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Drake Mens XC Team
©Jim Kirby-2016

Bulldogs Earn Academic Awards

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake  ©Drake Athletics

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake
©Drake Athletics

The Drake University men’s cross country team has been honored with the NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award for ranking as one of the highest-performing teams in the nation in the Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Courtesy Bulldog Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Drake Mens XC Team©Jim Kirby-2016

The Public Recognition Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in their respective sports. Those receiving Public Recognition Awards recorded multi-year APR that ranged from 985 to a perfect 1,000. The Drake men’s cross country team was one of those elite programs to achieve a perfect score of 1,000 for the year ending 2016-17.

The Bulldogs’ perfect score marks the third-straight year in which the program has achieved a perfect APR score and the the fifth time in program history it has earned the Public Recognition Award.

The Bulldogs were the only men’s cross country program in the Missouri Valley Conference to earn the Public Recognition Award and the only one in the state of Iowa as well.

Drake teams have earned a total of 25 Public Recognition Awards since the program was instituted following the 2004-05 academic year.

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Jim Crawford 2018

Dutch Alum Fairley Gains International Experience

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central ©Jim Kirby 2018

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central
©Jim Kirby 2018

While in Brazil competing at the FISU America Games last month, former Central College men’s distance runner Mark Fairley made memories both on and off the track.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central ©Jim Crawford 2018

Sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the American Games are held in even numbered-years for North American and South American nations. This year’s version featured 1,200 athletes from over 20 participating countries in 13 sports.

On the track, Fairley had not raced competitively since the NCAA Division III Championships at the end of May. In his marquee event, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Fairley was fourth in 9 minutes, 40.15 seconds. Daniel Reyes Morales of Mexico was the winner in 9:11.12. He also placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run in 4:04.76 while Michael Alba Jofre of Chile was the winner in 3:54.53.

“The competition was really good,” Fairley said. “At this point in the year, I am in the summer and just finished my season. Most of them are in the winter and in the beginning of their season. The other competitors all had similar PR’s, but they just happened to be in a little bit better shape because they had probably gotten better training over the previous month.”

The international nature of the event allowed Fairley to rub shoulders with athletes from other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Uruguay.

“All of the athletes from all of the different sports stayed in the hotel,” Fairley said. “It was cool to have conversations with athletes from so many different countries.”

Service work also featured prominently on the week-long trip as the USA Track and Field team helped put together a mini-Olympics for Brazilian school children. The event was organized to lay the groundwork for the planting of a church in the area.

“There was a lot of opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ with people from other countries as well as my American teammates,” Fairley said. “God showed me the importance of trusting in him no matter what life throws at me.

“I was in charge of one of the soccer stations. It was like teaching a physical education class, which my education and student teaching experiences at Central prepared me well for.”

Speaking through a Portuguese translator at local schools while promoting the event, Fairley also answered questions about life in the United States and played soccer with the children.

Despite the short duration of the trip, the experience made an impact on Fairley.

“I hope and pray that I was an encouragement and joy to the school children of Brazil, because I know they were for me,” he said.

Fairley begins a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach with the cross country and track and field programs at Liberty University (Va.) this fall.

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Storm’s Litterer Expands Portfolio For Her Major

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2017

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Sport: Cross Country and Track & Field
Hometown: Waverly, Iowa
Class this Fall: Junior
Major/Minor: Exercise Science/Biology
Internship: Program Supervisor at Cedar Falls Recreation Center

 Courtesy Storm Sports, click here! Feature photo: Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson©Jim Kirby 2017
What are your primary responsibilities?

I designed an eight week track camp for 3-6 graders. I coach at the camp, as well as manage the four other coaches. I am also the supervisor for a program called Before & After Care, which is a child care program held in the morning and afternoons. As a supervisor, I am responsible for creating schedules and time sheets, as well as other duties that come with managing staff.

How does this position help with your career goals?

This job fits in very well with my exercise science major because I have spent the last few years learning about the importance of exercise in children, and now I get to design a program to promote that! I would love to be a Cross Country or Track coach someday, so this is the perfect way to gain experience.

Did Simpson play a role in helping you get these internships? If so, how?

The classes I have taken for my major have prepared me well and taught me how to create an effective track program.

How has your experience as a student-athlete been helpful in this position?

My experience as a student-athlete has helped tremendously because I am able to take what I have learned from my coaches and share that with the athletes that I am now coaching. Being an athlete is helpful because I can put myself in the kids’ shoes and understand what they are going through.

