Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This Day in Villanova T&F History

On this day in 1980, Villanova's great middle distance runner John Marshall won the silver medal in the 800 meters at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Sudbury, Canada. The medal winners in that race were:

GOLD: Joachim Cruz (Brazil) 1:47.8
SILVER: John Marshall (USA) 1:48.4
BRONZE: Doug Wournell (Canada) 1:49.3

Marshall went on to bigger and better things, of course. He returned to the Pan Am Juniors in 1982 and won Gold. He then made the USA Olympic team in 1984 as a 20 year old. He came third in his first heat (1:47.99), but bowed out of the competition in the quarters, when he finished 5th in 1:47.18.

While at Villanova, Marshall won the 1983 NCAA indoor title over 880 yards. He left Villanova as the school record holder at 800 meters both indoors (1:47.84) and outdoors (1:43.92). He came back to coach at Villanova in 1990, serving as head coach of track & field from 1994 to 1998.

Blincoe Declares for Split 5000

Adrian Blincoe will take his newly minted 3000 PR and test his fitness over 5000 meters at the Continental Cup meet in Split, Croatia on September 4. Here is the declared list to date for that event.

1. Edwin Soi (Kenya)
2. Collis Birmingham (Australia)
3. Adrian Blincoe (New Zealand)
4. Bernard Lagat (USA)
5. Mo Farah (United Kingdom)
6. Moses Kipsiro (Uganda)
7. Diego Berrego (Mexico)
8. Sergei Lebid (Ukraine)
9. Imane Merga (Ethiopia)
10. Ayad Lamdassen (Spain)

Monday, August 30, 2010

NCAA Cross Country Pre-Season Regional Rankings are Out

The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coach's Association (USTFCCCA) has posted its NCAA Regional Rankings in Cross Country. As shown below, the Villanova men are ranked #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and the Villanova Women are #1 in the August 30 poll. Villanova, Princeton, and Georgetown are, as usual, the cream of the crop on both sides. No national rankings are released by the USTFCCCA prior to the start of competition. In 2009, the Villanova men finished 11th at the national meet, while the Villanova women won their 8th NCAA cross country championship, more than any other program.


Mid-Atlantic Region,(2009 Finish)

1 Georgetown BIG EAST (1)
2 Villanova BIG EAST (2)
3 Princeton Ivy (6)
4 Saint Joseph's A-10 (3)
5 Navy Patriot (4)
6 La Salle A-10 (5)
7 American Patriot (7)
8 Duquesne A-10 (8)
9 Temple A-10 (9)
10 Maryland ACC (10)
11 Bucknell Patriot (11)
12 Penn Ivy (11)
13 Delaware Colonial (13)
14 Pittsburgh BIG EAST (14)
15 Lehigh Patriot (15)


Mid-Atlantic Region,(2009 Finish)

1 Villanova BIG EAST (1)
2 Princeton Ivy (2)
3 Georgetown BIG EAST (5)
4 West Virginia BIG EAST (3)
5 Penn State Big Ten (4)
6 Maryland ACC (6)
7 Penn Ivy (10)
8 Bucknell Patriot (12)
9 La Salle A-10 (17)
10 Lafayette Patriot (9)
11 Delaware Colonial (8)
12 Duquesne A-10 (7)
13 Navy Patriot (11)
14 Rutgers BIG EAST (14)
15 Saint Joseph's A-10 (13)

Cody Harper 4th at Stone Harbor Lions 10K

Cody Harper went 34:37 on the road yesterday in New Jersey. Here are the top ten finishers from Stone Harbor.

1 1/18 32:05 5:10 M 28 Darryl Brown Exton PA
2 2/18 32:20 5:13 M 26 Zach Miller Brookhaven PA
3 3/18 33:55 5:28 M 26 Patrick Ward Philadelphia PA
4 4/18 34:37 5:35 M 23 Cody Harper Stone Harbor NJ
5 5/18 34:39 5:35 M 26 Skip Stiles Stone Harbor NJ
6 1/41 35:19 5:41 M 48 Michael P Platt Needham MA
7 1/17 37:50 6:06 M 17 Phil Khaisman Jenkintown PA
8 1/37 38:33 6:13 M 32 John Goldthorp Philadelphia PA
9 6/18 38:49 6:15 M 24 Joe Singleton Mahwah NJ
10 2/17 39:05 6:18 M 17 Ben Adams Jenkintown PA

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blincoe Sets New 3000 PR in Rieti

Adrian Blincoe set a new PR over 3000 meters today in Rieti, Italy, running 7:46.38 to finish 9th. His previous PR (7:47.50) was set indoors in 2002. Blincoe must like the track in Rieti very much: his 1500 (3:35.50) and mile (3:54.40)PRs were also set there. In the race today, Bernard Lagat set a new American Record (7:29.00) and Tariku Bekele ran the fastest time in the world this year.

Results - 3000m Men - Final

1 BEKELE, Tariku ETH WL 7:28.70
2 LAGAT, Bernard USA AR 7:29.00
3 SOI, E CheruiyotKEN PB 7:29.75
4 KIPKOECH, John KEN 7:32.72
5 SOLINSKY, Chris USA PB 7:34.32
6 TAHRI, Bouabdellah FRA 7:35.50
7 BIRMINGHAM, Collis AUS PB 7:38.77
8 RASHED, Essa Ismail QAT PB 7:39.61
9 BLINCOE, Adrian NZL PB 7:46.38
10 HULING, Dan USA 7:46.97
11 LONGOSIWA, Thomas Pkemei KEN 7:48.67
12 SIMOTWO, Suleiman KEN 7:49.41
13 LEBED, Sergey UKR 7:49.45
14 RUPP, Galen USA 7:50.46
15 SONGOK, Isaac Kiprono KEN 7:52.59

Intermediate times:
1000m 59 Biwott, Yusuf Kibet (KEN) 2:27.03
2000m 57 Bekele, Tariku (ETH) 5:01.25

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Richie Corcoran 3:51.22 in Antwerp

The former Villanova Irishman went 3:51.22 -- the equivalent of a 4:09 mile -- good for 7th place.

