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dave devine | recovery lap

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05 . 06 . 09
We look at a lot of meet results here at DyeStat.  We process performances and attend meets and write about them on deadline.  Somewhere around the middle of the week, I'm always looking for a breather, a little break, a short recovery before the next onslaught of invites and mega-meets. Maybe watch a few videos. Surf the web. Find a good story or two. As a runner and a coach, I learned the value of rest between hard efforts. As an editor, I'm planning to bring you along.  

Let's go run a lap.

the top shot

Suffern NY senior Shelby Greany set a USR in the 2k Steeple - Photo John Nepolitan

55 years later...and still the goal

What did Rudyard Kipling write? If you can fill the unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds' worth of distance run...  Fifty-five years ago today, a 25 year-old British medical student named Roger Bannister filled slightly less than four of those unforgiving minutes with a mile run, to become the first man in history to record a sub-4 Mile.  In the half century since, "going sub-4" has become shorthand for the dreams and goals of millions runners around the world.  Here's to Sir Roger, for setting the bar.

haile becomes a 'hog'

One of the lingering questions of the 2009 college signing period has been the planned matriculation of 2008 Foot Locker National champ Solomon Haile.  This week, Haile ended that speculation by signing with the University of Arkansas.  According to the press release, Haile joins a loaded incoming class which includes Omar Abdi (Charlestown, Ma.), Reid Brasher (Ruston, La.), Max Carroll (Shawnee, Kan.), Drew Butler (The Woodlands, Texas), Cameron Efurd (Rogers, Ark.) and Raymond Higgs (Freeport, Bahamas), all of whom have all committed to Arkansas for 2009-10. | DyeStat College Choices 09

great site for wasting time

I came across a great site launched by Brooks Running in conjunction with the approach of the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago.  Featuring two brothers who brand themselves Running Superfans, the landing page is a "Shrine to Running" that you can scroll aimlessly around, discovering links to features like videos (highly recommended), lists of great running movies and books, and flickering votive candles. 

From the Superfans' profile: We're Karl & Carl Underwood, Running's #1 Superfans! We love the 5K, 10K and think the 401K sounds like a lot of fun. Cross-country, Steeplechase, (and the first 90% of pole vault)—we love all that, too. As far as we know, the Underwood brothers are no relation to our own Steve "SteveU" Underwood, though he, too, qualifies as a "superfan."

Here's one of the Superfan videos, in which they hit a local playground searching for up-and-coming talent:

alumni association

It was a pretty good week for recent "DyeStat distance grads" as the Payton Jordan Invite at Stanford University witnessed 2008 alums and true freshmen Chris Derrick (Stanford) and German Fernandez (Oregon State) both crushing Galen Rupp's American Junior record in the 5k, with Derrick actually claiming the top spot with his 13:29.98 clocking (photo right, by Kirby Lee) over Fernandez' 13:31.78.  Rupp's 2004 mark was 13:37.91.

“The main thing was to beat German, because I knew that he would be in good shape to do it,” Derrick said afterwards. “It doesn’t matter if he hasn’t run a race in a year. He is going to be fit. I figured coming down to the last 800, that the record would come down to which ever of us was ahead at that time.”

Also in that race, and a step ahead of Derrick at the finish, former Illinois standout and now-Portland-resident Evan Jager, only 2 years removed from high school himself and running his first competitive track 5k for a jaw-dropping 13:29.65 debut.  The recently launched website Run the Roads, by our friend (and Distance Gala Weekly scribe) Scott Bush, has a lengthy interview with Jager on everything from his departure from Wisconsin to his favorite racing spike.

Also at the Payton Jordan, '07 stud and redshirt freshman Matthew Centrowitz (Oregon) stunned with the 6th fastest 1500 time in NCAA history.  His US leading 3:36.92 was just off the Oregon school record of 3:36.48 held by 1984 Olympic 800m gold medallist Joaquim Cruz (BRA), and third in school history behind Cruz and Matthew's father, Matt, who ran 3:36.7 in 1976.

Runnerspace videos of Centro's Race | US Jr 5k Record | Derrick Interview | DyeStatCal Fernandez Interview

oklahoma elevation

It's been an amazing spring for field eventers, and some of the best marks have come in the jumps.  The state of Oklahoma alone has produced two of the best verticalists in high school history. Del City senior Toni Young-- perhaps better known for her basketball dunking until this spring-- went from a very solid (and then-US#1) 5-11.00 high jump PR to an astonishing late-April tie with Amy Acuff's national record of 6-4. 

Here's the video of her progression to that record:

Also from Oklahoma, Norman North senior Jack Whitt has been the dominant pole vaulter in 2009, with his monster 18-00.25 clearance at the Texas Relays the #5 HS vault mark all-time.

In case you missed it, here's the video of that vault:

ornelas in the rap game

Most DyeStatters have heard of Texas distance standout Zach Ornelas, the 2008 NON champ in the steeple who is also the US leader for 2k Steeple this season.  In the latest issue of RISE Magazine (and on-line at espnrise.com), the Michigan-bound Vista Ridge TX senior reveals that running isn't his only passion.

According to ESPN RISE writer Matt Remsberg, "While the steeplechase will be [Ornelas'] No. 1 priority at Michigan, another activity he picked up while living in New York might be a close No. 2: rapping. Something he and two friends began doing out of boredom on bus rides has turned into a serious hobby just a few years later.

He still collaborates with his original partners by sending verses back and forth on the Internet, but Ornelas is more focused on his solo career as the aptly named Strydefast. He spent nearly all the money he earned working construction for two summers on studio and production equipment and put on his first public performance at a recent open-mic night."

Strydefast or fast striding, no doubt Ornelas will be a contender in the steeple at this years Nike Outdoor Nationals again.