Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blincoe to Withdraw from World Championships?

The website is reporting that Adrian Blincoe has come up injured in his final preparatory track workout in Daegu, South Korea and will be forced to withdraw from the 5000 meters competition:

Adrian Blincoe, the New Zealand 5000m record holder, is expected to announce his withdrawal tomorrow from the 5000m at the World Championships in Daegu.

NZRun understands that Blincoe suffered a calf strain on Saturday during his final track session prior to the 5000m heats on Thursday.

Blincoe's preparation is reportedly the best he has ever had and he is said to be disappointed not to be able to represent New Zealand at this pinnacle event. Only two weeks ago, in his last race before the Championships, Blincoe finished fourth in the Falmouth Mile in 3:55.

Jake Robertson will now be the only Kiwi athlete lining up in the 5000m heats following a personal best of 13:22 set in the Netherlands in May.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Villanova Harriers Start the Season at #5 (Women) and #17 (Men)

The cross country preseason national rankings have just been released, and the Villanova squads are among the nation's best. The Villanova men start the season ranked #17 (and #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region), while the two-time defending national champion Villanova women come in ranked #5 (also #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region). On the women's side, Georgetown, which returns 6 of their top 7 runners from 2010, is ranked #1 nationally, having reeceived 10 of the 12 first-place votes. New Mexico and Providence each received a single first-place vote. For the men, it's defending national champions Oklahoma State at #1, also with 10 of the 12 first-plave votes.

By all accounts, the Villanova men are expected to improve their performance from 2010, when they finished 23rd in the final poll, while the women are expected to have difficulty executing a three-peat national title run. Most of Villanova's top men return for 2011 (minus Hugo Beamish, but with the addition of Ryan Sheridan, who sat out last season after transferring from Iona), while the women have to deal with the loss of All-Americans Amanda Marino and Ali Smith from their top five.

Rank Institution Points Region Conference Location 2010 FINAL

1 Oklahoma State (10) 357 Midwest Big 12 Stillwater, Okla. 1
2 Stanford (1) 342 West Pac-12 Palo Alto, Calif. 4
3 Wisconsin (1) 335 Great Lakes Big Ten Madison, Wis. 3
4 Oregon 299 West Pac-12 Eugene, Ore. 6
5 Iona 292 Northeast Metro Atlantic New Rochelle, N.Y. 8
6 Oklahoma 288 Midwest Big 12 Norman, Okla. 5
7 Colorado 284 Mountain Pac-12 Boulder, Colo. 15
8 Florida State 261 South ACC Tallahassee, Fla. 2
8 Indiana 261 Great Lakes Big Ten Bloomington, Ind. 7
10 Portland 252 West West Coast Portland, Ore. 13
11 Princeton 225 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Princeton, N.J. 12
12 Northern Arizona 223 Mountain Big Sky Flagstaff, Ariz. 9
13 NC State 222 Southeast ACC Raleigh, N.C. 20
14 Syracuse 218 Northeast Big East Syracuse, N.Y. 14
15 Arkansas 201 South Central SEC Fayetteville, Ark. 10
16 BYU 192 Mountain West Coast Provo, Utah 18
17 Villanova 153 Mid-Atlantic Big East Villanova, Pa. 23
18 Providence 148 Northeast Big East Providence, R.I. 22
19 Virginia 134 Southeast ACC Charlottesville, Va. 17
20 Louisville 131 Southeast Big East Louisville, Ky. 28
21 New Mexico 110 Mountain Mountain West Albuquerque, N.M. 16
22 Georgetown 82 Mid-Atlantic Big East Washington, D.C. 29
23 Notre Dame 79 Great Lakes Big East South Bend, Ind. 25
24 Texas 78 South Central Big 12 Austin, Texas 26
25 Ohio State 66 Great Lakes Big Ten Columbus, Ohio DNQ
26 Florida 65 South SEC Gainesville, Fla. DNQ
27 Minnesota 58 Midwest Big Ten Minneapolis, Minn. 27
28 Eastern Kentucky 40 Southeast Ohio Valley Richmond, Ky. DNQ
29 Arizona State 30 West Pac-12 Tempe, Ariz. DNQ
30 Dartmouth 24 Northeast Ivy Hanover, N.H. DNQ

Others Receiving Votes: Alabama 20, Penn State 20, North Carolina 17, William & Mary 17, Michigan State 13, Washington 12, Michigan 10, Lamar 6, Arizona 4, Texas A&M 2, Columbia 1.

Rank Institution Points Region Conference Location 2010 FINAL

1 Georgetown (10) 358 Mid-Atlantic Big East Washington, D.C. 4
2 New Mexico (1) 334 Mountain Mountain West Albuquerque, N.M. 5
3 Providence (1) 333 Northeast Big East Providence, R.I. 9
4 Colorado 324 Mountain Pac-12 Boulder, Colo. 6
5 Villanova 308 Mid-Atlantic Big East Villanova, Pa. 1
6 Florida State 278 South ACC Tallahassee, Fla. 2
7 Stanford 276 West Pac-12 Palo Alto, Calif. 13
8 Arizona 242 West Pac-12 Tucson, Ariz. 11
9 Duke 241 Southeast ACC Durham, N.C. 17
10 Iowa State 236 Midwest Big 12 Ames, Iowa 8
11 Washington 219 West Pac-12 Seattle, Wash. 16
12 North Carolina 203 Southeast ACC Chapel Hill, N.C. 14
13 Michigan 198 Great Lakes Big Ten Ann Arbor, Mich. 22
14 Texas 190 South Central Big 12 Austin, Texas 20
15 Syracuse 172 Northeast Big East Syracuse, N.Y. 10
16 Oregon 156 West Pac-12 Eugene, Ore. 12
17 Virginia 144 Southeast ACC Charlottesville, Va. 21
18 Penn State 134 Mid-Atlantic Big Ten State College, Pa. 26
18 Boston College 134 Northeast ACC Chestnut Hill, Mass. 19
20 Texas Tech 129 Mountain Big 12 Lubbock, Texas 3
21 NC State 108 Southeast ACC Raleigh, N.C. 24
22 Princeton 106 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Princeton, N.J. 15
22 Florida 106 South SEC Gainesville, Fla. 29
24 West Virginia 105 Mid-Atlantic Big East Morgantown, W. Va. DNQ
25 BYU 98 Mountain West Coast Provo, Utah DNQ
26 Oklahoma State 88 Midwest Big 12 Stillwater, Okla. 17
27 Toledo 75 Great Lakes Mid-American Toledo, Ohio 28
28 Iowa 69 Midwest Big Ten Iowa City, Iowa DNQ
29 Michigan State 60 Great Lakes Big Ten East Lansing, Mich. 23
30 Minnesota 52 Midwest Big Ten Minneapolis, Minn. 27

Others Receiving Votes: Columbia 43, Arkansas 15, Kansas State 13, Indiana 9, UCalifornia 7, Tulsa 6, San Francisco 6, Vanderbilt 2, James Madison 1, Stony Brook 1, La Salle 1

Monday, August 29, 2011

Villanova's Cross Country Preseason Rankings are Here: Women's and Men's Squads Ranked #2 in Mid-Atlantic Region

The USTFCCCA has released its cross country preseason regional rankings, and the surprising news is that the Villanova women, who are two-time defending national champions, are not ranked #1 in the Mid-Atlantic region. Both the women and the men are ranked #2 in the region. Villanova's men are ranked behind the harriers from Princeton, while the women start the season ranked one spot behind the Georgetown women. The national Rankings will be released tomorrow.

Rank School Location Conference 2010 FINAL
1 Princeton Princeton, N.J. Ivy 1
2 Villanova Villanova, Pa. Big East 2
3 Georgetown Washington, D.C. Big East 3
4 Penn State State College, Pa. Big Ten 4
5 Navy Annapolis, Md. Patriot 5
6 Penn Philadelphia, Pa. Ivy 6
7 American Washington, D.C. Patriot 7
8 Duquesne Pittsburgh, Pa. Atlantic 10 8
9 La Salle Philadelphia, Pa. Atlantic 10 9
10 Maryland College Park, Md. ACC 10
11 Saint Joseph’s Philadelphia, Pa. Atlantic 10 12
12 UMBC Catonsville, Md. America East 13
13 Temple Philadelphia, Pa. Atlantic 10 14
14 Lehigh Bethlehem, Pa. Patriot 15
15 Saint Francis (Pa.) Loretto, Pa. Northeast 16

Rank School Location Conference 2010 FINAL
1 Georgetown Washington, D.C. Big East 2
2 Villanova Villanova, Pa. Big East 1
3 Penn State State College, Pa. Big Ten 3
4 Princeton Princeton, N.J. Ivy 4
5 West Virginia Morgantown, W. Va. Big East 5
6 La Salle Philadelphia, Pa. Atlantic 10 6
7 Penn Philadelphia, Pa. Ivy 8
8 Bucknell Lewisburg, Pa. Patriot 7
9 Navy Annapolis, Md. Patriot 10
10 Lehigh Bethlehem, Pa. Patriot 9
11 Duquesne Pittsburgh, Pa. Atlantic 10 11
12 Monmouth West Long Branch, N.J. Northeast 12
13 Maryland College Park, Md. ACC 13
14 Loyola (Md.) Baltimore, Md. Metro Atlantic 14
15 Saint Joseph’s Philadelphia, Pa. Atlantic 10 15

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jen Rhines 9th at World Championships 10,000 Meters

Jen Rhines finished 9th today at the World Championships 10,000 meter final, running 31:47.59 in hot and very humid conditions. She was the second American finisher, two spots and 22 seconds behind Shalane Flanagan. The USA's other competitor, Kara Goucher, finished 13th, 42 seconds behind Rhines. Four runners ran sub 31:00, and both Flanagan and Rhines were in the next group of four runners who came in under 32:00. Jen's SB this year is the 31:30 she ran at the USA Championships in June.

13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Daegu (KOR) - Saturday, Aug 27, 2011
10,000 Metres - W FINAL

27 August 2011 - 21:00
Position Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 573 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot KEN 30:48.98 (PB)
2 579 Sally Kipyego KEN 30:50.04 .
3 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 30:53.59 (SB)
4 571 Priscah Jepleting Cherono KEN 30:56.43 (PB)
5 352 Meselech Melkamu ETH 30:56.55 (SB)
6 183 Shitaye Eshete BRN 31:21.57 (NR)
7 936 Shalane Flanagan USA 31:25.57 .
8 721 Ana Dulce Félix POR 31:37.03 .
9 971 Jennifer Rhines USA 31:47.59 .
10 716 Jessica Augusto POR 32:06.68 (SB)
11 350 Tigist Kiros ETH 32:11.37 .
12 361 Christelle Daunay FRA 32:22.20 .
13 944 Kara Goucher USA 32:29.58 .
14 556 Hikari Yoshimoto JPN 32:32.22 .
15 553 Kayo Sugihara JPN 32:53.89 .
16 468 Krisztina Papp HUN 32:56.02 .
17 544 Megumi Kinukawa JPN 34:08.37 (SB)
. 343 Meseret Defar ETH DNF .
. 125 Eloise Wellings AUS DNS .

Intermediate Bib Athlete Nation Mark
1000m 936 Shalane Flanagan USA 3:13.50
2000m 936 Shalane Flanagan USA 6:23.50
3000m 936 Shalane Flanagan USA 9:32.40
4000m 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 12:42.60
5000m 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 15:47.50
6000m 579 Sally Kipyego KEN 18:50.80
7000m 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 21:55.80
8000m 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 24:55.20
9000m 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 27:58.60

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rhines Ready for Saturday's World Champs 10,000 Final

Here is the start list for Jen Rhines' 10,000 meters final, scheduled for Saturday, August 27 at 9:00 p.m. local time. Adrian Blincoe's 5000 heat is Thursday, September 1 at 10:25 a.m., but the start lists for the two 5000 meter heats are not yet available.

