Monday, June 14, 2021

Jager withdraws from US Trials

Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager has announced he will not contest the upcoming US Olympic Trials after failing to recover his health and fitness after a string of injury problems, the most recent of which were multiple tears in his calf.

“I wanted to make a video laying out how the last few months has gone for me,” he said in an Instagram post. “Unfortunately my reality is I’m not going to be running the trials this year, which sucks. I’ve had quite a few issues this year, stemming back to the middle of February, rolling my ankle really bad. Getting back into training quickly then developing an achilles issue which lasted all of March until the middle of April, essentially being unable to run for that entire period.”

“I started working out with the guys on the team again and got two weeks of running and workouts in before rabbiting Sean (McGorty) in the steeple at Mount Sac and that went well enough that I was extremely optimistic. I had six weeks to get in better shape.”

Jager explained he then developed a calf issue following track workouts that plagued him for several weeks.

“It got to the point where it was tight all the time and I was not in a place where I could even work out at a high level. I didn’t have the ability to run fast without doing major damage. I got an ultrasound and the doctor found a pool of blood in the soleus/achilles area and he told me he thought I had torn the lateral soleus. I had to make the decision that running the Trials wasn’t an option. We got an MRI and not only did I tear the lateral soleus, we tore the lateral gastroc(nemius), I had in total about 16cm of tearing. It showed me we made the right decision in shutting things down and doing everything I can to get healthy.

“It’s obviously very disappointing, especially after not being able to run USA’s in 2019 and knowing this winter that I had the fitness to make the team – training was going well until March – but with trials looming I felt I was constantly in this place of rushing to get back. It really sucks.”

We wish him the very best on his journey back to health.

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

1500m PRs for Cranny, Wynne and Bartelsmeyer

Elise Cranny produced the standout run among the Kimbia crew at day two of the Portland Track Festival on Saturday, the 25-year-old carving three seconds off her lifetime best in the 1500m to win in 4:02.62.

In the men’s 1500m, Henry Wynne finished fourth in 3:34.o8, a PR by one second, with Amos Bartelsmeyer seventh, also in a PR, of 3:35.24. Josh Thompson was close behind in 11th, clocking 3:35.88.

Grant Fisher had a great win in the 5000m, clocking 13:19.52, with fellow BTC and Kimbia athlete Lopez Lomong third in 13:26.11. Kieran Tuntivate came home 15th in 13:42.75. In the women’s 5000m Karissa Schweizer finished a close fourth in 15:00.44.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Cragg calls time on competitive career

Amy Cragg announced today that she is retiring from competitive running, and the 37-year-old will now focus on a new role in coaching with the new Puma-sponsored training group based near Chapel Hill, North Carolina where her husband, Alistair, is head coach.

In an interview with Runner’s World, Cragg said she took the time she needed to make the decision. “It was definitely time [to retire],” she said. “It’s been great. I’m definitely enjoying life on the other side.”

In an incredible career that will be remembered among the greats in U.S. distance running, some of her highlights include victory at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing third in the marathon at the 2017 World Championships, and running a 2:21:42 PR in the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, which puts her sixth on the all-time U.S. list.


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Friday, May 21, 2021

McGorty: “I feel confident with where I’m at”

Sean McGorty made a highly impressive steeplechase debut at the USATF Golden Games earlier this month in Walnut, California, the 26-year-old Bowerman Track Club putting himself firmly in contention for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team when taking victory in 8:20.77. He spoke to us about his move to the event, what he learned from his friend and teammate Evan Jager, and what lies ahead.

How did your journey to the steeplechase originate?

In 2018 I had my first in-person conversation with Jerry Schumacher at Stanford University, and we talked about me potentially joining the team in future. He talked about trying to find everyone’s best events, and how if it’s the 3000m, then you probably need to learn the steeple. He voiced that he thought I was athletic and it’d be something he’d be interested in seeing – whether it was an event I was capable of running. It’s something they feel out on the team, and if they don’t like what they see with someone hurdling then you probably won’t ever see that person debuting.

Did you ever try it in high school?

