Tag Archives: Aries Merritt

The Morning Run: January 31st

Because before the Super Bowl, you and your friends can gather on the couch for some tape delayed indoor track….

-Jason and I recorded a rather lengthy podcast this week.  Listen here

-Doctors say a supplement was to blame for Claire Squires’s death during the London Marathon last year.   Squires allegedly put a scoop of Jack3d in her water bottle before the race. Jack3d is the same supplement that got Michael Rodgers a 9-month ban in 2012 

-In today’s “What They Won’t Be Doing” segment, Jessica Ennis says she will skip indoors and Vivian Cheruiyot will not defend her World Cross Country championship.   

-Kenyan javelin thrower Julius Yego is the subject of a great CNN video feature.  Awesome visuals in this piece.

British Athletics announced their qualifying procedure for the World Championships.  It is 7 pages long and is quite convoluted.  I’m not sure why more countries don’t mimic the American policy.  It has yielded overwhelmingly positive results at Olympics and World Championships and is relatively easy to understand for most events.

RunBlogRun interviews USATF CEO Max Siegel.  There is lots of business/marketing jargon, but Siegel does tease that USATF has “some exciting announcements coming in the next few months.”

John Steffensen, best known for taunting in the third person and doing the Cat Daddy, has been suspend for 6 months by Athletics AustraliaHis federation didn’t take kindly to his claims that he was racially vilified and discriminated against.

Aries Merritt is out of Saturday’s New Balance Grand Prix after suffering a cramp in training.  I’m guessing the sold out crowd probably wish they knew this before they bought tickets

-Drug testers came to Kenya to take the blood of many of their best athletes.  Fingers crossed that no deer antler spray was found.

The Morning Run: September 13th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary

Tuesday’s podcast about Aries Merritt’s world record and the rest of the Diamond League news, including an interview with Flotrack’s Kevin Liao, is available for your listening pleasure.

From that episode, Jason and I discovered that Paul Ryan’s running past is a bit more distinguished than we realized.

In what I assumed was a very close vote, Merritt was named the USATF Athlete of the Week.

What do you do after you win a silver medal in the high jump as a rising college senior?  If you are Brigetta Barrett, sing the national anthem at a MLB game of course.

Lisa Uhl is leaving the Oregon Track Club Elite in Portland to train with her college coach in Ames, Iowa.  Looks like this time interminable cold won out over interminable rain.

We don’t usually cover many college coaching moves, but any time something happens at the University of Oregon it usually has a ripple effect throughout the rest of track and field.  Vin Lananna is handing over his college coaching duties to Robert Johnson so Lananna can focus more of his time on big picture projects in track and field.  Those projects may include the construction of an indoor facility in Eugene, a potential bid to host the IAAF World Championships and the first ever decathlon competition on the moon.

Usain Bolt will give his wild card spot in the 100 at next year’s World Championships to Yohan Blake.  I am assuming this means Bolt is keeping his free pass in the 200.

After injuries have scuttled his last two marathon attempts, Ryan Hall is considering getting a coach.

UK Athletics coach Charles van Commenee will step down from his post.  Good luck Great Britain finding someone else who is knowledgeable about track and looks exactly like Al Franken.

Martin Bingisser analyzes the height, weight and age of the hammer throwers in London.

The headline on this Sports Business article says, “IAAF’s Gabriel rejects talk of sea-change for athletics.”  Replace “rejects” with “embraces”  and you got it.

The Chicago Marathon announced their elite field including Tsegaye Kebede, Dathan Ritzenhein, Liliya Shobukhova and Werknesh Kidane.

Are Valerie Adams and Nadzeya Ostapchuk going to box?  Probably not, but if they do, Adams said she would do well because she “fought a few boys at school.”  Did she just go there?

-Kevin

The Morning Run: September 6th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

-The start lists for the final Diamond League meet in Brussels are posted.  We promise this is the last track meet of the year.  Ok, there is Rieti is on the 9th, but that is it.

