Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sonia O'Sullivan to Carry Olympic Torch

Three-time World Champion and Olympic silver medal winner Sonia O'Sullivan has been selected to serve as Ireland's Chef de Mission at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She has been chosen as well to carry the Olympic torch in Dublin in the lead-up to the Games.

A former 4-time NCAA champion while at Villanova, Sonia O'Sullivan competed for Ireland in four Olympic Games (1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens), winning a silver medal over 5000 meters in 2000. She was twice the World Champion in Cross Country, performing the rare long- and short-course double in Marrakesh in 1998. Sonia was also a World Champion on the track, winning the 5000 meters in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1995. She was a three-time European Champion over 3000 (1994), 5000 (1998), and 10,000 (1998) meters, and won European silver two additional times. She was runner-up over 3000 meters at the 1997 World Indoor Championships. At Villanova, Sonia won two NCAA cross country individual titles, in 1991 and 1992, and two 3000 meter NCAA crowns in 1990. She set world records over 2000 and 5000i meters.

O'Sullivan chosen to carry Olympic Torch in Dublin
Wednesday, 28 March 2012

By David Gold

March 28 - Sonia O'Sullivan, the country's most successful distance runner, will carry the Olympic Torch in Dublin on June 6, it has been announced.

O'Sullivan, the Sydney 2000 Olympic 5,000 metres silver medallist and the 1995 world champion, is among the country's most high-profile sports figures and will be Ireland's Chef de Mission at London 2012.

"She is our Chef to Mission for London, an iconic athlete, and fully entitled to it," said Patrick Hickey, the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

The historic Dublin part of the route will take in Croke Park, the Garden of Remembrance and Eden Quay, also crossing the Samuel Beckett Bridge on its journey to Mansion House in Dawson Street for midday, where there will be a ceremony with the 40 Torchbearers.

The Torch arrives in Dublin the day after being in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and marks a deviation from International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules limiting the Torch Relay to the host country of the Olympic Games, after London 2012 were successful in winning special permission to show the heritage and sporting ambitions of Ireland.

It had already been announced that Wayne McCullough, the 1992 Olympic bantamweight silver medallist who went on to win the world title, will be handing over to Michael Carruth, the 1992 Olympic welterweight champion, at the Border.

Mark KenneallyMark Kenneally (pictured), the first Irishman to qualify for London 2012, will represent Trinity College Dublin, along with Natalya Coyle, a student of business, economics and social studies, and Áine Ní Choisdealbha, studying for a masters degree in neuroscience and a social justice campaigner.

Choisdealbha has also been involved in a programme providing tuition to disadvantaged children in Dublin and was last year awarded a Trinity Gold Medal for her academic results.

Kenneally, 30, said: "This is a huge honour for me to be given this opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame in my own home town.

"Having qualified for the Olympics it is an extra special year for me participating in the Olympic Torch Relay."

Kenneally, a member of Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club, qualified for the Olympics last October when he ran 2 hours 13min 55sec, more than a minute inside the A-standard for the Games, at the Amsterdam marathon.

The reigning 10,000m national champion, Kenneally has also represented his country at the European and World Cross Country Championships.

Coyle, meanwhile, is combining her studies with being the world number 43 in modern pentathlon and is on course to qualify for London 2012.

The trio were selected as part of a programme run by worldwide Olympic sponsor Samsung – also a presenting partner of the Torch Relay – and are among 40 who will carry the Torch through Dublin.

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity's vice-provost for global relations, said: "Our selected students are excellent ambassadors for the college and role models for young people.

"It is appropriate that they should carry the Olympic Flame on the world stage on behalf of Trinity and Ireland, in recognition of their civic engagement and achievement in sports and studies."

The full list of Torchbearers is due to be announced on Friday (March 30).

The flame is travelling through more than 1,000 cities and towns in the United Kingdom and Ireland after it is flown to Cornwall on May 18 from Greece, on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 on July 27.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kieran Brennan (Pearl River, NY) Commits to Villanova

Pearl River, NY's Kieran Brennan has committed to run for Villanova, according to DyeStat/ESPN. Brennan was 6th in the 800 meters (1:52.95 PR) at the New Balance Indoor Nationals earlier this month. During the just completed 2012 indoor season, Brennan owned the USA prep #8 time over 800 meters (the aforementioned 1:52.95), and the USA prep #11 time (2:28.80) in the 1000 meters.

Kieran Brennan PRs
400 meters 52.34
800 meters 1:52.95
1000 meters 2:28.80
1600 meters 4:26.60
3200 meters 10:03.60
3 miles 15:57.77

Brennan's Mile Split page is HERE.

Brennan's DyeStat page is HERE.

Here is a recent article about Kieran from local media in Pearl River, New York:

Brennan Breaks Records On Way To Sectionals

Senior Kieran Brennan has been a part of multiple school records this year

By Adam Littman
February 15, 2012

For Kieran Brennan, 2012 is a year of big races.

The senior at Pearl River High School has already been a part of multiple school records during the winter track season. But in addition to that, his favorite class this year is government and politics, party because he’s trying to follow this year’s presidential race.

“It’ll be the first time I can vote for president,” he said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Of course, that won’t be until November, and by then, Brennan will be at college. He said he hasn’t decided where he’s going yet nor does he know if he’ll run track in college.

But before all that, Brennan is trying to get to the state championships, which being March 3 at Cornell. His next step there is 4:30 p.m. today, when he will compete in the Section 1 Class B Track and Field Championships at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York City .

Brennan has run for Pearl River’s cross country team all four years of high school, but only a few years ago decided to run year-round and participate in winter track as well. His coaches have noticed a difference.

“To be honest, I never realized how naturally fast he was,” said Mike Kiernan, Pearl River boys cross country coach. “He has tremendous leg speed. Over the past two years, he has become stronger from the mileage he has put on his body and the workouts he has done. He has the ability to do much more in workouts now than he could even just a year ago.”

Brennan said part of the reason he wanted to go the full year was because he was getting disappointed in his cross country times and wanted to improve. So far it seems to be working for Brennan.

Brennan set the school record in the 1000-meter run at the Rockland County Championships Jan. 29. He finished first overall in the race as well. His time of 2:32 beat the previous record by about a second, which Brennan set last year as well.

At the county championships, Brennan also finished third in the 300-meter dash.

Brennan was part of another school record on Feb. 4 as a member of Pearl River’s 4x800 relay team, which destroyed the previous record by 16 seconds at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. It was the second fastest time in Rockland County history. Brennan set the record along with Tom Bonaro, Brenden Bateman and Stephen McNiff.

“That combination of strength that he has developed and natural speed has made him a threat at varying race distances,” Kiernan said. “You do not see many kids with the range that he possesses.”

Last month, Brennan was named Pearl River’s top male senior athlete for the fall season by a committee that chooses the top male and female athletes for each season.

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I thought I had a good season, but really wasn’t expecting to win an award or anything for it.”

Pearl River boys track Coach Gilbert Hawkins said one of Brennan’s most admirable qualities as an athlete is his ability to run through pain, which Hawkins said Brennan does better than anyone he’s ever coached.

"(Sometimes after races, it looks like) Kieran is close to death," Hawkins said. "He becomes physically ill."

At the Dartmouth Relays, Brennan broke the school record in the 600-meter run, Hawkins said, and was sick for two hours. Hawkins had to wake him up so he could run in the 4x800 relay, which Pearl River won.

“To know that you are going to experience that much pain after a race and still go to the starting line to do it all over again takes an incredible amount of courage and strength,” Hawkins said. “Every time he races he gets stronger and braver. He has grown to be a man and I feel sorry for anyone who has to race him.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blincoe has July 8th Deadline to Show Competitive Form
New Zealand Olympic Committee Wants a Show of Fitness

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named its first four team members for the 2012 Olympics in London. Nick Willis (1500 meters), Kim Smith (marathon), Valerie Adams (shot), and Stuart Farquhar (javelin) have been named, identified by the NZOC as medal contenders. Villanova's own Adrian Blincoe, New Zealand's national record holder at 5000 meters (13:10.19) has already achieved the Olympic "A" standard, having run 13:18.27 last year. The NZOC identified Blincoe and 3 others as needing to show top form in competition by July 8th to assure themselves a spot on the team. Recall as well that Nick Willis is talking seriously of a 1500-5000 double in London (Willis does not as yet have the Olympic "A" standard at 5000 meters, but is optimistic that he can run under 13:10). Here's the story from

Initial NZ Athletics Olympic team named

Four athletes have been named today by the New Zealand Olympic Committee as part of an initial athletics team to represent New Zealand at the London Olympic Games. Valerie Adams (shotput), Nick Willis (1500m), Kimberly Smith (marathon) and Stuart Farquhar (javelin) are all in strong contention to contribute to New Zealand’s 100th Olympic medal at London 2012.

