Sunday, November 29, 2015

Training Advice from Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan

Relax your way to success: Training Advice from Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan HERE.

Spear Chucking: How Mac Wilkins Became a Discus Thrower

Last week the European Javelin Symposium was held in Finland.  If you've ever been to a big meet in Scandinavia you know how much the fans and the athletes appreciate the event.  While it was a big surprise that this year a Kenyan won the gold and an Egyptian the silver in the men's javelin, it was no surprise that their coach is a Finn.

The takeaway theme from the Symposium was that concentrating on technique is currently believed to be the way to achieve the best results in the event.  That brings up a story 1976 Olympic champion in the discus, Mac Wilkins told last year at the Minnesota track coaches clinic.  We had been talking about his early career and Mac noted that he started as a javelin thrower.

More accurately, the javelin appeared to be his best event.  When he got to Oregon, it looked like his future would be in the javelin.  The javelin was his "natural" event, said Wilkins, and is the toughest field event in terms of what it requires from your body.  Javelin throwers put their entire body to work in launching the spear.  It was Wilkins' technique, or should I say, defects in that technique, that ended his "spear chucking" career.

His sophomore year, he was out throwing with his coach, Bill Bowerman, observing when his elbow "blew."  There was no "Tommy John surgery"/repair back then in the early '70s, said Wilkins, so, instead of being Olympic champion in the javelin, Mac continued his career as a discus thrower and shot putter.   He won national championships in both events, but the discus was where he had the most success. He began beating the top discus throwers in the world.

One of them, Sweden's Ricky Bruch, invited Mac to come to Europe and throw on the circuit.  Bruch figured that an American competing with the Europeans would increase the visibility of the event and that both he and Wilkins could get more money from the meet promoters.

On May 1, 1976, Mac broke the world record for the event three times.  He went on to defeat his friend and rival, the GDR's Wolfgang Schmidt, in Montreal for the Olympic gold medal.  Not bad for spear chucker.

Shot Put Olympic Champ Adam Nelson Writes about Athlete Rights and How to Grow the Sport

Shot Put Olympic Champ Adam Nelson Writes about Athlete Rights and How to Grow the Sport HERE.

Wayzata Earns at Large Bid to NXN

List of At Large teams HERE.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lance Elliott's Lifetime Fitness 5K Photo Gallery

Lance Elliott's Lifetime Fitness 5K Photo Gallery  HERE.

Updated: Abbabiya Simbassa and Heather Kampf Lead the Way in the Lifetime Fitness 5K

Team USA's Abbabiya Simbassa won the men's race(14:44) and Heather Kampf the women's(17:11) in the Lifetime Fitness 5K.
Results are HERE

At least one issue with the results.  The number worn by Joe Klecker(1294) is listed as third place, but the name associated with the number is "Bridger Pavelka,"  and the photos show Klecker finishing second.  A Joseph Klecker, who is listed with race #1293, is credited with 25th place overall and a time of 17:13.

Second place finisher with the  name Javier Escobado was a Masters runner in the area in 2013 who was not fast enough to run the time listed.  And this year's Javier Escobado lists a California adddress.  In short, there are some issues with  the accuracy of the results posted.

Bates, Van Beek, and Peyton in Top Ten at Manchester Road Race

Emma Bates finished third in 24:44; Maddie Van Beek fourth in 25:04; and Meghan Peyton was ninth in 25:26 at the 4.748 Mile Manchester Road Race.
Full Race Results are HERE

Happy Thanksgiving

Excuse Me.  What day is this?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NCAA DII Indoor Track Pre-Season Rankings

More Recruiting Updates

Strib Feature/Interview with Heidi Keller Miler

Strib feature/interview on Heidi Keller Miler HERE.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November. 25, 1985: A Day of Triumph and Tragedy

This article, since updated, was originally published in the April-May 1996 issue of TAC Times.
By Chris Celichowski

Thirty autumns ago, Monday, November 25, 1985, a slate grey sky hung over Dretzka Park in Milwaukee. As it had many cold November days before, nearby Lake Michigan pumped icy, moist air through skin into bone. For Minnesotan Bonnie Sons, the weather foreshadowed a tragedy whose memory three decades later still casts a melancholy pall over her heart.

