Monday, July 11, 2016

What a Great Olympic Trials

KIMbia runners nailed it at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Those who didn’t make the team for Rio put themselves in the best position to qualify for as long as possible. Here’s a summary of the goings-on.

Women’s 10,000, July 2: Emily Infeld stuck with eventual winner Molly Huddle for 24 of 25 laps and finished second to make her first Olympic team. And she did so in her outdoor season opener! Emily’s race in Rio, the first final of the Games, will be on August 12.

Women’s steeplechase, July 7: Courtney Frerichs had the fastest last lap and moved from fourth at the bell to finish second. Colleen Quigley was just behind her. With their times of 9:20.92 and 9:21.29, Courtney and Colleen are now third and fourth on the all-time U.S. list. Olympic steeple qualifying rounds will be run on August 13, with the final on August 15.

Men’s steeplechase, July 8: Evan Jager took control with four laps to go and was never challenged en route to his second straight Trials victory (and fifth consecutive national title). Evan’s qualifying round in Rio will be on August 15, with the final on August 17.

Men’s 5,000, July 9: Lopez Lomong hung with the lead pack through the bell lap and finished tenth.

Women’s 5,000, August 10: Emily Infeld again stuck to Molly Huddle as long as possible and finished fourth. With Huddle opting to run only the 10,000 in Rio, Emily was eligible for the third 5,000 spot, but she too decided to focus on the 10,000 at the Games; fifth finisher Abbey D’Agostino was therefore named to the team. (Jess Tonn was unable to start her qualifying round on July 7 because of a foot problem.)

Men’s 1500, August 10: In his first meet as a pro, Izaic Yorks showed he’ll be a force to deal with. Izaic assured his spot in the final by winning his semi-final. Izaic needed the Olympic standard of 3:36.20 and bravely went out to get it in the final before a long season caught up to him and he finished tenth.

In all, seven KIMbia runners will compete in Rio. In addition to the new additions to the U.S. team, Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan will run the marathon (August 14), and Tom Farrell will contest the 5,000 (first round on August 17, final on August 20).

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Evan Jager Repeats as Olympic Trials Steeple Champ

Make that Evan Jager, two-time Olympian. The U.S. record holder won his fifth straight national steeplechase title, and second consecutive Olympic Trials, Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Taking over in the second half of the race, Evan won in 8:22.48.

After a slow opening, Evan took the lead in the third full lap and stayed there to the end. A 64-second lap started to split the field, and subsequent 62-second circuits finished everyone off.

Back in February, Evan said he cares about only two races this year, the Olympic Trials final and the Olympic final. So far, so good!

Also on Friday,  Izaic Yorks won his heat of the 1500 semis to advance in the best possible way to Sunday’s final.

For those keeping track at home, Evan is the sixth KIMbia member of the Bowerman Track Club to make the U.S. team for Rio, along with Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan in the marathon, Emily Infeld in the 10,000, and Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley in the steeplechase.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Courtney Frerichs, Colleen Quigley PR to Get Olympic Steeple Spots

New Bowerman Track Club teammates Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley will now also be Olympic teammates, after they finished second and third, respectively, in Thursday night’s steeplechase final at U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Both set a personal best, with Courtney running 9:20.92 to take three and a half seconds off the PR she ran while setting the NCAA record last month, and Colleen close behind in 9:21.29, more than three seconds faster than her previous best, set last year. The times make Courtney and Colleen the third and fourth fastest Americans in history.

U.S. record holder Emma Coburn defended her 2012 title with the win in 9:17.48.

Courtney had the fastest last lap of anyone in the race, which moved her from fourth to second.

“I crossed with 400 to go in fourth and I just told myself I was not going to be getting fourth,” she told Runner’s World. “I have confidence in my last 400.”

The Trials was Courtney’s first meet as a pro. Colleen ran her seasonal steeple opener in Monday’s qualifying round. Clearly, there are great times ahead for both.

Courtney and Colleen will be joined in Rio by Bowerman Track Club teammates Amy Cragg (marathon), Shalane Flanagan (marathon) and Emily Infeld (10,000 meters).

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Emily Infeld Makes Olympic 10,000 Team

Emily Infeld made her first Olympic team on Saturday, placing second in the 10,000 behind Molly Huddle.

Emily ran with Huddle through 24 of the race’s 25 laps before the American 5,000-meter record holder pulled away to win in 31:41.62. Emily’s time was 31:46.09. Marielle Hall grabbed the final team spot in 31:54.77.

Today’s race was the first time Emily and Huddle had faced each other since last August’s world championships, where Emily nipped Huddle at at the line for the bronze medal. Today was also Emily’s first outdoor race of the year, because of a stress fracture in the spring.

Emily is joined on the U.S. team by her teammates Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, who finished first and third at the marathon trials in February.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Izaic Yorks Signs With Brooks

Izaic Yorks wins the 1500 in a personal best at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1. The former University of Washington star has signed a pro contract with Brooks.

NCAA runner-up Izaic Yorks has signed a contract with Brooks Running and will make his professional debut representing Brooks at the U.S. Olympic Trials this month.

Earlier this month, Izaic closed out his career at the University of Washington by running 3:38.06 to place second in the 1500 at the NCAA championships. In February, he ran an indoor 3:53.89 mile, the fastest ever by a U.S. collegian. In May, Izaic beat a field of pros at the Payton Jordan Invitational to win the 1500 in a personal best of 3:37.74.

Izaic’s first race at the Trials is the qualifying round of the 1500, which will be run on July 7.

Izaic will be based in Seattle, Washington, and train with the Brooks Beasts. KIMbia runners Jess Tonn and Natalja Piliusina are also members of the Brooks Beasts.

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