10,000 Metres - W Final
WR 29:31.78 Wang Junxia (CHN) - Beijing, 08/09/1993
27 August 2011 - 21:00
Order Bib Athlete Country 2011 PB
1 583 Linet Chepkwemoi Masai KEN 30:26.50
2 571 Priscah Jepleting Cherono KEN 31:16.65 31:16.65
3 716 Jessica Augusto POR 31:19.15
4 125 Eloise Wellings AUS 31:41.31 31:41.31
5 936 Shalane Flanagan USA 30:39.57 30:22.22
6 944 Kara Goucher USA 31:16.65 30:55.16
7 343 Meseret Defar ETH 31:05.05 29:59.20
8 468 Krisztina Papp HUN 32:36.32 31:46.47
9 350 Tigist Kiros ETH 31:20.38 31:20.38
10 721 Ana Dulce Félix POR 31:33.42 31:33.42
11 361 Christelle Daunay FRA 31:44.84 31:44.84
12 579 Sally Kipyego KEN 30:38.35 30:38.35
13 544 Megumi Kinukawa JPN 31:35.27
14 352 Meselech Melkamu ETH 31:14.83 29:53.80
15 183 Shitaye Eshete BRN 32:47.80 31:53.27
16 971 Jennifer Rhines USA 31:30.37 31:17.31
17 556 Hikari Yoshimoto JPN 31:45.82 31:30.92
18 573 Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot KEN 31:07.02 31:07.02
19 553 Kayo Sugihara JPN 31:34.35 31:34.35

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Track and Field News Names Sheila Reid Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year

The August issue of Track and Field News named Sheila Reid the Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year. Reid was the first woman in NCAA history to win both the 1500 meter and 5000 meter national titles at the same NCAA championship meet. Reid also won the NCAA cross country title, leading Villanova to its second consecutive team title (and 9th overall), and anchored Villanova's NCAA championship DMR squad at NCAA Indoors. She was also national runner-up in the indoor 3000 meters. (click on photos to enlarge)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beamish 6th in 5000 Final at World University Games

At Sunday's World University Games 5000 meter final, Hugo Beamish ran a very solid 14:08.07 to finish 6th. His time improved almost 6 seconds on his preliminary round time of 14:13.94. Beamish will return this year to Villanova, with eligibility left in both indoor and outdoor track.

Men's 5000 meters -- FINAL

1. VERNON Andrew James GBR 7 JAN 1986 7 14:00.06
2. RYBAKOV Evgeny RUS 27 FEB 1985 3 14:00.60
3. LA ROSA Stefano ITA 28 SEP 1985 15 14:02.95
4. NURME Tiidrek EST 18 NOV 1985 12 14:05.03
5. SAFRONOV Andrey RUS 16 DEC 1985 4 14:08.07
6. BEAMISH Hugo NZL 18 JAN 1989 11 14:08.72 SB
7. MEFTAHELKHAIR Mohammed MAR 9 JAN 1989 2 14:08.89
8. ALAMRI Tariq Ahmed KSA 23 DEC 1990 14 14:11.06
9. CHEBET Joseph UGA 25 AUG 1991 5 14:14.02
10. ARAVENA Victor CHI 5 FEB 1990 9 14:16.50
11. SETONE Tshamano RSA 7 MAR 1987 10 14:19.31
12. BORREGO MOREIRA Diego MEX 1 SEP 1988 8 14:19.82
13. TIAN Huadong CHN 12 DEC 1989 6 14:20.30
14. YUFU Ikuto JPN 7 JUL 1991 1 14:38.29
. KIPLAGAT Ben Toroitich UGA 31 JAN 1991 13 DNF

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hugo Beamish Advances to World University Games 5000 Finals

Today in Shenzhen, China at the World University Games, Villanova senior Hugo Beamish (New Zealand) finished 3rd in heat #2 of the men's 5000 meters (which was the faster of the two heats) and advanced to the finals. His times of 14:13.94 was the third fastest of the two heats. The top five finishers from each of the two heats, plus the next five fastest non-auto qualifiers, advanced to the 15-person final. Here are the results of each heat.

Men's 5000 meters -- Heat #1
1 908 MEFTAHELKHAIR Mohammed MAR 9 JAN 1989 12 14:21.86 Q
2 942 BORREGO MOREIRA Diego MEX 1 SEP 1988 14 14:22.21 Q
3 462 NURME Tiidrek EST 18 NOV 1985 8 14:22.34 Q
4 1173 SAFRONOV Andrey RUS 16 DEC 1985 10 14:22.47 Q
5 1121 SETONE Tshamano RSA 7 MAR 1987 11 14:22.58 Q
6 272 ARAVENA Victor CHI 5 FEB 1990 15 14:22.66 q
7 1345 KIPLAGAT Ben Toroitich UGA 31 JAN 1991 7 14:23.41 q
8 833 ALAMRI Tariq Ahmed KSA 23 DEC 1990 5 14:27.85 q
9 472 KEBEDE Abebe Getachew ETH 5 AUG 1983 3 14:28.27 SB
10 800 KIPTOO Mathew KEN 12 JUL 1988 6 14:38.49
11 157 NDIKURIYO Eric BDI 9 JUL 1984 17 15:04.99
12 820 KIM Byunghyun KOR 15 MAR 1989 16 15:09.84
13 626 ODURO FRIKO Godwin GHA 19 SEP 1992 1 16:37.46
14 1417 HLAKAMA Fortunate ZIM 29 SEP 1988 2 16:48.80
637 JOSIAH Stephon GUY 14 SEP 1987 13 DNS
774 OSAKO Suguru JPN 23 MAY 1991 9 DNS
1407 SIKUKA Damian Namukolo ZAM 11 JUN 1990 4 DNS

Men's 5000 meters -- Heat #2
1 1182 RYBAKOV Evgeny RUS 27 FEB 1985 3 14:09.41 Q
2 1347 CHEBET Joseph UGA 25 AUG 1991 11 14:11.44 Q
3 998 BEAMISH Hugo NZL 18 JAN 1989 6 14:13.94 Q
4 329 TIAN Huadong CHN 12 DEC 1989 4 14:18.11 Q
5 556 VERNON Andrew James GBR 7 JAN 1986 7 14:18.15 Q
6 764 YUFU Ikuto JPN 7 JUL 1991 10 14:18.87 q
7 717 LA ROSA Stefano ITA 28 SEP 1985 9 14:25.94 q
8 1122 MANORA Gert RSA 29 OCT 1984 5 14:29.57
9 686 KHAZAEI Mohmmad IRI 21 SEP 1985 12 14:33.63
10 425 ABADIA BECI Antonio ESP 2 JUL 1990 1 14:46.31
11 455 TSEREPANNIKOV Sergei EST 15 AUG 1983 14 15:07.56
12 1011 CERRUD PIMENTEL Jonathan Alexis PAN 15 OCT 1985 16 15:49.63
13 826 ALZUBAIDI Ahmed Abdullah KSA 17 MAR 1987 8 15:50.00
1278 LOFAS Henrik SWE 13 OCT 1983 13 DNF
254 WIEBE Kelly CAN 13 JUL 1989 15 DNS

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hugo Beamish Ready for World University Games 5000

Hugo Beamish will compete for his native New Zealand Friday evening in the 5000 meter heats at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. He carries into the meet a 5000 meter PR of 13:51.60, set at the Husky Classic in Seattle last indoor season (not the 14:05.25 listed below). Each heat has 16 competitors, with the top five finishers in each heat (and the next five fastest non-automatic qualifiers) advancing to the final. Shenzhen is 12 hours ahead of US east coast time, so Beamish's heat will be taking place at approximately 9:50 a.m. EDT. The meet is being live streamed here .

Here are the start lists:

Men's 5000 meters -- Heat #2 (9:50 p.m. Friday August 19)
1 425 ABADIA BECI Antonio ESP 2 JUL 1990 13:52.17 13:52.17
2 804 TIONY KIPKEMBOI Obed KEN 5 OCT 1989 14:33.0
3 1182 RYBAKOV Evgeny RUS 27 FEB 1985 13:38.18 13:40.63
4 329 TIAN Huadong CHN 12 DEC 1989 14:10.07 14:10.07
5 1122 MANORA Gert RSA 29 OCT 1984 13:36.26 13:36.26
6 998 BEAMISH Hugo NZL 18 JAN 1989 14:05.25 14:10.09
7 556 VERNON Andrew James GBR 7 JAN 1986 13:27.85 13:27.85
8 826 ALZUBAIDI Ahmed Abdullah KSA 17 MAR 1987 14:05.0
9 717 LA ROSA Stefano ITA 28 SEP 1985 13:32.66 13:33.42
10 764 YUFU Ikuto JPN 7 JUL 1991 13:42.09 13:42.09
11 1347 CHEBET Joseph UGA 25 AUG 1991 13:52.90
12 686 KHAZAEI Mohmmad IRI 21 SEP 1985 14:08.81 14:08.81
13 1278 LOFAS Henrik SWE 13 OCT 1983 15:14.11 15:18.73
14 455 TSEREPANNIKOV Sergei EST 15 AUG 1983 14:32.23 14:32.23
15 254 WIEBE Kelly CAN 13 JUL 1989 13:56.68 13:56.68
16 1011 CERRUD PIMENTEL Jonathan Alexis PAN 15 OCT 1985 15:30.00

Men's 5000 meters -- Heat #1 (9:25 pm Friday August 19)
1 1417 HLAKAMA Fortunate ZIM 29 SEP 1988
2 472 KEBEDE Abebe Getachew ETH 5 AUG 1983 14:44.0
3 1407 SIKUKA Damian Namukolo ZAM 11 JUN 1990 15:10.0
4 833 ALAMRI Tariq Ahmed KSA 23 DEC 1990 14:00.0
5 800 KIPTOO Mathew KEN 12 JUL 1988 13:37.77 14:20.0
6 1345 KIPLAGAT Ben Toroitich UGA 31 JAN 1991
7 462 NURME Tiidrek EST 18 NOV 1985 13:31.87 13:37.08
8 774 OSAKO Suguru JPN 23 MAY 1991 13:31.27 13:31.27
9 1173 SAFRONOV Andrey RUS 16 DEC 1985 13:39.52 13:42.06
10 1121 SETONE Tshamano RSA 7 MAR 1987 13:25.51 13:30.77
11 908 MEFTAHELKHAIR Mohammed MAR 9 JAN 1989 13:50.26 13:50.26
12 637 JOSIAH Stephon GUY 14 SEP 1987 14:53.0
13 942 BORREGO MOREIRA Diego MEX 1 SEP 1988 13:27.26 13:36.69
14 272 ARAVENA Victor CHI 5 FEB 1990 13:59.81 13:59.81
15 820 KIM Byunghyun KOR 15 MAR 1989 14:09.58 14:09.58
16 157 NDIKURIYO Eric BDI 9 JUL 1984 14:10.0

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sean Hartnett Wins the Hartnett Challenge 10K in County Cork

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

There was an appropriate winner to the John Hartnett Challenge 10km road race at Ballyhooly in Cork as Sean Hartnett, the 20-year-old son of the former Olympian and Irish mile record holder, took the honours in a time of 35:31.

A student at Monmouth University in New Jersey, the younger Hartnett has a best of 15:21.47 for 5000 metres this year and completed the 10km circuit in a time of 35:31, over a half-minute clear of Fermoy triathlete Michael Lyons with Denis Dunne of Eagle finishing in third place.

Deirdre Nagle, also of Eagle, took the women’s race in 41 minutes flat with Karen Kenny and Clotilde Fitzgibbon, both of Grange-Fermoy, finishing in second and third positions.

Afterwards, John Hartnett spoke movingly about his young days in Ballyhooly, remembering all those who helped him to win the International Junior Cross-Country title at Vichy in France back in 1970 and of his time at Villanova University where he was ranked amongst the world’s top middle-distance runners.

He competed in the 1972 Olympics in the 5000 metres and in 1973, at Eugene in Oregon, he broke Ronnie Delany’s Irish mile record with a time of 3:54.7 – which still ranks as the 11th fastest on the Irish all-time list – and the same year he was honoured as the Penn Relays Most Outstanding Performer.

The following year of 1974, Hartnett ran a memorable 3:56.3 mile on the old Mardyke grass track during the Cork City Sports.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vicki Huber on the Transition from High School to College Running

Making transition to college won't always be quick out of the blocks
Special to The News Journal
16 August 2011

By the time my senior year of track rolled around, I was ready to move on. My friend and biggest competitor, Monica, and I had both committed to colleges. So all we needed to do was race each other at the state meet and then head to the beach to get tan for the prom. I didn't actually take the season that lightly, but I was ready for a change and very excited to see what college was like.

I am not sure why I thought it would be an easy transition from high school to college running, but when I was packing my stuff, I included my field hockey stick in hopes that I would be able to hit around with the hockey team at 'Nova. I wasn't planning on running cross country, mostly because I never had and was under the impression that my new coach and I had discussed me running fall track instead. Two weeks before arriving at Villanova, my new coach and I had a little disagreement about cross country.