Seven cross country runners from Iowa State University had just conquered the elements, their opponents, and their own limitations to earn second place at the 1985 NCAA Division I National Cross Country Championships. But runners Sheryl Maas, Julie Rose and Sue Baxter, coaches Ron Renko and Pat Moynihan, and student trainer Stephanie Streit could not outrun Fate. Hours after living out their dreams, they died before creating new visions, victims of a tragic plane crash.
ISU’s 1985 NCAA CC Championship runner-up team.
Front row, from left, Tami Prescott (Colby) and Julie Rose.
Back row, Charlene Elyea (Lentzring), Sheryl Maas, Bonnie Sons,
Sue Baxter and Jill Winter (Slettedahl). (Photo Geraldine Sons).

For Bonnie Sons and the remaining members of the Cyclone women’s cross country team, 30 years have scarcely dulled the sharp pain of that day. Sons, the 1983 Class A two-mile champion from Central High in Norwood, was a junior at Iowa State and the Cyclones’ top finisher at the national meet. She now lives in Shorewood, Minnesota, and runs for Team Run ‘N Fun in local and regional road races. Three decades later, details of the race have become a blur, yet the crash remains a vivid specter.

"When I eulogized Ron [Renko] at the ISU memorial service, I called it ‘A day of triumph and tragedy.’ I guess that’s the way I’ll always remember it," Sons said.
Ron Renko

The second-place finish at the Division I meet capped a tremendous year for Sons and her ISU teammates. With "Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride" as the team anthem, the Cyclone lady harriers won ISU’s fourth Big Eight CC Championship in Renko’s seven seasons. They captured their fourth consecutive NCAA Region V title. Although Renko coached ISU to an AIAW national title in 1981, the team’s finish in the ‘85 NCAA meet marked the school’s best finish in that meet. He did it with only one all-American finisher (Sons) and a pack of strong, determined young women, including: Tami Prescott (Colby), Charlene Elyea (Lentzring), Julie Rose, Sue Baxter, Cheryl Maas, and Jill Winter (Slettedahl).

After the meet, Sons and her excited teammates returned to the hotel, dressed, packed and left immediately for the airport.

"Normally, we would eat after we showered, then return to Ames. But that day, Ron decided we would have a dinner celebration when we got back to Ames," Sons recalled. "We never got to celebrate."

Iowa State owned three seven-seat Rockwell AeroCommanders, operated by university pilots. The Cyclone basketball team needed the planes the same day. The men’s cross country team got on one plane, and a few remaining members of the men’s team got on the second plane.  Sons boarded the third plane with Maas, Rose, Baxter, Renko, Moynihan, Streit and pilot Burt Watkins. Elyea and Winter drove home to Iowa and Minnesota, respectively, with their parents. After Sons placed her bag on the third plane and took her seat, the pilot of the second plane, Bill Brock, asked Sons, who earned her license during her first two years of college, if she wanted to ride in the co-pilot’s seat of the second plane. She accepted the invitation and took her bag to the second plane. Brock, needing to fill his plane, also asked Tami Prescott to join them. She left her bag on the third plane.  Brock’s invitations saved, and forever changed, Sons’ and Prescott’s lives.

When the three planes left Mitchell Field in Milwaukee, the pilots knew a wall of bad weather stood between them and Ames. As they cruised above the clouds in pristine stillness, weather forecasters from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told them the wall contained a mixture of sleet, ice and snow. They advised the ISU planes to divert from landing at the small municipal airport in Ames and land in Des Moines, a larger airport equipped with an Instrument Landing System which would aid the pilots’ landing in bad weather.

As they approached the Des Moines airport, the three planes were in frequent contact with the tower and each other. The first plane landed. Sons’ plane, the second one, began its approach. The third plane followed them about 10 or 15 minutes behind.

"I’ve never been so terrified in my life," Sons recalls. Outside, the mixture of precipitation made visibility nearly impossible and the sky’s ceiling was too close to the ground. "I was gripping the front dash of the plane. Bill asked me to look out the front window and guide him. When I finally saw the landing lights, I told him we were already over the runway and not too far off the ground. We landed long on the runway, but safely. When we got out of the plane, the ground was like a skating rink."

