Monthly Archives: July 2012

ALWAYS A GOOD MATE

When David Adams joined Team Nebraska a year ago I told him my goal for him was to shake my hand and tell me adios.  Its official, David has taken the next step and will be joining the Rogue Athletic Club based out of Austin, TX.  The Adidas sponsored club will provide David the living, training, and competitive opportunities needed to reach his full potential.   www.teamrogue.com

David’s last blog entry as a Team Nebraska member is here: http://www.davidadamsrunning.com/2012/07/16/the-next-phase/ But as he states, he’ll always be a Good Mate!

And so Team Nebraska’s mission is once again accomplished.  Elite Development Club.  Farm team if you will to the Olympic Development programs that can provide that next level of opportunity.  Mike Morgan was the first, then Angee Henry, next was Peter van der Westhuizen, and now David.  Providing a stepping stone for Nebraska’s top athletes to pursue their goals and potential.  This is what we do.  We are only successful as a club when we are wishing our very best athletes good luck, great racing, good bye, and Giddyup!  That as much as anything sets Team Nebraska apart from anything else in the history of athletics in Nebraska.

And we couldn’t be prouder.  Not only of David, but of all of our mates that have helped him.  Especially Matt Pohren, Luka Thor, Andrew Jacob, those three going to Lincoln every week to train with David, often acting as rabbits out of the gate for David to chase.  Kelly Crawford for also going to Lincoln at least once a week to time David’s workouts.  His Killer Coach, Glen van der Westhuizen.  The Lincoln Marathon, who supported David’s competitive travels.  Our Road Race Management team that did likewise through funds raised from our races.  Our entire club for the good wishes and financial support during his Trials fundraiser, our Wendesday Night outreach program for the same.  A whole lot of Nebraska behind you Mate.

We’re all proud of you David and will be following your arc towards 2016.  We wish you and Bethany the best in Austin, what we Texans call “God’s Country”.  How appropriate that such a pious young man would end up deep in the heart of Texas.

Rogue Athletic Club’s logo.

THE WAITING

Is the hardest part.  Today is day 12 since I’ve run a step.  Only 9 more to go.  I’m not the only one suffering this time off as Killer Coach has all of us taking a 3 week break to reconstitute our bodies and our fires.  Maybe this blast furnace will have passed in the meantime.

Not all of the mates are taking down time though.  Jeff Nielsen continues to crank out the most difficult marathon training program you’ll never attempt.  He and Dylan Wilson are both manning up to Killer Coach’s marathon training program.  As grueling as it was this past winter/spring,  I can’t imagine tackling it in the heat of  summer.  You guys are freaking tough.

Cory Logsdon continues to race like a mad man, he took 2nd (20:15) at this past weekend’s CASA 5.8K, a rare local road defeat for him, Johnny Fuller (19:51), a 19 year old young buck out of Iowa took him down.  Overall female was Alysha Davis (23:47) out of Gillette, Wyoming.  Amanda Mortensen was the lucky winner of the free trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro, talk about a door prize!

And a few races coming up in the next few weeks:

The venerable Columbus Downtown Run Around is coming up on July 21st.  Not many amenities, not certified, but a flat, fast and competitive 5 Miler.

5K in Harvard, NE on July 28, not certified. Prize money like this: $100 for overall male and female, $50 for top masters. $50 course record for overall male and female, they stand at men= 20:18, women 25:56.

Our mate Shannon Stenger is hosting the Huff n Puff Bluff Run on August 11th in Morse Bluff celebrating his hometown’s 125th anniversary.  Not certified but offering some prize money and reasonable entry fees, if you’re interested shoot Shannon an email at stengers34@hotmail.com

Finally, how about 16 year old high school sophomore Mary Cain setting a new American Record in the 1500 meters over the weekend!  She ran 4:11.01, that is under a 4:30 mile for the metrically challenged.  Smoking fast.

 

 

 

 

 

THUMBS UP

Back from Oregon, hotter than the dickens with no immediate relief in sight, Real World, Nebraska in July style.