It was not the best way to start a new relationship. I quickly realized that not only did I have no choice in the matter, but I also would not have the chance to break out my hockey stick.

Still, I was excited to get to college. Most of the girls on the track team roomed together, and my new roommate was an 800- meter runner from Connecticut. We had touched base many times; I was bringing the matching comforters and she was bringing the television.

The day we freshmen arrived to move in, the team and our coaches came together for a family picnic. Everyone seemed very nice, and my spirits were high, until it was time for my parents to leave. Suddenly, I felt like a little girl, and I didn't want to be left behind in the small room with bunk beds and a metal slab for a desk.

The next day at our first practice, I struggled to keep up with the other girls. In high school, I was a bit of a big fish in a little pond. At Villanova, I was definitely the littlest fish in the pond. I discovered that most of the other freshman recruits knew each other because they all had competed in an indoor invitational. The winner of the race had broken the high school national record and went on to Georgetown while the rest of the field were now my teammates.

For a few months, I will admit, I cried a lot. Everything was different, and not only did I have to adjust to my new training, I had to adjust to school as well as college life. Girls in the dorm were up all night and seemed to want to hang out right in front of my door. The dining hall had certain hours, so it always seemed that we were rushing from practice to get in the doors before they stopped serving.

Practice was hard.

Before I left for college, my club coach had sent me off with the best advice he could have given me. He told me not to worry about being in the front of the pack or "winning" any workouts. As a freshman, there would be plenty of time to improve. It wasn't like I had much of a choice. The back of the pack was the best I could manage for most of the year.

At the end of the year, I had adjusted well. My grades were good, and I finished my first season running in the NCAA cross country meet, anchoring a Penn Relays distance medley, and just missing the NCAA outdoor meet by a few seconds in two events.

Taking the next step in life can be both scary and exciting. To those athletes who are moving on to compete in college, I would say the same thing my coach told me. Relax, take your time to adjust to everything and don't try to be the best right away. There is plenty of time to become the best.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Villanova Men in the World Rankings Top 10 since 1945

Here is the list of all Villanova male track and field athletes who attained a world top-10 ranking. Six Villanovans (nine times) in history have achieved a world #1 ranking: Olympic Gold Medalist Don Bragg in the pole vault (1959 and 1960), Olympic Gold Medalist Ron Delany in the 1500 meters (1956), Frank Budd in the 100 meters (1961), Marty Liquori three times in two different distances (1500 meters/mile in 1969 and 1971 and at 5000 meters in 1977), Eamonn Coghlan over 5000 meters (1981), and Don Paige in the 800 meters (1980). Bragg (1955), Delany (1957), Paul Drayton (1964), Liquori (1978), Larry James (1968), and Eamonn Coghlan (1983) all reached #2 in the world as well. Coghlan was ranked #2 in the world at two distances (1500/mile and 5000 meters). World Championships were won by Coghlan (1983 at 5000 meters) and Marcus O'Sullivan (three times at 1500i meters: 1987, 1989, and 1993).

100 meter hurdles
Frank Budd (1960=9, 1961=1, 1962=4)
Erv Hall (1967=6, 1968=3, 1969=3)

200 meters
Paul Drayton (1961=6, 1962-3, 1963=3, 1964=2, 1965=6)

400 meters
Charlie Jenkins (1955=5, 1956=3, 1957=4, 1958=7)
Larry James (1968=2, 1969=6, 1970=6)

800 meters
Ron Delany (1957=4, 1958=8, 1961=8)
Noel Carroll (1963=4)
Mark Belger (1977=7)
Don Paige (1979=7, 1980=1)

1500 meters/Mile
Ron Delany (1956=1, 1957=2, 1958=6)
Marty Liquori (1969=1, 1970=7, 1971=1, 1975=5)
Eamonn Coghlan (1975=10, 1976=7, 1977=10, 1978=2, 1979=6)
Don Paige (1979=7)
Sydney Maree (1981=5, 1982=3, 1983=7, 1985=3, 1986=8)
Marcus O'Sullivan (1993=9)

5000 meters
Dick Buerkle (1974=4)
Marty Liquori (1975=3, 1977=1, 1978=2)
Eamonn Coghlan (1980=5, 1981=1, 1983=2)
Sydney Maree (1979=10, 1983=3, 1986=10, 1987=9, 1988=6, 1989=5)

3000 meter Steeple
Amos Korir (1981=8)

Shot Put
Billy Joe (1962=9)

Pole Vault
Don Bragg (1955=2, 1956=3, 1957=3, 1958=9, 1959=1, 1960=1, 1961=9)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Frances Koons 14th at Falmouth Road Race

Frances Koons was the 14th female finisher (and 80th overall) at today Falmouth Road Race, a 7.1 mile race on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Koons finished in 38:48, 1:50 behind Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, who won in 36:58. It was the longest race Frances has run to date. Listed below are the top 20 women finishers.
New Balance Falmouth Road Race - 7.1 Mile Run

August 14, 2011
1. Magdalena Lewy-Boulet Oakland, CA 38 36:58 48
2. Diane Nukuri-Johnson 26 37:13 49
3. Catherine Ndereba Kenya 38 37:24 53
4. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom Rome, GA 32 37:37 55
5. Kim Conley San Diego, CA 26 37:47 56
6. Emily Brown Minnetonka, MN 26 37:49 57
7. Jeanette Faber Portland, OR 29 38:01 61
8. Blake Russell Oceanside, CA 33 38:02 63
9. Kathy Newberry MI 32 38:03 64
10. Clara Grandt Montgomery, AL 25 38:18 67
11. Adriana Nelson Bedford, MA 31 38:21 69
12. Heather Cappello Arlington, MA 31 38:24 72
13. Meghan Armstrong Richfield, MN 25 38:25 74
14. Frances Koons Allentown, PA 25 38:48 80
15. Leonora Petrina Lynn, MA 29 38:51 82
16. Colleen De Reuck Colorado 47 39:12 85
17. Gabrielle Anderson Minneapolis, MN 25 39:20 89
18. Esther Erb Charleston, NC 25 39:28 92
19. Kate DiCamillo Providence, RI 24 39:34 95
20. Yiou Wang Mill Valley, CA 26 39:45 97

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blincoe 4th, Schappert 8th in Falmouth Elite Miles

Two different approaches to the elite miles today at Falmouth. The women's race was a sit-and-kick, with Nicole Sifuenties defending her title in 4:31.98. Former Villanova all-american Nichole Schappert, running her third race of the outdoor season, was 8th in 4:37.40.

The men, on the other hand, ran fast, with 10 runners breaking the 4:00 mark. Adrian Blincoe was fast as well, coming a close fourth in 3:55.47, about one second off his career PR. The top four finishers were less than 0.6 seconds apart.

Event 1 Women's Elite Mile
1 Edwards Sifuentes, Nicole, Ann Arbor, MN/Canada - 4:31.98
2 Martinez, Brenda, Alamosa, CO - 4:32.29
3 Donohue, Erin,Haddenfield, NJ - 4:32.52
4 Anderson, Gabrielle, Minneapolis, MN - 4:33.57
5 Infeld, Maggie, Washington, DC - 4:33.95 PB
6 Vaughn, Sara, Beaverton, OR - 4:34.29
7 Reilly, Stephanie, Northbridge, MA/Ireland - 4:36.02
8 Schappert, Nicole, Piscataway, NJ - 4:37.40
9 Garcia, Stephanie,South Riding, VA - 4:40.06 PB

Event 2 Men's Elite Mile
1 McNamara, Jordan, Auburn, WA - 3:54.89 MR PB
2 See, Jeff, Middletown, OH - 3.55.24 PR
3 Acosta, AJ, Oceanside, CA - 3:55.30
4 Blincoe, Adrian, Bryn Mawr, PA/New Zealand - 3:55.47
5 Miller, Craig, Madison, WI - 3:56.90
6 Elliot,Matt, Rock Hill, SC - 3:58.06 PB
7 Boylan-Pett, Liam, New York, NY - 3:58.19
8 Leer, Will, Ann Arbor, MI - 3:58.41
9 Bolas, Jack, Chapel Hill, NC - 3:58.56
10 Hesch, Christian, San Luis Obispo, CA - 3:58.68
11 Novak, Robert, West Orange, NJ - 4:02.73

Running Times Profiles Villanova's XC Women

Summer Training 101: Villanova

How the Wildcats are getting ready for a run at a third straight NCAA title
By John A. Kissane
As featured in the Web Only issue of Running Times Magazine

As fall approaches, the prospect of the Villanova women claiming a third straight NCAA Division I cross country championship will become more and more palpable. After all, no school has won more titles (nine total) or approached the record six straight championships won by the Wildcats from 1989 through 1994. And of course no other team has defending individual champion Sheila Reid in the line-up.

Given all the history and expectations, one might excuse Villanova head cross country and track coach Gina Procaccio for scripting every single mile of every single team member’s summer training, but nothing could be further from reality.

“For me, the summer is all about down time,” she says. “It’s kind of mentally taking a break — just getting some mileage in, building a base. It’s real low-key.”

Procaccio seems to be following the approach of Marty Stern, her coach at Villanova after she transferred in from Florida in 1987 and ran on a world record-setting NCAA champion 4 x 800m relay squad before embarking on an outstanding professional career. “The extent of Marty’s summer training was, ‘Don’t get fat!’” she laughs. “That’s really what we’ve always done here at Villanova.”

There’s at least a bit more to it now and diet is not on Procaccio’s radar as a summertime concern, but when she says low-key she means precisely that. Almost none of her athletes spend the summer on Villanova’s suburban Philadelphia campus and the team will not reunite until late August when other students return.

“It’s such a long year for them with three seasons and they need a break,” Procaccio continues. “I think I’m very conservative with my training, really ultra conservative. I don’t like them to be doing a lot when I’m not there. But my team is pretty motivated so it’s not like I need to worry about them doing the training. It’s more just keeping it low-key.”

Priority No. 1 of Villanova’s summer approach is a two-week rest period, with absolutely no running, before the base-building phase begins. ”Everyone gets two weeks off at the end of the track season, but the season ends at different times for different people,” Procaccio explains. “Some kids finish their season at Big East, some at NCAAs, while Sheila ran the Canadian nationals in late June and Bogdana (Mimic) is running the Under-23 Europeans this month. But everyone takes two weeks off.”Procaccio says 55 miles a week by early August is what she likes to see her returning runners achieve, and it’s all relaxed running up to that point. “Maybe starting in August I’ll have them do a hill workout once a week or a tempo run once a week, but that’s about it,” she says.

Twice-weekly sessions of core and strength work and drills are mixed in with the easy running, and being as regular as possible with sleep is recommended. “Any sleep they can get before midnight is a bonus,” Procaccio says, “and I tell them to get eight to nine hours a night.”

Reid, who represented her native Canada at the 2006 world junior cross country championships before arriving at Villanova in the fall of 2007, became the first Division I runner to achieve a 1500m/5,000m double at last month’s NCAA outdoor track championships. Three weeks later she claimed the Canadian 1500m title, a clear statement that she will be an Olympic team contender next summer. But two weeks of down time following her victory at Calgary came as no hardship.

“I really needed a break, both mentally and physically,” she says, looking forward to six weeks of easy mileage before getting back to hard work. “I love working out and running intervals, it’s one of my favorite aspects of running. But it works for me to take the summer to really enjoy running and build up, to wait until I’m back at school to start working out. Actually seeing races on the horizon is what motivates me in my training.”

A serious injury in early 2008 still informs much of Reid’s approach to running and contributes to making smart choices. “I don’t take anything for granted,” she says. “When I’m getting in a good block of training and feeling good that doesn’t give me license to neglect the little things that have allowed me to get to this point. This past year I’ve been really on top of making sure I’m doing all the stretching and strength work, and it’s allowed me to be really consistent in my training. I honestly think a lot of my success has just been because I’ve been able to get in a very solid block of training, which I hadn’t been able to do in a while.”

Reid has never topped 60 miles a week and expects to max out at about 50 this summer before cross country resumes. That some of her competitors are likely doing considerably more isn’t a worry. “I really draw most of my strength from workouts and intervals,” she explains. “Usually my workouts are really intense, and I think that’s what allows me to get away with lower mileage.”

When the team reconvenes at Villanova in August and the new runners join the veterans, Procaccio will gradually insert quality into the mix. “We start school August 24th,” she explains, “so that’s still six weeks before our first meet. I figure that’s plenty early to start interval training. And we actually won’t do our first interval workout until September.”

