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Indoor Champs for Poland

In just two weeks’ time, the focus of the athletics world will fall on Sopot, Poland as the 15th edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships gets underway on 7 March. [Read more…]

Rupp Rules US Trials

Rupp’s Record Run at U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000m
Tegenkamp, Ritzenhein also under previous Trials record to qualify for London 2012; a record 11 U.S. men broke 28 minutes at the Trials in the rain

Rupp, Ritz and Tegg

Rupp, Ritz and Tegg

EUGENE, Ore. – June 22, 2012 – With a steady rain falling over the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field on Friday night, it was pre-race and homestate favorite Galen Rupp who reigned over the field in the men’s Olympic Trials 10,000 meter final, the deepest in U.S. history with a record 11 men under 28 minutes and the best marks for place at the USOT from first to 11th.

Swapping the lead for much of the race with his Nike Oregon Project teammate Dathan Ritzenhein, who needed to secure an Olympic “A” standard of under 27:45 in addition to a top-3 finish in order to qualify for the U.S. team that will compete in London later this summer, Rupp, 26, made his final move to the front with three laps to go, running away with a comfortable victory in an Olympic Trials record of 27 minutes, 25.33 seconds.

“I had a goal coming in to win,” said Rupp, who finished runner-up to Abdi Abdirahman at the 2008 Trials. “And I always feel really lucky to be able to run here, basically on my home track, especially for such a big event like the Olympic Trials.”

Ritzenhein, who made a valiant effort forcing the pace for much of the race, finished third in 27:36.09. Matt Tegenkamp, a 2008 Olympian at 5000 meters, overtook Ritzenhein on the last lap to finish second in 27:33.94. All three men finished under Meb Keflezighi’s Olympic Trials record of 27:36.49 set in 2004, and the trio move on to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in London.

Passing through 5K in 13:56, Rupp threw in a quick 64-second lap to cut the lead pack down to five. In addition to Ritzenhein and Tegenkamp, Stanford’s Chris Derrick (4th, 27:40.23) and Aaron Braun of McMillan Elite (5th, 27:41.54) came along for the ride. Subsequent laps were clicked off in 65 and 66 seconds, as the lead group passed through 8K in 22:09. Ritzenhein took another turn at the front with five laps to go, with Tegenkamp also pressing, before Rupp threw in a 63.9 second lap to separate himself from the field with just over 1000 meters until the finish line.

“I was really happy too that I was able to help my training partner out, Dathan,” Rupp said of sharing the early pace with Ritzenhein. “It worked out great that we were able to work together early in the race, but at 5K it was every man for himself.”

Tegenkamp was thrilled to make his second Olympic team, especially after an up-and-down season last year which culminated in disappointing 10th place finish at the World championships in Daegu. The University of Wisconsin alum quietly kept himself in contention on Friday night and put himself in position to respond to any decisive moves.

“I’ve had quite an up-and-down year, three years for that matter, and what a lot of people didn’t know was that everything had a purpose this year and it all went into this race,” Tegenkamp explained. “For me it was about staying as relaxed as possible and making the right moves, covering the moves, being patient and just toughening it out. And when we separated ourselves with 6 or 7 laps to go it was just hold on for dear life.”

For Ritzenhein, who was injured much of last year and finished a heartbreaking fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January, Friday night’s third-place finish in under Olympic “A” standard time was a huge weight lifted off his shoulders. The now three-time Olympic team member, who like Rupp is coached by the legendary Alberto Salazar, can breathe easy and focus solely on his preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games.

“It’s been a really emotional evening here for me. It’s been a tough road,” Ritzenhein admitted. “Making my third Olympic team, it wasn’t easy. The last couple years have been very difficult for me so coming out here my training had been going great. The plan working with Galen trading leads is something I owe to him big time. He said it was in both our best interests, but it was definitely in my interest more than his, and so I’ll owe him big time for this.”