It was an eye opening trip, some of the most beautiful scenery in the U.S. I’ve ever seen.  The ocean on one side, mountains on the other, the Umpqua National Forest in the middle.  Crater Lake, breathtaking in scale and hue. Great seafood, great beer.  Friendly people.  My dear sweet Alli gives it two thumbs up and is looking forward to starting school there in September.  Another thing that we saw in abundance that was new to her; hitchhikers.  We saw more thumbs up in a little over 500 miles of driving than I’ve seen in the last 20 years combined.  And that’s cool.  I did a lot of it as a young man and it reminds me of a simpler time and the better side of humanity.  A true expression of freedom, the connection of open road and open mind.  Relying on the goodness of others, something there is just too little of these days.

Some photos from the trip:

Pre died the same month I graduated High School.  I took the time to visit much of his hometown including his high school and favorite training routes.

I also made it out to Pre’s Rock on Skyline Drive in Eugene, the site of his car crash.

There are monuments and plaques all around Coos Bay commemorating the town’s most famous native son.


The rugged coast is dotted with secluded little inlets like this, perfect for a picnic and a picture.

The native wildlife also contribute to the natural beauty of south central Oregon.

A hike up to Fall Creek Falls rewarded with a nice cool soaking of tired legs.

Crater Lake has some of the bluest water I’ve ever seen.  Awe inspiring hardly does it justice.

This trip is a memory Alli and I will always share.  Time together, the root of happiness, the type of trip every parent and child should make at least once in their lives.

 

 

BLOSSOM

This little pocket called Coos Bay is unusual.  It really is tough.  Industrialized by the lumber industry, hard working people seemingly just getting by.  Friendly though.  No pretenses, no upward mobility, no tanning salons or liposuction clinics, no rat race.  Real people.

Go just south of here and there is some of the most genuinely beautiful coastline anywhere.  Of particular interest to me was Shore Acres, a garden that has thriving plants from all over the world.  The constant, temperate weather allows for the establishment of a variety of non native species that boggle the mind.  Sea Lions sunning themselves, whales cresting further out in the Pacific.  The Good Mother’s Grand Design apparent everywhere.

I haven’t seen one person running here.  How did Prefontaine blossom as a runner?  The moderate temps year round must have helped.  And the training up some very big hills too.  But more than anything, an individual living  life by his own standards, pursuing his own dreams, not to be defined or limited by his community.  I dig that.

So does my dear sweet Allison.  The primary purpose of this trip is a college visit to the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute here in town.  One of, if not the most prestigous baking schools in the entire country.  Her performance at last month’s national championships garnering her an invitation from the head pastry chef.  I see her blossoming under the rigorous curriculum, developing fully into her own passion and destiny.  Her vision unencumbered by the expectations of others, unfettered by the seeming limitations of the immediate environment.  Not yet 18 and already setting her own course in life, confident and courageous in her own Grand Design.

That gift, more than anything, she got from her old man.  I couldn’t be prouder.

COOS BAY

Where better to recharge my batteries than the birthplace of Steve Prefontaine.  Spending the next few days on hallowed ground looking to recapture or even redefine what my running means on the deepest personal level.  Visited Pre’s gravesite today, my token joining the other mementos left in honor and memory.  Pre was a front runner, a leader, a fighter.   Something in his character forged from this hard scrabble, blue collar town that I can identify with to be sure.

High temps in the low to mid 60s today, sorely tempted to go for a run, but will listen to Killer Coach and stick with the prescribed days off.  In the meantime I’ll make a daily trek to Sunset Cemetery and pay homage to and meditate with the most iconic distance runner in American history.

Hear we had a great turnout for our Wednesday night track work, thanks to Coach John, Coach Linda, and Coach Kelly for filling in.

WHAT NEXT

Taking a break from running to let a couple of minor things resolve completely.  Going to use the opportunity to recharge the batteries, get some personal affairs in order, and find another windmill to tilt.  Of course I’ll still have plenty to say and this column does keep my creative/investigative/imaginative/instructive/perjorative/poetic side alive and well.

I’d like to welcome all of the new readers, there has been a tremendous increase in visits to this page over the last week.   I hope you will enjoy my view of what is, what isn’t, what’s Real, what’s not, in Omaha, in Nebraska, the running world, and beyond.

