleton Relays is HERE

SJU is at the Macalester College Twilight Meet Thursday. The team will split between the Drake University Relays and the Gustavus Invitational Saturday and will host the Meet of the Saints May 4 at noon.


Polk, Alex
Alex Polk, Carleton
Crystal Lake, IL / Central

The cold temperatures didn't affect Carleton thrower Alex Polk Saturday in his home stadium at the Carleton Relays. The Knights' sophomore finished second in the javelin,  first among MIAC and Division III competitors. In the process, he recorded a new personal best and improved to third in the conference in 2013. For his performance, Polk was named the MIAC Men's Outdoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

Polk's threw of 48.89 meters, or 160' 4". He finished behind only Division II UM-Duluth student-athlete Nathan Kopp (180' 10"), and nearly six feet ahead of the next MIAC and Division III competitor. In the process, Polk recorded a new career-best distance, and he moved up to third on the MIAC Outdoor performance list, trailing only Gustavus' Ryan Ness and Concordia's Connor Johnson.

The Knights and Polk have three meets on the schedule prior to the 2013 MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be hosted by St. Thomas May 10-11. Carleton travels to the Macalester College Twilight Meet Thursday, heads to Iowa for the Drake University Relays Saturday and will host the Rolex Classic at Laird Stadium April 29-30.


Berg, Taylor
Taylor Berg, St. Thomas
Eagan, MN / Eagan

On Monday St. Thomas' Taylor Berg received the NCAA Division III Women's Athlete-of-the-Week award from the USTFCCCA after recording a pair of top-five national times in the women's 5K and 1,500 meter runs last week in California. For her performance, Berg was also named the MIAC Women's Outdoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week recipient.
At the Mt. SAC Relays in San Jacinto, CA Berg ran 16:34.51 to win the women's College & University Division 5K in the fastest time recorded in Division III this year. Also, she finished second in her heat of the 1,500 in 4:28.49, which is the fifth-ranked time in the nation this season.  Berg's times lead the MIAC  by more than 14 seconds in the 1,500, and by more than 50 seconds in the 5K.

This weekend, UST will send runners to both the Drake Relays and the Macalester Invite. St. Thomas will host the Tommie Twilight Meet on May 1 and will travel back to Hamline for a two-day invite on May 3-4. Then, the Tommies will host the biggest meet of the spring, the 2013 MIAC Outdoor Championships, May 10-11, as Berg wraps up her MIAC career on her home track.


Reeves, Cherae
Cherae Reeves, Concordia
West Fargo, ND / West Fargo

Concordia sophomore Cherae Reeves won, set a new school record(
14.58 meters, or 47' 10") and topped both the MIAC and NCAA Division III national leader boards in the shot put. For her record-breaking performance, Reeves was named the MIAC Women's Outdoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week. Full Carleton Relays womens' results are HERE

Reeves beat teammate Olivia Johnson by more than two feet to win the title among a field that included student-athletes from both Divisions II and III. Reeves leads the MIAC by more than two-and-a-half feet, as Johnson is currently in second to put two Cobbers atop the list.

This weekend. Concordia will have student-athletes in action at three different meets - the Drake Relays, the Kip Janvrin Open at Simpson College, and the Al Cassell Relays at Jamestown College - Friday and Saturday. Concordia will then host a Twilight Meet April 29 and send runners to the Hamline Unsaintly Invite and MSU-Moorhead's Ron Masanz Invite May 3-4 before heading to the 2013 MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be hosted by the University of St. Thomas May 10-11 in St. Paul.