Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cragg set to race Chicago Marathon

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that Amy Cragg will compete for the top spot on the podium at this year’s race. The addition of Cragg, a two-time Olympian, and fellow US athlete Laura Thweatt, makes the 2018 Chicago Marathon the deepest American women’s field in Chicago’s storied history.

Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015, joins this year’s elite field after opening her 2018 season by smashing her personal best to finish third at the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:42. She competed in Chicago for the first time in 2014, finishing fourth in 2:27:03.

Since then, she has experienced global success, winning the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, finishing ninth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and ending a 34-year medal drought for the U.S. after taking home a bronze medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon. She currently sits in 12th place on the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XI leaderboard, and a strong finish in Chicago could propel her further up the list.

Cragg competed in her first Olympics in the 10,000m in 2012, and she is the fifth-fastest American woman over 10,000m, with a 31:10 personal best. “I’m incredibly excited to be coming back to race the Chicago Marathon,” said Cragg. “It’s one of the most competitive American and international fields of any marathon, but with it being back in the Midwest, to me, it feels like home. We have been planning to do this race for a long time because it’s the perfect course to reach the next level as a marathoner.”

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Big personal bests for Schweizer, McGorty

Recent Kimbia recruits Karissa Schweizer and Sean McGorty enjoyed big breakthroughs over 1500m at the weekend in Belgium, the NCAA champions taking several seconds off their lifetime bests.

At the Guldendensporen meeting in Kortrijk, Schweizer took victory in the women’s  1500m in 4:06.77, coming home three seconds clear of Vanessa Fraser.

Her previous best was the 4:10.68 she ran indoors earlier this year.

In the men’s 1500m, Sean McGorty took four seconds off his best by winning in 3:36.61, the NCAA 5000m champion coming home two seconds clear of France’s Sammy Kirongo.

Elsewhere, Izaic Yorks represented USA at the World Cup in London, where he finished fourth in the men’s 1500m in 3:53.50, a race won by Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski in 3:52.88.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Jager storms to seventh straight US title

Evan Jager secured his seventh consecutive US title in the 3000m steeplechase with a peerless display on the final day of action in Des Moines, Iowa, on what was a good evening for the Kimbia contingent with recent recruit Karissa Schweizer also taking a bronze medal over 5000m.

Jager unleashed a sub-60-second final lap to win in a stadium record of 8:20.10, well clear of Hillary Bor (8:22.58) and Andy Bayer (8:24.66). Fellow Kimbia athlete MJ Erb had another strong showing, repeating his 7th-place finish in this event last year and coming home in 8:29.09.

The biggest threat to Jager came not from his rivals but from the weather, with a thunderstorm halting action in Des Moines for a couple of hours shortly before he was due to take to the line. However, Jager explained afterward that it had little effect on him.

“I was ready to go at 1 [a.m], 2 [a.m.], whenever, it didn’t matter,” he said. “If they wanted to bring us back tomorrow that was fine with me. I would have run whenever.”

The mid-race pace was steady, well below Jager’s usual tempo, but then the Bowerman Track Club athlete cranked through the gears, dropping a 62-second penultimate lap before his 59.68-second closer to take a magnificent seventh straight title. He will now turn his attention to a sub-8-minute clocking in Monaco nexth month.

“If it’s super fast I’m excited to test myself and see how fast I can run, see how long I can hold on. If it’s 7:55, it’s 7:55. If it’s 8 flat, it’s 8 flat. I might as well push it,” he told Letsrun.com. More from Jager below:

While Jager is a seasoned veteran in this sphere, recent Kimbia recruit Karissa Schweizer was very much a novice. However, the NCAA 5000m champion showed she has a promising professional career ahead of her when finishing a terrific third in the women’s 5000m final in 15:34.31, having led for much of the latter half of the race.

The race was won by Shelby Houlihan in 15:31.03, with Rachel Schneider second in 15:32.71.

Afterwards Schweizer revealed to Letsrun.com that she will make her decision in the coming days about which brand she will sign with. “I wanted to represent a brand in this race but it’s just a big decision and I really have to think it over before I decide and I really have to make the best decision for myself and there is no point to rush it,” she said.

More reaction from Schweizer below:


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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Super silvers for Yorks and Frerichs

Izaic Yorks and Courtney Frerichs secured superb second-place finishes on the third day of action at the USATF Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday.

Yorks produced the performance of his life to finish runner-up in the men’s 1500m final behind Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz, the Brooks Beast athlete positioning himself perfectly and showing impressive closing speed to finish second in 3:43.63 to Centrowitz’s 3:43.37.

Fresh from his NCAA title over 5000m, Sean McGorty dropped down to 1500m at the event and acquitted himself admirably, reaching the final and finishing 11th in 3:44.42.

Afterwards Yorks spoke to Letsrun.com:

Elsewhere Courtney Frerichs produced another brave, battling performance to finish second behind world champion Emma Coburn in a fantastic women’s 3000m steeplechase, the Bowerman Track Club athlete tracking Coburn through the final few laps but eventually coming up just short in 9:18.69 to Coburn’s 9:17.70.

Frerichs, a world silver medalist last year, told Letsrun.com that she plans to continue the momentum this season. “Worlds wasn’t a fluke,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere. Until last year, I put [Emma] on a pedestal. I’m finally feeling confident that I’m there and that one day it’ll happen. And I think that when it does, it’s going to be an amazing thing for the U.S.”

More reaction from her below:

In the final day’s action on Sunday, Evan Jager will seek his seventh straight U.S. title in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, where he will be joined by fellow Kimbia athlete MJ Erb, who is seeking to improve on his second-place finish last year.

Recent signing Karissa Schweizer will compete against some of the world’s best in the women’s 5000m such as Molly Huddle and Shelby Houlihan, which should prove a valuable experience for the recent NCAA champion.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Lomong creates history with US title

Lopez Lomong (image via Flotrack) produced a stunning last lap to take victory in the men’s 10,000m at the US Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday night, the Bowerman Track Club athlete becoming the first man in almost a century to have won US titles at both 1500m and 10,000m.

It had been eight years since Lomong won the 1500m title, but he unleashed a blistering 54.16-second last lap to upset race favorite Shadrack Kipchirchir in the 25-lap event and win in 28:58.35.

Lomong’s victory was even more impressive given he had struggled with injury for much of the year.

“The thing is, it’s been a while,” Lomong said. “I’ve been battling a lot of injuries for the last three years. This year has just been perfect. Training has been amazing, everything has been clicking really well. [Chiropractor] John Ball fixed me up.”

For more, check out his post-race interview with Letsrun.com.

Elsewhere yesterday Jessica Tonn finished an impressive 11th in the women’s 10,000m final, the Brooks athlete clocking 32:47.29 in a race won by Molly Huddle in 31:52.32.

There was mixed fortunes for the 1500m men from Kimbia. Henry Wynne was unfortunately edged out of the final after being an unlucky fourth place in 3:46.20, a race where there was no non-automatic qualifiers. However, recent NCAA 5000m champion Sean McGorty is through to the final after finishing sixth in his heat in 3:41.43, while Izaic Yorks secured automatic qualification in the third heat, coming home third in 3:43.51.

In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, world silver medalist Courtney Frerichs cruised to victory in her heat in 9:42.02, and will now get ready for a clash with Emma Coburn in Saturday’s final.

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