Thursday, June 30, 2016

8 KIMbia Athletes Seek Olympic Spots at U.S. Trials

Evan Jager celebrates after making the 2012 Olympic team in the steeplechase. The defending champion is one of eight KIMbia runners competing at the U.S. trials in Eugene.

KIMbia will be out in force when the U.S. Olympic Trials get underway Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Eight runners will try to earn a spot on the team for Rio. If they do, they’ll join the three KIMbia runners already booked for the Games: Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan on the U.S. marathon team and Tom Farrell on the British 5,000-meter squad.

Below are the eight KIMbia runners who will compete in Eugene, listed by when their first race of the meet is. The complete meet schedule is here.

German Fernandez, 10,000 meters final, July 1
German debuted at the distance earlier this year and has a lot of upside in the event.

Emily Infeld, 10,000 meters final, July 2
Last year’s world bronze medalist seeks another global berth. Emily has also declared in the 5,000.

Evan Jager, 3,000-meter steeplechase qualifying round, July 4
The defending Trials champion is a heavy favorite to repeat.

Courtney Frerichs, 3,000-meter steeplechase qualifying round, July 4
This year’s NCAA champion will make her pro debut on Independence Day.

Colleen Quigely, 3,000-meter steeplechase qualifying round, July 4
Colleen finished 12th at Worlds last year and won last week’s Stumptown Twilight 1500.

Lopez Lomong, 5,000-meter qualifying round, July 4
Lopez is seeking his third Olympic spot. He ran the 1500 at the 2008 Olympics and the 5,000 in 2012.

Jess Tonn, 5,000-meter qualifying round, July 7
Jess is the 10th fastest qualifier in the event and has the Olympic standard.

Izaic Yorks, 1500-meter qualifying round, July 7
The NCAA runner-up will face a wide-open field.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

KIMbia Out in Force at Oxy Meet, Including in the Broadcast Booth

Evan Jager’s first steeple of the year and Chris Solinsky’s debut as a USATF.tv broadcaster are among the highlights of the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic, which will be held Friday night at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

KIMbia athletes will run in many of the meet’s events. Here’s who’s doing what, in order of race schedule:

  • Evan Jager, 3000-meter steeplechase
  • Lopez Lomong, 800 meters
  • Natalja Piliusina, 1500 meters
  • German Fernandez, 1500 meters
  • Tom Farrell, 1500 meters
  • Jess Tonn, 5,000 meters
  • Sean Quigley, 5,000 meters

The meet will be broadcast live on USATF.tv here. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. Pacific/9:15 p.m. Eastern.

Chris Solinsky and fellow former Bowerman Track Club member Alan Webb will be adding their expertise to the broadcast. Although this will be Chris’ first USATF.tv broadcast, he’s not a neophyte; he was part of the announcing team for several Nike Cross National webcasts and also helped with an NBC broadcast of the Boston Indoor Games.

“This is a perfect job for me because I am a track junkie and am always reading all I can about the sport,” Chris says. “I am pretty good at knowing what people have done in their career.  I was always the person to inform my teammates about what their competition has done.”

Chris Solinsky, seen here after setting the U.S. 10,000-meter record in 2010, will be on the other end of the mic at Friday’s Oxy Meet in Los Angeles.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Evan Jager 3rd in Payton Jordan 1500

American steeplechase record holder Evan Jager got in a little speedwork at Sunday’s Payton Jordan Invitational, running 3:38.67 to take third in the top heat of the 1500 meters. The race was won by collegian Izaic Yorks in 3:37.74. Lopez Lomong placed 11th in 3:50.78.

In an earlier heat of the 1500, German Fernandez placed sixth in 3:44.88. Jess Tonn placed 10th in section 2 of the women’s 1500 in 4:20.89.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why Making U.S. Teams is Important to Naturalized Citizen Lopez Lomong

Lopez Lomong competes in the 2012 Olympics. He hopes to make another U.S. team at this weekend’s indoor national championships. Photo by PhotoRun.

For two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong and his Bowerman Track Club teammates, it’s highly convenient that the U.S. and world indoor championships will be held on consecutive weekends in their training base of Portland, Oregon. But Lopez would be aiming for a top finish in the 3,000 meters at USAs on Friday, and the subsequent spot on the world indoor team, regardless of the meets’ locations.

“The opportunity to race against the world best is never one to be missed,” he says. “In 2012 I competed in indoor worlds in Istanbul, and it gave me a chance to test out tactics against the world’s most elite runners. I learned a lot about what it would take to be on the Olympic stage and chase after a medal. You can never be fully prepared for the feeling of stepping into the Olympic stadium, but world indoor still gives a good taste and is like an Olympic testing bed. Everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are really magnified on that little indoor track!”

As a former Lost Boy from Sudan who was the American team’s flag bearer at the 2008 Olympics, Lopez has another motivation to wear the U.S. uniform—to be a counterargument to the harsh language on immigration that’s marked much of the U.S. presidential campaign.

“I think the discussion around immigration is one that will define the U.S. for many years to come,” he says. “Running has allowed me the platform to speak about the conflicts in South Sudan, the need to use athletics and sport in general to achieve greater goals, and this year about the importance of embracing immigrants.

“I will certainly be proudly representing the U.S. again this year and forever thankful to the people who opened their arms to me to give me a second chance. I pray that we as a country continue to believe in the American dream that is built upon our great diversity.”

Lopez qualified for indoor nationals with an indoor 3,000-meter PR of 7:43.01 at the Millrose Games on February 20. After years of battling muscle and nerve issues, he says a new focus on recovery has him feeling strong and agile. “The key for me is health so that when I line up I can pour everything into the race without any concern about pain,” he says.

Perhaps fitting for someone with such a broad international outlook, Lopez did much of his base training for this season on the other side of the world. His wife, Brittany Morreale, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, is currently stationed in Adelaide, Australia. Lopez joined her there for three months, training with a local group known as Team Tempo. He’s already pining to return.

“I am really encouraging [BTC coach] Jerry [Schumacher] to bring more of the team down next year so we can escape the cold, rainy Portland winter and train on the amazing park lands in the perfect Adelaide weather,” Lopez says.

After, of course, he makes one or more U.S. teams in this Olympic year.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Led by Emily Infeld, Lots of PRs at Millrose Games

Placing third in the deepest indoor 5,000-meter race in U.S. history, Emily Infeld set a personal best of 15:00.91 at Saturday’s Millrose Games in New York City.

Also at the meet, Evan Jager placed fourth in the 3,000 in 7:40.10, just off his indoor PR, and Lopez Lomong ran an indoor personal best of 7:43.01 to place ninth in the race. Six days after setting a 3,000-meter PR in Boston, Laura Thweatt ran an indoor PR of 15:35.24 for seventh place in the 5,000.

Emily’s time bettered the outdoor 5,000 PR of 15:07.18 she set last June, and puts her third on the all-time U.S. indoor list.

The time was all the more impressive as it came in her first race of the season. Also of note: It gives Emily the Olympic standard in the event.

 

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