Team Nebraska was well represented at this past weekend’s Run For Justin.  Yes, that is the same Matt Pohren that competed on the track, used the morning’s 5K as a warm up for the day.  Second and third place finishers Harter and Post are HS studs, nice to see some competitive results at this run.  Jordan’s sister Shelby took the women’s title in a nice pr of 18:44 and our Haleigh Riggle was 3rd female in 20:21.  Our OEG mate Krista Palm ran a big pr finishing 11th in 22:25, way to go Krista!
1. Matt Pohren, 15:53**
2. Joe Harter,     15:56
3. Austin Post,   16:43
4. Jordan Tucker 16:54**
5. Christian Reed 16:57
6. Justin Mollak   17:10**
7. Lee Anderson 17:11**
8. Tony Dill            17:16
9. Todd Leutzinger 17:29

Good to see Nebraska’s best long distance masters female, our own Stacy Shaw, expand her horizons.  I received the following email from her:
” hey, I ran Happy Jack 12 hour solo race in Laramie this weekend. It was awesome. I covered 46 miles in under 12 hours,got rained on the last 12miles, so was freezing cold and the trail was a mess. Otherwise could have made the 60. It was at altitude and pretty steep climb. I enjoyed the event and took home a cool first place medal!! Yippee!! Hope all is well.Yes I am still training. Won the superior 10k and Roselands 5K.”

Sounds like an interesting and invigorating run:
“Happy Jack 24/12/6 Hour  race is a new event in the Happy Jack area of the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. With 24, 12, or 6 hour SOLO or TEAM options, this challenge is run on a course of  5.8 mile loops run in alternate directions. Each loop has access to the lower basecamp, which will have a campfire going and serve hot food all night, and the upper fully-stocked aid station. With over 700 feet of elevation gain per loop and an 8800 feet high point, this is a challenging course.”

And that is what I’m thinking might be What Next for me.  Moving up in distance to try an ultra.  You get to slow down, walk if you want,  eat, enjoy the scenery, make some new friends.  And maybe, just maybe, not be In It To Win It.

Meghan Schneider has her Club Nats photos uploaded to our flickr account (pink button on the front page), nice work Meghan!

I’ll close today’s column, and last weekend’s Club Nats, with a couple of  excerpts from my old buddy Jim Gerweck’s article titled “Run Fast, Turn Left” in July’s Running Times.  Quoting Andy Martin “You get a lot of people who run a race or a marathon just to say they did it, then they move on.  You don’t get that in track and field.”  And Tom Derderian (Pres. of Greater Boston Track Club) “There’s nowhere to hide on a track.  There’s a philosophy that’s become prevalent in road racing that as long as you finish, you’re a winner.  There’s none of that in track.  Track races are a very precise means of determining who’s a winner, and how far behind everyone else is.  There’s no warm fuzzy way to spin that.  You’re out there naked to the watch, and not too many people want to do that, have the balls to do that.”  Amen, brother, that’s why I’m so darned proud of our Good Mates.

 

 

 

2012 USA Club National Championships, part 3

I’m thrilled that my very first track meet was such a huge success.  Thanks to everyone that made it that way!

Our Men & Women combined to finish 4th overall out of the 19 teams from around the U.S.

The 2012 USATF  National Club Track & Field Championships will go down as one of the highest points in my career, not only in Nebraska, but in my 16+ years involvement with the organization.

2012 USA Club Track & Field National Championships, part 2

Our Team Nebraska women were led by Aubrey Baxter, showing why she is considered one of the top throwers in the U.S.  Fresh off of her 8th place finish at the USA Olympic Trials, she re-wrote the meet record in the Hammer Throw on each of her first 3 tosses and would have extended it further if not for a foul on the final effort.  Her new mark of 63.86 meters was a full 5 meters ahead of 2nd place, amazing.  She was just getting her strong armed warmed up though as she also scored in the Javelin (4th, 37.45m), the Discus (2nd, 43.90m), and Shot (3rd, 13.96m).  Aubrey led our small but mighty women’s team to a 4th place overall finish.

The rest of our women gave it their all as well.  Megan Zavorka was 2nd in the Steeplechase in  11:32.60 and incredibly doubled back 3 hours later to run the 10000 (6th, 39:30.13). Natalie Como made her first ever appearance on a track in the same race a top 10 finish in 41:39.59.  It was still 94 degrees at the start of the Women’s 10000 and likely even hotter down on the track.  In the Women’s 1500 Suzanne Higgins moved up in distance from her accustomed 800 specialty running 5:18.80.  In a demonstration of valiant courage and team spirit Christina King agreed to run both our Distance Medley Relay and 4 X 800 relay.   Christina was attacked by a dog last week (unleashed by the way) out at the dojo and will be undergoing knee surgery this morning.  True grit and the stuff the Good Mates are made of to be sure!