Overnight results from Europe means an additional athlete is expected to join this group within days. 50km race walker Quentin Rew from Wellington (27) met the IAAF ‘A’ standard at a race meet in Dundince, Slovenia with a time of 3hr58m48s. This result was eleven seconds inside the standard. The New Zealand Olympic Committee expects to receive his nomination for selection this week.

Athletics selectors also named an additional group of athletes at the announcement today which includes Shotput Junior World Champion Jacko Gill, Commonwealth Games silver medal winning decathlete Brent Newdick, distance runner Adrian Blincoe and Commonwealth Games 800m and 1500m silver medallist Nikki Hamblin. These athletes have met selection standards while either current form or competition for their single B-category spots in the Olympic team stands in the way of formal selection until the qualification period ends on July 8.

New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General and selector Kereyn Smith said she was delighted to have named the first members of the London Olympic athletics team.

“Adams, Willis, Smith and Farquhar are all realistic medal prospects and will contribute to not only New Zealand’s London medal count, but also to New Zealand’s proud athletics history,” she said.

“This morning’s news about Quentin was a great boost and takes us back to Kiwi Norman Read winning gold in the gruelling 50km walk at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

It’s also fantastic to have such a talented group of athletes in Brent, Nikki, Adrian and Jacko so close to both nomination and selection. We’ll be monitoring their progress as London 2012 approaches,” Smith added.

Adams currently holds the Olympic, World and World Indoor titles and is gunning for a repeat of her Beijing 2008 performance in London. Beijing Silver Medallist Nick Willis is ranked world number seven in the 1500m and is considering a late-season attempt at qualifying for the 5000m. Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stuart Farquhar’s official rankings put him at 17th while Smith, who finished sixth in the New York Marathon last year, sits at 28th on performance alone but is capable of placing much higher.

Rew’s overnight quest to meet the ‘A’ standard saw him finish ninth in the field. He placed 24th at the 2011 Athletics World Championships in Daegu, Korea. Daegu was his first major international meet.

Convenor of Athletics New Zealand selectors Graham O’Brien said it was tough on the athletes who had met selection standards but could not yet be named. “With just one B-category athlete permitted per country, the Athletics NZ selectors did not believe it fair to close off selection with still more than 100 days to games time.”

Both Gill and Newdick are fending off competition for their single B-category spots. Timaru shot-putter Tom Walsh is getting close to meeting the selection criteria with his best throw of 18.83 metres 1.47 metres off the standard. Decathlete Scott McLaren remains several hundred points off the selection standard but is committed to staying in the hunt for a spot.

Hamblin and Blincoe, while both meeting IAAF ‘A’ qualification standards, need to prove current form as stipulated New Zealand Olympic Committee selection criteria, developed in conjunction with Athletics New Zealand. Hamblin is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and Blincoe is awaiting the start of the US season in May.

Rew’s nomination to the New Zealand Olympic Committee would be confirmed and actioned by Athletics NZ as soon as possible.

Athletics NZ also said that in the countdown to the opening of the Olympic Games in London, a number of additional athletes may yet have their names submitted to the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

“There is a strong pool of talent sitting just outside the New Zealand Olympic Committee selection criteria,” said O’Brien. “There’s an exciting race for a spot in women’s heptathlon between Sarah Cowley, Rebecca Wardell and Veronica Torr and there is a chance our women’s 1500m may have an additional entry with Lucy Van Dalen taking the NCAA indoor championships recently.

“Kenya-based Jake Robertson is working hard towards a 5000m spot and hurdler Andrea Miller has recovered from a spinal injury and will be back racing again this month in Europe.”

Athletics is currently New Zealand’s top medal-performing sport having won 20 Olympic medals (nine gold, two silver, nine bronze), including our first medal won at the London Olympic Games in 1908 (Harry Kerr, bronze, 3500m track walk).

The announcements were made on the final day of the New Zealand Track and Field Championships held at Douglas Track and Field, The Trusts Stadium, Waitakere.
Athletics New Zealand selectors will consider the case of athletes who meet the IAAF ‘A’ Standard immediately. The New Zealand Athletics Team for the Olympic Games qualification cut-off date of July 8 2012.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cats Open Outdoor Season at Penn's Big Five Invitational

The Villanova men and women shook off some cobwebs and kicked off the 2012 outdoor season yesterday at Franklin Field. The Big 5 Invitational also marked the return to competition for Sheila Reid, who was out of collegiate eligibility for the indoor season. Reid won both the 800 meters (2:09.74) and 1500 meters (4:23.12), well off her PRs of 2:06.36 and 4:11.85, respectively, but a good way to get the season off to a start. Both times were Big East outdoor championship qualifiers.

Here is a list of those gaining qualifiers for the conference meet:

Big East Qualifiers -- Women
1. Sheila Reid: 800 meters (1st, 2:09.74)
2. Sheila Reid: 1500 meters (1st, 4:23.12)
3. Nicky Akande: 800 meters (2nd, 2:10.61 PR)
4. Nicky Akande: 1500 meters (4th, 4:32.58 PR)
5. Ariann Neutts: 1500 meters (2nd, 4:40.90)
6. Stephanie Schappert: 800 meters (3rd, 2:12.28)
7. Stephanie Schappert: 1500 meters (3rd, 4:31.54 PR)
8. Emerald Walden: 400 hurdles (1st, 14.39)
9. Samantha Yeats: high jump (1st, 1.75 meters)
10. Kathleen McPhillips: pole vault (2nd, 3.65 meters)
11. Samantha Francis: triple jump (1st, 11.76 meters)
12. Julia Arduini: javelin (1st, 43.67 meters)
13. Jamie Klein: javelin (2nd, 43.05 meters)

Big East Qualifiers -- Men
1. Carlton Bowers: 400 meters (1st, 48.81)
2. Nicoy Hines: 400 hurdles (2nd, 53.75)
3. Frank Anuszewski: hammer (1st, 55.85 meters)

Full results are available HERE.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nick Willis Again a Threat to Adrian Blincoe

Adrian Blincoe has been the preeminent 5000 meter man for New Zealand for several years. He owns the National Record of 13:10.19, set in July 2008, and has been the sole New Zealand representative at that distance in several international competitions, including the Olympics, World Championships, and Commonwealth Games. He ran as fast as 13:18.27 last July in Barcelona, to qualify for Worlds, and has his eyes focused on representing his homeland at the London Olympics this summer. Blincoe started at Villanova primarily as a 1500/mile competitor (establishing PRs of 3:35.50 and 3:54.40 in 2005 and 2003, respectively), making an NCAA final at that distance against the likes of Alan Webb.

In that capacity Blincoe ran up against a rising fellow Kiwi Nick Willis, who competed collegiately at Michigan (see Blincoe's NCAA winning DMR anchor against Willis and others, left) and who went on to set impressive mile/1500 PRs of 3:50.66 and 3:31.79 in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Willis owns the New Zealand National Record over 1500 meters and won an Olympic silver medal in the 1500 at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Blincoe's natural talent over longer distances pushed him to specialize in the 5000 meters, to great effect.

However, as detailed below in an article from the New Zealand Herald, Willis intends to compete at both the 1500 and 5000 meters this year, with the goal of running both events at the summer Olympics. Does Willis' decision to move up in distance threaten Blincoe's chances to make another Olympic team? While Willis' current PR at 5000 meters is 13:27.54 (from 2005), and he won the New Zealand 5000 meters title recently in 13:52.29, Willis seems to think (see below) that Blincoe's New Zealand National Record of 13:10.19 is rather soft. With "good healthy training," he believes he can run under 13:10.

As the Olympics draw near, and the national spots are decided, getting the "A" standard (which Blincoe currently has thanks to his 13:18.27 last year), and showing good fitness in races over the next few months will be the key.

Athletics: Willis eases to 5000m title
By Michael Brown
March 24, 2012

Nick Willis can virtually count the number of 5000m races he's competed in on one hand but that number could stack up more quickly if he enjoys continued success in the event.

The Olympic 1500m silver medallist is considering doubling up and racing both the 1500m and 5000m at London. He won't, however, do it if even the smallest injury flares in training but things are going so well he's bullish about his prospects.

Tonight he defended his 5000m title at the New Zealand track and field championships in Waitakere, dominating a field that also contained his American training partner and Olympic hopeful Will Leer.

The pair were joined by two other runners in a breakaway as early as 200m into the race but cleared out with six laps to go. Willis then scooted ahead with three laps remaining and won in a time of 13 minutes, 54.29 seconds, with Leer 11 seconds behind in second.

He would need to carve more than 30 seconds off that time to qualify for London but, given he is in a high training block and had already run 150km this week and went for 25km runs on both Tuesday and Wednesday, doesn't think it would be a problem.