U.S. Olympic Trials – Track & Field
2012 London Olympic Games qualifier
Eugene, OR, Friday, June 22, 2012

Men’s 10,000m
1) Galen Rupp (OR), 27:25.33*
2) Matt Tegenkamp (OR), 27:33.94
3) Dathan Ritzenhein (OR), 27:36.09
4) Chris Derrick (CA), 27:40.23
5) Aaron Braun (AZ), 27:41.54
6) Ryan Vail (OR), 27:52.53
7) Brent Vaughn (CO), 27:55.44
8) Luke Puskedra (OR), 27:56.62
9) Bobby Mack (NC), 27:58.07
10) Bobby Curtis (PA), 27:58.48
*Olympic Trials record (previous record, 27:36.49, Meb Keflezighi (CA), 2004)

US athletes for Hall of Fame

Five American athletes named to inaugural IAAF Hall of Fame

Edwin Moses 400m Hurdles

Edwin Moses 400m Hurdles

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – The IAAF announced Thursday that Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Al Oerter and Jesse Owens will be among the initial 12 members of the inaugural class for the IAAF Hall of Fame. The IAAF and President Lamine Diack made the announcement at a press conference held at the Turkish Olympic House in preparation for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will begin Friday and run through Sunday at the Atakoy Athletic Arena.

The IAAF announced the initial 12 names for induction into the Hall of Fame Thursday while the remaining 12 names will be announced at some point before the official induction ceremony, which is scheduled for November 24, 2012, at the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona.

A “Who’s Who in American track and field”, Owens, Lewis, Oerter, Moses and Joyner-Kersee are all members of the USA Track & Field National Hall of Fame. Along with the announcement, the IAAF states the strict criteria for induction, which says athletes must have won at least two Olympic or World Championships gold medals and have set at least one world record. Athletes also need to be retired from the sport for 10 years.

“As part of the celebrations to mark the centennial year of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the IAAF is proud to announce the inauguration of the IAAF Hall of Fame in 2012,” President Diack said. “The creation of the IAAF Hall of Fame which has long been a vision of the sport’s world governing body is an excellent way not only to honor the lifetime achievements of our greatest athletes, but also heighten public awareness of our sport and its rich history.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
One of the most famous American athletes of all time, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated. In her time as a multi-event athlete, Joyner-Kersee won three Olympic gold medals and four World Outdoor Championships gold medals. She established the world record four times in the heptathlon and did so once in the long jump. From 1985 until 1991 Joyner-Kersee won 12 consecutive heptathlon competitions.

Carl Lewis
Few will ever be able to duplicate the nine Olympic gold medals, eight World Championships gold medals and nine world records Carl Lewis was a part of during his time as a sprinter and jumper. The IAAF induction is the latest honor for Lewis as he was also voted Male Athlete of the 20th Century by the IAAF and Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. He not only equaled Owens’ four-gold-medal performance at the 1984 Olympic Games, but he also won long jump Olympic gold four consecutive times from 1984 until 1996. Lewis set the world record in the 100m three different times and was part of six world record setting 4x100m teams.

Edwin Moses
The 122 consecutive races Edwin Moses won during his run in the 400-meter hurdles will go down as one of the better streaks in any sport. Moses won both the 1976 and 1984 Olympic gold medals and would have been the odds-on favorite to win in 1980 if not for the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. Between 1977 and 1987 Moses didn’t lose a race in the 400m hurdles. That string also included gold medals at two World Championships and three IAAF world cups.

Al Oerter
Al Oerter was the first of his kind in winning four consecutive Olympic gold medals in the discus from 1956 through 1968. Oerter won his first Olympic gold at the age of 20 when he set the Olympic record and became the youngest ever Olympic champion of the event. One of the more dominant throwers the event has ever seen, Oerter established a new Olympic record in each of his four Olympics.

Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens is known in track and field for a pair of reasons – winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games and setting five world records in a 45-minute span in college. In 1936, in the politically charged Games in Berlin, Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Not until Carl Lewis in 1984, would anyone win those same events in the same Olympics. In 1935, as a student at Ohio State, Owens set world marks in the 100-yard, long jump, 220-yard and 220-yard hurdles all in less than 45 minutes.