The Monday Morning Run
Kevin Sully | On 03, Jun 2013
Photo courtesy of trackandfieldphoto.com
Both in the United States and abroad, the focus of the weekend was on the Prefontaine Classic. On Saturday, I recapped some of the takeaways (including Mary Cain’s record, Sanya Richards-Ross’s health and Kirani James’s defeat). Also, the Daily Relay has comprehensive men’s steeplechase analysis. Pat Price reported on Evan Jager’s 2013 debut and I broke down the physical finish between Conseslus Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi. Full results from the Prefontaine Classic can be found here.
While the meet gave us a glimpse at who is in good form and who still has work to do, some questions still remain:
How quickly can Sanya Richards-Ross get into shape?
I covered this a bit over the weekend, but it will be very interesting to see how much better Richards-Ross can get in just three weeks. She was out of contention early in the 400 on Saturday and finished last in 53.77. Throughout her career she has always preferred a busy racing schedule, so running her first race in June figured to be a big adjustment. Add in the recovery from toe surgery and the fast Diamond League performances by Francena McCorory and Natasha Hastings and Richards-Ross will have all she can handle at the US Championships in Des Moines.
Can Walter Dix contend for a spot to Moscow?
He appeared to be back to his 2011 self on Saturday in the 200. Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica won the race in 20.14, but Dix finished second with a time of 20.16–well in front of the other Americans in the race. With Tyson Gay reemerging, Justin Gatlin building off his great 2012 races and Ryan Bailey entering his prime, it has been easy to overlook Dix and his two Olympic medals. Even if he doesn’t make the team, he could give a nice boost to the American relay squad and potentially close the gap on the Jamaicans. Maybe. Possibly. Ok, probably not.
Is Tirunesh Dibaba beatable?
She sure looked that way in the 5,000 on Saturday. Mercy Cherono pushed her all the way to the line, only ceding ground to the Baby-Faced Destroyer over the final 50 meters. Even as Vivian Cheruiyot takes time off to have a child and Meseret Defar races on the roads, there still may be some competition for Dibaba on the track this summer.
Is spending money on a rabbit the worst investment you could possible make?
Not quite, I have a few others:
Don’t get me wrong, Matt Scherer is great at it, but what is the point if nobody follows him? Ditto for all the other pacesetters in the distance and mid-distance races over the weekend.
Can ripping off the bib be the new go-to celebration?
Mutaz Essa Barshim thinks so.
Barshim goes nuts vine.co/v/b3am7pXhx1Y
— House of Run (@HouseofRun) June 1, 2013
Things That Didn’t Happen
David Rudisha’s Hayward Field Debut
The world record holder withdrew late in the week after an MRI revealed a bone bruise in his knee. He will reportedly miss a few weeks of running.
Without Rudisha, the 800 fizzled. Nobody followed Matt Scherer (perhaps leaving space for the ghost of Rudisha?) and Mohammed Aman was not challenged over the final 100 meters. So much for the idea that the absence of Rudisha would make the outcome of the race more intriguing.
Kenenisa Bekele vs. Mo Farah in the 10,000
Farah decided to race the 5,000 instead of the 10,000 against the world record holder. With Farah watching trackside, Bekele controlled the race and won in 27:12.08. This is the best Bekele has looked since his 26:43 in Brussels in 2011.
Farah had much more difficult time.
Ken Goe of the Oregonian reported that Farah’s decision to run the shorter distance was made in part because he was still dealing with a virus that limited his training over the last two weeks. In the crowded and bumpy 5,000 on Saturday he finished behind Edwin Soi, 13:04.75 to 13:05.88. While his health may have hindered him in the race, it didn’t keep him from his traditional post-race workout.
Winners Who Didn’t Win
Not only did she not win, but her 1:58.18 was completely washed out by Mary Cain’s sub two minute performance and Alysia Montano’s subsequent passing of the flower. Martinez is a favorite to make the team in either the 800 or 1500, but told reporters after the race that she will likely opt for just the 1500 at the US Championships.
In the strange world of track and field, the runner-up at the Pac-12 Conference Championships ran only her third fastest time of the year and yet still finished second in a Diamond League race. Her result isn’t that bizarre when you consider her collegiate meets have made her much sharper at this point in the season than Lashinda Demus, Kaliese Spencer, Natalya Antyukh and the other Olympians who finished behind her on Saturday.
Meaningless Stat of the Week
Since 1996, they have held the women’s 100 16 times at the Prefontaine Classic. Saturday was the first time an American did not finish in the top three. Allyson Felix was the first American in seventh place. What does this stat mean? Probably nothing except it would have helped the Americans to have more than two entrants in the race. Oh, and a healthy Carmelita Jeter.