"I think [I have run] only five or six [5000m events] in my life but only really one at a full crack at it back in 2005 at the university champs in the States when I finished third in 13:27. If I could run 13:27 sevens years ago, and that was on a hot day without pacemakers, it shouldn't be a problem [to qualify] but we will have to wait and see."

"I know I should be able to run under 13:10 for the 5k given good healthy training. It's just a matter of being able to do that. It's much easier said than done."

It's why he won't take any risks. The 1500m remains the priority but he's he's keen to expand his programme and believes racing the 5000m at London would give him options as well as be good experience with Rio de Janeiro 2016 in mind.

Willis was the headline act on the first day of the national championships that also features a number of other Olympic hopefuls.

Monique Williams took her first tentative step back in competition after a troubling plantar fascia injury in winning the 100m. She did it by the narrowest of margins, clocking the same time of 11.95 seconds as Auckland's Rochelle Coster, but it was a good result considering she returned to training only last week.

She is targeting the 200m in London, and would need to run quicker than 23 seconds to do that, but believes the layoff might work in her favour.

"I could time it perfectly by getting the qualifying time in late June and then go into the Olympics in form," she said. "In a way, if it works out, it could be really good."

It didn't end as well for three-time defending champion Carl Van Der Speck in the men's 100m as he had to settle for third behind Joseph Millar (10.36s) and Isaac Tatoa.

Heptathlete Sarah Cowley won the women's long jump with a distance of 5.74m and will also compete in the shot put and javelin as well as 4x100m and 4x400m women's relays. She needs to add another 92 points to her personal best in the heptathlon to qualify for London and will attempt to do that at events in Austria in May and Germany in June.

Most attention tomorrow will focus on Nikki Hamblin, who has already qualified for London in the 1500m but needs to convince selectors she is over her Achilles injuries. Jacko Gill will compete in the under-20 shot put and Liz Lamb will contest the high jump.

Eamonn Coghlan Wins World Championship at 5000 meters

Obviously best known as a miler, Eamonn Coghlan's world title was won over 5000 meters in 1983. Wearing the green vest of Ireland, Coghlan was at the time the reigning world record holder in the indoor mile -- no one could cope with his finishing speed at the end of this race. Coghlan wrote later that he was primarily worried about Germany's Thomas Wessinghage, the reigning European 5000 meter champion, and he stayed with Wessinghage until the penultimate lap. As the incomparable Adrian Metcalfe declares at the end, "Coghlan got it all right."

Despite Signs to the Contrary, Carrie Tollefson Not Retired?

Notwithstanding her utter absence from competitive racing for at least two years, former Villanova all-american and 2004 US Olympian at 1500 meters Carrie Tollefson claims (or should it be "hopes"?) that she's still got some juice left. She'll try to get the 15:50 "B" standard for the Olympic Trials 5000 meters at the Peyton Jordan meet at Stanford later this spring. This interview from Runner's World, though, reveals the pulls and tugs of motherhood and career in the life of a professional runner. There's a sense of denial in many of Carrie's comments, though, and the Peyton Jordan meet will tell us a lot about Carrie's future on the track.

To see the Runner's World Q&A with Carrie, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Main Liners Among Top Finishers at Haddonfield 5K

Two dozen runners broke 16:00 at the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5K in Jersey on Saturday, March 17th. Among them were some familiar names to the Villanova and Haverford community. Among the Villanova alums, Tom Parlapiano was 9th in 15:35 and Marc Pelerin was 20th in 15:46. Greg Bielecki, former all-american at Haverford and now coaching at LaSalle College High School, finished 6th in 15:20. Mike McKeeman, a former North Penn high school and UNC runner who boasts a 1:05.59 half marathon PR, won the race in 14:51.

Full results are HERE. The top 30 finishers are listed below.


"Don't Quit, Damn It!"
Liquori vs Keino, 1970

This 1970 Martin Luther King Freedom Games 1500 meter race took place one year prior to Liquori's famous "Dream Mile" race against Jim Ryun in the 1971 version of this event. Here, Liquori is running on his home track at Villanova against the reigning Olympic 1500 meter champion, Kip Keino. This race stands as one of the most controversial races of the 1970s because of the dispute between (1) those who believe that Kip Keino purposely slowed down to let Liquori win on his own track (Keino allegedly told track photographer Jeff Johnson -- who took the photo above -- that it would have been "unsportsmanlike" under the circumstances to beat Liquori) and (2) those who argue that Keino went out too fast (1:56.6 through 800 meters) and -- not very fit at the time -- cratered over the final 200 meters, and lost to Liquori "fair and square." When Liquori passed Keino (who was practically standing still) he shouted at the Olympic gold medalist: "Don't quit, damn it!"

Here is the video of the race -- you decide which school of thought is correct.

By the way, three additional bits: (1) Kip Keino's son Kippy later ran at Villanova. (2) That's Donal Walsh on the infield in the photo above. (3) This is the first Villanova race I ever eye-witnessed live, at the age of 12.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Curtis 22nd at NYC Half Marathon in 1:03:05

Running off a shallow base due to injury in December and January, Bobby Curtis ran 1:03:05 (1:13 off his PR of 1:01:52) today at the New York City Half Marathon. He ran at 4:49 pace. He finished in 22nd place and as 5th American (no American finished among the top dozen finishers). The lead runners went through 5K in a blistering 13:34 and hit the 10K mark in 28:02. Curtis' 5K and 10K splits were 14:21 and 29:30, respectively.

1. Kirui Peter Cheruiyot M24 KEN 0:59:39
2. Merga Deriba M29 ETH 0:59:48
3. Lilesa Feyisa M22 ETH 1:00:45
4. Korir Wesley M29 KEN 1:01:19
5. Chelanga Sam M27 KEN 1:01:19
6. Chelimo Kevin M29 KEN 1:01:21
7. Thompson Chris M30 GBR 1:01:23
8. Overall Scott M29 GBR 1:01:25
9. Gomes Marilson M34 BRA 1:01:26
10. Shelley Michael M28 AUS 1:01:27
11. Tabor Nebsi Mengsti M34 ETH 1:01:31
12. Annani Adil M31 MAR 1:01:31
13. Keflezighi Meb M36 USA 1:01:41
14. Shitara Yuta M20 JPN 1:01:48
15. Ritzenhein Dathan M29 USA 1:01:52
16. Bauhs Scott M25 USA 1:02:44
17. St Lawrence Ben M30 AUS 1:02:51
18. Moran Ed M30 USA 1:02:51
19. Mellor Jonny M25 GBR 1:02:59
20. Nigusse Ketema M31 ETH 1:02:59
21. Biwott Shadrack Kiptoo M27 KEN 1:03:01
22. Curtis Bobby M27 USA 1:03:05
23. Birmingham Collis M27 AUS 1:03:10
24. Assefa Dube Tesfaye M28 ETH 1:03:13
25. Otsu Kento M20 JPN 1:03:15
26. Watson Rob M28 CAN 1:03:29
27. Bouramdane Abderrahime M34 MAR 1:04:28
28. Gutierrez Jason M27 COL 1:04:39
29. Adugna Kumsa M25 ETH 1:05:23
30. Lemma Fikadu M28 ETH 1:05:24

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eire's Greatest Hits

On St. Patrick's Day, we remember the great Irish runners who have made Villanova their home. Four of the five Irish greats pictured above -- Ronnie Delany, Eamonn Coghlan, Sonia O'Sullivan, and Marcus O'Sullivan -- helped make the Villanova track program one of the best in the USA and well known and respected in Ireland. By latest count, 27 Irish men and women have worn Villanova singlets and brought glory to the school. Twelve were Olympians, three won seven World Championships among them, and six set world records. Here is a list of those individuals who composed Villanova's "Irish Pipeline":

Jimmy Reardon ('53)
Cummin Clancy ('53)
John Joe Barry ('53)
Ron Delany ('58)
Noel Carroll ('65)
Ian Hamilton ('68)
Frank Murphy ('69)
Des McCormack ('70)
Donal Walsh ('72)
John Hartnett ('74)
Tom Gregan ('75)
Eamonn Coghlan ('76)
John Hunter ('81)
Brian O'Keefe ('84)
Marcus O'Sullivan ('84)
Anthony O'Reilly ('86)
Gerry O'Reilly ('87)
Sean O'Neill ('87)
Olive Burke ('88)
Eamonn Coghlan
Paul O'Regan ('90)
Aidan O'Regan ('91)
Sonia O'Sullivan ('91)
Emer Malloy ('95)
Ken Nason ('95)
Paul Carroll ('99)
Geraldine McCarthy ('01)
Richard Corcoran ('08)

Sonia O'Sullivan

Marcus O'Sullivan

Friday, March 16, 2012

Schappert, Koons, Muncan & Tully Benefit from Gagliano's NJ-NYTC

Frances Koons, Nicole Schappert, Marina Muncan and Sean Tully are all affiliated with former Georgetown (and Oregon Track Club) coach Frank "Gags" Gagliano's New Jersey-New York Track club. The Wall Street Journal today published this expose of Gagliano and the NJNYTC (visit the club's website HERE).