Hubert Lawrence of the Jamaica Gleaner argues that countries that have earned multiple wild cards to the World Championships should not be limited to four entries.  This situation arises when the Diamond League champion and the defending world champion come from the same country (but aren’t the same person).  Lawrence cites the men’s steeplechase where Ezekiel Kemboi is the defending champion and Paul Koech will win this season’s Diamond League.  This could happen (or already has happened) in at least four different events:

Men’s 100 (Usain Bolt/Yohan Blake)

Men’s 200 (Nickel Ashmeade/Bolt)

Men’s 110 Hurdles (Aries Merritt/Jason Richardson)

Women’s 5000 (Mercy Cherono, Vivian Cheruiyot) 

The U.S. won’t be in this position in the women’s 200, but it is interesting that American Charonda Williams is on the brink of winning the Diamond League title in the 200.  She can clinch with a first or second place finish or if Bianca Knight finishes lower than first.  Williams didn’t make the finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials and her results this year from the Diamond League show that consistency, not dominance, can win you the title:

Shanghai: 5th

Oslo: 3rd

Paris: 3rd

London: 1st

Stockholm: 1st

Brussels: ??

Most American sprint fans probably aren’t familiar with Williams, but credit to her for making the most of the new wild card rule.   She capitalized on the absence of the big 200-meter stars and now looks poised to earn a trip to Moscow.  Perhaps others were not aware of this alternate route to the World Championships (this was the case with hurdler Dawn Harper) , but surely fewer will be in the dark next season.

-Jason and I tried to make sense of David Rudisha’s defeat, Oscar Pistorius’ comments and Paul Ryan’s marathon time in our latest podcast.  As always, you can subscribe/rate the podcast on iTunes.

-Days after the controversial post-race accusations by Pistorius, the South African Paralympic Committee has registered a formal complaint with the International Paralympic Committee.  That should calm things down.

-Olympians Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Julie Culley will run the New York City Marathon in November.

Haile Gebrselassie and Mo Farah were slated to race in the half-marathon at the Bupa Great North Run next weekend.  That was until Gebrselassie dropped out with an injury and Farah opted to run the two-mile instead.  Welcome to the imminent disappointment that is the off-season.

-Kevin

The Morning Run: September 4th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Oscar Pistorius angered, confused and disappointed many in the sporting world with his comments about fellow Paralympic athlete, Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira.  Now there is a discussion about how the fallout will impact his brand.

Want to take more than an hour off your marathon time?  Try the Paul Ryan Time Calculator.

Jeff Demps has been placed on injured reserve by the New England Patriots.  No more football for him this year.  If only there were another sport he could turn to……

Over the weekend in Berlin, Aries Merritt broke 13 seconds in the 110 hurdles for the seventh time this season.

Also in Berlin, former Oklahoma State star German Fernandez, ran a lifetime best in the 1500Jesse Squire breaks it down.

The preliminary start lists for the Brussels Diamond League meet have been posted.  As expected, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake will not be racing one another.  Here is an extended post on the non-reasons why they aren’t facing off.

Matt Tegenkamp and Renee Baillie won the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race and the US 20K title in the process.

If you had the American women and the Eritrean men winning the World Mountain Running Championships, then I have great news for you.

-Kevin

The Morning Run: August 23rd

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

We posted a podcast Tuesday covering all the story lines of the on/off season.

Coverage of today’s meet in Lausanne begins at 11 a.m. PST.  The best feed can probably found here on the CBC site.  Hooray Canada!

Track and Field News breaks down just how consistent how Aries Merritt has been in 2012.

More Aries, he raced some NBA players, including point guard John Wall, at the Reebok headquarters.  The most instructive portion of the video comes when legendary basketball coach Bobby Hurley is overheard bracing the basketball players for imminent defeat.

Ajee Wilson, winner of the 800 at the 2012 World Junior Championships, will defer her enrollment to Florida State.  By delaying her college career, Wilson hopes to have a better chance at qualifying for next year’s world championships.

The newly updated American top 40 list from Track and Field News.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova has some advice for Lolo Jones.

Usain Bolt gives an update on his post-Olympic plans including his thoughts on the long jump and the 400.  Wait, this news is too serious for Bolt.  Here we go, an article about a seven-year-old who made a model of Bolt out of vegetables!

Yohan Blake’s agent is upset at the low appearance fee offerred to his client by Birmingham meet director Ian Stewart.  Stewart also ruffled feathers earlier in the year when he barred Lolo Jones and Nick Symmonds from competing at the London Diamond League meet.  Prior to this summer, Stewart was only known to Americans as the guy who made Steve Prefontaine  have 4th street named after him.

-Kevin

The Morning Run- April 13th

The Morning Run is a daily compilation of links, news and commentary.

