Source: Andrea Melendez/The Des Moines Register, via Associated Press

Thoughts & Observations

Fast times in Luzern

American mid-distance runners David Torrence and Morgan Uceny continued solid 2010 seasons with wins at today’s meeting in Luzern, Switzerland.  Torrence took the 3000m in 7:54.61, edging out US steeple champ Dan Huling by just under a second.  Uceny set a personal best in the 800m, finishing the event in 1:58.67, her first time under the 1:59 barrier.  Both seem to be thriving under new training conditions, Torrence under mid-d guru John Cook and Uceny with the Mammoth Track Club and its coach Terrence Mahon.

Some of the sprint times were excellent as well.  Jamaican Nesta Carter and Walter Dix ran 9.86 and 9.88, respectively, in the 100m, the 4th and 5th fastest times in the world this year.  Other winners include Wallace Spearmon in the 200m (20.18), Marshevet Myers in the 100m (10.99), and Kalise Spencer (JAM) in the 400m hurdles (53.72).

Full meet results are here.

Track competitions at unique venues are awesome

The shot put competition at the Stockholm Diamond League meet took place Thursday, a day before the regular meet festivities, at a town square.  A shot ring was placed in the area along with a stage and plenty of bleachers for spectators.  This is an excellent way to promote the sport to those who may not otherwise be interested.  The event winner Christian Cantwell said in a Reuters interview, “I hope that somebody came out that knew nothing about the sport today and liked what they saw, it got them excited and given them a reason to come back the next year.”  Here’s the video of Cantwell’s final throw of 22.01 meters.

Similarly, the Great City Games in Manchester, England, have laid out a strip of rubber track surface in the middle of town and hosted track meets for the last two years.  They clearly have some solid financial backing as they have attracted stars like Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, and Allyson Felix to attend the event.

The Drake Relays have held their pole vault  competition at a local shopping mall for the last few years.  Here’s a picture of winner Mark Hollis vaulting in front of a packed Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines.  Pretty cool atmosphere, huh?

How did Webb get into London?

In a recent feature on miler Alan Webb, it was revealed that he would be making his comeback at the Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace, London.  My question is: how the heck did Webb get into the meet?  After an amazing 2007 campaign, the American record holder in the mile only has season bests of 3:35.86 in 2008 and 3:42.58 in 2009.  Plus he hasn’t race since USAs last year.  Even if Webb runs the 3:37 that his coach Alberto Salazar thinks he can, he will be far behind the other elite runners in the race that will likely be in the 3:30-3:33 range.   Must be nice to have Alberto Salazar and his connections on your side.

Where is Tegenkamp?

Chris Solinsky’s excellent 5k in Stockholm made me wonder where his teammate Matt Tegenkamp is.  After running a few early season 1500s, Teg had a disappointing 13:25 5k performance at Prefontaine and hasn’t raced since.  We hope that he can get healthy and get racing on the European circuit soon.

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Tags: Alan Webb Alberto Salazar Christian Cantwell David Torrence Diamond League Drake Relays Matt Tegenkamp Morgan Uceny Stockholm

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