Friday, September 1, 2017

Jager takes third in Brussels finale


Evan Jager
closed his season with a third-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday night, the 28-year-old recovering from a late-race fall to reach the finish in 8:11.71.

On a cool, damp night in the Belgian capital, the early pace was strong, with pacemaker Haron Lagat towing the field through 1000m in 2:40.27. Soon after, as the pace began to slow, Jager moved to the front in search of his first sub-eight-minute clocking, and he led the field through 2000m in 5:24.45. Dogging his heels all along, though, was Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, and Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, who had both beaten Jager into third at the World Championships in London last month.

Approaching the bell, El Bakkali surged past Jager, then Kipruto moved around, leaving the Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete to fight it out for third. Kipruto closed in late to pass El Bakkali right by the line to win in 8:04.73, El Bakkali second in 8:04.83. Jager’s race very nearly ended at the final water jump, the American losing his footing on landing and crashing to the track, but he quickly picked himself up and summoned all his spirit and strength to outkick compatriot Stanley Kebenei to take third in 8:11.71.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Flanagan to run New York City Marathon


Shalane Flanagan will return to the New York City Marathon in November for the first time since 2010, when she finished second in 2:28:40 behind Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat.

The 36-year-old Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete announced her participation today as part of a visit to the city serving as a Team for Kids Ambassador for New York Road Runners ahead of the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K on Saturday.

After being forced to withdraw from Boston through injury, New York will be Flanagan’s first marathon of the year and she showed training has been progressing well when finishing fourth in the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth in 31:15 earlier this month.

“I want that one last really special moment,” Flanagan told USA Today. “I’m just hoping I can achieve it soon because I really, I just want one more big performance, and I feel like I have it within me. I just need the right stage and the right day to get it done.”

To read more on her return to top-level racing, click here.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Historic bronze for Amy Cragg

Amy Cragg claimed a historic bronze medal in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships in London today, becoming the first American woman in 34 years to do so.

The 33-year-old KIMbia athlete unleashed a storming finish to get among the medals, very nearly taking second as she crossed the line in 2:27:18, the same time as silver medallist Edna Kiplagat. Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo took victory in 2:27:11.

“It feels amazing,” said Cragg after. “I can’t even believe it.”

The early pace had been slow, but Cragg began to whittle the leading pack with a move just before the 20-mile mark. She had vocal encouragement along the route from coach Jerry Schumacher and husband Alistair, among others.

“It was really painful, but it was worth every little bit of pain,” she said. “It was just a grind to the finish.”

For a full feature story on her outstanding performance, and video reaction from her, check out this story by Runner’s World.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Jager magnificent in Monaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evan Jager turned in an outstanding performance to win the Monaco Diamond League on Friday night in 8:01.29, the fastest time in the world this year and his quickest in more than two years. Coming less than two weeks before the beginning of the IAAF World Championships in London, it served as the perfect confidence boost for the 28-year-old Olympic silver medalist.

Jager seized command of the race shortly after the 2000m mark, which was reached in a sensible 5:25.40, which means he ran his last kilometer in a blazing 2:35.89. He wound up the pace over the final three laps with relentless power, finally breaking the trio chasing behind with 500m to run. From there, he accelerated all the way to the finish, sprinting to the line to just miss out on the eight-minute barrier, not that he will have been bothered.

“It was our plan to run only the steeple on the Diamond League circuit now,” said Jager, who was running his first race in Europe this year. “The previous ones did not fit into our plans with training camp and altitude.”

However, despite beating the best Kenya had to offer on the night, the Bowerman Track Club athlete will not be resting on his laurels over the upcoming fortnight. After all, a late withdrawal from the race was the man who beat him to gold in Rio last year, Conseslus Kipruto, who erred on the side of caution while nursing a foot injury. The pair met afterwards in the mixed zone, with Jager reportedly telling Kipruto that he was sorry not to have him out there and that they’d see each other in London.

“We are keeping our options open for the best possible tactical plan for the worlds,” said Jager. “But one thing is clear: I’m going for gold.”

 

 

 

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Final tune-ups ahead of London

A host of Kimbia athletes will run their final races this weekend before the London World Championships, with Evan Jager, Emily Infeld and Coleen Quigley all set to compete, among others.

Jager, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, will compete in the 3000m steeplechase at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday evening. The 28-year-old has been in impressive form so far this year, winning the US Championships with ease on June 25 in 8:16.88. However, Monaco will represent his first race of the season outside the US, and it’s a hot one, featuring Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, among others.

Colleen Quigley will also be in her first race in Europe this year, though the Nike Bowerman Track Club  athlete will compete in Heusden, Belgium, a meeting synonymous with fast times in the distance races. Quigley will sharpen her speed ahead of London with a 1500m, and with a 4:24.88 mile to her name indoors this year, it will be no surprise if her personal best of 4:11.61 falls.

Emily Infeld, meanwhile, will also tune up for her 10,000m outing in London with a 5000m race in Heusden, where she will be joined by fellow Kimbia athlete and Nike Bowerman Track Club teammate Shalane Flanagan, who she has been training with in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in recent weeks. Infeld’s last race was when she finished fifth in Lucerne over 3000m in 8:55.41, while Flanagan’s last race came at the US Championships in Sacramento, where she finished fourth in the 10,000m in 31:31.12.

Fellow Kimbia athlete Marc Scott will race over 5000m in Heusden. The 23-year-old clocked a PB of 7:43.37 over 3000m at the London Diamond League last week and looks capable of lowering his best of 13:36.81. Farther afield, Izaic Yorks has been in impressive form in recent weeks, the 23-year-old running a season’s best of 3:37.91 last week in Sainte-Therese, Montreal. He backed that up on Wednesday night with a 3:39.75 run to finish second over 1500m in Seattle, just behind race winner Brannon Kidder (3:39.39).

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