The Wall Street Journal
March 16, 2012, 8:58 p.m. ET

Coaching Icon Readies Another Olympic Run

Frank Gagliano knows everything you could want to know about running a great mile. But this Sunday he'll watch his protégé Julie Culley run 13.1 miles in the New York City Half Marathon—a first for both of them.

Gagliano, known affectionately as "Gags," heads the Olympic-development New Jersey-New York Track Club in Piscataway, N.J., and his bona fides since he started coaching over 50 years ago are impressive: 11 Olympians, one world championship medalist, and dozens of national and NCAA medalists.

"Some people like golf, some people take off to Florida," he said. "I like clicking my stopwatch."

Culley, who is the reigning U.S. 5k road champion, is one of Gagliano's best prospects for this summer's London Games. The half-marathon will be an experiment before Culley attempts to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team in the 5,000 meters this summer.

The Bronx-born Gagliano, who turns 75 Tuesday, was training Olympic hopefuls in Oregon in 2008 when his daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After the Beijing Games, he decided it was time to retire and move back East to be with his family.

Not long after he settled in Westchester, however, Erin Donahue, a New Jersey-based Olympian, called and asked Gagliano to coach her. He accepted.

News that he was working again galvanized the local running scene, and by last summer the 25-member New Jersey-New York group was meeting regularly at the Rutgers University track.

For the most part, the team consists of recent college graduates hoping to break into the top tier of American athletics—Gagliano's specialty.

"Nobody has had more continued success with mid-distance and distance runners beyond college than Gags," said Vin Lananna, the associate director of athletics at the University of Oregon and the co-founder, along with Gagliano, of the elite development Oregon Track Club.

Describing the current scene in American track and field, Lananna added, "No country in the world has something quite as established, funded, and organized as our high schools and colleges, but afterwards there's this big void." That's where Gagliano's club steps in.

Elite development track clubs tend to come and go in the U.S., but the NJ-NYTC has already spawned four world championships qualifiers. The group, now a non-profit, is the only such organization on the east coast to receive funding from the USA Track & Field Foundation and the New York Road Runners.

The sponsorship of Gagliano's cohort marks the first time the NYRR, which also produces this weekend's NYC half marathon, has endorsed a local group with Olympic potential. "Nothing makes us happier than to have such talent here," said Mary Wittenberg, the NYRR CEO.

Most of the team members have family or collegiate ties to this area, but all describe Gagliano as having a paternal presence in their coaching. "I remember one day at practice when I tried running but couldn't and I started crying," said Nicole Schappert, a former Villanova standout, describing the challenge of returning from a stress fracture last fall. "Instead of telling me to 'suck it up,' Gags put his arm around me." Two months later, Schappert ran the fastest indoor mile of the year by an American woman.

At the track earlier this week, neither Culley nor Gagliano appeared daunted by the half-marathon. Culley said she's hoping to finish in less than 1 hour, 12 minutes, though her coach emphasized preparing her for what's next: "Afterward, it's back to the track to get the 15:20 for the trials."

Referring to the Olympic qualifying standard for the 5,000 meters. Culley's current personal best? 15:21.

Even at 75, Gagliano is still looking out for the next generation of runners. He won't name names, but he's working on a short list of collegians to invite to NJ-NYTC. And if there's any doubt about his mental fortitude, his humor is as sharp as ever. Asking for her workout assignment at practice, one runner called out to Gagliano, "What am I doing today, Coach?"

"Running," he said.

Previewing the NYC Half-Marathon
Can Bobby Curtis Mix It Up with the World's Best?

Here is some excellent in-depth coverage from of the men's field at Sunday's New York City Half Marathon. Bobby Curtis brings a 1:01.52 PR from 2011 to the race, with his eyes on the upcoming USA Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters (Curtis is the 7th fastest native born American ever at that distance, 27:24.68).'s Preview Of The 2012 NYC Half Marathon

March 16, 2012

A few weeks ago, we referred to the 2012 NYC Half as the "London" of the half marathons. What we meant is the race is so full of names, it reminds us of the London marathon each spring - it seems like everyone is there.

While the New York race organizers may not like us using the term "London" as an adjective, we hope they forgive us, as we meant it as the ultimate of compliments.

The race really does have a lot of recognizable names from throughout the globe in it.

We'll start our analysis with the men and begin by presenting you three sets of names - one set that is based in North America, one set that is based in Africa and one that is based in old Commonwealth - and then there is South America's Marilson Gomes dos Santos.

After each name, you will see where they are from, their half marathon and 10,000 PRs, and then a comment or two about them. Note, we present the runners in each group in order of how excited we are to see them run. For example, Dathan Ritzenhein ("Ritz") is our #1 attraction as we want to see how he looks after finishing 4th at the OTrials marathon. Even though Meb Keflezighi ("Meb") handily beat Ritz at the Trials, Meb's only the sixth American we most want to see in this race, as it means next to little for him or his Olympic chances. He has nothing to prove here.

The North American Based Runners

Dathan Ritzenhein - USA - (60:00 PR, 27:22.28 10,000 PR, 2:09:55 at Trials in Houston) - How will Ritz look in his first race back after finishing 4th at the Olympic Trials Marathon?

Bobby Curtis - USA - (1:01:52 PR, 27:24.68 10,000 PR - 2012 opener) - Can Curtis mix it up with some of the world's best? Good form here means he's likely to make the US Olympic team at 10,000 as he's one of just 4 with the "A"' standard.

Scott Bauhs - USA - (61:30, 27:48.06 10,000 PR, 61:30 half in Houston in January) - Looked good in January, can Bauhs beat many of the top Americans? Good form here means he'll have a shot for the US team at 10,000 later this summer.

Sam Chelanga - KEN - (63:41, 27:08.39 10,000 PR - 7:50 3k in February) - The NCAA 10,000-meter record holder is likely a future US Olympian, how does his 10,000 track success translate to the roads?

Ed Moran - USA - (debut, 27:43.13 10,000 PR, 29:49 10k on roads at World's Best 10k on Feb. 26th) - His marathon debut in November in NYC of 2:11:49 was a smashing success. How will he fare in his return to NYC?

Meb Keflezighi - USA - (61:00, 27:13.98 10,000 PR - 2:09:08 Marathon Trials win in Houston). - Meb loves New York, but given the fact he won the Trials, we aren't expecting much here as he doesn't need to be in shape right now.

Wesley Korir - KEN - (62:30, 29:06.83 10,000 PR, 2:06:15 marathon PR - 2012 opener) - The runner-up at the 2011 Bank of American Chicago Marathon seems to be a true marathoner. Can he proves us wrong by excelling at 13.1?

Eric Gillis - CAN - (63:34, 28:07.19 10,000 PR, 2:11:28 marathon PR - 2012 opener) - His 13.1 best should be faster given his marathon time.

African Based Runners

Peter Kirui - KEN - (59:40 PR, 27:25.63 10,000 PR - 2012 opener) - We are very excited to see what the 2011 Kenyan 10,000 champ (6th at Worlds, 1 spot ahead of Galen Rupp) who also ran 59:40 and 2:06:31 in 2011 looks like in New York and what he says about his plans for the rest of the year. Will he shoot for the Olympic 10,000?

Feyisa Lelisa - ETH - (59:22, 27:46.97 10,000 PR - 59:22 in Houston in January, 61:52 in February)- The 2011 IAAF World Championships Marathon bronze medallist looked great in January but struggled in February. What form will he be in here?

Deriba Merga - ETH - (59:15, 27:02.62 10,000 PR, 2:06:38 - 2012 opener) - The 2009 Boston Marathon champion is a threat to win if he's on. He likes to race. It's a bit odd he hasn't finished a race so far in 2012.

Abderrahime Bouramdane - MOR - (62:40, 2:07:33 marathon PR - 2012 opener) - 4th at World Champs in 2011 at 26.2.

South America's Best

Marilson Gomes dos Santos (59:33 pb, 27:28.12 10,000 pb, 61:46 2nd place showing in Brazil two weeks ago). Two-time ING New York City marathon champ.

From The Commonwealth

Chris Thompson - GBR - (debut, 27:27.36 10,000 PR - 7:48 and 13:29 indoors this year) - In good form so far this year.

Ben St. Lawrence - AUS - (debut, 27:24.95 10,000 PR - 13:24 in Feb, 13:48 in March) - Didn't run very well earlier this month, how does he respond here?

Collis Birmingham - AUS - (65:46, 27:29.73 10,000 PR - 13:15 5,000 in Feb, 13:22 in March) - Already secured an Olympic berth earlier this year.