In the Women’s 200 meters, Aliann Pompey of Shore Athletic Club turned in a speedy 23.64 for the win.  She will be representing her native Guyana in London.

I’ll give my nod now to the Lincoln Running Company Racing team.  They are a new USATF Nebraska Competitive Club and they are Real.  I appreciate so much that this young club adheres to the true spirit of the definition of a Competitive Club; to participate and be competitive in USATF Association, Regional, and National Championships events.  That is what this designation is all about and they get it.  They had the following results from this weekend’s meet:  Men’s Hammer, Derek Frese (5th, 53.96m), Men’s Shot, Elliott Bulling (4th, 14.59m), Triple Jump, Kevin Janata (2nd, 13.43m), Women’s 800 meters, Erica Hamik (4th, 2:15.08), Men’s 800 meters, Zach Harsin (4th, 1:57.20), Men’s Steeplechase, Cole Marolf 7th, 10:24.49), Men’s 1500, Logan Watley (7th, 4:08.84), Men’s 10000, Eric Noel (10th, 35:06.79), Women’s 10000, Frances Petersen (4th, 38:30.81), Hannah Kinberg (5th, 38:45.00) and Malaina Huebert (9th, 40:53.58), Men’s Pole Vault, Jay Wall (2nd, 4.72m), Women’s 5000, Amber Brandenburger (10th, 19:17.65), Men’s 5000, Neil Wolford (4th, 15:23.00) and Michael Rathje (10th, 15:57.77), and the Women’s DMR (3rd, 12:47.90).

My favorite photo from this past weekend.  We had a mister out on the track during the Women’s and Men’s 10000 meters to help keep the athletes cool in the mid 90 degree temps.  We also had kiddie pools full of ice water, cold sponges, cold rags, water tables and an ever alert medical staff.

The Women’s 800 was the most competitive event on Friday with .54 of a second between 1st & 2nd.

Carole Swanson volunteered at the jumps for the weekend, learned how to measure and read a wind gauge too.

Suzanne Higgins made her Team Nebraska debut in the 1500.

The kiddie pools were a big hit in keeping the athletes  cooled during the extreme heat of the weekend.  Plenty of shade provided by tents for shade as well.

Shannon Stenger brought out 10 of his Titans to help with the meet.  They made contributions moving steeple barriers etc.  Building bridges to the future success of the USATF Nebraska Association!

Zach Harsin leads David Eads and Andrew Jacob in the Men’s 800 meters.  I’m thrilled to finally have some Real Competition for the Good Mates.

Natalie Como made her track debut on a hot night in the 10000 and earned an ice cold rag for her efforts.

 

 

2012 USA Club Track & Field National Championships, part 1

Well, the meet is in the books and boy am I glad.  A lot to reflect on but I’m going to start by giving credit where its due.  Our volunteers.  The national office was amazed that a first time host of the championships was able to execute the conduct of the event with such seamless efficiency.  And that lays right at the feet of those that worked so hard to make sure our event and our city was presented in a first class manner.  There were no “bit players” in this project, everyone deserves congratulations on a job well done.  Many of the volunteers had never even attended a track meet before but performed their charges flawlessly, a testament to the talent and hard work exhibited.   I especially want to thank our Team Nebraska mates, the Omaha Endurance Group and the Omaha Running Club.   With only one exception the entirety of our volunteer base came from these three groups.

I am going to single out a few people because I worked them like dogs for two days.  Dylan Wilson came over from Lincoln Thursday night and didn’t catch his breath until leaving Saturday evening.  He shagged the Hammer Throw, the Javelin, and the Discus.  Pretty much a moving target for some of the best throwers in the country, he remained alert and thus unscathed.  Cade Pearson too was a shagger, this assignment probably the most physically demanding of the event, he still managed to run the Lincoln Mile yesterday.

Jeff Nielsen was my go to guy for anything and everything in operation logistics.  He was instrumental in the set up and knock down of our venues, could not have done it without him. Jimmie Doherty accepted every task without hesitation, sometimes in multiples, he was that reliable.  James and Julie Castro and Colleen Prybil made my life infinitely easier both Thursday and Friday with their expert organizational skills, Renee Reischl picked right up where they left off and kept things spot on.  Haleigh Riggle seemed to have a magic bag in her big red truck, any tool, appliance, or notion required was immediately produced upon request.