1 9788 Webb Alan USA 3:41.16
2 9797 Ndiwa Cornelius KEN 3:41.96
3 9766 Smail Nouredine FRA 3:42.77
4 9762 Schmitz Tommy USA 3:47.07
5 9735 Mccartan Patrick IRL 3:49.39
6 9752 Raabe Johannes GER 3:50.04
7 9681 Corcoran Richard USA 3:51.22
8 9670 Breit Stefan SUI 3:51.98
9 9709 Groen Tijs NED 3:52.05
10 9672 Buraas Sindre NOR 3:52.49
11 1788 Vandegaer Wout RCT 3:54.10
12 1234 Misplon Bert RCG 4:01.72
13 9738 Moriarty Kevin IRL 4:05.25
9791 Williamson Ian GBR DNF
9798 Ellerton Andrew CAN DNF
1537 Dierckx Toon ACBR DNF
9741 Naroda Andrej AUT DNF

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blincoe on Tap for Fast 3000 in Rieti

Below is the start list for this Sunday's 3000 meter race at the IAAF meeting in Rieti, Italy. There are many top-flight distance guys in the race, so Blincoe looks to be in a race that can produce a fast time. Blincoe is pointing to the 5000 at the Commonwealth Games later this year.


TAHRI Bouabdellah FRA
BIWOTT Yusuf Kibet KEN
SOI Edwin Cheruiyot KEN
SONGOK Isaac Kiprono KEN
RASHED Essa Ismail QAT
KIPROP Boniface Toroitich UGA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This Day in Villanova T&F History

On this day in 1985 in Cologne, Germany former Villanova great Sydney Maree set a new USA National Record over 1,500 meters, running 3:29.77. The AR would stand for 21 years until it was broken in 2006 by Bernard Lagat. At the time of his 1985 record, Maree was a former world record holder at that distance (3:31.24, also set in Cologne, in August 28, 1983, when he broke the record of Steve Ovett). A month earlier in 1985, Maree had established the USA National Record over 5000 meters, when he ran 13:01.15 in Oslo on July 27. In all, Maree set American records over three distances: 1500, 3000, and 5000 meters. While running for Villanova, Maree was a three-time NCAA individual champion: over 1500 meters (1980 and 1981) and 5000 meters (1979). He was 5th in the 5000 at the 1988 Olympic Games.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The (mainly) Highs & (rarely) Lows of Sonia O'Sullivan

Blincoe Sub-4:00 in Finland -- Coghlan's WR Survives Shabunin Bid

At the Joensuu Games in Finland on Saturday three Villanovans were in play in the mile. Adrian Blincoe finished second in 3:59.27. Bobby Curtis was 13th in 4:10.92. Neither time, of course, is noteworthy or anywhere close to their respective PRs. Neither Blincoe nor Curtis are milers and both are focusing on the 5000 (and/or 10,000 in the case of Curtis). Speed work.

On a second front, Eamonn Coghlan's status as the only man over 40 years of age to have run a sub-4:00 mile (3:58.2 at age 41) was threatened by the effort of Vyacheslav Shabunin of Russia. Shabunin, who previously took away Marcus O'Sullivan's masters' WR over 3000 meters, failed to get under 4:00, running 4:01.62. Eamonn's mark is safe for the time being.

Men's Mile

1 17 Josephat Menjo KEN 3.53,62
2 2 Adrian Blincoe NZL 3.59,27
3 6 Tiidrek Nurme EST 4.00,22
4 9 Niclas Sandells IKFalken 4.00,38
5 11 Paul Robinson IRL 4.00,93
6 1 Vyacheslav Shabunin RUS 4.01,62
7 5 Riku Marttinen HeinI 4.03,81
8 4 Tommy Schmitz USA 4.04,87
9 7 Joonas Harjamäki SeinäjSU 4.07,01
10 12 Matti Räsänen JoensKa 4.07,67
11 13 Janne Ukonmaanaho YlikNM 4.09,78
12 16 Jarkko Hamberg SjundeåIF 4.10,30
13 3 Bobby Curtis USA 4.10,92
14 8 Aki Nummela HKV 4.11,38
0 33 Joonas Lehtinen TuUL DNF

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are Villanova's XC Women the Team to Beat in 2010?

The answer is "yes," according to Running Times magazine:

NCAA Cross Country Preview 2010: Women

Can the Ducks beat the Wildcats? Will Hasay be the next Koll?
By Brian Metzler

As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

The top four runners from last year’s NCAA Division I cross country season have progressed: Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri, Colorado’s Jenny Barringer and Florida State’s Susan Kuijken have graduated and runner-up Kendra Schaaf transferred from Washington to UNC. Perhaps the best distance runner in the field last year, Iowa State’s Lisa Koll (11th) has also moved on to greener pastures.

What does that mean? This fall, there’s a blank canvas waiting to be splattered with paint, er, uh, mud. With several decorated stars gone, there’s a field of runners ready to make their mark, including protégés of Barringer and Koll.

Virginia’s Catherine White, somewhat of a surprise as the number four finisher last fall, is the top returnee, but so is Colorado sophomore Alli McLaughlin, who was somewhat of a surprise as the number five finisher last year as a true freshman. UTEP’s Ripser Kimaiyo (ninth last year, plus fourth in the 5,000m during the outdoor track season) looks like an up-and-comer. And Iowa State’s Betsy Saina came out of the cornfields with a runner-up finish in the 10,000m (behind Koll) at the NCAA track championships in June.

Which of those runners will be in the lead pack at the NCAA Division I Championships on Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind? Which schools are the teams to beat this fall? Here’s a primer to get the season started.