They went to a nearby fixed base operator (FBO), joined the occupants of the first plane, and waited for the third plane. Ten minutes passed, then 15. As they waited, they could not hear the exchange between Burton Watkins, the pilot of the third plane, and the Des Moines tower:
Watkins: OK, we’re cleared to land. [Other radio traffic.] Des Moines. Five eight nine. I seem to have some real trouble here...ah, I’m, ah...I’m in severe turbulence.
Tower: Commander five eight niner, Roger, ah, can you climb and maintain three thousand feet?
Watkins: I’m trying, but I’m not doing very well.
Tower: Commander five eight niner, Roger, ah, fly heading three six zero, if able climb and maintain three thousand feet. [Delay.] He’s losing it.
Approach: What’s the problem?
Tower: He’s getting severe turbulence.
Watkins: I can’t do anything. I’m in the trees now.
Tower: Commander five eight niner, Des Moines. [Delay.] AeroCommander five eight niner, Des Moines! [Delay.] I think he crashed.

After 25 minutes, a nervous pilot Bill Brock called the tower to check on the status of the third plane. When he returned to the FBO, the waiting runners and coaches saw Brock’s ashen face and learned the third plane went down. It had crashed in a sparsely wooded residential area, slamming into a homeowner’s front lawn on Country Club Boulevard, less than three miles from the airport. Maas, Rose, Baxter, Renko, Moynihan, Streit and pilot Watkins died immediately. So did a part of each remaining member of the Cyclone women’s cross country team.

The crash occurred while Sons’ parents, Tom and Geraldine, drove from Milwaukee to their farm in rural Norwood, Minnesota. They stopped for dinner and Tom Sons called his son, Greg, to check on the farm. Fortunately, Bonnie called Greg soon after she found out about the crash. He told his parents about the crash and told them Bonnie was okay. When they got in the car after supper, they turned on WCCO. Details of the crash led the news.

"I still don’t know what made me get off that plane..." Sons said softly. "It scares me to this day--’Why did I get off that plane?’" After a moment lost in thought, her suddenly empty expression disappeared and she continued. "It’s made me realize you better enjoy each day you have, because you don’t know when..." Words failed, but her emotion completed the sentence.

For Sons, losing Renko and her teammates marked the end of a chapter in her running career and her life. "We [Sons and her surviving teammates] tried to put it behind us, but it was very hard," she said. "For certain, the crash affected our track season the following spring." Even today, she finds it hard to talk about the experience.

"There was and will always be a void there. It was like losing my family. At school they were my family. When I got to Ames I knew nobody. Then all of a sudden we lost two coaches and three teammates." The mother of four knows the loss experienced by the parents of the three runners and two coaches was worse than the loss she and her teammates experienced. She reflected, "To have them snatched in the prime of their lives must have been very hard to take."

Sons remembers Anoka native Renko as an outgoing, intelligent and intense coach who knew how to motivate his charges. "Ron could convince you that you could do anything. He convinced me, this skinny, little farm girl from Norwood, Minnesota, that I could run with the best--that I could be one of them."

When Dickens wrote the immortal beginning lines of "A Tale of Two Cities," "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," he could have been writing about November 25, 1985. It was a day of triumph and tragedy. A day when Fate stilled seven Cyclones.

More on Effects of Caffeine Use and Endurance Performance

More on effects of caffeine use and endurance performance HERE

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Anatomy of a Championship

UW Eau Claire coach Dan Schwamberger describes their championship season and how they put it together on race day.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Updated: Josh Thorsen Leads UW Eau Claire to NCAA Men's DIII Title; St. Olaf 4th

Josh Thorsen finished second to lead UW Eau Claire to the team title in the NCAA DIII Men's race.  St. Olaf's Jake Campbell(5th) and Paul Escher(6th) helped St. Olaf to a fourth place finish. Carleton's Hart Horner was 7th and Bethel's  Matt Berens 9th.
Luther's Tyler Broadwell 82nd.
Full results are HERE.