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Dutch Men and Women Collect Academic Call Outs

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central ©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Women

Five Central College women’s track and field athletes earned individual plaudits as the entire team was given the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team award Thursday.

Courtesy Dutch AthleticsMen, Click Here! Women, click here! Feature photo: Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

In order to qualify for the team award, the GPA of the team’s entire roster must combine to equal 3.10. The Dutch reached a 3.44 GPA as a team.

To qualify for the individual honor, student-athletes must post a 3.3 or better combined GPA and compete in an NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor championship or finish the regular season ranked in the top 35 in the nation in an individual event.

The only repeat winner for the Dutch women, Holly McKinney (senior, St. Charles, Interstate-35 HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (outdoor – No. 31). She graduated with a degree in exercise science and a 3.48 GPA.

Evie Kammeyer (senior, Urbandale) qualified for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, where she placed 18th (11:19.92). She graduated with a degree in biology and a 3.50 GPA.

Courtney Kruthoff (freshman, Erie, Ill.) finished in the top-50 nationally in the high jump (indoor – No. 33). Her major is undeclared and she has a 3.837 GPA.

Mary Gray (freshman, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the pentathlon (indoor – No. 35) and heptathlon (outdoor – No. 45). Her major is undeclared and she has a 3.42 GPA.

Kiki Pingel (freshman, Pella) finished in the top-50 nationally in the pentathlon (indoor – No. 50). Her major is undeclared and she a 3.73 GPA,.

Central’s women’s track and field program has had 41 athletes earn USTFCCCA all-academic distinction 69 times.

Central’s USTFCCCA All-Academic women’s team honorees
Amy Olson, 1999
Jen Osteen, 1999
Hollie Reilly, 1999
Katie Button, 2000, 2001, 2002
Jenn Hansen, 2001, 2002, 2003
Abby Gonzales, 2002
Lindsay Schultz, 2002, 2003
Raegan Schultz, 2002, 2003
Alex Costigan, 2006
Chelsey Keller, 2006
Alicia Whisner, 2006, 2007
Angie Berry, 2007, 2009
Rachel Boeke, 2007, 2008, 2009
Kari Hutchinson, 2007, 2008
Chelsey Keller, 2007
Emily Teas, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Rachelle Tipton, 2008, 2009, 2010
Jill Ziskovsky, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Hannah Anderson, 2009
Felicia Coleman, 2010
Ashley Feldman, 2010
Sam Retz, 2010
Rachel Purdy, 2011, 2012
Morgan Sharp, 2012
Rachel Northrup, 2012
Miranda Wehde, 2012
Camie Kibbee, 2014, 2015
Allie McBroom, 2014, 2015
Whitney Pavlat, 2014
Monica Ruiz, 2014, 2015, 2016
Emma Drees, 2015, 2017
Morgan Koenigs, 2015, 2017
Kate Patton, 2015, 2016
Meredith Zimmerman, 2015
Holly McKinney, 2016, 2018
Lorell Stuht, 2017
Mary Gray, 2018
Evie Kammeyer, 2018
Courtney Kruthoff, 2018
Kiki Pingel, 2018

Men

Will Daniels (sophomore, Geneseo, Ill.) and Mark Fairley (senior, Dubuque) took two of the four Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year honors in NCAA Division III Track and Field as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team Thursday.

Daniels and Fairley were two of seven Central men to be recognized by the USTFCCCA.

To qualify for the honor, student-athletes must post a 3.3 or better combined GPA and compete in an NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor championship or finish the regular season ranked in the top 35 in the nation in an individual event.

Named the Indoor Field Scholar of the Year, Daniels was the national champion in the heptathlon, at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships with 5,287 points. He also earned All-American honors in the indoor high jump (seventh place – 6 feet, 9 inches) and the outdoor decathlon (third place – 6,969 points). He is a 4.0 student as a biology major.

Also a national champion, Fairley was named the Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. He won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of a 9 minutes, 4.50 seconds at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He graduated with a degree in exercise science and a 3.825 GPA.

Ryan Kruse (senior, St. Clair, Minn.) qualified for both the indoor and outdoor national meet, earning All-American honors indoors by finishing third in the heptathlon (5,124 points). He graduated with a degree in mathematics and a 3.737 GPA.

Hunter Howe (senior, La Plata, Mo.) was a part of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished in the top-35 nationally (outdoor – No. 35). He graduated with a degree in athletic training and a 3.87 GPA.