They say repeating as champions is much harder than winning a title the first time. But that might not be the case with the Wildcat program, which won six straight NCAA titles from 1989-1994. That doesn’t have much to do with this season, but having five of its top six runners from last year’s NCAA championship team certainly does. Senior Amanda Marino (sixth at last year’s NCAA cross country meet, plus 11th in the 5,000m during the outdoor track season) leads the way, but also back are juniors Sheila Reid (13th in cross country, fourth in the 1500m in track) and Bogdana Mimic (22nd in cross country, 13th in the 5,000m on the track) and senior Ali Smith (24th in cross country) and Brooke Simpson (60th). History might also be on ‘Nova’s side: Since 1989, only six different schools have won an NCAA title: Villanova (8), Stanford (5), BYU (4), Colorado (2), Washington (1) and Providence (1).


The Ducks didn’t have a great national championship race, but they should be stronger than they were a year ago now that Jordan Hasay (18th) has a full year of college experience under her belt. Oregon has plenty of depth, but the real key might be senior Alex Kosinski, who finished a disappointing 81st last year after battling the flu and injuries midway through the season. (She was eighth in 2008 and 13th in 2007.) Fellow seniors Claire Michel (87th at NCAAs last fall and the school record-holder in the 3,000m steeplechase) and Zoe Buckman (Pac-10 1500-meter champion) will help out, but freshman Sarah Andrews (2009 Pan Am 5,000-meter champion) could also have an immediate impact.

Florida State
After a runner-up showing last year following two third-place finishes in 2007 and 2008, coach Karen Harvey has the Seminoles heading in the right direction. The ‘Noles will need to have someone step up to replace Susan Kuijken, but with a nucleus of senior Pasca Cheruiyot (16th in cross country, fifth in the NCAA 10,000m), sophomore Amanda Winslow (39th), junior Jennifer Dunn (42nd) and senior Pilar McShine (55th last year, but 29th in 2008), the Seminoles should be in pretty good shape. They’ll be bolstered by senior Andrea Palen, who dropped a lot of time off her track PRs, and by Northern Arizona transfer Astrid Leutert.

It’s so hard to develop a dynasty in cross country. After winning the NCAA meet with a very young team in 2008, the Huskies slipped to third last year and then lost top runner Kendra Schaaf (transfer to North Carolina) and top assistant coach Kelly Strong (who’s now at Cal-Poly). That said, coach Greg Metcalf still has a cupboard full of talent, including two-time All-Americans Mel Lawrence and Christine Babcock.


After a solid seventh-place effort from a year ago, the Gators bring back six of its top seven runners, including Rebecca Lowe (15th) and Charlotte Browning (21st).

Another program loaded with young talent, the Cardinal will be counting on junior Stephanie Marcy (53rd), Kathy Kroeger (63rd and fifth in the NCAA 5,000m in the spring) and sophomore Alex Dunne (73rd).

Last year’s eighth-place team had six freshman and sophomores. Carly Seymour (29th) is the top returnee.

Jenny Barringer has moved on, but a young nucleus lead by sophomore Allie McLaughlin (fifth last year) and junior Emma Coburn (115th).

OTHER PROGRAMS ON THE RISE IN 2010: North Carolina, Providence, Virginia, Syracuse, BYU, Georgetown, UTEP


Jordan Hasay, Oregon—After a slow start to her college career, Hasay hit her stride in track and should be in the mix this fall.

Catherine White, Virginia—She’s the top returning runner from 2009, when she finished fourth among individuals as a junior.

Allie McLaughlin, Colorado—Placed fifth last year as a true freshman in just her third season as a distance runner.

Betsy Saina, Iowa State—She finished 141st at NCAAs last year, but while training with Lisa Koll she took second in the NCAA 10,000m run in the spring.


Amanda Marino, Villanova; Emily Infeld, Georgetown; Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP; Kathy Kroeger, Stanford; Cecily Lemmon, BYU; Emily Sisson, Wisconsin.

Recruiting Update: Ireland's Mageean Confirms Gap Year

Athletics: Rising star Mageean set to turn down scholarships for 'gap year'

By Cliona Foley
Tuesday August 17 2010

COLLEGES both at home and abroad are queueing up with scholarship offers for rising Irish middle-distance star Ciara Mageean (18) -- but they will have to wait as she is taking a 'gap year' next season.

The Portaferry teenager, who won 1,500m silver at the World Junior Championships in Canada three weeks ago, will receive her A-level results this Thursday.

But she confirmed to the Irish Independent yesterday that she is deferring any college start for a year, partly to allow her run in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

Mageean smashed Sonia O'Sullivan's Irish junior record last summer and knocked nearly six seconds off her personal best when running 4:09.51 in Moncton last month, where only an Ethiopian beat her and she came home well clear of several more African athletes.

She had already signalled her outstanding talent by winning 800m silver at the World Youths last summer, plus 1500m gold at the European Youth Olympics.

Mageean is part of Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games team which also includes Jason Smyth and while she has the qualifying standard for both the 800m and 1500m, she intends only contesting the metric mile in India.

After that she will race for Ireland in the European Cross-Countries in Portugal in December and her focus next summer will be on the European Junior Championships in her last season in that grade.

This Day in Villanova T&F History

On this day in 1985, four of Ireland’s greatest milers -- two of whom attained greatness at Villanova -- combined to set a World Record of 15:49.08 in the 4-mile relay at Dublin’s Belfield Stadium. Eamonn Coghlan, pushed by the “B” team’s John Treacy the entire way, led off in 4:00.2, followed by Marcus O’Sullivan (3:55.3), Frank O’Mara(3:56.6), and Ray Flynn(3:57.0). The previous mark of 15:59.57 was set by a John Walker-led New Zealand team in 1983. No foursome has been able to best this 1985 mark in the intervening 25 years.
The reluctant foursome had to be coaxed by Irish journalist John O’Shea, the founder of the international humanitarian agency GOAL, into competing in the fund-raising event. O’Sullivan, O’Mara, and Flynn were in the middle of the European track season, and Coghlan was still recovering from an injury. In fact, Coghlan, as well as his three eventual teammates, didn’t think the record was possible with him on the team, since he was far from being in top shape.
"I know even I was pushing not to have Coghlan on the team," said Flynn. "A week or so before we'd raced together in a road mile over in Minneapolis, and Eamonn had run 4:22. So he was really in bad shape. Terrible shape. The other guys mightn't admit to it, but we were all trying to push him off our team. We just didn't think we'd break the record with him on board.
"But Eamonn was such a competitor that he was able to produce that mile almost naturally, even in his worst possible condition, helped by the fact that John Treacy was on the B-team and chasing him down. Now I'm so happy that he was part of it, and gave the whole thing so much more credibility."