Now the good stuff: 5 National Championships meet records! Our own Aubrey Baxter broke the meet record in the Hammer Throw (63.86m) each of her final 3 throws!  Jeremy Bascom of Central Park TC set a new 100 meter record in a blazing 10.19.  Lalonde Gordon set a new 400 meter standard of 45.02.  Zara Northover (Central Park TC)  Shot Put: 16.27m.  And Kateema Riettie (Central Park TC)  Javelin: 54.99m.  There was also an American Record for men 40+ set in the 200.  And two athletes that will participate in London in just a few weeks.

The Team Nebraska men finished 2nd overall to the Central Park TC, our highest ever finish at the Club Nationals.  Event winners were: Nate Polacek in the Pole Vault (4.88m) and Matt Pohren who took the Steeplechase title in a new personal best of 9:06.02.  Matt led a Team Nebraska sweep of the medals in that event with Matt Schneider 2nd in 9:25.84 and Cory Logsdon 3rd in 9:32.36.

Others scoring points for our men:  Ben Zuch, 2nd High Jump (2.13m), Ross Bunchek, 4th Hammer Throw (56.98m), Jared Shuurmans, 2nd Discus (57.90m) and 2nd Shot Put (16.48m), Richard Eads (6th, 2:00.12) and Andrew Jacob (7th, 2:03.68) in the 800 meters, Virgil Mitchell (6th, 48.69) in the 400 meters and (4th, 21.47) in the 200 meters,  and Matt Schneider (4:03.35) in the 1500 meters.   Luka Thor (2nd, 33:04.50), Peter Falcon (4th, 33:56.69), and York Thomas (5th, 34:01.76) all contributing in the 10,000 meters.  Luka Thor (3rd, 15:18.06), Matt Pohren, (5th, 15:28.25), Eric Rasmussen (6th, 15:32.72) and Cory Logsdon (7th, 15:35.09) scoring in the 5000 meters.   Our men’s relay teams also scored: 4 X 800 with Thor, Eads, Jacob, Schneider 2nd in 4:08.75.  And DMR 3rd in 10:53.35 (Thor, Pohren, Schneider, Jacob) and the Sprint Medley quartet (3rd, 3:40.35) of Eads, Pohren, Jacob, and Schneider.

You can see that our Good Mates gave everything they had over 2 days, I could not be prouder!

Jeremy Bascom of Central Park TC setting the Championships record of 10.19 in the men’s 100 meters.

Los Dos Matts leading a Team Nebraska sweep of the Steeplechase.  Team Nebraska has dominated the Steeple for the last 5 years, something in the water no doubt.

Eric Rasmussen was game, taking the lead for the first 2 plus miles in the Men’s 5000 meters.  Bib number 4 is Ruben Sanca who will represent the Cape Verde Islands at London in the 10,000 meters.

It was still 90 degrees on Friday night for the start of the Men’s 10000.  In lane 1 is 54 year old Keith Long of the Kansas City Smoke, the oldest qualifier (sub 33:30) entered into the meet.

Matt Schneider pictured here (wearing bandana)  in the Men’s 1500 meters, also ran the Steeple and every relay.  On the left in yellow is Lincoln Running Company Racing’s president Logan Watley (more on LRC Racing later).  And no you are not seeing double, #s 6 and 2 are the Gilhuley twins from CPTC.

All photos courtesy of Justin Mollak.  For many more pictures go to our flickr button.

Next up our women!

 

 

JUST A QUICKIE

Club Nats isn’t the only event this weekend.  Quick shout out to the annual Run For Justin that will be held Saturday morning.  Dan & Marti continue their fine work memorializing their son, one of the great tributes in the Omaha Metro.  I got to catch up with them at a recent party (and what a party it was!), they are nearly as pooped as I am.  Road Race management is truly a labour of love, and in this case, in loving memory.

I know some of you have to do your hair (or fill in the blank_______)  this weekend and won’t make it out to Burke Stadium but you can still keep tabs on the Good Mates by going to www.runnerspace.com There will be live video coverage of the event complete with results and commentary.  And of course results will be posted at www.usatf.org as well.

As our mate Matty P. says, “Gotta Bounce”.  (Street for I must be going now).