Michael Firkins (senior, Centerville) finished in the top-50 nationally in the hammer throw (outdoor) and weight throw (indoor). He graduated with a double major in exercise science and biochemistry and a 3.568 GPA.

Kyle Pape (junior, Dubuque, Wahlert Catholic HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the 800-meter run (outdoor – No. 40) and was a part of a distance medley relay team that was top-35 (indoor – No. 20). He is an exercise science major with a 3.819 GPA.

Jon Specht (senior, Dubuque, Hempstead HS) was a part of the distance medley relay team that was top-35 (indoor – No. 20). He graduated with a double major of biology and exercise science and 3.585 GPA.

The Dutch men have had 31 athletes win the honor 47 times.

Central’s USTFCCCA All-Academic men’s track and field team
Craig Cantrall, 1994
Andy Goodman, 1994
Nate Smith, 1994
Jon Rathje, 1999
Matt Webster, 1999
Marc VanderVelden, 2000
Tony Brownlee, 2001, 2002
Lucas Nims, 2001
Matt Jens, 2002
Matt McCombs, 2002
Cale Van Genderen, 2003
Tanner Whipple, 2003
Ben Bollard, 2006, 2007
Bryan George, 2006
Guy Dierikx, 2007, 2008
Cody Huisman, 2007
Alex Miller, 2007
Adam Wolf, 2007
Kurtis Brondyke, 2011
Tyler Crouse, 2010, 2011, 2012
Spencer Hammack, 2014, 2015
Drew Jackson, 2014, 2015
Eric Larson, 2014, 2015
Jaemin Powell, 2014, 2016
Jamie Vander Veer, 2015
Mark Fairley, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hunter Howe, 2016, 2018
Ryan Kruse, 2016, 2017, 2018
Will Daniels, 2017, 2018
Michael Firkins, 2018
Kyle Pape, 2018
Jon Specht, 2018

 

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium 
©Jim Kirby 2018

Wherever the Meet, Results Are the Same For Karissa Schweizer by Jim Kirby

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in  in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou greats her fans in in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

Heusden-Zolder, Belgium may be a long way from the Dowling Catholic High School track where Karissa Schweizer first experienced success, and it may be further still from familiar “Audrey J. Walton Track” on the Mizzou campus, yet the results are still the same. Running internationally for the first time this July, Schweizer won her first overseas race in Kortrijk, Belgium, setting another personal best in the 1500m of 4:06.77 in the process. Only a week later she faced a much tougher international challenge that featured some familiar American names.

Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou battles Molly Huddle in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium ©Jim Kirby 2018

 

On a beautiful Belgium summer evening, Schweizer walked from the staging area onto the track for the women’s 5K event. She walked along with the rest of the field which included some of the best in the world, such as fellow Iowan and Olympian Shelby Houlihan and Olympian Molly Huddle and Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, who was on hand to pace Houlihan in her attempt to break the American 5K record.

Schweizer had an interesting new uniform on this evening as well. No longer wearing the familiar black and yellow of Mizzou, she now wore the uniform of The Bowerman Track Club, her new professional team, joining track giants like Flanagan and Houlihan. The subtle sign of different colors marked a new chapter in Schweizer’s career, ending months of anticipation and some nerves in deciding which pro team she’d run for.

 

“Excited to finally announce that I have signed with Nike and the Bowerman Track Club! Can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Schweizer talked about it after the race and added, “I’m really excited to start training with the Bowerman team. They have a really good framework going and I can’t wait to be a part of it!”

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa's mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium  ©Jim Kirby 2018

Kathy Schweizer, Karissa’s mother watches race in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
©Jim Kirby 2018

A large, enthusiastic crowd settled in for the women’s 5K, excited to see the international field and were not disappointed. Toeing the line, Schweizer, now an experienced veteran of big races, wore a calm yet focused stare, awaiting the gun. Karissa’s mother, Kathy, stood nervously along the fence. Even though she too had become a veteran of her daughter’s big races, there’s always a little anxiety at times like these for all mothers, no matter how many big races they watch their daughters run. Holding her phone tight to her ear, Kathy would nervously give a play by play of her daughter’s race to friends, family and former teammates via a conference call.

From the start, the race unfolded predictably as Houlihan and her pacers broke from the field in the first 200 meters, while Schweizer settled into the middle of the chase pack, staying just off the rail and out of trouble. Several laps in, a smaller chase group formed including Schweizer, Huddle and Emily Sisson, former NCAA National Champion. Up front, Houlihan was competing against the clock; meanwhile a second more competitive race battled on behind her.

