Sunday, June 30, 2013

Anderson Ninth at Diamond League Meet

Team USA Minnesota's Gabrielle Anderson finished ninth in the 1500 at the Sainsbury's Birgmingham IAAF Diamond League Meet on Sunday in 4:07.98.  It was a windy day, which led to many tactical races decided by kicks, as reflected in the 1500 results where the entire field was separated by a little more than six seconds.  Sweden's Abeba Aregawi won in 4:03.70, which was seven seconds slower than her fastest time this year.  Results of the 1500 are HERE. Full meet results by event are HERE.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Next Week

Team USA Minnesota's Gabriele Anderson had a disappointing race at the USATF Championships in Des Moines, but will put that behind her and head for Europe for two Diamond League meets.  On Sunday, she will be racing in Birmingham, UK at the Diamond League Meet where she will run the 1500.  Next, Anderson will be in Lausanne on July 4 for the Diamond League Meet women's 1500.

Team USA Minnesota's Andrew Carlson and Meghan Peyton will be running the USA 10K road championships hosted by the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta on July 4.  Carlson finished 24th in the USA Half-marathon championships at Grandma's last weekend in 1:04.14.3.  He was the second Minnesotan finisher as Twin Cities Track Club's Joe Moore finished 20th in 1:04.05.2.  Katie McGregor finished eleventh in the women's half in 1:13.18.1, and Ladia Albertson-Junkas was 14th in 1:13.58.9.

On July 5, Amanda Smock will be jumping in the OTC meet at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center track where she did winter training this year, hoping to get a qualifying mark for the IAAF World Championships.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grandma's 2014 Race Registration Opens on Monday

Yes, we're aware that Grandma's 2013 just finished, but in case you have marathon withdrawl symptoms, registration for the 38th running of Grandma's Marathon opens Monday, July 1 at 12:01 a.m. (CDT). Visit to register for the annual Two Harbors-to-Duluth race – currently the 14th largest marathon in the U.S. – which is set for Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 7:30 a.m.

The 2014 marathon registration pricing structure is identical to that used for the 2013 race.  Beginning with your "prize" for entering early---a reduced fee of $85, which will remain through September 30. On October 1, the fee will increase to $90 (see complete fee structure below).

2014 Grandma’s Marathon Entry Fee Structure
$85 - July 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013
$90 - October 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014
$95 - February 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014
$110 - April 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014

The 2014 Grandma's Marathon weekend also will feature the 24th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 21st annual William A. Irvin 5K. Registration for those two events begins next February and March, respectively. The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon will take place on Saturday, June 21 and the William A. Irvin 5K on Friday, June 20.

The 2013 Grandma’s Marathon had 7,338 entrants. For more information on any of Grandma's Marathon’s races or events, visit

Keenan Goes the Last Mile

Kevin Pates' story on Scott Keenan's last Grandma's as race director is HERE.

Kara Goucher Blogs About Nationals

Kara Goucher's USATF Championships didn't go as hope.  She writes about it HERE.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

CDH's Megan Linder, a Multitasker

Megan Linder
Photo by
Gene Niemi
As the medal winners for the girls 200 were being herded toward the awards stand on the infield of Klas Field at the MSHL Championships, one of the officials watched Cretin Derham Hall's Megan Linder walk by and said:  "Oh my God. I thought she was done from before."

Linder was one of, if not the, busiest athletes at the Championships as she tripled in the 100(seventh/12.56)-200(third/25.26)-400(first/55.62), finals and heats spread over the two days.  Asked why she takes on such a challenge, Linder said she got something from doing each of the events.  "The 400 is my best, but the 200 is my favorite," she said.  Linder liked the 200 because "it's only half as long(as the 400) so after the 400 it's easy"  and "since it's the last one, you know you're done."

Linder used to play basketball, but gave that up to concentrate on track this year because she believes that is the sport she's most likely to get scholarship offers.  After this past Winter and Spring especially, Linder wants to go to school "not (in) the Midwest," somewhere warm.  She's not set on any academic pursuit yet, but might like to try journalism, she said.

She showed some aptitude for the profession, already having a slogan to explain that she's not one to boast about what she is attempting to do, but one does have to have self confidence and goals to achieve anything.  "Gotta believe it to achieve it" is her mantra.  A junior, Linder has one more year to build her resume.  She worked harder this year to achieve her goals and expects to work even harder in her senior year.

