Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016 Millrose Games

After my sweet 18 miler this morning, I cleaned myself up and headed down to Recharge for some TLC on my somewhat unhappy legs.

The timing was deliberate: at 1pm, the Millrose Games from NYC were on television. So i set up shop with some Normatec compression boots and relaxed for a couple of hours.

Of course, some silly college basketball game was running overtime, so the track meet telecast was delayed. Really? There are approximately 4 billion basketball games on TV every year, and maybe a dozen track meets. The ball game was a full month before March Madness, so the network could have given track its due (and a little love). But no...

When i become emperor, things are going to change.

Finally, the meet came on:

Women's 60m. Allyson Felix wins a tight race, with former UO Duck Jenna Prandini in a solid third. Really strange seeing JP in Puma and not Nike...I can't believe the folks in Beaverton let her slip away.

Men's 60m. China's Su Bingtian gets a close 2nd. I said it at the 2014 World Junior Championships, when i saw lots of Chinese and Japanese runners getting top results: Asian is coming like a freight train, and with lots of depth.

Women's 5000m. Molly Huddle wants a record, but has to settle for second. Her consolation is a ridiculous early-season time of 14:57 or so, and on an indoor track. For comparison, she ran a 15:13 at the last Olympic Trials for second place, in the infamous Kim Conley race. The thing that really bugged me about today's race was that the lapped runners were sticking hard to the inside lane, instead of giving the leaders the pole. As a result, the last two laps were a mess of slow bodies getting in the way of the fast bodies. One of the unintentional miscreants was Jordan Hasay, another former UO runner. She made the 2008 Olympic Trials 1500m final as a high school junior, running a HS record 4:14. But in college, she never lived up to that potential...i think that her college workouts just sapped her strength, and her slight frame just couldn't keep up. But what do i know? Meanwhile, former ASU Sun Devil Shelby Houlihan runs 5th in a sweet 15:06; very smooth runner with an NCAA 1500m crown in her trophy case. She's going to be a good one.

Bottom line: lapped runners, get the heck out of the way!

Decathlon WR holder and defending Olympic Champ Ashton Eaton did both the long jump and the 60m hurdles, finishing 2nd or 3rd in the latter event. The guy is a stud.

Women's 400m. Natasha Hastings in a romp. This woman has a career with Maybelline waiting; her makeup is perfect, and her dreadlocks probably took hours to install. Or are those extensions? I don't know, but she got them perfect. And purple, too.

Pole Vault. Demi Payne, single mom, has a pole that was painted like a disco ball or an American flag.

Men's 3000. Ryan Hill wins with a furious push over the last lap. Good guy Eric Jenkins a solid third in 7:39, finally beating former teammate Edward Cheserek. Nice to see Eric getting a great result after finishing 2nd so many times in college. And abandoning his clean-shaven pate is Lopez Lomong, who was sporting hair on his head for the first time in years; i honestly didn't recognize him.

There's a British guy doing the play by play. He's good, but isn't there an American who can do a telecast? The same guy also did the US Olympic Marathon Trials a week ago...seriously, call me! No one knows track trivia like i do.

Wanamaker Mile: Centro wins in a very fast 3:50, and that's another smokin' time for this early in the season. The pending Olympic year means everyone gets sharp sooner and with more urgency.

And that means there will be lots of great track to watch this year! Nice to know that I'll be in the front row for most of it.

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