With one lap remaining, Houlihan was on pace to break the record, while the battle for second was heating up and would be between Huddle and Schweizer. With 200 meters to go, Houlihan headlong into her famous finishing kick as Huddle and Schweizer were busy showing off ferocious kicks of their own.
As the crowd rose to its feet, they roared their approval for finishing efforts they were witnessing: Houlihan’s record breaking performance and the battle between Huddle and Schweizer finishing second and third respectively. After the race, Schweizer was quite pleased and proud of her third-place finish, setting yet another big personal 5K best in 15:02.44 and breaking another Missouri school record.

A satisfied Schweizer reflected on her race and European tour, not forgetting her college coach, Mizzou’s Marc Burns, who helped her get to this elite level. “I was very happy with the race. It’s been a stressful week with everything going on and I was glad I was able to clear my mind & have a good race! The whole goal for going to Europe was the set myself up for a fast 5k and Coach Burns put me in the best position for that.”

It appears no matter where Karissa Schweizer races, and for whatever team she runs, the results are the same and success will certainly follow.

Madie Waymeier-DCG-Iowa
©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

Hawks Wrap-Up Post season Academic Awards

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa ©Mike Brynes 2018

Karson Sommer-Pleasant Valley-Iowa
©Mike Brynes 2018

Seventy-three University of Iowa student-athletes have named Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholars, it was announced Tuesday by the league office.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Madie Waymeier-DCG-Iowa©Hawkeye Athletics-Darren Miller-2016

Among the Iowa honorees, 18 maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the 2017-18 academic term, including:
Talia Buss (women’s track & field)
Gage Eller (men’s track & field)
Andy Jatis (men’s track & field)
Andrea Shine (cross country/track & field)
Amy Smith (women’s track & field)
Karson Sommer (cross country/track & field)

Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. The recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution and have a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school.

The Big Ten recognized 1,143 student-athletes in 38 different sports as Distinguished Scholars, including 190 who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term.

Men’s Cross Country (1)
Karson Sommer – So. – Electrical Engineering/Mathematics – Bettendorf, Iowa

Women’s Cross Country (6)
Marta Gonzalez – Sr. – Marketing – Merida, Spain
Elizabeth Niedert – Jr. – Biomedical Engineering – Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Lauren Opatrny – Jr. – Human Physiology – McHenry, Ill.
Andrea Shine – Jr. – English – Crystal Lake, Ill.
Madison Waymire – Sr. – Sport & Recreation Management – Grimes, Iowa
Lindsay Welker – So. – Sport & Recreation Management – Terre Haute, Ind.

Men’s Track & Field (4)
Gage Eller – Jr. – Enterprise Leadership – Ames, Iowa
Andy Jatis – Jr. – Pharmacy – Homer Glen, Ill.
Carter Lilly – Sr. – Human Physiology – Sioux City, Iowa
Karson Sommer – So. – Electrical Engineering – Bettendorf, Iowa

Women’s Track & Field (10)
Talia Buss – So. – Elementary Education – Waukee, Iowa
Marta Gonzalez – Sr. – Marketing – Merida, Spain
Jenny Kimbro – So. – Art – Catlin, Ill.
Kara Misel – Sr. – Biochemistry – Solon, Iowa
Elizabeth Niedert – Jr. – Biomedical Engineering – Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Lauren Opatrny – Jr. – Human Physiology – McHenry, Ill.
Andrea Shine – Jr. – English – Crystal Lake, Ill.
Amy Smith – Sr. – Nursing – Wheaton, Ill.
Madison Waymire – Sr. – Sport & Recreation Management – Grimes, Iowa
Lindsay Welker – So. – Sport & Recreation Management – Terre Haute, Ind.

BOLD ITALICIZED names indicate student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA.

Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU
©Jim Kirby

Cyclones Nab Nine Academic Awards

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU ©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com 2018

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU
©Darren Miller-Hawkeyesports.com 2018

The Iowa State track and field squads were recognized for their strong work in the classroom by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Thursday.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Staebler-Clayton Ridge-ISU©Jim Kirby

Both the Iowa State men’s and women’s track and field teams were bestowed with the NCAA DI Track and Field Team Academic Awards.