Yesterday, the Jamaican Observer wrote about Yohan Blake’s plans to double in the 100 and 200 at this year’s Olympics.  While not surprising, it got me thinking about which decisions will have the most impact on the competition in London.  After not including relays, or assumed doubles, such as Usain Bolt, Walter Dix, Carmelita Jeter, Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, etc. I narrowed it down to four:

Allyson Felix: 100/200, 200/400, 200,  400

Despite the articles and intimations to the contrary, attempting the 100 seems like a long shot for Felix.  After all, if she were going to put another race on her schedule that comes before her favored 200, then it would be the 400, where she narrowly missed gold in 2011.  If she does opt for the 100, her path out of the Olympic Trials got a little bit easier with the news that Marshevet Hooker will be taking the year off.

However, it seems very hard to believe Felix would put an extra race in her legs, both in Eugene and London trying to beat 100 meter specialists.  The more realistic option is between the 200 and 400.  She tried the double last year in Daegu and came up a bit short finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively, but even with the Olympic year resurgence of Sanya Richards-Ross and Christine Ohuruogu, the 400 is still not nearly as deep as the 200.

So why would she drop the 400, a race where was .03 seconds away from gold at the 2011 World Championships?  The idea of racing Veronica Campbell-Brown and Carmelita Jeter fresh has to be tempting.  As does winning gold in the 200 where she earned the silver medal at the last two Olympics.

Chances of:

100/200:  1%

200/400:  75%

400:            25%

200:            50%

Abubaker Kaki: 800 or 1500

As they overlap on the London program, this is most likely and either/or situation.  Kaki was the silver medalist in the 800 last year, but the man he lost to, David Rudisha, seems unbeatable.  His switch to the 1500 for the Olympics would make him the first to employ the ARAAC strategy (Avoid Rudisha At All Costs).  Most don’t have the ability to pull off the ARAAC, but Kaki ran 3:31 last year and is already entered in a 1500 for the first Diamond League meet.

What would be the ripple effect of Kaki’s switch?  Aside from Rudisha’s path getting easier, it would make Kaki a medal threat immediately in the 1500.  Throw him, and his closing speed, in the mix with Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat and the chances of an American medal decrease significantly as well.

Chances of…

800: 40%

1500: 60%

Kenenisa Bekele: 5,000, 10,000, 5,000/10,000, neither

We will definitely have more information about the form of the defending gold medalist after he returns to racing this weekend in Ireland. Bekele barely raced last year and dropped out of the 10,000 at the World Championships snapping his undefeated streak in that event in the process.  His 2011 wasn’t all bad though as he returned in Brussels to run the fastest time in the world (26:43).  Was that performance a sign to returned dominance or a final curtain call?

The answer should be much more obvious this year because he will have to show some positive results early in the season in order to get selected to the Olympic team.  Bekele’s presence in either event would make it much more difficult for Mo Farah to win in front of his home crowd and it would also mean that a highly qualified Ethiopian will be on the sideline.  In the 2011 World Championships, Ethiopia went 1st and 3rd in the 10,000 and 3rd and 5th in the 5,000 (they would have been 3rd and 4th had Imane Merga not been disqualified).  The 5,000 and 10,000 are separated by several days making the double manageable.

Chances of:

5,000: 25%

10,000: 85%

5,000/10,000: 65%

Neither: 10%

Yohan Blake: 100, 200 or 100/200

Why would a reigning world champion in the 100 not race the glamour event at the Olympic Games?  The answer is he probably still will, but maybe he should reconsider.  Blake’s 100 meter title last year was a bit diminished by the absence of Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, and was overshadowed by his own post-World Championship 19.26 200 meter time.

His best in the 100 meters is 9.82.  Great, but does not put him in the rarefied air that his 200 does.  If he skips the 100, he will be racing fresh against many that will be doubling back from the 100.  When I floated this idea to Ato Boldon (at about 8:02 on the podcast) he politely told me I was completely wrong, so I am probably way off base.  The prestige and potential earning power is far greater in the 100, but if Blake does not show the ability to go 9.7 or 9.6 early in the season, he should give the 200, and just the 200, a serious look.

100: 65%

200:  25%

100/200: 75%

The rest of The Morning Run

Aries Merritt and his hair are profiled by Yahoo.

The Boston Herald explains why the top Americans will be on the sidelines for this year’s Boston Marathon.  Hint, the Olympics.

The IAAF preview of Boston.

Jesse Squire discusses the connection between Steve Prefontaine and dual meets.

Ken Goe’s links of yore.

More of the non-story that is the status of Delano Williams‘ citizenship.

A great analysis of Matt Centrowitz’s bronze medal race in Daegu.

-Kevin