This Day in Villanova T&F History

On this day in 1967 Pat Traynor (VU, class of 1963) set a USA National Record in the steeplechase, running 8:32.4 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Pat came to running from another sport: basketball. As legend has it, Pat (who was 6'2" and close to 190 lbs) was a basketball player at Monsignor Bonner in Philadelphia and wanted to stay in shape for basketball season. At a field day run cross country run during his senior year of high school Traynor decided to give it a try and he went out an beat every member of Bonner's cross country team. After only a few months of training, he ran a mile in 4:25. Basketball was abandoned and he dedicated himself to running. He won the 1958 Catholic league Cross Country individual title at the 33rd & Dauphin course.
At Villanova, the 6'2" Traynor was thought by Jumbo Elliott to be too tall to run indoors; "he's like a big elephant, flopping around on the track," the coach observed. Traynor was the NCAA champion in the steeple in 1962, after coming second in 1961. His 1962 victory was in a meet record time of 8:48.6. Traynor was the 1962 Penn Relays Most Outstanding Athlete after anchoring the victorious DMR, and won three AAU steeplechase titles (1963, 1966, 1967) and one AAU cross country title over 10 kilometers (1963). He eventually rose to become the #6 ranked steepler in the world in 1967. Attesting to his range, Traynor also broke 4:00 for the mile, running 3:59.6 on August 10, 1968.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dave Patrick

Under the heading "how time flies," today marks Dave Patrick's 64th birthday. We commented previously on this blog how Dave was left off the 1968 USA Olympic team because of the odd dual Olympic trials format that was instituted to select the 1968 team. Only many years later was Patrick officially reinstated to the team and was rightfully an "Olympian." Interestingly, many thought that it would be Patrick who would dethrone Jim Ryun as America's premier miler. In fact, it was to be Patrick's Villanova teammate Marty Liquori who would both make the 1968 Olympic team as an 18-year old and later take over for Ryun as the world's #1 miler. Patrick was a phenom in his own right, of course, and beat Ryun over 880 yards on a number of occasions. But his stars were not aligned to become the household names that Ryun and Liquori were. In any event, his status as a Villanova great is well established.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blincoe goes 7:49, Curtis 8:02 at Crystal Palace

Adrian Blincoe showed good fitness today at the London Aviva Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace. In a race won by the USA's Bernard Lagat in 7:40.36, Blincoe finished in 10th place in a respectable 7:49.21, just 3 seconds off his PR of 7:46.49 (2005). His time today was also 7.7 seconds faster than the 3000 he ran in Switzerland five days ago. A little less rosy story for Bobby Curtis today. He became detached from the main chasers and came 12th, in 8:04.12, almost 7 seconds slower than the 7:57.28 he ran last week in Switzerland.

Men's 3000 meters

1 LAGAT, Bernard USA 7:40.36
2 FARAH, Mohammed GBR 7:40.75
3 KIPTOO, Mark Kosgei KEN 7:41.56 SB
4 BIRMINGHAM, Collis AUS 7:42.39 PB
5 RUPP, Galen USA 7:43.24 PB
6 THOMPSON, Christopher GBR 7:43.34 PB
7 KOGO, Micah Kemboi KEN 7:45.66
8 MOTTRAM, Craig AUS 7:45.87 SB
9 MBISHEI, Titus KEN 7:47.84 PB
10 BLINCOE, Adrian NZL 7:49.21 SB
11 GALA, Mumin SOM 7:49.65 PB
12 CURTIS, Bobby USA 8:04.12
13 MCLEOD, Ryan GBR 8:13.94

Monday, August 9, 2010

Curtis & Blincoe to Contest London Grand Prix 3000 at Crystal Palace

Bobby Curtis and Adrian Blincoe are confirmed to the start list of the Aviva London Grand Prix 3000 meter race to be held this Friday, August 13 in Crystal Palace. The pace should be brisk, with Bernard Lagat, Craig Mottram, and Mo Farrah in the field.

Aviva London Grand Prix
3000 METRES (M)

Collis Birmingham (AUS)
Adrian Blincoe (NZL)
Bobby Curtis (USA)
Mo Farah (GBR)
Mumin Gala (SOM)
Mark Kiptoo (KEN)
Micah Kogo (KEN)
Bernard Lagat (USA)
Titus Mbishei (KEN)
Ryan McLeod (GBR)
Craig Mottram (AUS)
Galen Rupp (USA)
Suleiman Simotwo (KEN)
Chris Thompson (GBR)

One-on-One with Kristen Nicolini

Here is an August 2010 interview with former all-american Kristen Nicolini, who graduated from Villanova in 2000. Kristen ran first at Auburn and then at Villanova, where she was a member of the 1998 National Cross Country Championship team - placing 17th - and the 4 x 1500m Penn Relays team. She was an All American for both cross country and for the 3000m indoor. Here are some of her post-collegiate milestones:


2009 USA Marathon Championship - 3rd
2009 USA 20k Championships - 6th
2009 USA 10 Mile Championship - 5th
2009 USA 7 Mile Championships - 8th
2009 USA Half Marathon Championships - 7th
2008 U.S. World Half Marathon team
2008 USA Half Marathon Championships - 5th
2002 Chiba Ekiden Road Relay team

Though troubled by injuries, Kristen Nicolini has accomplished quite a bit in her time with Team USA Minnesota. She captured more than PRs and individual honors, she also met and married her husband, fellow Team USA MN marathoner, Jason Lehmkuhle. Here she tells us about the journey.

Down the Backstretch: Ten years ago the Team USA concept was just an idea waiting to happen. What were your thoughts when it started? Why did you get involved? What did you hope to get from the experiment?