There will be unknowns to figure out and a lot of hard training and racing in September and October, leading up to a shot at a third straight NCAA championship trophy in late November. Summer down time and relaxed base building, giving everyone a chance to “recharge the batteries” without a bit of pressure, may just be as important to this powerful team’s successes as anything else.

Copyright © 2011 Running Times Magazine - All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Official: Bobby Curtis to Make Marathon Debut at ING NYC

By David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, Used with permission

The New York Road Runners announced today that four Americans --Bobby Curtis, Lauren Fleshman, Ed Moran and Molly Pritz-- would make their marathon debuts at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 6. Race director Mary Wittenberg dubbed this group the "Freshman Class."

"This year's 'Freshman Class' are some of the best in their respective distances, and we are very excited to see what they can do in the marathon," Wittenberg said through a prepared statement. "New York has become an inviting and exciting place for our Americans to debut from Alberto, Deena and Meb to Kara and Shalane, and we are ready to see what Bobby, Ed, Molly, and Lauren have in store for 2011."

Curtis, 26, the 2008 NCAA 5000m champion who ran for Villanova, is already an accomplished 10,000m runner with a 27:24.67 personal best. He said on a conference call today that he'll be using the ING New York City Marathon, and the high-altitude training he'll be doing in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., in the fall, to help strengthen him for next season's track season. He said today that he hoped to make the 2012 Olympics at 10,000m; he finished fourth in that event in the USA Championships in June in Eugene, just missing the World Championships squad by one position.

"I'm thrilled to be debuting at the ING New York City Marathon," Curtis said in a written statement. He continued: "I can think of no better event than the ING New York City Marathon for an American distance runner to have the race of his or her life."

Fleshman, 29, a two-time USA 5000m champion who competed collegiately for Stanford, also plans to use the marathon to help strengthen her for next year's track season. Although she was named today to the USA team at 5000m for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu (she has a 5000m personal best of 14:58.48), she has yet to make an Olympic team.

"I decided to make the big move up from the 5-K --skip the 10-K altogether-- because my focus is on the 2012 Olympics in the 5-K," Fleshman said in a YouTube video she recorded last Friday in London. "I've seen so many women in my event go up to the marathon and come back down to the 5-K stronger. They come back harder to beat than they did before."

Moran, 30, the 2010 USA 10-K road running champion, planned his wedding for this year so he could run New York and then get married to fiancée Meg Warco shortly after the race. Moran finished fourth in the 10,000m at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

"While I am mostly focused on the challenge of the marathon distance and the world-class competition that comes to the Big Apple, I'm equally excited about fulfilling my childhood dream of running across the Verrazano Bridge," said Moran in an e-mail message. "For me, the ING New York City Marathon will be more than just a race. It is an event that I have always dreamed of competing in."

Pritz, 23, the reigning USA 25-K champion, is the youngest member of the Freshman Class. At Bucknell University, she did not run on the track team, but rather competed as a cyclist. Pritz began road running seriously in 2009,and further developed under the Hansons Olympic Development Program last year to achieve a 1:11:05 half-marathon personal best last February. She's always been drawn to the marathon, especially New York.

"Watching the 2008 ING New York City Marathon is the reason I wanted to become a long distance runner," Pritz said. "Ever since then I could not imagine a better place to make my marathon debut. I am excited not only to race in New York City, but am thankful to be able to have an experience of a lifetime."

Despite its challenging course, the ING New York City Marathon has been a good place for debuts, particularly for Americans. Four of the five fastest American marathon debuts by women have occurred in New York: Kara Goucher (2:25:53), Deena Kastor (2:26:58), Marla Runyan (2:27:03) and Shalane Flanagan (2:28:40).

The ING New York City Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors series and is the world's largest marathon. The 2010 race had a world record 44,980 finishers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Preview of Falmouth Elite Miles (Blincoe & Schappert)

The Falmouth elite mile races will be held Saturday, in conjuction with the famous Falmouth Road Race. Two Villanovans are competing this year, with Adrian Blincoe on the men's side and Nicole Schappert on the women's side. Blincoe, who will run the 5000 meters for New Zealand at the World Championships in South Korea later this month, will be the first Villanovan to contest the men's race. Both Carrie Tollefson (who won the race in both 2005 and 2006) and Carmen Douma-Hussar (4th in 2002) have previously represented Villanova in the women's mile race. Frances Koons will run the 7-mile Road Race at Falmouth.

Here are video previews:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rhines Will Not Double at Worlds -- Focus is on the 10,000

Jen Rhines earned a spot on Team USA at both 5000 meters and 10,000 meters, by virtue of (a) attaining an "A" standard at both distances and (b) her finishing place at both races at USA Nationals. At Nationals Jen was third at 10,000 meters, and with her "A" standard she automatically made the team at that distance. Jen doubled back and finished 4th in the 5000 at Nationals, a race won by American Record holder Molly Huddle. Because neither Amy Hastings (2nd place) nor Angela Bizzarri (3rd place) ever attained the "A" standard, only Hastings (as the only allowable "B" standard athlete) earned a spot on the team. With Bizzarri out, Rhines now had the rights to the third spot on the 5000 meter, joining Huddle and Hastings. However, Rhines decided to focus solely on the 10,000 at the World Championships and gave up her right to the third spot at 5,000. Desiree Davila, next in line for the spot, also reneged, so the final spot at 5000 meters went to Lauren Fleshman.

So, the teams are as such:

5000 meters
1. Molly Huddle (A)
2. Amy Hastings (B)
3. Lauren Fleshman (A)

10,000 meters
1. Shalane Flanagan (A)
2. Kara Goucher (A)
3. Jen Rhines (A)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blincoe and Schappert to Contest Falmouth Elite Mile

Falmouth, Mass. – Defending mile Champion Nicole Edwards Sifuentes, who ran for Michigan, will face a tough challenge from the best field of female milers ever gathered at Falmouth. The 16th Annual New Balance Falmouth Mile will be held on Saturday evening, August 13 at the Falmouth High School James Kalperis Track. The event, held in conjunction with the New Balance Falmouth Road Race the next day, is actually two events – one for invited world-class milers and the other for Massachusetts high school athletes.

Edwards, who won last year in 4:32.45 will have to outrun the 2008 US Olympian and 2009 Falmouth champion Erin Donohue from Haddonfield, N.J. who beat Edwards in 4:27.91. Donohue’s time was the fastest women’s mile in the world for 2009. Edward’s time of 4:29.33 was the fifth best in the world.

Other likely challenges could come from Stephanie Garcia, who ran for the University of Virginia and was fourth at U.S. Championships in the Steeplechase, and has run a 4:34 relay anchor on a Virginia Distance Medley Relay; Maggie Infeld, Georgetown, has run a 4:34 relay anchor and is now completing her first year of medical studies; and Nichole Schappert, Villanova, is a two-time NCAA championships winner and owns a personal best 4:35.97 mile. Additional competitors and their 1500 meter times include - Sara Vaughn, University of Colorado, 4:08.74; University of California Riverside graduate, Brenda Martinez, 4:39.58; Meghan Peyton, University of Iowa, 4:40.5; and Erin Koch, American University, 4:46.19. The women’s record of 4:25.27 was set by Suzie Favor-Hamilton in 2002.

The men’s event has its largest field to date with twelve competititors. Those to watch are the 2009 Falmouth winner Will Leer, Oregon Track Club, who ran 3:57.28. Will was fifth in the U.S. Championships 1500 meters in Eugene. Adrian Blincoe, who ran for Villanova, was a 2008 New Zealand Olympian, and has run a 3:54.40, will be going to Daegu to represent the Kiwi’s in the 5,000 meters. Two other challengers are Irishman and Florida State graduate, Ciaran O’Lionaird, who has been tearing up the 1500 meters in Europe, recently dropping his personal best by four seconds to 3:34.00; and A.J. Acosta, Oregon, who has run 3:53.76 and was eleventh at the U.S. Championships 1500. This is the first time Acosta has run on the East Coast.

The remaining athletes all have run sub-four minute miles at various times in their careers. They include - Liam Boylan-Pett, Columbia University, 3:59.40; Jake Bolas, Wisconsin, 3:58.4; Ben Bruce, Oregon Track Club, who last week ran the second-fastest American time in the Steeplechase this year in 8:19.10; John Jefferson, Indiana, who ran 3:56.82 in the 2008 Falmouth mile; Jordan McNamara, Oregon, whose best is 3:56.82, and was tenth in the U.S. Championships 1500; and Craig Miller, Wisconsin, whose best is 3:58.41. Rob Novak, Seton Hall, who ran 3:59.70 and Jeff See, Ohio State, who ran 3:58.15 round out the field. The men’s record is 3:56.45 set by Jon Rankin in 2008.

The winner of the New Balance Falmouth Mile takes home $2000, while the runner-up receives $1000, with $500 for third and $250 for fourth. If the men’s winner runs below 4:00 and women’s winner runs below 4:33 they pocket another $1000. Any other men or women under the standard will be awarded $500.

Elite Women’s Mile 6:30 p.m.
Record: 4:25.27, Suzy Favor-Hamilton (2002)

Name Age Locale Mile PR
Meghan Armstrong Peyton 25 Richfield, Minn. 4:40.5
Erin Donohue 25 Hadden, N.J. 4:26.48
Stephanie Garcia 23 South Riding, Va. 4:45.73
Maggie Infeld 25 Washington, D.C. 4:35.37
Erin Koch 23 Perkasle, Penn. 4:46.19
Brenda Martinez 23 Alamosa, Colo. 4:39.58
Nicole Schappert 24 Piscataway, N.J. 4:35.97
Nicole (Edwards) Sifuentes 25 Canada 4:29.33
Sara Vaughn 25 Beverton, Ore. 4:08.74 (1500m)

Elite Men’s Mile 6:45 p.m.
Record: 3:56.45, Jon Rankin (2008)

Name Age Locale Mile PR
AJ Acosta 23 Oceanside, Calif. 3:53.76
Adrian Blincoe 31 New Zealand 3:54.40
Jack Bolas 23 Chapel Hill, N.C. 3:58.4
Liam Boylan-Pett 25 New York, N.Y. 3:59.40
Ben Bruce 28 Eugene, Ore. 8:19.10 (3000m Steeple)
John Jefferson 28 Delray Beach, Fla. 3:56.82
Will Leer 26 Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:55.66
Jordan McNamara 24 Auburn, Wash. 3:56.82
Craig Miller 24 Madison, Wisc. 3:58.41
Rob Novak 25 West Orange, N.J. 3:59.70
Ciaran O’Lionaird 23 Ireland 3:57.99
Jeff See 25 Middletown, Ohio 3:58.15

Elite Mile Prize Purse – Male & Female
1st place: $2,000
2nd place: $1,000
3rd place: $500
4th place: $250

Incentive: $1000
Male winner under 4:00.00
Female winner under 4:33.00

Incentive: $500
Male finishers under 4:00.00
Female finishers under 4:33.00

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Frances Koons in Falmouth Road Race August 14

Seven Titles will be Defended at the 39th Annual New Balance Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth, Mass. – Winners in seven divisions will be defending their titles in the upcoming New Balance Falmouth Road Race - overall women, masters men and women, American men and women as well as wheelchair men and women. In addition, the men’s course record holder will be returning. This annual Cape Cod summer classic will held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. A field of 11,000 runners will race the scenic waterfront seven-mile course winding from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.

Ethiopian Wude Ayalew, age 23, won the women’s division in 35:46, four seconds ahead of 2010 Beach to Beacon champion Linenth Chepkirui of Kenya. In 2011, Ayalew bested Chepkirui at the Crescent City Classic 10K 31:33 to 31:44. Chasing Ayalew will be fellow Ethiopians, 2009 Falmouth winner, Mamitu Daska, 27, who finished first at 2011 Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in a personal best of 15:19 and Dire Tune, 26, 2008 Boston Marathon winner with a 10K best of 31:40. Four-time Falmouth champion and two-time Olympic Marathon silver medalist, Catherine Ndereba, 38, of Kenya will return after finishing fourth in 2010.