Updated: Ruth Steinke 5th to Lead Carleton to 17th in NCAA DIII Women's XC Champs

Carleton's Ruth Steinke 5th to lead the team  to 17th in NCAA DIII women's XC Champs. St. Thomas 26th and St Olaf 27th in team race.  Macalester's Kimber Meyer 30th.  Bethel's Annika Halverson 32nd.

Full results are HERE

Updated NCAA DII Women:U-Mary's Lexi Zeis Wins Individual Title; UMD 7th in Team Race

Updated: U-Mary's Lexi Zeis Wins Individual Title; UMD 7th, U-Mary 12th, and Augustana 13th in Team Race

Full results HERE.

Updated: Augustana 7th, MSU Moorhead 21st in Men's DII NCAA XC Champs

Augustana 7th, MSU Moorhead 21st in Men's DII NCAA XC Champs

Full results HERE.

Updated: Gopher Men 19th at NCAAs

SDSU's Trent Lusignan 24th. Michigan's Mason Ferlic 67th.

"It was a tough day for Mason," Michigan coach Kevin Sullivan explained. "His goal coming in was to be a top-10 performer today and the pace was really, really hot from the gun. He made an effort to go with the leaders and really only faded in the last half mile, otherwise we would have seen another All-American performance. This was a testament to his season though, he wanted to be top 10, and he had to put everything out there in order to be there and he came up a little short. But I think after reflecting on the disappointment of not finishing where you want to, it was better for him to try and be in that positon than to settle for 30th or 40th place."

Results are HERE

Updated: Gopher Women 18th at NCAA XC Champs; Shakopee/Virginia's Maria Hauger 176th


Maria Hauger 176th.  Hauger's stats HERE.

Friday, November 20, 2015

MN Attorney General Takes Action Against Mud Run Series Owner

Minnesota Attorney General is taking action against a St. Cloud resident, Frrederick Kellogg, who is charged with  violation of Minnesota’s charitable solicitation and consumer protection laws and for deceptive trade practices.  Runner's World article is HERE

Gopher Women's NCAA Preview

Video Look at the NCAA DI Course

More Recruiting News

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gophers Adam Zutz Male USATF MN AOW

Gopher Men Use " Homegrown Talent" at NCAAs

NCAA DIII XC Champs Preview

US Olympic Trials Marathon Course Revealed

Gophers Liz Berkholtz is USATF MN AOM

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hopkins #1 in Running Times Boy's Rankings

Hopkins boy's team is number one in this week's Running Times rankings HERE.   Girl's top ten is  HERE.  Edina and Willmer are ranked in the girl's; Edina's boy's team is also ranked.  Rankings don't win races, however, and there are an assortment of these lists compiled by various entities.

They generate conversation and are often used as motivation.  The ranking that matters will come in the form of the finish placings at the NXN Championships next month. Barney Klecker, the father of the Klecker clan, said during a conversation at the Griak Meet this year that he told this year's Hopkins team that the top five needed to run sub 16 minutes for the 5K distance to have a shot at winning the title. They did it at the Heartland Region meet, and will have to give the same sort of effort at the  NXN Championships to have a chance to back up their number one ranking with a number one spot on the podium.

Two More Recruits: Ashley Ramacher and Sam Thomas

More Recruit News: Katie Taylor to Winona State

Minnesotans Take 5 of the 10 NXN Individual Qualifier Spots

NCAA DIII Region Awards

Carleton's Ruth Steinke--Central Region Woman's Athlete of the Year
St. Olaf's Phil Lundin--Central Region Men's Coach of the Year
St. Thomas' Joe Sweeney--Central Region Woman's Coach of the Year

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lance Elliott's NXN Heartland Region Photo Gallery

   Lance Elliott's NXN Heartland Region Photo Gallery HERE

Mason Ferlic NCAA DI Great Lakes Region AOY

Run Michigan post Great Lakes Regional race interview with Ferlic  HERE.

Gopher Women Recruit Danish Multi Eventer

Gopher Men's XC Coach Steve Plasencia Selected as NCAA DI Midwest Region COY

More HS Recruits Update

Willmar's Nadir Yusuf signs for MSU Mankato. Story with video HERE

Monday, November 16, 2015

NCAA DIII Pre-Nationals Rankings

West Central Tribune Story on the Willmar Girls triumph at NXN

West Central Tribune Story on the Willmar Girls triumph at NXN

Final NCAA DI women's National Rankings;Gopher Women 23rd

Final NCAA DI Men's National Rankings; Gophers Climb to 16th

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kraig Lungstrom's NXN Heartland Photo Gallery

Kraig Lungstrom's NXN Photo Gallery HERE.