It wasn't until she was a sixth grader that she "started to excel for someone my age," she said.  Linder broke the CDH school record in her first 400 as a freshman on a cold, rainy day with sleet. Won her first  State champ in the event as a sophomore, and the Class AA MSHSL record is a little more than a second faster than her 2013 best of 55.62.  Plus she has sophomore to be Brieasha Hunter, who also runs for CDH and finished third in the State Meet, to train with for another year.

"Gotta believe it to achieve it."

500 and Counting

Only 500 entries remain for runners hoping to compete in the 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 6.  Race officials expect the race to reach its capacity of 12,200 runners before the end of the weekend. Runners interested in registering for the event should visit

A Guy Named Elliott

Matt Elliott in the shades between
Matt Centrowitz and Will Leer
in the semifinals of the 1500.
Photo by Gene Niemi
Mary Cain may inspire the high schoolers, but the rest of us got a new "hero" at the US Championships over the weekend.  He's Matt Elliott and Peter Gambaccini tells his story HERE. The elderly among us might remember another Elliott from the past--50+ years in the past, but who's counting--the 1960 Olympic 1500 meter champ Herb Elliott of Australia.  Or in the present, local Masters runner Lance Elliott, who is featured in a Running Minnesota interview HERE.   No relationship between the three other than the same last name.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Minnesota's Best on Mary Cain

Mary Cain almost did the double at the USATF Championships this year, winning indoors and taking second, just barely, at the Outdoor Championships last weekend.  Cain and teammate Treniere Moser swaped places as Moser was second indoors and won the outdoor title.  Cain, just 17, also qualified for the IAAF World Championships having run the A standard earlier in the year, running the fastest time for the 1500 by a high schooler of 4:04.64.

At the MSHSL championships, DtB asked Clare Flanagan and Maria Hauger what they thought of Cain's accomplishments.  "She's amazing," said Flanagan.  "Unbelievable," said Hauger.  "It's just crazy how good she got in just a year.  I ran against her at Nike (XC) Nationals.  She only got second."  Now, Hauger added, Cain was beating most of the best women middle distance runners in the US.  "I don't see how she does it," added Hauger. 

Mary Cain. Photo by Gene Niemi
"Her bubbly personality captivated everyone one," said Gene Niemi, who took photos at the US Championships in Des Moines.  "I am amazed.   Within a second of an oxygen-sucking sprint finish she is all smiles. It is refreshing to see her enjoying herself and to watch her reactions after beating the best runners in the US.  You can tell she is still in awe being amongst the other veteran athletes. I thought after indoors she would be a little flat but she still has a fire burning and is getting better."

Who Will Run the Distance Races in Moscow?

Several Minnesotans who did not finish in the top three at the USA Championships over the weekend, might still be on the team in Moscow.  Runner's World attempts to explain the "standard game" each team has to play to fill out their three alloted spots in each event for the IAAF World Championships HERE.  If you want to read for yourself the USATF selection standards, they are HERE.

Monday, June 24, 2013

News and Notes from the US Championships

The Oregonian wrap up package for the US Championships is HERE.
Eugene Register Guard story on the final day distance races is HERE.
Runnerspace video interview with Liz Podominick is HERE.
Fargo-Moorhead Forum article on Amanda Smock's "case" to get the B standard for IAAF World Championships is HERE.
Some other performances missed during the US Champs.
Lakeville South's Katyln Larson ran 2:12.04(sixth) in the second heat of the Junior USATF 800 prelims. Her teammate Shaina Burns was twelveth in the junior heptathlon with 4569 points.
Bemidji's Class AA 1600 champ, Jenna Truedson, was sixth in the 3K in 10:01.571.
MSHSL recordholder Nathan Roese of East Ridge ran 47.68 in heat one of the 400 prelims, which would have placed him fifth, but he was DQed.

In some old, non-nationals news. University of Minnesota's Nick Hutton ran 4:03.75 in the Wisco mile on June 5.  The race was billed a an attempt to run a sub-4 minute Mile in Wisconsin.  Texas's Joe Stilin won the race and just missed that goal in 4:00.4, both were under the old course record.  Results for the various divisions of the Wisco mile are HERE.