Two-time Falmouth winner Colleen De Reuck, 47, of Boulder, Colo., who finished fifth overall in 2010, will defend her American and masters titles. Other American women to watch are Kenyan-born Janet Cherobon, 32, of Atlanta, Ga., who holds a 10K personal best of 32:37 and wins including 2011 Mercedes Half Marathon, 2011 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and 2010 Marine Corps Marathon; Romanian-born Adriana Nelson, 31, of Fort Collins, Colo., the first American at last month’s Peachtree Road Race 10K in a personal best of 32:49 and Frances Koons, 25, who has a personal 5,000 meter best of 15:29.96. Six-time Falmouth winner and Olympic marathon gold medalist, Joan Beniot Samuelson, 53, of Freeport, Maine, who was fourth master and 16th woman overall will again be a crowd favorite.

Thirty-one year old Gilbert Okari of Kenya who set the race course record of 31:08 in 2004 and defending American men’s champion Ed Moran, 30, of Williamsburg, Va., will be competing against a packed men’s field. Challengers include Americans Abdi Abdirahman, 34, of Tuscon, Ariz., three-time Olympian, four-time USA 10K champion with a 27:22.81 10,000 meter best; Mohamed Trafeh, 26, of Tampa, Fla., with a half marathon best of 1:00:39; Fasil Bizuneth, 31, of Indianapolis, Ind., the 2010 US 10-mile champion with a 27:50.48 and 10,000 meter best as well as Fernando Cabada, 29, of Boulder, Colo., the US 25K champion in 1:15:41. Others include Kenyans Micah Kogo, 25, Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters, 2007 Falmouth winner and a 10K best of 27:15; Canadian Simon Bairu, 28, with 27:23 10,000 meter best and Ethiopian Bekana Daba, 23, 2011 Houston Marathon winner and course record holder (2:07:04).

One second separated the 2010 masters men’s winner forty-five year old Mbarak Hussein from Albuquerque, N.M., (34:38) and Kenyan James Koskei (34:39), age 42. They both will be back this year. American running legends Bill Rodgers, 63, of Sherborn, Mass. and Frank Shorter, also 63, of Boulder, Colo. will be joining the field.

Prize money totaling $116,400 will be paid to the top international and U.S. finishers, an increase of $14,900 over 2010. The American prize prize purse is the largest outside a national championship with the male and female prize totals of $22,350 each. This total will equal the open male and female prize purse with double-dipping allowed. In addition, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race male and female wheelchair prize purse has been increased to $4,250 each from $2,500.

The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite athletes and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for all in its community. Proceeds from the race each year support youth athletic programs in the town of Falmouth and other nonprofit community groups.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rhines Gets 5000 "A" Standard with 15:10.44 in London

Jen Rhines ran a 2011 season best 5000 today in London, besting the World Championship "A" standard in the process. Her 15:10.44 was good for 5th place in race won by Lauren Fleshman. Fellow American Amy Hastings, who was second at the USA Championships at 5000 meters, failed again to achieve the "A" standard (15:14.00), meaning that Angela Bizzarri (3rd at USA's) is still on the outside looking in for the World Championship team. IAAF rules stipulate that three runners can compete for each country in each event, but only one of those three competitors can be a "B" standard athlete. USATF is dedicated to sending athletes to the World Championships based on the finishing order at the USA Championship meet. The top eight finishers in the 5000 at the USA meet, with their "A" or "B" standard, are:

1. Molly Huddle (A)
2. Amy Hastings (B)
3. Angela Bizzarri (B)
4. Jen Rhines (A)
5. Julie Culley (B)
6. Desiree Davila (A)
7. Neely Spence (B)
8. Lauren Fleshman (A)

Since neither Hastings nor Bizzarri have attained the "A" standard, only one of these athletes can compete in the race. Since Hastings beat Bizzarri at the USA meet, she has the option over Bizzarri. As a result, USATF now has the option, at its discretion, to send a three-person 5000 team of Huddle-Hastings-Rhines or Huddle-Hastings-Davila or Huddle-Hastings-Fleshman. However, Molly Huddle is nursing an injury and doesn't look to be at Worlds. In any event, it is not clear at this point if Rhines wishes to double at Worlds (she's running the 10,000 already), so the USA 5000 meter squad is still in doubt. Desiree Davila, who got the "A" standard today as well, was 6th at the USA Championship 5000, and Lauren Fleshman, who ran a very fast 15:00.57 today, was 8th at the USA meet.

Aviva London Grand Prix London (CP) (GBR) - Saturday, Aug 06, 2011
5000 Metres - W

1. Lauren Fleshman USA 15:00.57
2. Helen Clitheroe GBR 15:06.75
3. Grace Kwamboka Momanyi KEN 15:07.49
4. Desireé Davila USA 15:08.64
5. Jennifer Rhines USA 15:10.44
6. Genet Yalew ETH 15:12.42
7. Amy Hastings USA 15:17.22
8. Jessica Augusto POR 15:19.60
9. Waganesh Mekasha ETH 15:27.97
10. Julia Bleasdale GBR 15:49.59
Kaila McKnight AUS DNF

Friday, August 5, 2011

Jen Rhines Set for Fast London Diamond League 5000

Here is the start list for Saturday's women's 5000 at the Aviva London Grand Prix. Amy Hastings, second at the USA Nationals, is still searching for the "A" standard (although she can still compete at the World Championships later this month with her current "B" time. If she gets the "A" standard, it would then open up a spot on the World team for Angela Bizzarri (third at USA Nationals and with a "B" standard). Because only one "B" standard athlete can compete for each team, if Hastings (who will be that "B" standard athlete for the USA at 5000 meters) cannot get the "A" (15:14.00), then Bizzarri cannot compete at the World Championships. For former Villanova great Jen Rhines, who will compete for Team USA at 10,000 meters at Worlds (she was 3rd at USA Nationals and has the World & Olympic "A" standard at 10,000 meters, 32:00.00), it's another chance to work on her speed and -- if she were to get the 5000 meter "A" standard -- it might open up the possibility that she could double at Worlds in both the 5000 (at which distance Jen was 4th at USA Nationals) and 10,000.

Here's the start list:
Athlete PR SB
1. HASTINGS Amy USA 15:14.31 15:14.31
2. FLESHMAN Lauren USA 14:58.48 15:27.30
3. RHINES Jennifer USA 14:54.29 15:14.88
4. MOMANYI Grace KEN 14:50.77 15:34.62
5. YALEW Genet ETH 15:03.52 15:10.45
6. CLITHEROE Helen GBR 15:29.37 15:29.37
7. MEKASHA Waganesh ETH 15:11.50 15:11.50
8. DAVILA Desiree USA 15:25.35 15:25.35
9. AUGUSTO Jessica POR 14:37.07
10. BLEASDALE Julia GBR 15:49.02 15:49.02
11. McKnight, Kaila AUS

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Marty Liquori Tells All in August 2011 Interview

Track guru Gary Cohen has just published the most extensive interview ever given by former Villanova legend Marty Liquori. It's a great read and we thank Gary for sharing it via his website here.

Here's the interview from Gary Cohen, with photos added courtesy of WhiteCat at

Marty Liquori — August 2011

Marty Liquori earned the Silver medal in the 5,000 meters at the 1977 World Cup in an American Record 13:15.1. He was ranked Number One in the World at both 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters and won a total of 14 national titles at distances ranging from the mile to 5,000 meters. Marty was a three-time NCAA mile champion in 1969, 1970 and 1971 while at Villanova University. He is one of five U.S. high school runners to run a sub-4:00 minute mile with his 3:59.8 at the 1967 AAU Championships. In 1968 Marty became the youngest Olympic 1,500 meter finalist in history at age 19. His Olympic chances were thwarted by injuries in both 1972 and 1976. Perhaps his most memorable race was winning the 1971 ‘Dream Mile’ against Jim Ryun, though he set his 3:52.2 personal best in finishing second to Filbert Bayi’s 3:51.0 World Record at the 1975 ‘Dream Mile.’ He won the Gold medal at the 1971 Pan Am Games in the 1,500 meters. Marty was a member of Villanova’s 1971 NCAA Cross Country team champions and nine Penn Relays champion relay teams. His stellar high school career at Essex Catholic (New Jersey) included winning the Eastern States Cross Country Championships and his team setting American records for both the distance medley and the four mile relay. Marty’s Personal Bests include: 880y – 1:49.2; 1,500m – 3:36.0; Mile – 3:52.2; 2 miles – 8:17.12; 5,000m – 13:15.06 and 10,000m – 29:08.9. A co-founder of the Athletic Attic chain of running stores, he went on to become an author and television commentator, working with ABC-TV at the 1972, 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games. Marty is currently a professional jazz guitarist. He resides in Gainesville, Florida with his wife, Debora, and has three children, Michael, Connor and Meredith. Marty was very gracious in inviting me into his home for over two hours for this interview.

GC: Whether it is as a runner, broadcaster, businessman or musician you seem driven to excel and to reach for your potential. Is this something you developed when you began running as a youth or was it instilled in you at an earlier age by your upbringing?

ML: What I have is the addictive personality which is both a blessing and a curse. Whatever I do I want to do to the best of my ability. The lessons I learned from running did make is possible for me to have success in other areas. There were many corollaries between running and music which I have concentrated on much more during the past dozen years. When I talk with fellow musicians I find that they don’t approach their craft the same way I do with my discipline. Also, because I was successful as a runner I believed I could also do well as a musician. Unfortunately it leads me to believe I can succeed at anything through consistent effort – even wind surfing. My personality is such that I can’t just do something a few times a year for fun – I have to achieve a certain level of competence. So now I know that I can’t take up golf as I’ll go off the deep and with practicing. I keep threatening to take up painting, but I’m holding back as music has become more than I bargained for. My wife is obsessive and so am I which does help because she realizes the focus it takes to do something well.

GC: Many runners have credentials that are only achieved by a select few. What does it mean to be one of only five United States high school runners to break four minutes in the mile?

ML: I think it blinds people to the rest of my career. I don’t consider it one of the top five accomplishments in my running career, but the public has a fascination with the four minute mile. There are dozens of African kids who have run that fast by the time they were 18 years old, so it isn’t really that big of a deal worldwide. What I did in high school is just that – what I did in high school. Only a handful of runners have ranked number one in the world at 1,500 meters which I believe that is a much more significant accomplishment.

GC: When you ran your 3:59.8 mile as a high school runner you finished in seventh place behind Jim Ryun’s World Record of 3:51.1. What were your thoughts when you found out you had broken four minutes?

ML: I had qualified for the final the night before with a time of 4:08 and in the final I was so far behind after three laps that I didn’t even consider I could break four minutes. But when I heard my time of 3:02 I just took off. I knew I could run a 58 second quarter mile and even if I died during the last 100 yards that I had to go immediately. I knew I had a chance. Afterward I was walking around for what seemed a long time, though it was probably two minutes, when Sam Bell came over and told me I ran 3:59.8. I called my coach, Fred Dwyer, and told him my time, and got congratulations. I did say to him though that someone would be doing it every year as this was four years in a row a high school runner had broken the four minute mile so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But Freddy said, ‘No, I think it’s always going to be something special.’ He was right as it didn’t happen again for over thirty years. However, there didn’t seem to be the emphasis in future years that we had in the 1960s. I was in California in 1967 for about a month of training and racing, had already ran 4:01.1 and 4:00.4 and didn’t even attend my high school graduation. Another fact is that the four minute mile was nine seconds off of the World Record when I was running and now is over 15 seconds behind the World Record. So this helped me to get into top races due to my times and my coach’s connections. Top high school runners these days can’t get into those big races.

GC: How good was Jim Ryun’s World Record race and could you have imagined the epic duels you and Ryun would have in the future?

ML: There are three points about that race which indicates Jim Ryun’s greatness: First, it was a dirt track; Second, there were no pace setters and third, he ran in the lead the entire way and was just barely under three minutes at the three quarter mile before running a crazy fast last lap. So that World Record was worth a lot more than a 3:51 if it was run on a tartan track with competition, pace setters or both. I couldn’t have imagined racing at the front with Jim Ryun as he was on another planet. I didn’t think I would improve as fast as I did in the next few years.

GC: Just as Ali-Frazier peaked interest in boxing in the 1970s and Borg-McEnroe invigorated tennis in the early 1980s, how exciting was it to you personally and important to track and field to have the Liquori-Ryun battle in the mile in the late 1960s and early 1970s?

ML: It was important to me and helped me because there was an American who was very good at running the mile and this took away a psychological burden. History is ripe with competitors from the same country coming along at the same time whether it was Arne Anderson and Gunder Haag in Sweden in the 1940s or Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram in England in the early 1980s. When there is someone in your own country to race against it makes both runners better. The interest in the United States was big because there were sports on television on Saturday and the entire country was tuned in to watch.