NCAA DIII Official Team and Individual Qualifiers

NCAA DIII Official Team and Individual Qualifiers

USATF Minnesota Open & Masters XC Championship Results

USATF Minnesota Open & Masters XC Championship Results.
Open men's 10K HERE
Open women 6K HERE

Masters men 6K HERE
Masters women 6K HERE

Jaret Carpenter Wins NXN Heartland Boy's Title; Grace Ping 3rd in Girl's; MN teams Dominate

Jaret Carpenter Wins NXN Heartland Boy's Title, Highland Park's Micah Mather 2nd; Grace Ping 3rd in Girl's. Willmar wins girl's team title(147), Edina(149) 2nd.  Wayzata(210) 4th, Marshall(210) 5th.

Hopkins(71) wins boy's title.  Edina(135) 2nd. Wayzata 3rd(139). Mpls Washburn(169) 4th.

Girl's results HERE.  Boy's HERE.
Hassan Mead holding the finish tape.

.Chelenga/Pennel Dual at US National 12K Championships

.US National 12K Championships almost a carbon copy of Medtronic TC 10-Mile.  Molly Huddle runs away with women's title.  Sam Chelenga outkicks Tyler Pennel for the men's.

Emma Bates finishes 10th in women's race.  Team USA's Meghan Peyton 22nd.  Jon Grey 9th in men's race.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

NCCAA XC Championship Results

NCCAA XC Championship results HERE.
NCU's Annalise Schroeder second in individual race.
NCU men's team second.  Kaleb Gunderson third in individual race.

NCAA DIII Region Results & Summaries

NCAA DIII Region results HERE

St. Thomas, Carleton, St. Olaf 1-2-3 in women's race. Carleton's Ruth Steinke wins individual title.
St. Olaf wins men's team title.

Augsburg men's summary is HERE. Women HERE.
Bethel men's summary is HERE. Women HERE.
Carleton women's summary is HERE. Men HERE.
Gustavus men's summary is HERE. Women's HERE.
Hamline men's summary is HERE. Women HERE
Macalester men's summary is HERE.  Women HERE.
St. Ben's summary is HERE.
St. Kate's summary is HERE.
St. John's summary is HERE.
St. Mary's summary is HERE.
St. Olaf's men's summary is HERE. Women HERE.
St. Thomas women's summary is HERE. Men HERE.
Still waiting on  Concordia Moorhead summaries...

Gopher Women XC Team Going to NCAA's

Friday the 13th wasn't unlucky after all as the Gopher women were selected for an At Large berth for the NCAA XC Championships.

Friday, November 13, 2015

USTFCCCA "Info Zone" for NCAA DIII Championships

 USTFCCCA "Info Zone" for NCAA DIII Championships  HERE.

Gopher NCAA DI Summaries

 Gopher women's summary is HERE.

Recruiting Updates

UMD women. Six recruits HERE.

Bulletin: Gopher Men 2nd to Qualify for NCAA DI Finals; Women 3rd

Midwest Region

Women’s Race

Automatic Qualifiers: No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 16 Iowa State
Projected Individuals: Erin Teschuk, North Dakota State; Alyssa Schneider, Illinois; Sharon Lokedi, Kansas; Rachel Baptista, Tulsa
Oklahoma State is making it a habit to end lengthy Iowa State’s lengthy streaks.
After beating the Cyclones at the Big 12 Championships, the Cowgirls lassoed in a Midwest Region title on Friday in Lawrence, Kansas. Oklahoma State scored 51 points to Iowa State’s 98 and ran away with the crown.
The Cowgirls and Cyclones were neck and neck at the 2-mile split (94-99), but Oklahoma State pulled away late. Here were the Cowgirls’ places at 2 miles (7-12-23-24-28) and then at the finish (4-7-9-15-16).
No. 21 Minnesota finished a distant third.