Becky Miller's USATF Photo Album, Day Four

Medal winners in the discus. (L to R: Witney Ashley(2nd),
Gia Lewis-Smallwood(1st), and Liz Podominick(3rd).
Photo by Becky Miller

Liz Podominick

Rachle Longfors, 2001 Class A MSHSL discus champ, who finished
eighth in the USATF champs.  Photo by Becky Miller

Gene Niemi's USATF Photo Album, Day Four

Heather Kampf leads the chase pack in the 800. Photo by Gene Niemi

Liz Podominick on her way to Moscow. Photo by Gene Niemi

The pack in the 5K. Photo by Gene Niemi

Elliott Heath after the race. Photo by Gene Niemi

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Podominick Third in Discus; Kampf Sixth in 800 Final

The day after Maggie Ewen, who broke her Minnesota State record in the shot at this year's State Meet, won the Junior Championship in the discus Liz Podominick finished third in the USATF Outdoor Championships to qualify for the US team for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.  Podominick has the A standard from earlier in the year, so even though her distance on Saturday was only 199'1"(60.69m), she made the team by placing third. "I had really good warmups and then I tensed up a little bit in the prelims. Then my fifth throw was my best mark, but I couldn't save it. I just focused on what I could control, which was in the circle, and tried to make the team."

Former MSHSL 2001 Class A discus champ from Pelican Rapids Rachel Longfors finished eighth in the discus with a throw of 185'1"(56.43m).

Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf finished sixth in the 800 final in 2:00.68.  Winner Alysia Montano took the lead from the start and held off a fast closing field in the final stretch.  Kampf led the chase pack for a lap and a half but came up short in the final lap as the top three finishers each broke two minutes.

The men's 5K started off with Garrett Heath in the lead for an 80 plus second first lap and didn't get much faster for nearly two miles as the entire field ran 5 minute pace.  Lots of pushing, checking, and words between some of the runners jammed together, until Ben True took off with less than a mile to go as the leaders ran a sub four minute last mile.  Heath was in contention for a spot on the team into the final straight, and ended up sixth in 14:58.85.  His brother Elliott Heath was seventh in 15:02.07, and Hassan Mead was ninth in 15:11.76. Bernard Lagat won the race in 14:54.16.

Minnesota State Mankato's Christopher Reed finished 13th in the shot put with a throw of 62'.25"(18.90M).

USATF Champs News and Notes

Chicago Tribune story on Mary Cain is HERE.
Runnerspace video interview with Maggie Ewen is HERE.

Becky Miller's USATF Photo Album, Day Three

Maggie Ewen, Photo by Becky Miller

Maggie in the Ring.
Photo by Becky Miller

Jamie Cheever in the pit.
Photo by Becky Miller

Gabriele Anderson. Photo by Becky Miller

Gene Niemi's USATF Photo Album, Day Three

Jamie Cheever coming out of the pit.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Mary Cain , Gabe Anderson, and Amanda Mergaert
battle in the 1500. Photo by Gene Niemi

Anderson in the field in the 1500
Photo by Gene Niemi

Ben Blankenship and Will Leer in the pack
in the 1500.
Photo by Gene Niemi

The pack checking each other out, waiting to make a move
 in the 1500.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Becky Miller USATF Photo Album Day Two

Ben Blankenship in the 1500 heats.
Photo by Becky Miller
Quentin Mege in the Hammer Throw.
Photo by Becky Miller

Wally Ellenson in the High Jump.
Photo by Becky Miller

Harun Abda in the 800
Photo by Becky Miller

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gene Niemi's USATF Photo Album, Day Two

Harun Aba celebrates school record in 800.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Abda following Nick Symmonds. Photo by
Gene Niemi

Heather Kampf qualifying for the 800 final.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Wally Ellenson clearing 7'.5" in the high jump.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Nathan Roese in the Junior 400
heats.  Roese was DQed.
Photo by
Gene Niemi

Grandma's Stories

Duluth News Tribune stories on Grandma's are here:

Trafeh's win over Meb Keflezighi is HERE.

Kiptoo's record run is HERE.

Worku's win is HERE.

Nelson's win in US Champs Half   is HERE.

John Klecker's win in the Bjorklund Half is HERE.

Minnesota Daily article on TCTC's and former Gopher Stephanie Price running the half marathon at Grandma's is HERE.  Stephanie finished 17th in 1:14.38.7  Full Half-Marathon results are HERE.