GC: The May, 1971 ‘Dream Mile’ that featured you and Ryun was hyped as much as any sporting event. How much anticipation was there on your part and what was your pre-race strategy?

ML: I felt I was unprepared for the race as it was early in the season in May and Jim had raced some good times out in California. Also, he had run 3:51 and my best time was about 3:56 so why would I feel I was ready to win. My best 800 meters was 1:48 and his was 1:44 so I knew he had more speed than me. Any strategy had to involve somehow neutralizing his kick.

GC: When you went through the half mile in only 2:03 how did you rearrange your race plan to attempt to win especially since Ryun had such great speed?

ML: Coach Jumbo Elliott and I felt that if he ran from the front that with every step he would get more confident so that is why I had to take the lead on the third lap and increase the pace.

GC: You both ran a 1:51 last half mile as you held off Ryun by a step in a personal best at the time of 3:54.6. Since you led and pushed the pace the final 700 meters, was the key to victory that such a long drive was necessary as Ryun’s quarter mile speed was two seconds faster than yours?

ML: I modeled myself after Herb Elliot’s style and he usually took the lead with around 600 meters to go. I had drilled into my mind that I didn’t have a good kick at the end and that I had to go early. The reality when looking back is that I wasn’t really a miler – I was a 5,000 meter runner. But when you are ranked number one in the world in the 1,500 meters the race directors want you in the 1,500 meters or mile which led to me running much of my career in the wrong race. In those days the mile was such a glamor event that it was better to be the fifth best miler in the world than the top 5,000 meter runner.

GC: When you entered the home stretch and Jim Ryun was on your shoulder, was it surprising that he was unable to drive past you with his fearsome kick?

ML: It was surprise, but when I go back and analyze the race, neither of us had a kick left since I pushed the pace so early and my strategy did play out well.

GC: Was that the turning point in your duels with Ryun or was it two years earlier when he won the 1969 NCAA Indoor Mile and you turned the tables on him by winning the mile at the NCAA Outdoors and AAU Championships?

ML: The 1969 NCAA Indoor Mile in Detroit was the turning point as I lost in a photo finish and realized that we were equal and that whoever worked harder could win from then on out.

GC: When you won the 1970 NCAA mile, a strong move at 300 meters opened up a lead that Dave Wottle couldn’t close as you beat him 3:59.9 to 4:00.1. What do you recall of that race or others with the future 1972 Olympic Gold medalist at 800 meters?

ML: In that race I shut down and eased up a bit since I had a good lead. I didn’t know anyone was closing so fast behind me. I’m unsure at the time if I knew who Dave Wottle was and, in another way, he may not have known who Dave Wottle was as far as his running potential. That was a breakthrough race for Dave as he lowered his personal best mile by six seconds. I remember one day talking about lifting weights with Dave and he didn’t while I had been for three times a week since my freshman year in high school. So I said, ‘How about trying the bench press.’ And he could press more than me! He was a great natural talent.

GC: The next year at the NCAA Indoor Championships, you duplicated what only Jim Ryun had done, pulling off a double victory in the mile and two-mile. How tough was it to balance your effort between the mile qualifying and two-mile one day and the mile final the next?

ML: The toughest thing was the problem with blistering on the wooden tracks. I didn’t wear socks and just taped my feet, so avoiding blisters was important. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to win the 2-mile, so that was a great meet to win both.

GC: Going back a few years, you made the 1968 United States Olympic team in the 1,500 meters as a 19 year old freshman. Was this a dream of yours and was it shocking for you to achieve it at so young an age?

ML: It came out of the blue. I had never seen the Olympics on television as during the 1964 Olympics my family was spending much of the summer on the New Jersey shore. I always felt in my career that I would be too young for the 1968 Olympics and too old for the 1972 Olympics. In those days if you graduated a year before the Olympics were held you probably wouldn’t be running as people back then got jobs and moved on in their lives. If they did keep running it was a real struggle. I never thought I’d end up training for four Olympics. I had just turned 19 when I was in the Olympics, but so was Louis Zamperini when he ran in the 1936 Olympics in the 5,000 meters so maybe that says something about Italians.

GC: You ran a well-placed qualifying round and made the final while running in the same semifinal heat as Kip Keino and Ryun, who won Gold and Silver medals in the final. What did you think of your chances in the final and how disappointing was it to have an injury prevent you from racing your best in the final?

ML: I felt pretty good in the first two rounds but I was running with a stress fracture in my foot which got progressively worse by the final. The team staff was focused on Jim Ryun and his chances to win the Gold medal and when I told them my foot hurt they had me put some ice on it but a shot may have helped me to finish better. I wasn’t ready to race for a medal though I could have placed a bit higher and for some unknown reason I was able to race well at altitude.

GC: Did you attend the opening or closing ceremonies and enjoy watching other track and field events, other sports and touring Mexico City and surrounding area?

ML: I went to the opening ceremonies but didn’t march in the closing ceremonies. I visited Acapulco for a few days as I felt that was better than staying around the Olympic Village. I didn’t do any cliff diving though we did watch the divers! I watched them previously on television and was impressed with them.

GC: Injuries knocked you out of the 1972 and 1976 Olympics while Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Olympics ended your Olympic chances as you were 31 years old. What would it have meant to you to have the opportunity to race an Olympics when you were in top form?

ML: When they ran the second half of the 1972 Olympic 1,500 meters in 1:49 with a similar strategy like Jim and I had in the ‘Dream Mile,’ I was one of the announcers and was disappointed to not be in the race when I saw how it developed. When the race was over the producer said, ‘Okay we’re going to a commercial in three, two, one.’ I took off my headset and said, ‘Aw, shit.’ The producer said, ‘Just because I said ‘one’ didn’t mean we were off the air.’ Luckily we were. Looking back I don’t think anyone would have beaten Lasse Viren in the 5,000 meters in 1972 or 1976 as his scientific prowess was way ahead of us.

GC: During your running career major injuries reared their head at inopportune times. Was it a combination of your willingness to push to your limit, possibly racing too hard too often or ramping up your training too quickly after returning from an injury?

ML: Because I was injured during two Olympic years people think I had an injury-plagued career. However, I was only injured about three times. I had a body that could take a lot of training. When I was coming into the Olympics in 1972 and 1976 I could have eased my training made the team and raced fairly well, but that wasn’t my goal. I wanted to win the Olympics and I didn’t back off. I felt I had to complete certain workouts in order to win and I wasn’t aiming for second or third place.

GC: The May, 1975 ‘Dream Mile’ in Kingston, Jamaica was amazing as Filbert Bayi led the entire way en route to a World Record 3:51.0. Also, you (3:52.2), Eamonn Coghlan (3:53.3) and Rick Wohlhuter (3:53.8) all ran personal bests at the time. Could you possibly have won if you had pushed the third lap or if you and Coghlan hadn’t bumped with 350 meters to go - or was Bayi too strong that day?

ML: It was a really great race and all four of us ran very well. It was probably the last time the mile World Record was broken without a pace setter. Filbert Bayi did it 100% by himself. It was very hot at 82 degrees in Jamaica which was much tougher than a cool 50 degree day in Oslo, Norway. I was training in Florida so I was used to the heat, but it must have been a shock to Eamonn since he was coming from Ireland or Villanova University. Since it was the middle of May I felt like I wasn’t prepared as it was early in the season. My plan was to race strong at USA nationals in late June and treat that as the start of my racing season which would extend throughout August. For all of us to run PRs and for me to run my all-time best was surprising. There was no way Eamonn and I were going to catch Bayi. Until I saw the race recently on YouTube I forgot that I tried to pass Eamonn around the last turn and he had held me off. If I had made my move earlier or later I may have been a little closer to Bayi, but I would not have won. I ran a lot of races in my life and in the final 50 yards of that race my legs were more tired than in any other race.

GC: You moved up in distance in 1975, winning the Florida Relays 3-mile and AAU 5,000 meters and following it up with a 5,000 meter win at the 1976 Penn Relays. What were your thoughts on focusing on the longer distance with the upcoming 1976 Olympics in sight?

ML: My thought process was that since Filbert Bayi beat me in Jamaica and John Walker beat me in Stockholm, Sweden and they were going to both be in the Montreal Olympic 1,500 meters that my chances of beating both of them were small. I might beat one of them in a match race, but the odds of beating both were slim which made me think my chances of winning a Gold medal were better at 5,000 meters. In 1975 when John Walker was the first to break 3:50 in the mile, he worked it with the race organizers so that Rod Dixon and I weren’t in the mile. Due to this we ran the 5,000 meters and I’m not sure who won but we both ran around 13:23 at a time when the World Record was less than ten seconds faster than that. I figured if I ran the 5,000 meters I’d be the fastest miler and have the best kick so I moved up to the 5,000 meters.

GC: Despite a slightly injured hamstring muscle, you raced the 1976 AAU 5,000 meters which was just before the Olympic Trials and severely strained the hamstring. Why did you race when you already were qualified for the Trials?

ML: I strained my hamstring when I stepped in a hole while running on the University of Florida golf course, but it seemed like it was getting better and I had my arm twisted to run in the AAU Nationals. Dick Buerkle and I were running the 5,000 meters and I couldn’t resist the urge to kick, reinjured it and that was bad timing as the Olympic Trials were in a couple of weeks. I didn’t heal in time for the Trials but would have been fine in time for the Olympics.

GC: You ran a very strong race at the 1977 World Cup with an Olympic-caliber field as your American Record 13:15.1 for second place came up just short of Miruts Yifter’s 13:13.8. Was he just too fast to beat in the final kick as you did close to within a meter at the start of the final stretch?

ML: First, for background, I had called Barry Brown and told him that I was out of shape and over the hill. The reason was that I wasn’t hitting my repeat 200s workout. I usually would do 20 of them in 30 seconds early in the season and work down to 27s when I was in good form. I was only running 30s and didn’t feel I was ready to race fast. But Barry told me it was because of the Gainesville, Florida heat and that I would be okay. When I arrived in Europe I raced 1,500 meters the following day and thought I would finish poorly. I was just trying to get in a good workout, but took off with 300 meters to go and ended up beating some good runners by 20 meters. Two days later I raced 5,000 meters in Zurich against Miruts Yifter, 5,000 meter World Record holder Dick Quax, 10,000 meter World Record holder Samson Kimombwa and Henry Rono and in that race I was about 40 yards behind with a lap to go. Much like when I broke the four minute mile in high school, I looked at the clock and saw I needed a 60 second last lap to break the American Record. So I ran hard when the gun went off, flew by all of these guys, laughed to myself as I figured they would all get me back, but I ended up beating Yifter by 20 meters. This was the stupidest thing I ever did as now he knew who I was and came up with his plan for racing me. Ten days later at the World Cup he was right on my shoulder, got the jump on me and ended up winning.

GC: Speaking of international championships, you won Gold at the 1971 Pan Am Games at 1,500 meters in Cali, Colombia. What tactics led to your victory over medalists Bill Smart of Canada and your teammate, Jim Crawford?

ML: What I remember most was what happened before the race that coerced me to run and the travel delay in Miami. I was the favorite and had lots of pressure from the U.S. track governing body to run. I didn’t really want to travel from where I was racing in Europe, but back then track and field athletes had to listen to what they said. I went through processing in Miami and all of us were supposed to give a blood sample. They told me I had to if I wanted to be on the team. I said, ‘No I don’t,’ and there was about a two-hour standoff until they said I didn’t have to give a sample to compete and that it was just for scientific research. Later on when I told my teammates they were very upset and felt violated. These days people would say I’m taking drugs and that’s why I wouldn’t be tested, but I just hated needles and someone getting my blood under false pretenses. There was no respect for athletes back then as the attitude was that we should do whatever they track hierarchy asked. As for winning the 1,500 meters, the race wasn’t that memorable.

GC: Frank Shorter and Steve Prefontaine were also Gold medalists in Cali. Did you train with them or other teammates such as Mike Manley, Sid Sink and Jim Crawford?

ML: I hung around a lot with Frank and was good friends with Mike and Sid.

GC: As you mentioned earlier, you are on a short list of men to rank number one in the World at both 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters. What does this say about your versatility?

ML: For me it does say that my real strength was in the 5,000 meters. The 1,500 meters is tough to win in the Olympics as you must run strong in three races. The reason I was good in both races and so strong is that I ran about as many miles as most marathon runners did in those days. It would have been interesting if I had raced a marathon when I was in top form.