Michael Shelley - AUS - (62:10, 27:59.77 10,000 PR, 2012 opener) - 28-year-old ran 2:11 twice in the marathon last year.

And that list doesn't include two people from Japan. Toyo University stars Yuta Shitara (62:35 pb) and Kento Otsu (62:43). The NYRR certainly has gone to all corners of the globe to build an interesting field.

But who will win?

That is hard to answer. The problem when trying to handicap a half marathon is that a half most often isn't an athlete's main goal and thus you are sort of trying to handicap a race that in some ways is just a key stepping stone for a later race. Additionally, that later race may be in the near future (say, a spring marathon) or more distant future (Olympic 10,000 or US 10,000). Additionally, if the half marathon participant is a marathoner at heart, they very well may have run no other races so far this year and thus it's hard to judge their fitness.

Thankfully the NYRR likes to use it's half marathon to sort of give many top 10,000 runners a feel for a longer distance, the roads and New York as a sort of open house for the ING new York City marathon in case down the road one of the runners wants to move to the marathon. As a result, many of the entrants have run races in 2012. But if you really want to get up to date on people's form, you might want to watch tonight's broadcasts of NYRR Live at 8pm eastern where Olympian Todd Williams will hopefully have some insight on the top competitors.

In terms of winning this race, we'd say there really are just five contenders. The three African runners with pbs in the 59s - Peter Kirui of Kenya and Feyisa Lelisa and Deriba Merga of Ethiopia - and Dathan Ritzenhein - whose PR is almost in the 59s at 1 hour flat - as well as maybe Marilson Gomes dos Santos, who also has a pb under 1 hour (59:33) and has twice been top 10 at world's at 13.1.

When his career is over, it'll be interesting if people end up saying that the half marathon really was Ritz's ideal event. It seems perfectly suited for Ritz for a number of reasons. Unlike a 10,000, it's on the roads and features hills and what not, which suits Ritz, who is a former cross-country star. Additionally, it's not too far of a distance, as Ritz tends to bonk at the end of marathons.

Ritz almost ran the USA XC trials after missing out on the Olympic marathon team and he stated in a USA Today feature that he has been doing track workouts. So there is no doubt he's back at it after the Trials. But that doesn't mean he's by any stretch of the imagination he's ready to go 100%. The OTrials were just two months ago. As a result, we'd be very surprised if he won. It would be a long shot for Ritz to win if he was 100% sharp and we don't think he's 100%.

One guy who likely is in great form is Kenya's Peter Kirui. Kirui had a great 2011, as he ran 59:40 for the half, helped pace Patrick Makau to his world record, and then helped pace Wilson Kipsang to his 2:03:42 and then decided to finish that race in 2:06:31 (if you don't know Kirui, we recommend you read this NYRR Profile of him: Behind the Stats: Peter Kirui). We think Kirui is in good form as he's going to race a marathon for the first time in four weeks - Rotterdam.

Lelisa is going to be running London this spring, so he's likely in good form. We find it a bit odd that Merga hasn't raced so far this year as he loves to race and don't know what to expect from him. He's our wildcard. dos Santos, who has twice won the marathon in New York, ran a half-two weeks ago in 61:46 in his native Brazil. Fitness like that might get him top 5 but won't win.

If one of those four doesn't win, then maybe Sam Chelanga will a big surprise. He made a low key half-marathon debut in Boston in 1:03:41 last year. He'll have to do much better to be a factor here but he is the NCAA 10,000 record holder.

In addition to the winner, there is a lot to pay attention to. Ritz, Curtis, Bauhs, and Moran are four of the US's biggest Olympic hopefuls at 10,000 (plus a few absent people like prohibitive favorite Galen Rupp plus "A" qualifiers Matt Tegenkamp and Tim Nelson and the injured Chris Solinsky). Assuming Rupp makes it, there are only two spots left. Who's fitness gives them the inside track for that?

LRC Prediction: A Kenyan or Ethiopian wins. We're leaning towards Peter Kirui. We're very interested in seeing who ends up being the first American here. If it's not Ritz, there will be a lot to talk about after the race.

We're sure some of you will criticize us for taking the easy way out by saying a Kenyan or Ethiopian will win. We hate it win people talk about Kenyan or Ethiopian runners or even worse African runners as if they are not individuals. We did it here to make a point. For as loaded as the field is with 'names', it's by no means loaded in terms of Kenyan and Ethiopian talent. Saying a Kenyan or Ethiopian will win it means saying one of three guys will win it, Feyisa Lelisa, Peter Kirui, or Deriba Merga. For better or worse, one thing the NYRR does is try to make their fields full of interesting stories. Other half-marathons likely have more top-end talent as all you need to do is go to Iten, Kenya and get the 10 most in form guys. For example, last week 5 Kenyans broke 1 hour at the ABN-AMRO City-Pier-City Half Narathon.

With that in mind, perhaps we shouldn't call this the "London" of half-marathons. London is the best of the best. This race has a lot of top talent spread over the globe which by the way is what the Olympics does as well. So maybe it just makes since to call it the NYC Half Marathon. One thing we know for sure is it is a race we're really looking forward to and without a doubt the top half-marathon in the United States.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Interview with Angel Piccirillo after 2nd Place at Indoor Nationals

Here is an interview with Villanova signee Angel Piccirillo after she finished second in the mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, running 4:45. Piccirillo currently has the 3rd fastest mile time among US preps.

Click HERE for the video interview.

Here is a video of the race itself:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bobby Curtis Readies for New York City Half Marathon

Bobby Curtis is back on the roads this weekend, in his first big test after his winter racing season was hijacked by a foot injury. Since then, his race-conditions running has been relegated to rabbiting a 5000 meter race in Tasmania, Australia in early February. By all accounts, he's healthy and confident going into the race. Here's how the New York Road Runners describes Bobby Curtis on the eve of the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday.

Bobby Curtis

NYC Half Welcomes Bobby!

Appearing in his first NYC Half, Bobby Curtis is coming off a personal-best 1:01:53 at the 2011 ING Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon, where he placed ninth. He made his marathon debut in the ING New York City Marathon 2011, placing 15th with a 2:16:44. Curtis, 26, A former cross-country champion at Villanova University, won the NCAA 5000-meter track title in 2008. In 2011, he placed second in the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, and he was the top American finisher at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K (in 29:09).

To see the biographies of the men's elite field, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Video: Sam McEntee 4th at NCAA Indoor Mile Final

NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Finals - Mile

1) Chris O'Hare Tulsa 4:01.66
2) Rich Peters Boston University 4:01.78
3) Miles Batty BYU 4:01.86
4) Samuel McEntee Villanova 4:01.91
5) Andrew Bayer Indiana 4:02.13
6) Peter Callahan Princeton 4:02.66
7) Erik van Ingen Binghamton 4:02.70
8) Raul Botezan Oklahoma State 4:02.90
9) David McCarthy Providence 4:04.05
10) Kirubel Erassa Oklahoma State 4:04.36
11) Robby Creese Penn State 4:11.45

Man on a Mission: Brother Colm O'Connell
Hosted by Eamonn Coghlan

Fantastic documentary presented by former World Indoor Mile record holder, and 1983 World 5000m Champion, Eamonn Coghlan. Inspired to take up running by Kenya’s 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kip Keino, Coghlan travels to St. Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya, to meet Brother Colm O’Connell, an Irish Patrician missionary and former headmaster of the school. O’Connell was the man who coached Wilson Kipketer to a World Record in the 800m, and currently coaches the man who broke that World Record, David Rudisha, and former Commonwealth 5000m champion Augustine Choge, amongst others.

Coghlan wants to find out what it is about the Kenyan distance runners, and especially those living and training in Iten, which makes them produce so many world beaters. Through conversations with O’Connell, Rudisha, Keino, and his contemporary Mike Boit, Coghlan gives us a fascinating insight into the training practices, both mental and physical, which leave the Kenyan athletes a few steps ahead of the rest of the world. The video won the award for Irish Sports Programme of the Year at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Awards.

Presented by Eamonn Coghlan, Directed by Maurice Sweeney.
Video from jamieleedalton, hosted on Vimeo.

McEntee, Lipari and Ward Named All-Americans

Miler Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) was named Villanova's sole 1st Team All-American by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). McEntee finished 4th in the NCAA indoor championships in the mile, .25 seconds behind the NCAA champion from Tulsa. The complete list of All-Americans can be found HERE.

On the women's side, Emily Lipari (Greenvale, NY) and Shericka Ward (Leesburg, FL) were named 2nd Team All-Americans. Ward was a 60 meter hurdle finalist at the NCAA indoor nationals, while Lipari bowed out in the semi-finals of the mile.