Minnesota R.E.D.'s Kelly Brinkman was the top Minnesota finisher in the Half, taking third in 1:11.32.8, right behind US Olympian Desi Davilla, who ran 1:11.25.3 in second.

TCTC's Mike Reneau finished ninth in a PR of 2:13:53. He was the first US finisher. Marathon top finishers are HERE.

St. Paul Pioneer Press story on Grandma's is HERE.

Star Tribune Grandma's stories are HERE and HERE,

Grandma's press release is below:

Mohamed Trafeh claimed another national title by winning today’s 2013 USA Half Marathon Championships and set a new course record while doing so. Trafeh, 28, of Duarte, Calif., ran the fastest ever time on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course – 1 hour, 1 minute and 17 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 1:02:19 set by Ethiopia’s Derese Deniboba in 2011.

Trafeh, now an eight-time national champion, also won the half-marathon championship in 2011. The victory earned him $13,500 in prize money – $12,000 for first place and an additional $1,500 bonus for a time under 1:02:00.

Meb Keflezighi, fourth in the 2012 Olympics marathon, placed second in 1:01:22. Defending champion Abdi Abdirahman, also an Olympian last year, finished sixth in 1:02:57.

Adriana Nelson, 33, of Boulder, Colo., claimed the women’s crown with a winning time of 1:11:19. Desiree Davila, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon squad, placed second in 1:11:26. Nelson wins $12,000 for first place and an additional $1,250 for a sub-1:12:00.

Meanwhile, history was made in the 37th running of Grandma’s Marathon.

Kenya’s Sarah Kiptoo ran away from the field and broke the 10-year-old women’s course record. Kiptoo, 23, ran a personal-best 2:26:32, bettering the previous mark of 2:27:05 from 2003 by Fira Sultanova.

Kiptoo, making her Grandma’s Marathon debut, claimed the $10,000 winner’s check plus a $10,000 bonus for running sub-2:29:00. She also receives a new Toyota, courtesy of one of the events two presenting sponsors.

Bazu Worku won the men’s championship in 2:11:14 – the fifth fastest in race history. Worku earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $2,000 bonus for finishing in under 2:12:00.

Krige Schabort won his fourth men’s wheelchair title in 1:24:12. Amanda McGrory won her seventh Grandma’s Marathon crown, winning in 1:38:38.

The 2013 Grandma’s Marathon had 7,338 registrants and of those, 5,763 runners started the race and 5,613 finished. The annual Two Harbors-to-Duluth 26.2-mile race had entrants from 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia.

In the 23rd Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, John Klecker, 25, of Minnetonka, Minn., took the men’s title in 1:09:19, while the women’s race was won by New Zealand’s Mary Davies, 30, with a time of 1:11:07.

A record number of 7,835 people registered for the 2013 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon with 6,645 runners starting the race and 6,618 finishing.

For complete results, log on to All results are unofficial.

Ewen PR's and wins Junior Discus

The signature smile and bright spirits that alluded Maggie Ewen in shot put returned in discus today. Ewen came through on her third throw of competition to make finals and never looked back. Sitting 7th after prelims, Ewen moved into first with a mark of 177-0.  She improved to 179-6(54.71m) in the 5th round of prelims. Maggie will represent the United States in the Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Columbia on August 23rd-25th.

USATF Day Two and Three.

Quentin Mege in Friday's  Hammer Throw.
Photo by Becky
On Friday Harun Abda sets Gopher record in the 800 of 1:46.38 at US Track Champs in Des Moines. Abda was 12th fastes in the semi's, so he didn't make the 800 final.  Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf fared a bit better, running 2:00.51(.10 off her personal best), the third fastest semi time to qualify for the women's 800 final. The Gopher's Wally Ellenson finished second in the USATF Junior Champs high jump, clearing 7'.5". Quentin Mege finished 14th in the Hammer Throw with a toss of 206'9"(63.02m).
Harun Abda. Photo by Becky Miller

On Saturday, as noted above, Maggie Ewen won the discus in the USATF Junior Champs with a Minnesota best of 179' 6".  Team USA Minnesota's Jamie Cheever finished fourth in the steeple in 9:53.01.  Lance Elliott of Run 'N Fun was fourth in the Masters 800 in 1:59.63. Team USA Minnesota's Gabriele Anderson was 11th in the 1500 in 4:32.93.  Will Leer finished fifth in the 1500 in 3:45.95 and Ben Blankenship 10th in 3:46.95.