North Dakota State’s Erin Teschuk took the lead between the first and second mile and never looked back on her way to the individual win. Teschuk won by five seconds over Alyssa Schneider of Illinois. Kansas’ Sharon Lokedi took third.

Bulletin: Michigan Men & Women Sweep Great Lakes Regionals; Mason Ferlic Wins Men's Individual Race

Results HERE

Thursday, November 12, 2015

KARE 11 Report on Team Ortho Fundraising

KARE 11 Report on Team Ortho Fundraising HERE

Partial List of MN HS Recruits and Where They are Going

Minnesota Gopher Recruits:
Megan and Bethany Hasz, Alexandria
 Brieasha Hunter, Cretin Derham Hall
Natalie Manders, Eastview
Maddie Gourley, Eagan
Kieran McKeag,  Apple Valley
Carissa Dock, Waconia
Lucas Trapp, Elk River

Jedah Caldwell, Chanhassen

Andrianna Jacobs, Rochester Century

Ruby Stauber

Jackie Turner, Marshall

Connor Schank, Howard Lake-Waverly

Concordia, St. Paul:
Hannah Gustafson, South St. Paul

Interview with Emma Bates

Interview with Emma Bates HERE

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 09, 2015

WADA Commission Report: Turning Point in Anti-Doping Fight?

By Jim Ferstle
The veil has been lifted to reveal the shortcomings of a worldwide effort to control the plague of doping in sport.  For the better part of a day the world has absorbed the findings of a WADA investigation into an anti-doping system that has been touted as the solution to the seamy underbelly of a festering cancer afflicting the Olympic sports community. Instead the story being told is that of corrupt sports officials and administrators using sport for their own financial gain?

The 323 page report of the WADA Commission charged with examining the details of the latest sports doping scandal graphically reveals the fact the the anti-doping apparatus put in place to deter doping in Olympic sports is not working, some would say it has failed..  Rather than being controlled, doping in sport has been refined into a corrupt money making enterprise that is being tapped by the sports officials who were hired to attempt to stamp out doping in sports.

Sadly this is not a surprise to anyone who has followed the proliferation of the doping culture within all sports.  The question hovering over sports now is can anything be done to reverse this trend?  Are we in a downward spiral, a transformation of sport as a celebration of athletic excellence to a technological, scientific experiment among nations to see who can develop the most effective incubator for developing champion athletes?  Is there the will and the resources to preserve the Olympic ideal of sport as a showcase of human athletic excellence? Or are we sliding back to the days of the gladiators where physical prowess is put on display for the amusement of audiences of spectators?

Are Olympic sports doomed to be just marketing tools for large corporations?  Can they retain the objectives/values on which they were founded?  Are the governments, the IOC committed to the fight against doping or will the continuing stream of doping scandals push these groups toward those who argue that the battle for drug free sport is a lost cause and it should be abandoned for a more "realistic" approach to professional sports where whether or not the athletes dope is not an issue?

Is this WADA report the turning point in the fight against doping? If so, which way is it turning?

The 323 page Commission report is HERE

MN Daily Story on Aaron Bartnik

Minnesota Daily story on Gopher captain Aaron Bartnik HERE

Sun Sailor Story on Wayzata's State Champ Jaret Carpenter

Sun Sailor Story on Wayzata's State Champ Jaret Carpenter HERE

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Research Backs More Exercise Over Less, Even if it is High Intensity

Research finds that while brief, high intensity, training produces results, a "minimum" of 60 minutes of exercise per day is better. Story HERE.

Rocky's Run Results

Rocky's Run results HERE
Gopher women's summary HERE.

Performances as Good as the Weather at MSHSL XC Champs

On a picture post card day, the performances matched the weather at the MSHSL Cross Country Championships on St. Olaf's campus in Northfield.  The Class AA girl's race led off with a familiar result, the Hasz twins went one, two as they have done the last three years.
Bethany Hasz(1st), Megan Hasz(2nd), and Claire Boersma(3rd)
Photo by Gene Niemi

Alexandria's Bethany Hasz won her second State Title in 17:32.2  with sister Megan(the champion in 2013) the runner up in 17:38.9.  It was a bittersweet experience, the twins said, as it was their last MSHSL XC championship.  But they're not leaving the State as both will be running for the University of Minnesota next Fall, both intending to pursue degrees in kinesiology and physical therapy.