Lagat vs Coghlan vs O'Sullivan in the Wanamaker Mile

John Desmond writes a wonderful blog on Irish running called "Running in Cork, Ireland." County Cork has produced a number of tremendous Villanova runners such as Sonia O'Sullivan, Marcus O'Sullivan, John Hartnett, Donal Walsh, Ken Nason, John Hunter, and Aidan O'Regan. In a recent post he compared the Wanamaker Mile victories of the three most prodigious milers in recent Millrose Games history: Bernard Lagat, Eamonn Coghlan, and Marcus O'Sullivan, the latter two being icons in Villanova running history. Here is a nice comparison of their mile prowess at Millrose.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jen Rhines Gearing Up for April Half Marathon in New York

Runner's World has a nice profile of Jen Rhines and her plans to run in the ninth annual More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon on April 15th in New York.

Go HERE for the details.

Piccirillo 2nd in Mile at New Balance Indoor Nationals

Villanova signee Angel Piccirillo (Homer Center, PA) broke the Armory facility record at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, but was bested by USA #1 miler Hannah Meier (Grosse Pointe, MI), who lowered her nation's best time by almost a second and broke Villanova's Emiliy Lipari's meet record from 2010. This race went according to script, at least according to the national performance list prior to the race. Hannah Meier was #1 and Piccirillo, at #3 nationally, was the next highest ranked miler. On Sunday, Piccirillo ran 4:45.05, less than a second off the Pennsylvania state record she ran on February 25th at the PA state meet. Piccirillo held off Syracuse-bound Brianna Nerud, who took third.

Event 10  Girls 1 Mile Run
National: N 4:38.50 3/17/1972 Debbie Heald, Neff, La Mira
Meet: M 4:42.64 3/14/2010 Emily Lipari, Roslyn, NY
Armory: A 4:46.11 1/7/2012 Samantha Nadel, North Shore
Freshman: F 4:40.10 3/16/1973 Mary Decker, Orange, CA
Sophomore: O 4:46.13 3/14/2004 Nicole Blood, Saratoga, NY
Junior: J 4:38.50 3/17/1972 Debbie Heald, Neff, La Mira
Senior: S 4:39.00 2/24/1978 Lynn Jennings, Bromfield, H
Name Year School Finals
1 Hannah Meier 13 Grosse Point 4:42.60M
2 Angel Piccirillo 12 Homer-Center Tc-Pa 4:45.05A
3 Brianna Nerud 12 North Shore Rc-Ny 4:45.29A
4 Megan Moye 12 Cosby Tc-Va 4:47.75
5 Alexis Panisse 12 Benjamin Car 4:48.36
6 Katie Fortner 14 Cave Spring Tc-Va 4:49.79
7 Carolyn Bethel 13 Hidden Valley Tc-Va 4:52.40
8 Maria Seykora 12 Academy of N 4:52.44
9 Ellie Gonzalez 14 Catholic Tc-Md 4:53.78
10 Audrey Batzel 12 Ocean Lakes Tc-Va 4:55.85
11 Anna Boyert 12 Medina Tc-Oh 4:56.12
12 Reagan Anderson 13 Adrenaline Tc-De 4:56.26
13 Catherine Maloy 13 Academy Of T 4:58.66
14 Haley Meier 13 Grosse Point 4:59.12
15 Samantha George 12 Una-Nc-Ralei 5:01.97
16 Sara Barron 12 Una-Mi-Oakla 5:05.92
17 Avery Evenson 13 Una-Mi-Howel 5:06.70

Recruit Caitlyn Bungo 12th at NB Indoor Nationals Two Mile

Villanova-bound Caitlin Bungo (Sewickley Academy, PA) finished 12th in a slow, sit-and-kick two mile at the New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory in New York City. The race included most of the nation's top 3000/3200 runners. Bungo came home ahead of several nationally ranked runners, such as Maryland's Maggie Mullins (USA #12 at 2 miles), Rhode Island's Paige Ethier (USA #28 at 2 miles), and Nikki Park of Virginia Beach, VA (USA #28 at 3200 meters).

Event 12  Girls 2 Mile Run
Section 1 at 9:00am; Section 2 at 12:16pm
National: N 9:55.92 3/10/1991 Melody Fairchild, Boulder,
Meet: M 9:56.85 3/13/2011 Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall, N
NSIC Meet: I 9:55.92 3/10/1991 Melody Fairchild, Boulder,
Armory: A 9:56.85 3/13/2011 Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall, N
Freshman: F 10:23.46 3/15/1998 Michelle Dela Vina, Andrea
Sophomore: O 10:25.07 3/14/1999 Sara Bei, MontgomerySantaR
Junior: J 10:11.55 3/13/2010 Aisling Cuffe, Cornwall, N
Name Year School Finals
1 Carmen Carlos 13 Una-Al-Mobil 10:25.30 9:49.73
2 Rachel Paul 12 Sachem Spike 10:25.82 9:50.05
3 Dana Giordano 12 Una-Nj-Berna 10:28.91 9:49.72
4 Bethanie Brown 13 Waterville Tc-Me 10:29.04 9:49.98
5 Julie McConville 13 Una-Ma-Hingh 10:36.36 9:53.85
6 Hannah Christen 14 Burke Tc-Va 10:36.40 9:59.24
7 Mackenzie Barry 14 Mendham Tc-Nj 10:38.24 9:53.75
8 Colette Richter 13 Una-Nj-Mount 10:38.87 9:59.11
9 Shelby Davidson 12 Holy Trinity 10:40.03 10:00.07
10 Rebecca Salter 13 Adrenaline Tc-De 10:42.03 9:59.50
11 Gianna Frontera 14 Una-Ny-Newbu 10:42.52 9:58.02
12 Caitlin Bungo 12 Sewickley Ac 10:47.43 10:07.96
13 Jackie Choucair 13 Metroplex St 10:48.14 10:06.07
14 Annika Gompers 14 Una-Ma-Newto 10:51.16 10:09.71
15 Sara Sargent 13 Three Amigos Tc-Pa 10:52.19 10:10.32
16 Maggie Mullins 12 Andover Tc-Ma 10:53.46 10:10.53
17 Kelsie Schwartz 14 Una-Mi-Gross 10:54.26 10:12.03
18 Jessica Donohue 13 North Shore Rc-Ny 10:54.84 10:07.95
19 Abby Seel 13 Una-Nj-Chester-Seel 11:00.11 10:14.16
20 Elizabeth Caldwell 13 North Shore Rc-Ny 11:02.30 10:19.44
21 Paige Ethier 12 South Kingst 11:02.60 10:19.66
22 Amy Darlington 12 Una-Pa-Bethl 11:12.60 10:26.86
23 Nikki Park 14 Ocean Lakes Tc-Va 11:13.19 10:27.37
24 Emily Waligurski 13 Boiceville Tc-Ny 11:27.25 10:39.06

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sam McEntee Comes 4th in Tight NCAA Mile Title Run

Sam McEntee closed fast over the final 400 meters to come from 7th to 4th, finishing a mere one-quarter of a second behind the NCAA indoor champion Chris O'Hare of Tulsa. McEntee (above photo, far left) was caught in traffic on the rail with 500 meters to go, and was only able to strike for home with 400 meters remaining. He had the fastest closing 400 time (54.95) of any of the competitors, but ran out of track to catch the remaining three runners. If the race had been 20 meters longer, he may have had enough space to surge to the lead. McEntee, only a sophomore, earns his first All-American certificate.

NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Finals - Mile

1) Chris O'Hare                    Tulsa                    4:01.66
2) Rich Peters                     Boston University        4:01.78
3) Miles Batty                     BYU                      4:01.86
4) Samuel McEntee                  Villanova                4:01.91
5) Andrew Bayer                    Indiana                  4:02.13
6) Peter Callahan                  Princeton                4:02.66
7) Erik van Ingen                  Binghamton               4:02.70
8) Raul Botezan                    Oklahoma State           4:02.90
9) David McCarthy                  Providence               4:04.05
10) Kirubel Erassa                 Oklahoma State           4:04.36
11) Robby Creese                   Penn State               4:11.45

Shericka Ward 7th at NCAA 60 Meter Hurdles Final

Shericka Ward ran right at her PR tonight in the 60 meter hurdle finals (8.151), and finished 7th, earning All-American honors. As the official Villanova Sports Information office story relates it, Ward and Jasmin Stowers of Louisiana State each had an official time of 8.16 and Ward finished seventh with a time that was three thousandths of a second faster. Her time at the finish line was 8.151 and was only one thousandth of a second away from officially being another personal best.

Last night in the preliminary heats of the 60 meter hurdles Ward had the seventh fastest time (8.16) out of 16 sprinters and she held that spot in tonight's finals. She was making her first individual appearance at the NCAA Championships indoors and is already a veteran of the outdoor meet.

Tonight's finish puts the wraps on a phenomenal indoor season for Ward, one which saw her set personal bests in the 60 meter hurdles on three separate occasions. Back in January she had a time of 8.25 at the Penn State National and established her top career time at the meet for the second time in as many years.