Ewen told reporters after the discus: “It was really good. I’ve been having a rough time in discus lately, so to throw what I did I was really happy. I almost didn’t make it into the finals, until my third throw in the prelims. It was really nerve-wracking. I’ve been focusing a lot on the shot put. My discus has kind of been lacking. But I had a good day! I surprised myself. Maybe I got too focused [on the shot put), too stressed out with it. With the discus, it was all relaxed and easy throwing."

Des Moines Register photo gallery is HERE
Eugene Register Guard on the distance races, and a special race planned to allow women to get 10K IAAF World Champs qualifying marks is HERE.
The Oregonian article on the 1500 meter races is HERE.

Wally Ellenson "pretzels" over the bar.
Photo by Becky Miller

Friday, June 21, 2013

Macklin Chaffee Blogs about the 1500 Heats at USATF

Macklin Chaffee wrote in his blog about the setup and race of the 1500 men's heats at the USATF Championships HERE.

Hall 11th in USATF Junior 1500 Heats

Gopher recruit Wayde Hall of Stillwater finished ninth in his heat, 11th overall in the semis of the 1500 in 3:57.67.  The cutoff qualifying time for the final was 3:56.99.

Becky Miller's Photo Album--USATF Day One

Amanda Smock comes in for a landing. Photo by
Becky Miller

Jamie Cheever taking a dip in the water
jump. Photo by Becky Miller

Gabriele Anderson takes off in the 1500
Photo by Becky Miller

Heather Kampf strides out in the 800.
Photo by Becky Miller

Harun Abda advances in the 800.
Photo by Becky Miller

Travis Burkstrand in traffic in the 800.
Photo by Becky Miller

In The Circle: USATF Photo Album Day One

Maggie Ewen (St. Francis) finished 7th in the Women's shot put yesterday at the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a throw of 47-5 3/4.  Maggie finishes as the 2nd best high school shot putter of all time in the United States.  She convincingly won the shot put at both New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Championships this season.  Maggie competes again Saturday in the discus at 12:45 CST.  Maggie enters the competition with the top seed  in the event at 175-9.  The top 4 finishers in each event will continue on to represent the United States in the Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Columbia on August 23rd-25th.  

 Photo by Kevin Holubar

  Photo by Kevin Holubar

  Photo by Kevin Holubar

 Photo by Kevin Holubar

 Photo by Kevin Holubar

End of an Era: Scott Keenan Retrospective

Duluth News Tribune story on "the end of an era," as Grandma's race director Scott Keenan "retires" after this year's race is HERE.  Also, will Dick Beardsley's men's course record be broken this year?  DNT story HERE.

News and Notes from Des Moines

Not only is it hot in Des Moines, but the wind is strong.  Predictions are for winds up to 20 mph gusting down the track, so the direction of the 100 has been shifted so that the wind will be at the runners' backs.

Photo of Amanda Smock landing in the triple jump is HERE(You have to click through the photo gallery, the Smock photo is the third photo in the gallery).  In the same gallery there is also a photo of Kara Goucher after the finish of the 10K.  It is number 46 out of the 62 photos. Another photo of the early laps of the women's 10K is photo 49.  Kara and her teammate Shalane Flanagan are also in photo 59.

Smock tweeted yesterday: "That was an incredibly frustrating performance. I lost to two great people and jumpers. New fuel to the fire to get back to work."

David Monti's story on the USATF women's 10K is HERE. Monti's story on the other qualifying races is HERE.

Eugene Register Guard story on OTC Elite team that includes Ben Blankenship and Hassan Mead is HERE.

Gene Niemi's Photo Album, US Champs Day One/Women

Kara Goucher early in the 10K. Photo by Gene

Danielle Stack in the 10K.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Meghan Payton in the pack in the 10K. Photo by Gene Niemi

McKenzie Melander finishes the 10K.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Gene Niemi's Photo Album--USATF Champs, Day One/Men

Ben Blankenship qualifying for 1500 final. Photo by
Gene Niemi

Will Leer bringing it home in the 1500 semis.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Who says track isn't a contact sport.  Garrett
Heath and Leo Manzano carve out their
space in the 1500 heats.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Hot night, summer in Des Moines.
Jon Peterson in the 10K.
Photo by Gene Niemi