Megan has had more experience with physical therapy as she has spent more time cross training than running since last spring.  She had a stress reaction in her leg during the 2014 track season and wasn't able to compete in the MSHSL track meet.  She had one race early in the cross country season and the leg injury flared up again, causing her to do rehab/cross training through Sectionals where she was second to her twin sister and qualified for State.

This year's MSHSL championships was the first time the girls ran 5K, but the added distance didn't alter the twins strategy.  They broke away early from the rest of the field and were never threatened. By virtue of the new course for the new distance, Bethany's time becomes the new State AA course record.
The sisters open a gap on Farmington's Lauren Peterson,
who would finish sixth, early in the race. Behind the front
three is Forest lake's Emma Benner, who got caught in the
crowd at the start, but managed to work her way back
up to fourth by the finish. Photo by Gene Niemi

The boy's Class AA individual race was more crowded up front.  Wayzata's Jaret Carpenter, who has been ranked number one in the coach's poll all year, was attempting to duplicate Wayzata grad Connor Olson's feat of winning the individual race. Both are front runners.  Carpenter was in or near the lead as a pack of six early before stepping on the gas coming up a hill near the two mile mark which shattered the pack and left Highland Park's Micah Mather and Eli Krahn as the only runners who could maintain contact.
The lead pack early in the race: Jaret Carpenter(15), Como Park's Innocent
Murwanashyaka(6), Eli Krahn(311),  Owen Hoeft(green head band),
Micah Mather(435) and Andrew Sell(361). Photo by Gene Niemi
Stillwater senior, Krahn, who lost his last two cross country seasons to stress reaction(sophomore) and a fracture(junior year), and Mather, who started running in junior high when he figured out he was a better runner than a baseball player, had come into the race with the same strategy:  Cling to Carpenter until the finish was in sight and try and outkick him.  Carpenter didn't give them the chance.  He broke away for good on a downhill about a half mile from the finish and started his long drive for the finish line.

Krahn felt "burnt" coming up the final, steep hill about a quarter from the finish and Mather passed him. The trio maintained that order to the finish.  In the AA team races, Hopkins' senior foursome, who have been running together since the seventh grade(Owen Hoeft, Jack Henschel, Hunter Staack and Sam Branson)  ended their high school careers on top scoring a meager 34 points to runner up Minneapolis Washburn's 67.  It was the same order of finish the two teams had at the 6AA section meet. Stillwater, led by Krahn, took third place with 87 points.

The girl's AA team race had a similar dynamic with Section 6AA winner Edina moving up a notch from last year to take the title with 68 points, while the "underdog," Marshall wasn't far behind with 76 points.  Last year's runner up Willmar was third with 119 points, and defending champion Wayzata took fourth with 152 points. The top four teams have no seniors, which could make for another interesting battle next year.

Class A
On the topic of underclassmen, the runner who most dominated any race on Saturday is the first seventh grader to win a Minnesota State XC championship, Grace Ping.  Small in stature, but huge in talent, Ping prompted one spectator to say: "She's hard to see because she's tiny and fast."  Ping also handles post race interviews like a pro.  Telling the assembled media that she would like to have run faster, but that she did the best she could. Ping will get a chance to go even faster next weekend when she runs the NXN Heartland Sectional in Sioux Falls.
Nobody in sight as Ping crosses the finish line. Photo by Gene Niemi
Reinforcing the youth movement, Breck's Morgan Richter, who was impressive during track season, is an eighth grader.  She won the 3200 on the track as a seventh grader.  When asked after her track victory if she thought she had a future in the sport she said she didn't know, she'd have to see if she was good at it.  She said after finishing second to Ping that she would like to have run faster.  She, Ping, and third place finisher Hannah Truniger, herself a prodigy who also has had success since an early age, all agreed that they liked the 5K distance. One reason being that it put them on equal footing with the boys.  They all may also buy into the slogan that was on the back of one girl's T-shirt: "We don't run to chase boys. We run to beat them."
The Ping family shows their support. Photo by Gene Niemi
In the boy's Class A individual race the top three are juniors, each of whom exceeded their expectations.  Two of them ended up in the medical tent after the race.  Third place finisher Carl Kozlowski had to be treated for a cut lip.  Race winner Zack Emery collapsed after he finished, the strain of the effort making him light headed and dizzy as he sprinted the final quarter.  