Never in high school; where I grew up it wasn’t really a normal event for high schoolers. My Dad had been a decathlete and I high-jumped when I was younger and did a week or two to learn how to pole vault in middle school, but we decided distance running would be more my thing, given the early success I was able to have in high school. I didn’t really think about the steeplechase in college either. When I came in the top guys on the team at Stanford happened to be 1500 and 5K runners and I wanted to follow in their shoes. I didn’t think about the steeple until 2016 and watching Evan win a silver medal. It made me want to try it at some point. It was something Jerry identified my body type for among the other events I could run.

How did the transition go?

After a two-week steeple boot camp last year, I really wanted to make hurdling part of my routine because what happened in 2019 and sometimes in 2020, when it wasn’t fully part of the training plan you’d dread having to go hurdle after a run. But in the fall of 2020 I approached it with the mindset of making it part of my weekly routine, then it’s not something you’re dreading and it’ll continue to help your legs get stronger. On Mondays, I’d finish a run and do bounding drills on the turf to build up some strength in the legs. Fridays or Saturdays, I’d hurdle after the run, continuing to work on form and getting down the motor pattern. Our winter camp in Flagstaff interrupted the hurdling, with the snow turf fields hard to come by, but I got back into the routine when we were in Oregon in March. I didn’t do my first steeple workout until we were at altitude camp in the middle of April and I did one more workout at the end of April, then it was go-time at the race.

How was that debut?

I can’t remember the last time I was that nervous, but it was a brand new event and there’s a little more uncertainty when you have 28 barriers to go over and seven water jumps and the barriers aren’t like the hurdles in practice – they’re not going to move. It was my first time hurdling with more than one person and I’d only done that once. Jerry’s race plan of trying to keep relaxed, learn the event, then compete and try to win, that helped me be relaxed about time. He told me, ‘I don’t care what kind of race it is, we do not need to get any type of standard right now,’ and that helped me stay relaxed. The way the race played out, I was able to snag the standard. It actually felt pretty good, the first K, and mentally adjusting to everyone being around was a lot but I was able to stay relaxed. Jerry has definitely given me some tough steeple workouts so I probably felt better than I have in some of those, especially at altitude. He made sure I was going to be ready. He does a great job of preparing you to succeed.

What role has Evan played in your transition?

He’s been huge. It’s kind of a bummer it’s taken us so long to link up in the steeple. The way things lined up in 2019 with where his body was at and then 2020, when we finished that mini racing circuit, he was ready to take a break so we didn’t get to do that two-week boot camp together. But his presence, especially leading into the first race, his advice and stories from his experience, his mindset, were super helpful. I couldn’t be luckier, he’s the greatest American steeplechaser in history so to have his example, sharing everything, to help me be the best steeplechaser I can, is huge. And having him pace the race, it was really special, we were able to share that moment together.

What’s the plan now?

I think the plan is to run another steeple before the Trials. Unless the plan changes and Jerry knows enough about where I’m at in the 5K and steeple to make a good decision, I think I’ll run another one to learn the event and really feel good when we decide what event we want to run at the Trials. The schedule would allow me to do both, but if I had to guess I’d probably focus on one event, but we haven’t discussed it yet.

Did that race give you confidence you can make the U.S. team in the steeple?

The way I feel about Jerry’s training is I feel confident that whatever he has me line up in at the Trials, I’ll be competing for a slot. I feel good with where training has been at, especially coming off the steeple, I’ve been pleased with my last three workouts so it’s nice to know my body can handle that race well and continue to train at a high level. I feel good with where I’m at and if I line up for the steeplechase, I’m confident I’ll be competing with all those other guys to make the team which is a fun feeling to have with a new event. I’m not the type of person to tell you I’m a lock or give you a percentage but I do feel confident with where I’m at and definitely excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead in the steeplechase.

Image: Cortney White


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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Scott on form at Sound Running meet in LA

Several Kimbia athletes were in action over the weekend at the Sound Running Track Meet in Los Angeles, California. Marc Scott was the leading finisher among them in the men’s 1500m, the Briton finishing third in 3:36.28, with Grant Fisher just behind him in fourth in 3:36.52, Josh Thompson fifth in 3:37.17 and Henry Wynne 10th in 3:44.00.

In the women’s 5000m Taylor Werner ran an impressive 15:18.70 to finish 12th.

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