Kristen Nicolini: I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I applied to the group. I had never even stepped foot in Minnesota. However, I was struggling back in Villanova trying to train as a post collegiate runner. I decided that making the move to Minnesota and joining Team USA was the best option for me.

I got involved with the group for several reasons. Team USA provides coaching, medical support, and great training facilities. When I first joined the group the ultimate goal was to make an Olympic team and set a lot of PR's along the way. Obviously, I have not reached every goal but I still think my best running is yet to come.

DtB: Did you have any idea then that ten years later you would still be involved? Was there a plan or commitment you had in mind when you first signed up?

KN: I can't believe I have been involved with the group for ten years. It has gone really fast! I feel lucky to have been one of the original members. I did not set a time limit on my running career when I first
accepted a spot on the team.

After making the final in the 5K of the 2004 Olympic trials and setting a PR, I definitely wanted more. In 2008 I felt like I was in the best shape of my life but wound up injured and unable to compete in the trials. This injury was even more motivating and left me eager to give the 2012 marathon and track trials a shot. Fortunately, despite some of my injuries the group has remained supportive of me in one way or another and I hope to be at my best come 2012.

DtB: What has been the highlight or highlights of those ten years?

KN: I feel like my earlier years with Team USA were plagued with injury. Therefore, most of my better races have been in the last three years. Two of my biggest accomplishments have been, running my first half marathon in under 1:13, earning a spot on the World Championship team, and running my first marathon in 2:35. When I first moved here I had never raced further than a 3K except for cross country in college.

Needless to say, I have come a long way aerobically under Dennis's coaching.

DtB: What have been the greatest challenges?

KN: My greatest challenges have been overcoming injury. There were some injuries that knocked me out for over a year and I worried that they might sideline me forever. Fortunately, I have always been able to come back stronger and faster.

Another one of my greatest challenges is holding myself back. As distance runners it is in our nature to be work horses. However, I do think it is possible to work too hard leaving yourself over trained and unable to race at your best.

I also strive to keep some sort of balance in my life and I get this balance by working as well as training. I have worked pretty close to full-time at Marathon Sports for a little over three years. I wouldn't be able to hold these hours and train if it weren't for the flexibility that I am given. I am very grateful to have this opportunity.

DtB: What were the primary objectives you hoped to achieve?

KN: There are still a lot things I have not accomplished with my running career. However, my primary objectives were to set as many PR's as possible and compete to the best of my ability every time I stepped on the line. Who doesn't want to make Olympic teams and win as many national championships as possible? I have done neither, but I continue to put my best foot forward in everything I do. In these next couple of years I want to get the most out of myself as an athlete and see what I can accomplish.

DtB: What would you still like to accomplish, see happen with the program?

KN: I would still like to take a stab at making an Olympic team in 2012. It might be a long shot, but you never know what the future holds. I hope to make the most out of my racing in the next couple of years. I know if I compete as best I can, faster times will come.

Hopefully, the program will continue to attract some of the best post collegiate runners in the country and ultimately be the top distance training camp. Those of us who have been around for ten years have really seen this program grow. There is a lot more support on both the medical and financial side than there was when I first joined the team. The group now has access to facilities such as ACCUA and their underwater treadmill. This has been huge for someone like myself with an injury history. I feel very blessed to have resources like this available to me. It would be great if the group could continue to add the latest and greatest training devices to help the next generation compete to the best of their ability.

DtB: What has surprised you or was unexpected about the project?

KN: The support of the local running community has always amazed me. I have met some of the greatest people in Minnesota through running and I can't thank them enough. I have also been pleasantly surprised with all of the great running trails throughout the city. When I first packed my car and made the 20 hour drive from Philadelphia I had no idea what to expect. Ten years later I can honestly say that Minneapolis is my favorite place to train. The winters are challenging but manageable.

On a side note, I also did not expect to meet my future husband through Team USA Minnesota. I never thought I would end up married and settled in the land of ten thousand lakes.

DtB: What are your plans for the future?

KN: Everything from here on out is in preparation for the 2012 marathon and track trials. I will do a fall marathon this year and then hit the track for both and indoor and outdoor season. I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business on the track.

Blincoe and Curtis in Lucerne 3000

Former Villanovans Adrian Blincoe and Bobby Curtis ran in the 3000 meters yesterday in Lucerne, Switzerland, and finished half a stride apart in 4th and 5th. Blincoe, with a career PR of 7:46.49 (2005), was 4th in 7:56.78, while Curtis, with a PR of 7:50.17i (2008), was 5th in 7:57.28., which is an outdoor PR. Both Blincoe (3000i) and Curtis (5000) won individual NCAA championships while at Villanova. Blincoe is timing his 2010 season to peak for the Commonwealth Games (3-14 October) in Delhi, India, where he will represent New Zealand in the 5000 meters. He is the New Zealand national record holder at that distance (13:10.19).

3000 meters

1. Torrence David 85 USA USA 7:54.61
2. Huling Dan 83 USA USA 7:55.59
3. Gabius Arne 81 GER GER 7:56.78
4. Blincoe Adrian 79 NZL NZL 7:56.99
5. Curtis Bobby 84 USA USA 7:57.28
6. Christie Mark 85 IRL IRL 7:58.82
7. Van der Westhuizen Peter 84 RSA RSA 8:00.05
8. Tesfay Simon 85 TG Hütten ERI 8:02.05
9. Bandi Philipp 77 GG Bern SUI 8:03.47
10. Perrett Clinton 83 LC Basel AUS 8:04.06
11. Abad Francisco 81 ESP ESP 8:08.53
12. Jesien Andrew 78 USA USA 8:15.58
13. Belz Christian 74 STBern Leichtathletik SUI 8:16.23
14. Farnosov Andrey 80 RUS RUS 8:17.88
15. Foster Jan 82 GER GER 8:19.85
16. Brügger Michel 81 TV Bösingen SUI 8:21.78
Nurme Tiidrik 85 EST EST n.a.
Pierce Jon 83 USA

Friday, August 6, 2010

One-on-One with Amanda Marino

This is a part of the KWIK-E series at FloTrack.