Individually, nine Cyclones were named All-Academic Individuals. Honorees on the women’s team included three-time recipients Anne Frisbie, Kelly Naumann and Jasmine Staebler, two-timer Erinn Stenman-Fahey and first-time winners Karly Ackley, Larkin Chapman, Cailie Logue and Amanda Vestri. For the men’s team, Eric Fogltanz was recognized.

Frisbie, Logue and Vestri all received the honor for the cross country season as well back in February. Frisbie is now a five-time honoree, adding two cross country awards to her trio of track and field recognitions.

To be eligible for the team award, teams must have a cumulative team GPA of at least 3.0. To earn the individual award, student-athletes must have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.25, and either rank in the top-96 nationally in an event, or compete at any round of the NCAA Championships.

Cailie Logue-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Cyclone Freshmen Impress at IAAF World Championship

Cailie Logue-ISU ©Cyclones Athletics

Cailie Logue-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Cailie Logue and Amanda Vestri wrapped up their long freshman seasons in style with career-best efforts at the IAAF U20 World Championships this week. Logue recorded a personal best in the 5,000-meter run on Tuesday, and came back with another PR on Wednesday in the 3,000 while Vestri joined Logue with a personal best in the 3,000 at the Tampere Stadium in Finland.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Cailie Logue-ISU©Cyclones Athletics

 

Logue, who claimed the USATF Junior National Championships in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs last month, started her competition for Team USA on Tuesday in the 5,000. Logue came home in eighth in a new career-best time of 15:56.00, a nearly four-second drop from the 15:59.91 she ran at the NCAA West Preliminaries in May. She came back on Wednesday to finish 12th in the 3,000 in 9:16.78, another personal best.

Logue’s first season at Iowa State saw her earn All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region honors in cross country and a silver medal at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the 5,000-meter run before her run representing Team USA.

Vestri joined Logue on the track on Wednesday in the 3,000 and ran with her for the majority of the competition. Vestri eventually came home in 14th place with a personal best of 9:21.95, almost eight seconds better than her previous best in the 3K of 9:29.03 ran indoors at the Iowa State Classic in February.

Like Logue, Vestri’s freshman year also saw her earn All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region honors during the cross country season. She was the bronze medalist in 5,000 at the Big 12 Indoor Championships and the 10,000 at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships. Vestri qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 5K, where she ran to a PR of 16:10.63.

Shelby Houlihan-SC EAST - ASU and Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2017

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.

Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St
©Latinos Corriendo-2018

Thursday, June 21 USA Track & Field Championship Preview-Mike Mahon

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City ©Mike Brynes 2017

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou, Shelby Houlihan-SC East-ASU and Jenny Simpson-Webster City
©Mike Brynes 2017

REIGNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, 6 AMERICAN RECORD HOLDERS TO HIGHLIGHT FIRST-DAY ACTION

 

How’s this for an opening act on Day One of the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Drake Stadium fans will be graced by the presence of four medalists from the 2016 Olympics and seven current American record holders.

Feature photo: Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St©Latinos Corriendo-2018

 

 

Finals are scheduled in six events, featuring a trio of current American record holders vying for titles in field events.

 

Preliminary qualifying rounds will be held in nine running events on the blue oval with Matthew Centrowitz, reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500, headlining the men’s entries.

 

There are also four women’s American record holders on the track led by Molly Huddle, who is favored in the first running final – the women’s 10,000 scheduled at 7 p.m.

 

Emma Coburn(women’s steeplechase), Jenny Simpson(2 mile) and Ajee’ Wilson(800) are expected to lead the qualifying rounds in their respective races.

 

Centrowitz, who also won the 1500 at the 2016 World Indoor Championships, returns to Drake Stadium where he won his first U.S. Outdoor title in 2013. Since then he’s also won national outdoor titles in 2015 and 2016. Centrowitz became the first American to win the gold medal in the Olympics since Mel Sheppard in 1908.

 

Native Iowans Simpson(Webster City, Iowa) and Shelby Houlihan(Sioux City, Iowa) renew their rivalry in the first round of the women’s 1500 qualifying. Houlihan, who ran in the 5000 at the 2016 Olympics, won the women’s 1,500 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., May 26 running in a then world-leading3 minutes 59.06 seconds, while upsetting Simpson who placed third-3:59.37.

 

Simpson has won seven career U.S. Outdoor national titles including the last four straight years in the 1,500.A three-time Olympian, Simpson became the first U.S. woman ever to earn a medal at the Olympics when she placed third in the 1500 at the 2016 Games in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. She won the gold medal at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, while earning a silver medal in 2013.