Just shy of a month later Ward was the individual runner-up at the BIG EAST Championships and received All-BIG EAST accolades for her efforts. Most recently, Ward was the 60 meter hurdles champion at the ECAC Championship last weekend. She had the top time through the preliminary and semifinal heats at the ECAC meet and then clocked in a personal best 8.18 in the finals to claim the crown.

Finals - 60 Meter Hurdles

1. Christina Manning Ohio State 7.91
2. Brianna Rollins Clemson 7.93
3. Bridgette Owens Clemson 8.03
4. Tiffany McReynolds Baylor 8.04
5. Jackie Coward UCF 8.14
6. Donique' Flemings Texas A&M 8.15
7. Shericka Ward Villanova 8.16 (8.151)
8. Jasmin Stowers LSU 8.16 (8.154)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ward (60H) Up and Lipari (Mile) Out in NCAA Prelims

Senior Shericka Ward ran another PR (8.16) in the 60 meter hurdles tonight, and qualified for the NCAA finals. Miler Emily Lipari ran in the back of the pack in her heat of the mile, and could not find her patented kick. She finished 7th, and failed to advance.


     Name                   Affiliation    Time       Heat(Pl)
1. Brianna Rollins Clemson 7.93 Q 2 (1)
2. Bridgette Owens Clemson 7.95 Q 2 (2)
3. Christina Manning Ohio State 7.98 Q 1 (1)
4. Jackie Coward UCF 8.02 q 1 (2)
5. Jasmin Stowers LSU 8.05 q 1 (3)
6. Tiffani McReynolds Baylor 8.10 q 2 (3)
7. Donique' Flemings Texas A&M 8.14 q 1 (4)
8. Shericka Ward Villanova 8.16 q 1 (5)
9. Sharika Nelvis Arkansas St 8.18 1 (6)
10. Katie Grimes Texas Tech 8.22 1 (7)
11. Shanekia Hall LSU 8.22 1 (8)
12. Breeana Coleman Illinois 8.23 2 (4)
13. Kierre Beckles So Carolina 8.24 2 (5)
14. Kendra Harrison Clemson 8.24 2 (6)
15. Ivanique Kemp Arkansas 8.27 2 (7)
16. Evonne Britton Penn State 8.40 2 (8)


Name Affiliation Time Qual
1. Lucy Van Dalen Stony Brook 4:40.29 Q
2. Morgane Gay Virginia 4:40.45 Q
3. Kristen Gillespie Arkansas 4:40.47 Q
4. Becca Friday Oregon 4:41.03 Q
5. Hannah Brooks Florida St 4:41.96 q
6. Shannon Osika Michigan 4:43.12 q
7. Emily Lipari Villanova 4:46.66
8. Josephine Moultrie New Mexico 4:49.56

McEntee Wins Mile Heat & Advances to NCAA Final

Sam McEntee won heat #1 (the slower of the two heats) today in the preliminary rounds of the men's mile. He automatically qualified for the NCAA finals.

Men's 1 Mile Run Prelim

Name School Time Heat (Place)
1. Miles Batty BYU 4:03.85 Q 2 (1)
2. Raul Botezan Oklahoma St 4:03.87 Q 2 (2)
3. Chris O'Hare Tulsa 4:04.24 Q 2 (3)
4. Andrew Bayer Indiana 4:04.69 Q 2 (4)
5. Robby Creese Penn State 4:04.89 q 2 (5)
6. Sam McEntee Villanova 4:06.47 Q 1 (1)
7. David McCarthy Providence 4:06.66 Q 1 (2)
8. Erik van Ingen Binghamton 4:06.81 Q 1 (3)
9. Peter Callahan Princeton 4:06.96 Q 1 (4)
10. Rich Peters Boston U. 4:07.22 q 1 (5)
11. Eric Harasyn Oklahoma 4:07.46 1 (6)
12. Matt Maldonado Long Beach St 4:07.60 1 (7)
13. Cory Leslie Ohio State 4:07.61 2 (6)
14. Kirubel Erassa Oklahoma St 4:09.65 1 (8)
15. Nick Happe Arizona St 4:13.18 2 (7)

Bryan Murphy: From Frosh Obscurity to Indoor Nationals in a Fortnight

As the story below details, Villanova freshman Bryan Murphy got his chance to run the 400 leg of the Villanova "B" team DMR at the Big East meet on February 18th on a fluke -- an injury knocked out a more senior 400 meter man and Murphy was plugged in. He ran well enough there (and Sam Ellison -- the original 400 man on the DMR "A" squad -- was running better than Chris FitzSimons at 800 meters) to move into the 400 meter slot when Ellison was moved to the 800 for the Alex Wilson last chance meet at Notre Dame on March 3rd. Murphy ran well again and the Villanova quartet qualified for the NCAA indoor national meet. Murphy had gone, then, in two week's time, from an obscure freshman to a key spot in a national championship relay race.

Bergen Quartet in NCAA Track and Field Championships

Friday, March 9, 2012
by Paul Schwartz
The Record

Chris Phipps knows what Stephen Mozia, Bryan Murphy and Patrick Rono are feeling like today.

A psychology major at the University of Nebraska, and a six-time All-American, the 2008 graduate of Lodi is preparing for his third visit to the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field championships at the same time Mozia, Murphy and Rono are readying for their first.

"I’ve learned a lot from my four years at Nebraska," said Phipps, who will compete at this evening’s long jump and Saturday’s triple jump at Boise State University in Nampa, Idaho. "I’m smarter, I’m more mature and I’ve grown up a lot. But being at a meet like this is always exciting."

Just 13 to 16 participants in each of 15 individual events and 12 teams in two relays qualify for the championship meet and Bergen County has a remarkable four men’s qualifiers in five events, including freshmen Mozia, Murphy and Rono, who were competing for their high schools at Hackensack, Teaneck and Lyndhurst, respectively, just last spring.

Mozia, who throws for Cornell, is the 12th seed in the shot put, and fresh off a victory in the IC4A championships last weekend, a meet where the Big Red took the team title.

"I can’t wait to compete," said Mozia, who had a remarkable throw of more than 62 feet with the 16-pound shot last month, nearly as far as the 62-11 that was his best mark with the 12-pound shot last winter.

He is seeded four spots ahead of Nick Vena, a freshman at Virginia, who dominated New Jersey high school throwing for four years at Morristown and beat Mozia by 14 feet at last year’s spring state Meet of Champions.

"I’m not thinking about him any more, as anything more than another thrower," Mozia said. "I’m trying to throw as far as I can, and beat as many people as I can."

For Murphy, at Villanova, and Rono, at the University of Arkansas, their spots as part of two of the 12 teams in the distance medley relay were not on the radar as early as the start of the winter season.

Murphy, who will run the 400-meter leg on the Wildcats’ ninth-seeded team, made the team for the Big East Conference meet three weeks ago after earning a scholarship to the Philadelphia-area school in mid-August.

"The coach put me on the team at [the] Big East [meet] after one of the other guys got hurt and I ran my best time," said Murphy, who was part of two state championship 4-x-400 teams at Teaneck. "Then I ran even better in a meet at Notre Dame and here I am."

Rono, who will anchor the third-seeded team, didn’t even know if he’d be running indoor track this year, but ended up winning the Southeastern Conference mile title and ran a 4:01 anchor split as the Razorbacks won the conference distance medley title.

"This is really the right place for me to be," said Rono, who won the 800 and 1,600-meter titles at last spring’s state Meet of Champions. "I expected to make the top seven in cross-country but when [previous anchor] Duncan Phillips got hurt, the coaches asked me to step in."

Phipps, who has placed in the top five in three previous indoor and outdoor NCAA titles and won the Big 10 long jump title this year, thinks he can win if he can approach his personal best of 26-7, while Rono thinks a four-minute mile split and an Arkansas distant medley win is possible.

And Murphy?

"I just want us to seize the moment," he said. "I think we can."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marc Pelerin's 1:12:59 Good for 12th Place at New Orleans Half

Marc Pelerin, a former All-Big East distance ace for Villanova, finished 12th at last Sunday's Rock & Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon in New Orleans. He ran 1:12:59 -- about 5:35 pace -- and left New Orleans in good spirits. You can read about his race at his blog, HERE.

Here are the top-25 finishers from New Orleans.