Villanova Wildcat Amanda Marino, New Jersey native, is coming into this NCAA cross country season as a member of the reigning National Championship team. After leading her squad last fall with a sixth-place finish at the national meet, Marino is pumped to have a strong returning team and a gang of top recruits coming in. In this interview, we talk about everything from MTV's “The Jersey Shore” to theme parks to, oh yeah, running topics, like Villanova's chances at a repeat and the incoming recruits.

Q: You're on your way to the boardwalk, is that the famous Boardwalk from “The Jersey Shore”?

AM: No, that's seaside. We're actually avoiding that one on purpose. I heard it's really, really crowded.

Q: Because of the TV show?

AM: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Apparently at Club Bamboo, there was like a thousand people lined up because they wanted to go in because the Jersey Shore cast was there.

Q: Is this show good for New Jersey or bad for New Jersey in your opinion?

AM: I was reading a newspaper article about it today. A lot of people are saying that it's like a Spring Break kids area. Then a lot of people are like, “well, it's really making New Jersey look terrible.” And people already have a really bad outlook on New Jersey. I think what everyone expects of Jersey is when they go through North Jersey, where all the factories and stuff are. It's definitely NOT what it looks like where I live.

Q: You're from Jackson, where they have Six Flags Great Adventure theme park and the world-record roller coaster “The Kingda Ka”. Have you ever been on this ride?

AM: Yes. I've actually got the front seat before. I worked at Six Flags for two summers in a row. Kingda Ka is totally overrated. It's like five seconds long. You go on it, it goes up and over the loop and then basically you're done. I prefer Nitro to Kingda Ka anyday.

Q: This is a running interview! Your long run today. What did it consist of?

AM: It was just 90 minutes.

Q: What kind of mileage are you running this summer as you're building up to the cross country season?

AM: I'm probably in the 70s. I'd say my highest that I'm going to hit is about 75.

Q: Have you had people to run with?

AM: It's kind of nice, because over here by my house, about three miles away, is this place called the Manasquan Reservoir. And it's a five-mile loop. Pretty much anyone around runs there. A lot of times I'll go there and just see people running. Like this morning, my friend who graduated from a nearby high school, Ray Coles, and another kid who is going into his senior year, his name is Kevin Byrne. They were there and Ray was like, “hey, Amanda, you want to run with us?” We did a lap together, like a five-mile lap. They stopped or something to get water, but I just kept going.

Q: How fast are you going on these?

AM: Today was way, way faster than I wanted to go. I don't know if I want to say how fast it was because it was too fast. Usually I like to stay around seven-minute pace. That's what I like to do. Today I felt really good because the weather has been really, really hot and we finally got a break from it. I think I just went out there and felt really good because the weather was so much nicer.

Q: Are you going into cross country with a lot of individual confidence?

AM: Yeah. I'm trying to not think about the competition right now. I'm trying to have fun with running and stuff. I'm one of those people who can really stress myself out. I kind of need to make an effort to not freak myself out and it's all about fun.

It is all about fun, but I'm going to keep pushing the questions. Are you feeling pressure going into this season to do it again?

Team-wise, I am, just because we won last year. The season went just so perfectly. Last year, being the underdog, it was a lot easier to be the underdog. Now that we won, I think it's going to be a little bit harder to have that in the back of our minds. Our team atmosphere and everything...our coaches, they handle it really well. We joke around all the time, but thinking about it, being by myself right now in the summer, just doing a lot of my training by myself...is a little stressful. I know once I get back there that it's going to be fine.

Q: When do you go back and do have a preseason camp or something like that?

AM: No, we just kind of just go back when school starts. I don't really know why we don't have a preseason camp, but it just works out well that way. We all do our own thing over the summer and reconvene. We start our season a little bit later, like racing-wise. At the beginning of the season we do a lot of workouts and we might go to the first race of the season and just train through it.

Q: Overall, how was your outdoor season? You finished a bit in the back of the 5,000 at NCAAs.

AM: I think I was 11th. I was passed by so many people in the last 200 meters, that I don't even remember what place it was (laughs). The outdoor went surprisingly well based on my indoor season, which I ended up finding out that my iron was very, very low. I came into the outdoor season and coach told me to take a lot of time off after indoor. Then my coach was like, “just focus on getting healthy and we'll start your workouts in a couple of weeks and see how you're doing. We'll see what we need to do from there.” I ended up coming back pretty quickly. I think I was kind of smart about it. I came back really slow. She didn't put any pressure on me to be obligated to run outdoor. It made it better because once outdoor rolled around, I was ready.

Q: What are you doing for non-running stuff this summer?

AM: Well, I decided to skip working at Six Flags this summer because it just wasn't a good job at all. Now I'm working at McDonald's, where I worked in high school.

Q: McDonald's is better than Six Flags?

AM: Yeah. At Six Flags, I was outside for like eight-10 hours. I was one of those people who carried the lemonade trays and the cotton candy at the concerts and push the cart around the park, selling overpriced lemonade and popcorn. It was just not a fun job at all.

Q: Good tips?

AM: Actually we're not allowed to take tips. They place people in the park, they hire people to give us tips and if we take them, we can get fired. So, I decided to go back to my roots and go back to McDonald's. I guess compared to Six Flags, it's a lot more relaxing.

Q: How many NCAA national champions do you think are working at McDonald's?

AM: That's a good question. I've actually thought about that. I'd be surprised if anybody else worked at McDonald's.

Q: Do you see any reason why you can't win another national championship in cross country? What kind of a hit did you take and what recruits are coming in?

AM: On paper, we're even better than last year. We lost Nicole Schappert and Kaitlin Tallman, but we're gaining a bunch of recruits. The one that sticks out the most in my head is Emily Lipari—who is a multiple national champion in track. I think that's going to be a great addition to our team. The thing with running is that you never know what's going to happen. You never know who's going to be hurt, who's going to have low iron, who's going to have this or who's going to have that. You can't take anything for granted. But, if you look at it on paper, there's no way we shouldn't be able to do it again.