 

Coburn, who will be seeking her seventh straight U.S. national title in the steeplechase dating back to 2011, set the American mark in the women’s steeplechase each of the last two years en route to becoming the first American woman to win the steeplechase at both the World Championships and Olympics At the 2017 World Championships in London, Coburn lowered here steeplechase mark to 9:-2.59, breaking her own American record of 9:07.63 set at the 2016 Olympics. She ranks No. 5 on the 2018 world list at 9:08.13.

 

Wilson, who won a silver medal in the 800 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships, ranks No. 2 on the 2018 world outdoor 800 list at 1:56.86 en route to a second—place finish at the Prefontaine Classic. May 26. Wilson has won six career U.S. national titles in the 800, including outdoor crowns in 2014 and 2017. She set the current American record of 1:55.61 at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Monaco.

 

First-round qualifying in both the men’s 800 and 1,500 feature all six runners who represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics.

 

The men’s 1500 also includes Robby Andrewsand Ben Blankenship, who both competed at the 2016 Olympics, as well asLeo Manzanowho earned a silver medal in the 1500 at the 2012 London Olympics. Blankenship was fifth in the 1500 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships.

 

Clayton Murphy, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics,  joins fellow Olympic teammates Boris Berianand Charles Jockin the 800. But the trio will face strong challenges from Isaiah Harris(Penn State) whose time of 1:44.76 to win the NCAA Outdoor meet ranks No. 9 in the world as well as two-time USA Indoor champ Erik Sowinski.

 

The first round of the men’s 100 at 6:10 p.m. features four sprinters ranked among the top six on the 2018  world outdoor list along with current American record holder Tyson Gay(9.69).  Mike Rodgersand Isiah Young, rank No. 2  in the world at 9.92, while Ronnie Baker andNoah Lyles, are No. 5 on the world list at 9.93. Baker won the 60 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. Lyles won the gold medal in the 100 at the 2016 World Junior Championships and he has run a world leading 19.69 in the 200 this season.

 

Aleia Hobbs, who won thee NCAA titles for LSU this past season, will lead the women’s sprinters in the 100 prelims. Hobbs won the 100 at the NCAA Outdoor meet after earlier anchoring the women’s 4×100 relay to a title. In March she tied the NCAA Indoor collegiate 60 record.

 

American record holders Kara Wingerand Keturah Orjiare favored in the women’s javelin and triple jump respectively.

 

Winger, a three-time Olympian will compete at 5 p.m., set the existing U.S. record of 218-8 in the 2010 USA Championships at Drake Stadium. She will be seeking her eighth national title in the event capturing championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

 

Orji, who set the American record of 48-3 ¼ in the triple jump at the 2016 Summer Olympics, will jump at 5:15 p.m. She closed out her collegiate career at Georgia by winning her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor triple jump title June 9. She also became just the third woman in NCAA Division I history to claim outdoor titles in the long jump and triple jump in the same season. Orji is ranked No. 5 in the world in 2018 in the triple jump, soaring 47-11 ¾.

 

Huddletook advantage of Almaz Ayana’s world-record pace to run an American record of 30:13.17 en route to a sixth-place finish in the 10,000 at the 2016 Olympics. The former 10-time NCAA All-American is aiming for her fourth straight national title in the 10,000. She was 11thin the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympics and won both the 5,000 and 10,000 titles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

 

The women’s discuss final at 2 p.m., features 2016 Olympians Whitney Ashleyand Kelsey Cardalong with 2012 Olympian Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Recent Arizona State graduate Maggie Ewenmade history by becoming just the fifth woman in NCAA Division I history to pick up outdoor titles in the shot put and discus in the same season, including being the first to do so since 2000. She captured the shot put title (62-10¾) just two days before winning the discus on her final throw (198-5). Ewen had already picked up the indoor shot put national title while setting collegiate records during the outdoor season in the hammer throw and the shot put.

 

Finals also will be held in the men’s 10,000-meter run (7:40 p.m.) featuring 2016 Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir,—the top ranked American who owns the ninth fastest time in the world this season at 27:39.65 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, Calif., May 3. Kipchirchir was ninth in the 10,000 at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.

 

Look for 2016 Olympian Zachery Ziemek as the decathlon begins its opening day of competition.

 

The men’s 20k race walk will conclude Thursday’s opening session starting at 8:40 p.m.