GC: Every great runner has to have a spark to get started in the sport. What led to focus your energy on distance running as your sport at Essex Catholic High School in Newark, New Jersey?

ML: When I was a sophomore in high school my coach came to my home and told my parents I should quit playing my guitar and focus on running as I had the talent to earn a track scholarship to college. When my parents heard the word, ‘scholarship,’ I didn’t have to work at the family gas station any more, I could train all summer and I went down to the beach to run on the nice sand surface. Now American kids don’t think they can get track scholarships and that they will be awarded to foreign runners in the distance races, but at my high school three or four guys every year earned a track scholarship so I saw it as an achievable goal.

GC: What was your training in terms of mileage as you progressed through high school and what were the main points you learned from Coach Fred Dwyer that helped you mentally and physically to excel?

ML: Everyone at my high school who was a distance runner ran at least 40 or 50 miles per week. By my senior year I was running 80 to 85 miles a week and running two workouts a day. I had an advantage as my high school coach was a great coach and had run close to a four minute mile. My Coach had been coached by Franz Stampfl so he also knew coaching principles from outside of the United States. We raced often as in the northeast there were many indoor track meets on weekends where we raced against as many as 20 schools – so the competition was excellent. Coach Dwyer was an old school coach who knew that a runner had to be very dedicated. One example is when there was a day when I was supposed to run 15 miles. He called my home to check and my mother told him I had run 13 miles because it had started snowing. Coach told my mom, ‘Make him go back outside and run the other two miles before you give him dinner.’ There was a mental aspect of ‘Don’t quit.’ He was the authority figure and I did have faith in him as he was a great coach and had been a great runner. He was able to tell me why we were doing different workouts and this helped me believe in the training and coaching.

GC: You had some great individual success winning the Eastern States Cross Country Championships in a course record at Van Cortland Park and as a member of American Record high school distance medley and 4 x mile relay teams. Compare and contrast winning at that age as an individual and as part of a foursome.

ML: Cross country was important and the focus of my life. The year before I had bronchitis and fainted in the home stretch so it was important to race well at Eastern States. When I broke the course record at Van Cortland Park records were being broken all of the time so it didn’t seem like it would last too long. Being part of a team has lasted my entire life. A few years ago I went back to my high school and saw some of my old teammates for the first time in over 30 years. One of my teammates who is making zillions of dollars on Wall Street and who had run a 49 second quarter mile on the distance medley told me, ‘Thank you so much – that’s how I got my college scholarship, life really picked up after that,’ and so on. My other teammates made similar comments and they were all appreciative as I was the key member of the relays. It was exciting at the time but I didn’t realize the impact it had on their lives.

GC: Are there any other races or running-related stories that stand out from your high school years?

ML: A funny instance occurred one day when I was a freshman as Coach Dwyer was standing along the track at a meet and said, ‘Look at that kid – he has a good stride – why don’t we have some kids like that?’ As the kid came off of the corner a religious brother was there and said, ‘That kid is on our team.’ The kid was me. Another interesting memory concerns my first time running the mile. My freshman year my best time was only about 2:09 for the half mile. When I came back for my sophomore year I told Coach Dwyer I wanted to run the mile. But he said I wasn’t strong enough so I didn’t run it indoors. However, when we started racing outdoors he let me race the mile in a meet in Washington, D.C. That first time I ran the mile I ran 4:19 when the New Jersey State record was 4:17, so that was a huge breakthrough. Then there was the race that really changed things my last year in high school. The pivotal race my senior year was when I ran a 4:04 mile at the Penn Relays. At the time I was a 4:13 miler, was planning on going to Penn and being an Ivy Leaguer. The guys recruiting me from Harvard and Penn were telling me that if I went to school there I could become the first sub four minute miler in the Ivy League. This was the wrong thing to say as I wanted competition. Coach Jumbo Elliott told me that if I came to Villanova I would be the fifth fastest guy on the team. I wanted to be a Rhodes Scholar and to go to Penn, but Coach Dwyer said, ‘There are a lot of lawyers in the world, but you have a special talent.’ So I backed out of my commitment to Penn and went to Villanova. In retrospect I don’t know if it is the smartest thing to pass on what was supposedly a superior education because of athletics. There are Olympic Gold medal winners who have sold their medals because they were broke, but in my case the ‘running thing’ did work out. Would I recommend to my son to make that choice? Probably not.

GC: While at Villanova you won multiple NCAA individual championships and were part of nine championship relay teams at the Penn Relays and an NCAA Champion cross country team. How much did you enjoy winning relay events and winning in cross country as a team?

ML: Being part of nine Penn Relay championship relay teams was much harder than running a sub four minute mile in high school. That being said, I was on very good teams and got the baton in the lead in eight of the nine races. In some of the relays I didn’t have to run all out, except in the 4 x 800 meter relay. Each year in the 4 x 800 meter relay I basically had to run a personal best for our team to win the race. It was over-reaching for me as I wasn’t blessed with great speed. Chris Mason got me the lead every time. There was a big group of us that raced together and who won many relay gold medals. The distance medley relay was very dominant and won about a dozen years in a row including my three years. The Penn Relays were definitely the highlight of our racing season. At Villanova I sacrificed a lot to do things for the team. I hurt my chances for the 1972 Olympics the previous fall as I was slightly injured for the NCAA Cross Country Championships and really got hurt in that race. But it was great to run for a team. Years later when the top American miler was thinking about leaving college and turning professional I told him that he would be able to make money, but he could never go back and be part of a team.

GC: What did Coach Jumbo Elliott add to your knowledge base in college that further developed you as a runner and what changed in your training as far as mileage and key workouts?

ML: When I started at Villanova I had so much confidence in my high school coach’s program that I wasn’t initially happy with what Coach Elliott was prescribing. I even called Coach Dwyer to tell him that Jumbo wasn’t giving me the eight repeat 800s I needed and our longest repeats were only 400 meters. Coach Dwyer told me that I was strong, needed to work more on my speed and that I should listen to Jumbo. Coach Elliott was a psychological master and an argument could almost have been made that he didn’t always follow the latest coaching techniques. Jumbo liked to say he used the K.I.S.S. method of coaching which is ‘Keep it Simple Stupid.’ He felt that we should all know enough by our sophomore year that we could coach ourselves if necessary. There were some runners who were running over 100 miles per week at Villanova, though I know it was on their own accord as Jumbo was mainly setting the track workouts. I didn’t increase my mileage until I was training in Florida with Barry Brown several years later when I moved up to the 5,000 meters. At that time I would run 16 to 17 weeks in the fall of over 100 miles.

GC: You were mostly self-coached after college. Could a coach or advisor possibly have helped you with some slight improvements or to lend an objective eye that may have helped you to incorporate more rest and recovery to minimize injuries?

ML: It was a mistake to coach myself as I needed an objective view point. Sometimes Florida distance coach Roy Benson would offer advice, but I really could have used a coach to keep an eye on me. There were times when I may have been planning 15 repeat quarter miles and an objective coach would have told me to end the workout after 12 of them as I wasn’t running well and should just go and warm down. There were times when I had a sore hamstring and would try to run through it and a seasoned coach could have increased the chances of my taking some rest days or easy days to ensure a better recovery. But I had had two of the best coaches in Coach Dwyer and Coach Elliott and I felt there wasn’t anyone else for me to go to that was better than them. Jumbo didn’t give me any workouts after college as his thoughts were it was time to get a job, start a family and stop running. Also, it would have been hard for a coach to set my training schedule because of my job responsibilities. With everything put together I would have been hard to coach. I did train with Pete Peterson a bit before the 1968 Olympics when I was racing in California and I did consider running in California under his program, though I ended up coming to Florida after graduation from Villanova. One of the things that kept me running was the mental challenge and I enjoyed coaching myself, though in those days I was the only 1,500 / 5,000 meter runner who was coaching himself. The good thing was that in Gainesville I did get to do some training with Barry Brown and other runners. I ran for hours with Barry and he was my ‘sounding board.’ He did get on me about not resting enough and I could have taken that advice.

GC: What were the major differences between Coach Elliott’s program that allowed you to race many quality races for months at a time and the Lydiard method you used toward the end of your career that brought you to a great peak for a much shorter period?

ML: The Lydiard philosophy as I understood it was more of putting your eggs in one basket, but if you got sick or injured then you were out of luck. I was more like the New York Yankees trying to win over 100 baseball games in a year while runners like Lasse Viren didn’t care about 1975 or 1977 – just peaking for July of 1976 and the Olympics. The most important thing to me when I ran was winning often and to get a World Number One ranking. I had read Lydiard’s book and was peaking for a short period of time in the summer rather than running so many races like I did in college. So I was following a Lydiard training program which I kind of taught myself and had success with it. I incorporated the idea that I would do my ‘miler workouts’ and race 5,000 meters. I looked at it that if I was running ten races a year I wanted to win eight or nine of them. I didn’t train to win one race or to set a World Record – I trained to win a lot of races. What I needed was speed to win tactical races. I had a goal of running the last lap of every 5,000 meters in 55 seconds or faster.

GC: The United States is seeing a resurgence in middle distance and distance running though we aren’t seeing Olympic Medalists and number one world rankings as in the 1960s and 1970s. Why were U.S. runners so successful then and would bringing back the mile rather than the high school 1,600 meters and collegiate 1,500 meters stir more public interest?

ML: We are back ‘in the game’ in distance running and people need to realize that outside of Africa the United States is the greatest distance running country in the world. Countries that used to be on par with us such as Finland, England, Germany or New Zealand aren’t any more. We are doing many things right. We do have good nutrition and doctors. The Kenyans just have numbers. They have 200 plus guys at five separate running camps running three times a day and all 1,000 of them have lived their lives at 7,000 or 8,000 feet of altitude. Some very good runners will come out of that and we just don’t have those numbers in the United States. Andrew Wheating wasn’t a great runner in high school but he has developed. There may be more great runners like him, but we never find out about them as they are involved in other sports. It is a public relations problem for track and field to not emphasize the mile in the United States as everyone in the public knows about the mile. When someone finds out I ran a 3:52 mile they are really impressed. I’m more impressed with my 5,000 meter time which was maybe third in the world whereas my mile was about fifth. The mile is a magical thing so they should go back to it. Maybe we should get Congress to pass a law that we have to run the mile (laughing).

GC: Two quotes from 1969 are of interest: First, ‘For several years running has been No. 1 in my life, but now being a good husband and making a good marriage have become No. 1.’ Second, ‘Track is the most important part of my life.’ The former is by Jim Ryun and latter is attributed to you. Do runners need that focus to reach their potential?

ML: You do have to be 100% focused and those who are can perform on a different level. It is the same with my music today where those who practice eight hours a days are way ahead of us who play three hours each day. But you do pay a price for it. I always admired guys like Rod Dixon from New Zealand who had kids and still raced very well. I didn’t think that was possible for me – it was all or nothing. In our defense most of us did hold down full-time jobs, though many were teachers. It is just mind-boggling to my running contemporaries that today’s top American runners are full-time athletes with shoe contracts and many still have trouble breaking 13:15 for 5,000 meters.

GC: Is there a race or event in your running career that you believe left an impact on the sport?

ML: When I was running in the Millrose Games they asked me why there hadn’t been a sub-four minute mile at their race. I told them because they held it at 10:00 at night and the place was filled with cigarette smoke. So Bob Hersh, who was the announcer, told me, ‘I’ll make you a deal Marty – I’ll announce all night that we are going to have an attempt to break the four minute mile and people need to smoke outside in the Garden.’ So I agreed and he announced it repeatedly all evening. When the race happened it was incumbent on me so run a four minute mile so I changed my style and ran for time. Tony Waldrop just sat on me, came around the last turn, passed me, broke the four minute mile and ended my five year and 13-race string of winning at Madison Square Garden. I did learn from that race not to let others influence my race plans as the outcome would be less certain to go my way. One funny thing is afterward they asked Tony how he felt about breaking my streak and he said, ‘What streak?’ He didn’t even know about it. But at future track meets they continued making announcements about not smoking in the race area. That was a small thing I did which had a positive impact on the sport which few people know about and may have had more of an effect than my racing.

GC: After your racing days were over did you have any reunions with former competitors that were especially memorable or humorous?