Q: I'm a running geek, so this is the kind of stuff I'm into, but when you heard Kendra Schaaf was transferring to UNC from Washington, did it spread like wild fire through your team? Were you texting each other back and forth?

AM: I'm sure when practice starts, it will be one of those things we'll talk about when we're catching up, like, “oh, my gosh. Did you hear Kendra Schaaf transferred from Washington?” But you never know the full story.

Q: I was just making sure it's not just Justin Kopunek and I talking about these things like little “Gossip Girls”.

AM: No! I'm sure the running community is talking about it. That's the girl who got second at nationals. That's a big deal!

Q: With the team you had last year and the season you had, how much did you come together as a close-knit group?

AM: The team dynamic during the cross country season was amazing. I really can't even explain it. You just have to be a part of it to know what it really feels like. When we all came together at nationals after the race and found out that we won, I had a hard time believing it at the time. It just didn't sink in that we were national champions. It's one of those things. You think about it and you think about it and before it happens you think how cool it would be. Then it happens and I just couldn't believe it.

Q: What's the living situation like? Do a lot of your girls live together?

AM: We have apartments and there's four girls to each apartment. We're pretty split in the living arrangements, but we hang out so much outside of where we live that it doesn't really matter.

Q: I'm not asking you to throw dirt here, but who's got a lot of character on your team? I've interviewed Nicole Schappert and Bogdana Mimic before—but it was via email from Croatia, so I think there was still a language barrier.

AM: Interestingly enough, I would say that Bogdana would surprise you the most. On the surface she seems like a quiet, keep-it-to-herself girl, but the stuff she says is outrageous. She does not hold anything back. Gina (Procaccio), our coach, will say something to her and she will blatantly tell her, “no, I don't feel like it!” (Laughs) She's so honest, but it's in a way where it's funny and not mean at all. It's just really funny and you almost expect it from her. I can't explain it. She's so brutally honest. I actually read Bogdana's interview and it doesn't do her any justice.

Q: There was a bit of a language gap I think.

AM: Yeah, because of the language gap, I guess she doesn't realize that it's a different connotation for people whose first language is English, that people hear would never say and it just makes everything funny.

Q: You must be really looking forward to this next season to start?

AM: I'm really excited for Emily Lipari to come. On her recruiting visit, everybody was saying how much we look alike. I guess we're both pretty hyper.

Q: When you do get free time, what are you doing for fun?

AM: This summer has been a lot more relaxed. My dad has a boat, a speed boat. I've gone on that a couple of times. I've gone to the beach a couple of times. Nothing too crazy. I'm one of those people who can never sit still. I don't just stay in my house. I'll go to Target and roam the aisles, just to have something to do. My brother does that too. We're like, “do you want to just go somewhere?” And we go to the mall or something. We'll walk around and act crazy and stupid.

Q: You can't sit still?

AM: I can't sit still at all. My dad tells me all the time that if I didn't run then I'd be so hyper. When I was a kid, I was non-stop hyper. I actually just found old videos of me when I was 10 or 11. I did not stop moving and I did not stop talking. I almost wanted to slap myself in the video. It was so incredibly annoying.

Q: If you could have one meal, prepared by anyone, what would you have and who would make it?

AM: I really love home-cooked meals. I've become more appreciative of them since I started college. I always used to love to go out to restaurants and stuff. Now, I would much rather—for my birthday if I had the choice to go out or eat a home-cooked meal—choose the home-cooked meal. My favorite would have to be this dish that my stepmom makes. It's shrimp, pasta and sun-dried tomatoes. I love seafood and I love Italian food, so it's the perfect combination.

Q: Can you give me a crazy running-related story?

AM: This past season, I was running the 5K at regionals. It was very pushy because it went out so slow. People were just running into each other. I knew something was going to happen. I felt like I was going to fall or something crazy was going to happen. I think with about four laps to go, someone stepped on my shoe and it came half-way off. I was like, “oh, crap!” And I was cursing and I don't know who heard me. It was just out of impulse. My coach made fun of me after because she had told me to always relax no matter what happens.

Q: You've got a pretty bad mouth on you?

AM: (Laughs) Just that time. I don't usually have a bad mouth on me. So, I was running and in my head I was like, “oh, my God! This is going to prevent me from going to Oregon. I can't believe that something stupid like this is going to stop me from going to nationals.” Then I'm thinking if I should take my shoe off or if I should run with it half-on. I decided to keep running with it half-on. I didn't know what else to do. I was so frustrated and so mad. I kept running and it fueled me a little bit and gave me a lot of adrenaline. In the last 100 meters, I was just using all of my energy to secure that spot. My shoe came off and I finished the race with only one shoe. Then I went back after the race finished and went back to get my shoe, but the officials started the next race as I was going back to get my shoe, sitting in lane one. The officials are like, “what are you doing?! Where are you going?!” And I turned around and said, “my shoe is in the middle of lane one.” They looked at me in disbelief and then gave me the thumbs up like, “oh, good job. You cleared the lane for the next race coming up.” That's not even the end of the story. At the end of the race (laughs)—all right, I sound like a lunatic—I looked down at my leg. It was just gushing blood. I must have gotten spiked. It made a really deep gash, where you could see the wall of my muscles or whatever. I ended up having to get stitches and now there's a pretty nasty scar there.

Q: That's gruesome. That's a battle scar.

AM: I'm all about battle scars!

Stockholm 5000 Not Kind to Rhines

This has not been a good end to the summer European season for Jen Rhines. At the Stockholm Diamond League meet today, Rhines came last in the 5000, finishing in a season low 15:50.55. Jen was the oldest runner in the field, at age 36, by at least 7 years. She ran 15:22 last month. Her PR is 14:54.29.