Emery had cut his foot in the summer while frolicking in the water. Rocks and tree branches below the surface.  He had to cross train as the wounds healed, but he didn't mind as he'd just got a new bike that he was more than happy to ride to maintain fitness.  He came back slowly and wasn't back to running until September.  The lack of running training was one reason he'd gone into the race just trying to finish near his number two ranking.

Zack Emery(751) leads the pack. Connor Schank, Michael Schwinghamer(834),
and Carl Kozlowski(76)

Kozlowski had the same objective of matching his sixth place ranking, but as the race progressed he found himself moving past people putting him in striking distance of a top three finish.  Schwinghamer's goal was to help Mora win the team title by finishing with as low a score as possible. He'd been ranked fourth going into the meet so he also was an overachiever as he led Mora to the Class A boy's team title.Mora scored 43 points to runner up Perham's 94.

Mora's coach Chris Goebel told the team he wanted them to go out fast, to pack up front.  His rationale being that his top runners had been able to stay close to the number one ranked Class A runner in the State, Connor Schank.  If they could get close to the best meant that they could achieve what he was asking.  It wasn't going to be easy. "I told them this would be the hardest thing they could do," Goebel said.  But the reward was worth the effort.

Perham coach Jeff Morris had his team on the opposite strategy.  Go out conservatively and get faster as the race progressed. The strategy worked for the Perham girls achieving an objective Morris had set as a major goal for the Perham program.  While Perham had won many boy's titles, the girls had not.  Until now. It wasn't a lonely celebration as Morris' phone was filled with text and voice messages from Perham alumni, he said, calling to congratulate the team on their achievement.

A fitting way to end a beautiful day.

Lance Elliott's MSHSL XC Champs Photo Gallery

Lance Elliott's MSHSL XC Championship Photo Gallery HERE

Saturday, November 07, 2015

NCAA DII Central Region Results

NCAA DII Central Region results HERE.
Augustana summary is HERE.
UMD women's summary HERE. Men HERE
MSU Moorhead summary HERE.
U-Mary women's summary HERE. Men HERE.
Southwest Minnesota State summary is HERE.
St Cloud State women's summary HERE. Men's HERE.
Winona State women's summary HERE. Men's HERE.
MSU Mankato men's summary HERE. Women HERE.
Concordia St. Paul summary is HERE.
Bemidji State summary is HERE.

Kraig Lungstrom's MSHSL Class AA XC Championships Photo Album

Kraig Lungstrom's MSHSL Class AA XC Championships Photo Album HERE

MSHSL State Championships Results

MSHSL State Championships girl's  AA Results HERE Class AA boy's HERE. Class A girl's HERE. Class A boy's HERE.

Friday, November 06, 2015

A Game Changer for Sport

Professor Richard McLaren on the WADA Investigation of
allegations broadcast in the ARD documentary on doping
in Russia.  English script of the program HERE. Interim 
report to be released on Monday in Geneva

Best Way to See a City, On Foot

St. John's Fall Finale Results

St. John's Fall Finale results HERE
St John's Summary HERE.
St. Ben's Summary is HERE.
Hamline women's summary HERE. Men HERE
University of Minnesota Morris summary HERE.
Martin Luther men's summary is HERE.  Women HERE.
North Central, Bethel not available

Mark Booth Severson to be Inducted into Hamline Hall of Fame

Mark Booth Severson to be Inducted into Hamline Hall of Fame on Saturday. Info HERE.

Augustana Set for NCAA DII Regionals in IL


U-Mary Team Ready for NCAA DII Regions


2015 MIAC Women's XC Awards

2015 MIAC Women's XC Awards HERE

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Wilson Kipsang in Town for Clinics

Kipsang and Team USA Minnesota's Dennis Barker will be a part of clinics sponsored by Warrior Edge Athletics on Saturday and Sunday. Information HERE