Rock & Roll New Orleans Half Marathon Top Results
1. Shadrack Biwott Eugene, OR 1:04:23
2. Jose Chaves San Jose Goicoechea, COS 1:08:03
3. John Brigham Mobile, AL 1:09:02
4. Matthew Manning Baton Rouge, LA 1:09:22
5. Sean Fitzwilliam New Orleans, LA 1:10:54
6. Geoff Nelson New Fairfield, CT 1:11:51
7. David Saunders Hastings, MN 1:12:12
8. Josh Myers Jacksonville, FL 1:12:25
9. Sean Patrick Allerton New Orleans, LA 1:12:27
10. Zachary Cater-Cyker Metairie, LA 1:12:38
11. Loren Wohletz Los Alamos, NM 1:12:56
12. Marc Pelerin Audubon, NJ 1:12:59
13. Dan Khan Houston, TX 1:13:03
14. Timothy Callinan Haddonfield, NJ 1:13:25
15. Jeff Abbott Dublin, OH 1:13:50
16. Papa Bouckaert New Orleans, LA 1:13:54
17. Andrew Riesenberger Wilmington, DE 1:14:40
18. Hayden Schmitz New Braunfels, TX 1:15:25
19. Lloyd Gray Holly Springs, MS 1:15:43
20. Jeremy Kalmus New Orleans, LA 1:15:44
21. Eric Bonnette Philadelphia, PA 1:15:57
22. Zachary Harris Tulsa, OK 1:16:07
23. Rob Chenoweth Chicago, IL 1:16:28
25. Paul Coover Oakland, CA 1:16:53

Remembering the Great Browning Ross

Data Sought for Book about Two-Time Olympian Browning Ross
Thursday, March 08, 2012
By Bob Shryock, Gloucester County Times

He was Gloucester County’s only two-time Olympian. A close friend and fellow distance runner, Tom Osler, lionized him as “The father of distance running in the United States.” He is mentioned in the autobiography of Roger Bannister, the world’s first sub-4 minute miler. When he died of a heart attack, April 27, 1998, after his daily three-mile run near his Woodbury home, the New York Times devoted 20 inches to his obituary.

And while the hearse was delivering legendary Browning Ross to his final resting place, members of the Gloucester Catholic High School track team he coached so proudly jogged alongside in a tear-provoking, gut-wrenching tribute.

Ross, one of the county’s most accomplished athletes in history, a will-o-the-wisp running machine from Woodbury High and Villanova who represented his country in the London and Helsinki Olympics and raced competitively around the globe, would be 87 years old.

So not everyone remembers the man or his bigger-than-life persona.

But Jack Heath remembers. And he is determined to not let others forget.

Heath, a Bellmawr resident who coached with Ross, was a member of his Ram teams, and considers him the most important person in his life next to his parents, is gathering data for a book about Browning he hopes to complete and publish this spring.

“I never would have coached without Browning’s influence and encouragement,” says Heath, Gloucester Catholic’s cross-country coach for nearly 30 years. “I want kids to be able to go to the library to read the book and discover how important he was to running. Few people around here know what he accomplished. I also want to convey what kind of person he was. His story is long overdue.”

Heath, whose full-time job is in computer technology with the Social Security Administration and who was GC’s first computer classroom instructor, met Ross at Gloucester Catholic in 1974 when Ross was coaching at the school for one of three stints spanning three decades.

Heath came out for spring track wearing baseball spikes, set on trying out for jumping events.

“Ross told me, ‘Jack, try the mile.’ I ran a 5:30. He said, ‘You’re gonna be a good distance runner.’ So after that, I ran the mile, two-mile, and steeplechase.”

Heath graduated from Gloucester Catholic in 1977, after establishing the school’s two-mile record and becoming the first Ram to qualify for the state Meet of Champions, and his path would cross Ross’ on almost a daily basis for the next 21 years via competition and coaching.

Says Heath, “Many coaches treat kids like kids, but Browning treated you like you were a real person. One of his coaching strengths was how nice and how generous a person he was.

“He was humble. But he was a great coach who was ahead of his time. The New York Times said he was ‘born to run.’ He knew what worked. He was ‘sane’ with his training although he advocated running 40 miles a week.” Heath has enough Ross memories to fill several chapters in his book.

Ross sometimes had his Ram runners working out barefoot because he said your feet could become atrophied in running shoes. So Heath once ran a shoeless half-mile in a Moorestown Friends meet.

Once, when he was running for Glassboro State College, Heath was asked by Ross to help him coach Gloucester Catholic.

“I’ll be by to pick you up at 3,” Ross told him. “I thought he was kidding. But he picked me up, right at 3 ... and I became his assistant.”

Heath says Browning “struggled with French” at WHS but his teacher gave him a good grade, figuring he’d never have to use the language. “Then he mailed her a postcard from Normandy when he was serving in World War II.” Ross ran in the steeplechase in the 1948 London Olympics, placing seventh (Boston Marathon champion John Kelley was his roommate), and was 12th in his steeplechase heat in 1952 at Helsinki, failing to make the finals because of an upset stomach. In the 1951 British Games he placed fifth to Roger Bannister’s mile victory and received a mention in Bannister’s book.

“He had great speed and won races all over the country,” Heath says. “Browning’s best distance was 10 miles. He won the Berwick, Pa. 10-miler 10 times.”

There were countless Ross accomplishments: Becoming the first world’s cross-country coach; starting the first national runners’ club and leading country-wide events; launching the first nationwide runners’ magazine and mailing it himself.

Heath was scheduled to coach with Ross in a meet against Williamstown the day after Ross died.

“I talked to him every day,” Heath says. “When the phone rang that day with the news he had died, I thought it was him. It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had. The whole running community felt the same way. To me, running just didn’t feel the same; it just hasn’t been as much fun.

“But Browning’s greatest accomplishment was being a good father. He was a great family man (wife Sis, son Barry, daughters Bonnie and Barbara).”

The late Sis Ross once said of her husband, “No one loved running as much as Browning.”

Jack Heath will offer additional proof.

Jack Heath encourages Ross’ friends and associates to loan him newspaper clippings and photographs for possible inclusion in his book. His email address is

Bobby Curtis Enters New York City Half Marathon Field
Joins Former Teammate Frances Koons Among Entries

Former Villanova teammates Bobby Curtis and Frances Koons are among the elite entries in next weekend's New York City Half-Marathon. Here is a press release on Curtis' entry from the New York Road Runners, and a related story below.

Thompson, Curtis Join NYC Half Field
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 11:16
Written by Barbara Huebner, NYRR

Last November, ING New York City Marathon weekend was a big one for both Chris Thompson and Bobby Curtis. That Saturday, Thompson won the inaugural NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K, and the next day Curtis made his 26.2-mile debut.

At the NYC Half on March 18, the two will split the difference and come together in the same race. New York Road Runners officials today are announcing that Olympic hopefuls Thompson, from Great Britain, and Curtis, from the United States, lead a group of additions to the professional field of the seventh-annual race.

This time, it is Thompson who will be making his debut at the distance.

In other race news, two-time World Marathon Majors series champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia has been forced to withdraw from the race due to a hamstring injury. Shobukhova, the second-fastest female marathoner in history and an early favorite to win the Olympic Marathon in London this summer, was set to open her 2012 season at the NYC Half. Molly Pritz, the top American female finisher in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, has also withdrawn, due to illness.

Curtis, 27, of Ardmore, PA, became the seventh-fastest American of all time at 10,000 meters when he ran 27:24.67 to finish second at the Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in April 2011. He is a two-time Team USA member for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and he won the 2008 NCAA Championship at 5000 meters in 13:33.93. Curtis finished 15th last fall in the ING New York City Marathon in a time of 2:16:44. He has a half-marathon best of 1:01:52, set in September 2011.

Thompson, 30, a Great Britain Olympic hopeful, was the 10,000-meter silver medalist at the 2010 European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. At the 2011 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, he ran 27:27.36 for 10,000 meters, the third-fastest time in British history.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jen Rhines Won't Defend USA 15K Road Title

Jen Rhines started off 2011 with a bang, winning USA road titles in the half-marathon (January, above) and 15K (in March). Unfortunately, 2011 did not end as well as she had hoped, with her DNF at the New York City marathon. Jen's 2012 started off with a below par 64th place finish at the USA Olympic marathon trials. The 2012 version of the 15K road championship is being held this Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida and Jen Rhines will not attempt to defend her title. All her attention is focused on getting ready for the 10,000 meters at US Olympic Trials this summer, as Rhines seeks her fourth Olympic team.

Here are the declared competitors in the women's field:

Women's Field
Molly Huddle
Janet Cherobon
Katie McGregor
Magdalena Lewy-Boulet
Blake Russell
Clara Grandt
Maegan Krifchin
Meghan Peyton
Sarah Porter
Kathy Newberry
Alisha Williams
Adriana Nelson
Lindsey Scherf
Emily Brown
Clara Peterson
Heather Cappello
Kristen Zaitz
Esther Erb
Heidi Westover
Bridget Lyons
Shannon Filar
Adrian Chouinard
Andrea Garvue
Annie Beecham
Laura O'Hara
Elyse Shimada
Michelle Frey
Kate Niehaus