4 UTURA, SULE ETH 14:56.18

This Day in Villanova T&F History

On this day in 1958, reigning Olympic 1500 meter gold medalist Ron Delany contested the mile at Santry stadium in Dublin. Twenty-year old Herb Elliott (Australia) ran 3:54.5 to take an amazing 2.7-seconds off the previous World Record of 3:57.2, which was set by England’s Derek Ibbotson the previous year. Also under the old record was another Australian, Merv Lincoln, who ran 3:55.9. Ireland’s (and Villanova's) Ron Delany finished 3rd in 3:57.5.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Six Wildcat Student-Athletes Named USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes

Six Wildcat Student-Athletes Named USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes

Aug. 4, 2010

NEW ORLEANS--The U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association announced its list of Scholar-Athletes for the 2009-10 academic year this week and Villanova had six student-athletes chosen to the list.

In addition to the individual recognition, the entire team also earned All-Academic Team status from the USTFCCCA. The Wildcats posted a team GPA of 3.31 for the year, well above the 3.0 threshold required for All-Academic Team status. The BIG EAST Conference had the highest number of programs qualify for the award, with 12 different teams included among the 151 total All-Academic Team honorees. No other conference had more than eight teams make the cut.

Individually, recently graduated seniors Nicole Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Kaitlyn Tallman (Mindemoya, Ontario), rising seniors Ashlyn Llerandi (Ridgewood, N.J.), Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ontario) and Ali Smith (Columbia, Md.) and rising sophomore Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) each were named Scholar-Athletes for their combined success in competition and in the classroom.

To qualify as a USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or have participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event.

The recognition of six team members as Scholar-Athletes is just the latest academic honor bestowed on the Wildcats indoor and outdoor teams. In an updated release of NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) data last month, Villanova's multi-year scores for both the indoor and outdoor teams ranked among the top 10 percent in the entire nation within their respective sport.

Once again over the past year, the Wildcat student-athletes combined equally impressive accomplishments from an academic standpoint with a great deal of success in competition. During the indoor season, Villanova had six different athletes compete at the NCAA Championships, while five team members advanced to the NCAA Championships in the outdoor season.

Schappert was not only among the six Scholar-Athletes named from the Wildcats, she also is the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She graduated from Villanova in May with a 3.94 GPA as a Marketing major and was voted the female recipient of the Senior Student-Athlete of the Year Award at the Wildcats end-of-year senior student-athlete banquet.

Competitively, Schappert was an All-American during the indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the 3,000 meter run. She also competed in the outdoor NCAA East Regional and advanced to the semifinals in the 1,500 meters.

Tallman competed in the 5,000 meter run at the NCAA East Regional during the outdoor season to become eligible for Scholar-Athlete honors. She graduated from Villanova as a Human Services major and her success on the track wrapped up a great senior season. During the fall, Tallman and Schappert were both named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Cross Country Team, which takes into account both athletic and academic accomplishments.

Llerandi qualified for the NCAA East Regional for the first time in her career this spring to cap off a great year. During the outdoor season, she won four different competitions on the way to the NCAA regional meet. Indoors, she established a new personal best with a mark of 4.11 meters at the ECAC Championship. Llerandi is a Psychology major and enters her senior year at Villanova carrying a 3.4 GPA.

Reid earned three All-America honors for track, including two indoors and one outdoors. She placed third at the NCAA Championships in the indoor 3,000 meters and ran a leg on the Wildcats fourth-place DMR team. At the outdoor NCAA Championships, Reid came in fourth place in the 1,500 meters. Reid is an English major and owns a 3.2 GPA entering her senior year at Villanova.

Smith also enjoyed success both indoors and outdoors last season. She qualified for the indoor NCAA Championships for the first time in her career and placed 16th in the 3,000 meters. Outdoors, she competed in the steeplechase for the first time and advanced to run the event at the NCAA East Regional. Smith has a 3.4 GPA entering her senior year as a Communications major for the Wildcats.

Neutts made a successful collegiate debut in 2009-10 and during the indoor season ran a strong 800 meter leg to help Villanova's DMR squad finish fourth at the NCAA Championships and garner All-America recognition. Neutts is an undeclared major in Villanova's School of Liberal Arts and currently sports a 3.4 cumulative grade point average.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Douma-Hussar 4th at Canadian Nationals 1500

The top six women all finished within two seconds. Carman Douma-Hussar came fourth in 4:17.79. She ran 4:10 earlier this summer in defeating Malindi Elmore, but was unable to repeat the feat last weekend. Her earlier 4:10 was a Commonwealth Games "A" standard qualifier.

Event 409 Women 1500 Meter
Cnd Senior: * 4:00.27 8/30/1985 Lynn Williams
Champ R.: ! 4:04.51 2004 Malindi Elmore
Varsity S.: % 4:15.04 2009 Malindi Elmore
Name Year Team Finals Points
1 Elmore, Malindi U OF C Athletics 4:16.52 10
2 Edwards, Nicole The Peter & Andr 4:16.60 8
3 Stellingwerff, Hilary Speed River T&F 4:17.12 6
4 Douma-Hussar, Carmen Guelph T&F C. 4:17.79 5
5 Maludzinski, Laura BC Athletics 4:18.14 4
6 Howard, Julia P. Valley Royal T&F 4:18.69 3
7 Wright, Megan (Metcalfe) Edmonton Thunder 4:21.86 2
8 Hinther, Ashley Unattached - SK 4:21.88 1
9 Cliff, Rachel L. Vancouver T. 4:24.37
10 Malleck, Julia Ottawa Lions T.F.C. 4:27.49
11 Van Buskirk, Kate Mississauga T.F.C. 4:30.68
-- Mcgown, Amber Speed River T&F DNS

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rhines in IAAF Stockholm 5000

Here is the women's 5000 meter start list for the Stockholm Diamond League meet this Friday, August 6.

ANTENEH Emebet ETH 13.01.1992
DEFAR Meseret ETH 19.11.1983
FLESHMAN Lauren USA 26.09.1981
MURIUKI Margaret KEN 21.03.1986
RHINES Jennifer USA 01.07.1974
UTURA Sule ETH 08.02.1990
Yalew Genet ETH 31.12.1992