ML: When Kip Keino and I were running the Miami Mile when he was around 50 years old and I was 45 we knew couldn’t run fast the whole way so we waited for the last 200 meters and told each other we would really go fast in the final 100 meters. Then we really started sprinting. I thought, ‘We can’t run a fast mile, but we can still sprint.’ However, later when I saw the video I thought, ‘It’s just two old guys trying to sprint!’ But in our minds we still thought we were fast.

GC: You did some coaching – how rewarding was it to help others succeed or push their limits?

ML: I didn’t have much experience in coaching except with runners who were very good and just needed some tweaking sort of like when a very good tennis player has a coach help with his serve or backhand. I got satisfaction out of helping Sydney Maree when he was at Villanova and he went on to break the World Record for 1,500 meters.

GC: You started your broadcasting career early due to the injury which prevented you from racing at the 1972 Olympics. Was this an instance where you made ‘lemonade out of lemons’ and in some respects there was a bright side to your inability to compete?

ML: One of my goals in running was to become famous for the reason that I wanted to become a sports announcer. When I got hurt and was asked to join the Munich Olympics broadcasting team my mother said, ‘What are you crying about? You got what you wanted and have a chance to be a broadcaster.’ My life has been rather lucky in that when I lost one thing, the next turned out to be better. You see runners sticking with their sport for life because they are good at it and don’t want to try something where they aren’t too good. But I don’t mind that – for example, in music I was probably embarrassing myself when I started back playing several years ago but the learning process was so much fun that I stuck with it until I got to the point where I played reasonably well.

GC: With the recently deceased Jimmy Carnes you started the Athletic Attic running specialty stores in 1972 which grew to over 250 locations. How well did the store do initially and was it equal parts of skill and good timing that allowed you to crest the wave as running gained popularity?

ML: In 1972 we didn’t foresee the running boom. What we did think would happen was a ‘leisure boom’ as when we were competing in Germany we saw that many people were wearing running shoes and Adidas warm up suits as leisure wear. The name was an accident as we were going to name the store the ‘Adidas Attic’ since I was an Adidas athlete. Then their lawyers got involved and said we couldn’t use the Adidas name. Barry Brown came up with the name ‘Athletic Attic’ because we were in the attic of another store. Adidas were the most popular shoe, but in the next few years popularity switched to Puma, Onitsuka Tiger and then Nike. So it was good we weren’t tied to one shoe name. I had read Ray Kroc’s book and got many ideas for franchising from his thoughts about what they did to franchise McDonald’s restaurants and we applied many of the ideas to Athletic Attic. As an aside, I was just looking at possibly bidding on a Ray Kroc autographed copy of the book on eBay.

GC: For more than the past decade you have rekindled your interest in music and regularly play guitar with a jazz group. How relaxing is it to play and rewarding to improve?

ML: When I do something I like to enjoy the process and the end result. In running the process of running 15 miles isn’t as enjoyable as winning a big race. In music I feel I can practice for four hours and it is still fun. My actual musical performance with my group compares to getting together with my team for a track meet. Then after racing or playing a gig everyone wants to sit around and review what we have just done. After racing we would talk about how the race had transpired and after playing music we talk about various songs we just played. When running I was attracted to the science of planning what I would do to improve in the next year. Likewise with music I would plan to do something new like studying how Wes Montgomery played so I could try out some of his guitar licks. For me all of my hobbies turn into businesses due to my personality. Someone asked me to sing a song for his wife at an Italian restaurant and then the owners asked me if I would like to play on Sunday nights. Then I started playing on Thursday nights and added a horn player and bass player and for the last ten years we’ve had a four or five piece band. Now we get hired for other events so it has become a business. When I started playing music I made a pact with myself that I would only do it as a charity and not take money and I started playing in old age homes and backing some lady singers, but when I kept getting offered money to play I decided I might as well get paid for it.

GC: What is your current health and fitness program and what are your future goals in this area?

ML: For the past ten years or so I’ve mostly done mountain biking. I raced for a couple of years, but got frustrated as competitors who were lifelong cyclists could always out sprint me at the end. I decided, ‘why am I going through this pain’ as it is so hot here in Gainesville in the summer. I’m not running as the joints in some of my toes are very worn out from the high level running which is why I initially got into regular cycling. There isn’t cartilage left in some joints so even soft surface running doesn’t help. I also have a garage full of fitness equipment such as elliptical trainers that I use.

GC: Is there any advice you would give to children and adults who wish to succeed in running or other sports?

ML: There is much knowledge out there now that can help those who are getting started and a novice can’t read too much. That means that knowledge can trump the kid who just goes out, works hard and follows others. A runner does have to do a lot of hard work to succeed, but it has to be the right work as the state of the art of running is very good. A runner can’t just do a lot of volume as we did a generation ago. It used to be that an advanced runner who was averaging 100 miles a week would beat anyone doing 60 miles a week as both were doing the same track workouts. Now most top level runners do pretty high volume so a runner has to have knowledge of what will help him to improve. Many young runners in the United States don’t know the history of our sport which can hurt them when they face international runners who are students of track and field. Our youth may know which team won the NCAA basketball tournament the last five years, but their international competitors know who won the 1,500 meters in the past five Olympics and what tactics were successful. In summary, most people should spend more time sitting and reading about running to complement their training.

GC: What excites you about the future in your career, personal life and the ‘golden years'?

ML: The great thing about music is that I can keep playing for many years. I play with guys in their seventies who have played with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and in some ways they are playing better than ever. So it is something I am excited about and enthusiastic about getting better all of the time. If I was still running and racing I wouldn’t get too thrilled about holding off old age and getting slower at a slower rate. I’m also excited about watching my kids grow up.

GC: Are there major lessons you have learned during your life from the discipline of running and taking the plunge into broadcasting, business and music that you would like to share with my readers?

ML: I’m not sure who first said it, but I believe that half of the challenge is showing up. Whether it was broadcasting or music or running, I had to get out there. You may be overwhelmed at first but you have to put yourself in that place. Anyone who accomplishes anything goes into it with some insecurity. They may look secure – Britney Spears may look confident in her dance moves, but she has done them in practice thousands of times to get ready and I am sure still has nervousness when she appears on a stage. I see where some people hold themselves back because they are afraid to take the plunge. In running people will say things like, ‘I’m not in shape yet’ or ‘I haven’t lost enough weight yet.’ But they just have to get out there and do it – run that marathon or whatever is their goal.

Inside Stuff

ML: I am a big car fan. I enjoy sports cars and have done a bit of racing. But it was quite expensive so I decided it was better to wreck model cars instead! Another interest of mine is philosophy

ML: At Villanova my nickname was ‘Minga,’ which was Italian slang. Part of the reason was when my teammates were at indoor meets like at Madison Square Garden and they yelled it, I would always know it was me. My teammate, Dick Buerkle, gave me that nickname but no one has called me it in over 30 years.

Favorite Movie?
ML: Fahrenheit 451

Favorite TV Show?
ML: The Colbert Report for the past eight years. I also enjoy watching the first 15 minutes of Cramer’s show on CNBC every day. Currently, I like ‘Outsourced’ which is funny and educational. When I was a teenager I liked watching ‘The Smothers Brothers’ which wasn’t on until 9:00 pm and, unfortunately, Coach Dwyer would call my parents to make sure I got to bed – that was a real sacrifice when I had to miss that show to ensure I got enough rest. I’m not too sure about the future of television as I enjoy watching YouTube, getting on a thread and seeing where it leads.

Favorite Music?
ML: The two musicians I followed were Dave Brubeck and Sonny Rollins, both of whom I have over 100 of their albums. I also have a strong interest in many guitar players.

Favorite Books?
ML: As far as being influential in my life there are ‘Grinding it Out: The Making of McDonalds’ by Ray Kroc and ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ by Maxwell Maltz which is about the mind and focusing. I also liked ‘Positive Addiction’ by William Glasser and ‘The Joy of Running’ by Thaddeus Kostrubala which were written early on in the running boom. I don’t read much fiction. I would be one tenth as educated without all the plane trips I took as only on those long plane trips would I tackle books like Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand or a lengthy James Michener epic. Most of my education was forced upon me by lengthy plane trips.

First Car?
ML: A Corvair. My father owned a gas station so I had a bunch of different cars including several Thunderbirds.

Current Cars?
ML: Two cars I’ve had since buying them new are a 1972 Mercedes 2-seater and a 1983 Porsche - so I don’t tend to jump from car to car.

First Job and Subsequent Jobs?
ML: I worked at my dad’s gas station which I consider not just my first job, but my last job. Running was enjoyable and wasn’t a job. My time with Athletic Attic wasn’t a job as I was my own boss. I don’t consider broadcasting a job as it was always fun. Now I play music which isn’t a job either as it is fun. I’ve worked out of my home for the past thirty years so I’m not an ‘around the water cooler’ guy. I feel like I never really had a job as I never worked in an office.

ML: My wife is Debora. My parents are still alive, live in Gainesville and have been married for 62 years. I have a brother, Steve, and two sisters, Lynn and Genevieve, who all went to Boston College. I have two sons, Michael and Connor. My daughter, Meredith, was just accepted to the University of South Florida to work on her PhD in Latin American Studies.

ML: I wasn’t a pet owner for most of my life, but Deb and I had two cats for about 15 years up until six months ago. We haven’t replaced them and I sort of enjoy not having to let them in and out of the house throughout the day.

Favorite Breakfast?
ML: I’m not a breakfast guy, but my favorite would be cappuccino and a scone – but that’s not healthy. Actually, I’m rarely up early enough for breakfast. Even when I was running I would get up around 9:00 and by the time I ran and showered it was 10:30 so it was almost time for lunch.

Favorite Meal?
ML: Unfortunately for me I have never met any food I didn’t like. You could tell me it was snails and eel and I would probably like it! I’m Italian so food is important and I do like everything.

Favorite Beverages?
ML: I like red wine. I’d like to drink more beer, but I can’t because it is hard to keep the weight off. One of the great things about travelling around the world was enjoying the great beers in places like England, Russia, Germany and Finland. My only memory of doing something with Steve Prefontaine was drinking beer with him in Munich.

First Running Memory?
ML: The farthest back I can remember is during my freshman year in high school when I forgot my running shorts for cross country team practice, had to run in my boxer shorts and was pretty embarrassed.

Running Heroes?
ML: The runner I studied was Herb Elliott as there was a book out about him, we had the same strengths and weaknesses and I modeled my race strategy after his tactics.

Greatest Running Moments?
ML: The ‘Dream Mile’ against Jim Ryun stands out – people would say I’m lying if it wasn’t that race and they are right. There are also some Penn Relays that were memorable when I anchored the 4 x 800 meters and we won races where it was hard to win. Also, setting the American Record for 5,000 meters in Stockholm was big - it was such a shock since I wasn’t training well and was ready to give up my spot on the U.S. team. I also got satisfaction out of helping advise Sydney Maree with his training when he was at Villanova and he went on to break the World Record for 1,500 meters.

Worst Running Moment?
ML: The worst was when I ran at the 1976 AAU national championships with that injured hamstring. First, because when my hamstring went I knew I was blowing my Olympic chances. Second as it was my own fault as I never should have been racing that day. Finally, I should have just gone ahead and let Dick Buerkle win. In three seconds it all became clear that there would be no Olympics for me that year.

Childhood Dreams?
ML: Before I started running I saw myself as a musician and thought I might play in New York because some of my neighbors caught the bus and played in Broadway plays. College wasn’t a given, but I thought about going to Julliard.

Funny Memories?
ML: Sometimes running fans would be talking to me at races and one time it continued with a fan as I walked into the bathroom. I went into the bathroom stall and sat down on the toilet while we continued the conversation. I thought the guy was on the other side of the door but when I looked up he was standing on the toilet in the next stall and hanging over the edge talking to me.

Embarrassing Moment?
ML: Adidas had provided me with spiked shoes for a track meet; I stripped a spike and couldn’t get it in. The Adidas rep said he would try to find me another pair to wear in the race. He borrowed shoes from Richmond Flowers, a hurdler, that were specially made out of kangaroo hide because Richmond had some unique foot problems, but they were my size. When the gun went off someone stepped on one of the shoes and ripped out the side. I ran the mile, finished in 4:00.8 and was really worried about what Richmond would say as he had probably waited six months to get his specially made shoes. I was really apologetic, but he was excited and said, ‘I’ll save these forever – someone ran 4:00.8 in my shoes!’ So, surprisingly he was thrilled - though I was embarrassed.

Favorite Places to Travel?
ML: Any place in Italy.